Our inner voice is powerful. The dialogue that we tell ourselves can affirm, encourage, and boost confidence toward positive outcomes. On the other hand, our inner voice can be our own worst enemy. It can be hyper-critical, setting up unrealistic standards of perfectionism. It can plant seeds of doubt. Fear of failure, anxiety, discouragement, and depression can set in. Our view of self may begin to shift to internalized negative messages such as “I am a failure”.
Self-Compassion often comes more naturally for others. We can empathize with others’ pain but struggle to offer ourselves compassion during our own suffering. Imagine how you might respond to a friend or family member who was struggling in a similar area as yourself. Suffering is part of the human experience and we do not need to go through it alone.
Why Practice Self-Compassion?
• Practicing self-compassion can help reduce emotional distress.
• It can provide relief from suffering and help heal past wounds.
• Self-Compassion can help soften the inner critic and set realistic expectations.
• Practicing self-compassion can lead to acceptance of our inner experiences including thoughts, feelings, and body sensations without judgment.
How Therapy Can Help
• Seeking therapy can reduce the stigma of mental health. It is a powerful step towards healing to acknowledge and name one’s emotional experience with another human.
• Therapy can help relieve suffering. You no longer need to suffer in silence.
• Therapy can help us accept our whole self, including “imperfections” while “letting go” of patterns such as perfectionism, negativity, and shame.
• It can help with “permission-granting” that it is OK not to be “perfect”, etc.
• Therapy can help develop an awareness and understanding by noticing what is going on in the body and help teach the practice of mindfulness.
• Therapy can work with your inner dialogue to help counter negative thinking and challenge these patterns while providing support and encouragement.
Interested in learning more?
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Written By: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC
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