We are all busy people. We have to juggle work, family, and personal responsibilities. That can make it challenging to take time for yourself. But it would help if you did so to help improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Life is not always easy. You will feel sad or stressed at times – it’s just part of life. But you can take steps to maintain a healthy mind and body, including practicing self-care by being kinder to yourself when you’re struggling with something difficult.
Research has shown that self-kindness is an invaluable social skill in improving your wellbeing because it buffers the effects of stress on the body by promoting resilience, lowering cortisol levels in the blood, and boosting feelings of worthiness, belonging, joy, and hopefulness.
Be careful how you talk to yourself.
We know it matters how we talk to others. Sometimes we forget that it’s equally important to treat ourselves with words of kindness and understanding. If you go to your favorite coffeehouse and order your usual, you’d probably do so without abusive or harsh language. After all, you want the barista or server to respond carefully, efficiently, and in a friendly way with your order. So consider doing the same thing when talking to yourself:
Avoid these four types of thinking errors/negative self-talk:
You focus on the negative despite evidence that not EVERYTHING is terrible.
You have a habit of focusing on the negative, which can be detrimental to your mental health.
The ability to filter out the negative from our lives is something that we all want. It makes life easier and more manageable. However, many people have a habit of filtering only the bad things in life while ignoring all of the positive factors. This is not good for mental health. It puts too much weight on the negatives and not enough on our positives!
Telling yourself, it’s all your fault when sometimes bad just stuff happens.
Often, when something has gone wrong in our lives, many of us think it is our fault. We react accordingly by taking on the blame and becoming angry at ourselves. It’s critical at these times to take a step back and examine the situation with kindness. Look at the situation as if it were someone else. Would you still be upset at the person? If not, perhaps you should show yourself some kindness.
Telling yourself that the worst will always happen.
Some people have a habit of catastrophizing. They tell themselves that the worst will always happen.
You can stop catastrophizing by first identifying what’s going on in your mind. You can do this by paying attention to your thoughts and noticing what you’re telling yourself about a situation. After identifying those thoughts, challenge them and replace them with more realistic ones. For example, instead of saying “I’ll never make it,” you could say, “I’ll make it if I try hard enough!”.
Believing you must be perfect; because it’s not true.
It is easy to believe that you have to be perfect all the time. But this is not true. We all have flaws, and it’s normal to have shortcomings sometimes. The key is not to beat yourself up over these things but instead accept them so you can learn from them and work on them.
As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” If you know that you are actively trying to improve every day, nothing can stop you from being successful in life!