Think about the last time that you were being hard on yourself. You might have been criticizing yourself for something as simple as a disagreement with one of your loved ones, or you might have been stuck in a loop of self-loathing over things from your past. Whatever you were thinking about, did you feel motivated or capable of positive change?
Chances are you didn’t. Feeling bad about something we did wrong is good, so long as we use it to do better the next time. If you hold onto guilt and heavy feelings for too long, not only will you not make any progress, you’ll end up sabotaging progress you could have potentially made.
It seems counterintuitive, but the best way to improve after messing up and disappointing yourself is to practice self-care and self-love. One of the best ways to start with this is to post what your are grateful for daily.
You don’t even have to stock up on notebooks and pens anymore; an app like SendThanks allows you to journal right from your smart device in a timely way. By keeping posting to the app’s Thankful Feed, you’ll be able to better track your thoughts and see how your moods come and go in waves.
Written entries can be very meditative and adding photographs of where you were at the time or selfies that show your mood will remind you of how you felt and how much progress you’ve made.
Think of it as a sort of ongoing time capsule, allowing you to peer into your past while still authoring your future. Another way to practice self-care and self-love is to think of positive what-if scenarios.
Now, we’re not talking about negative thoughts like “what if I’m not hired” or “what if I never find true love” etc.
Positive what-if scenarios are what we should focus on. Whenever you’re feeling down and judging yourself, you can ask how you would respond if a friend came up to you and said the same things that you’re saying to yourself. Chances are that you’d be much more forgiving towards them, you’d understand where they were coming from, and you’d help them to move on and learn better skills and ways to cope.
If you can do this for your friend, why not do this for yourself? After all, a healthy attitude starts with a healthy relationship with yourself. And just like any relationship, that requires trust and honesty.
You need to trust that you will improve and grow and become a better version of yourself, and you need to be honest about your struggles and limitations as well as your achievements. This way, you can keep yourself grounded, and you’ll easily be able to check in on how you’re doing at any given point of the day. If you couple this with a healthy meditation practice and mindful activities, you’ll surely see yourself blossom into the 2.0 version of yourself that you always knew you could become.