Just mentioning the word stress can make your head spin as you think about your to-do lists, meetings, and schedules, as well as kids, work, and money. Whatever triggers it, it distracts you from your sense of calm.
As you allow your negative thoughts to control you, you lose your precious energy in handling the symptoms of stress. You’ll lose your ability to solve your problems and issues.
Your inner critic can make or break your day. Although it can help you live a life that is true to your values, this part of your internal dialogue can cause depression and bring down your self-esteem and self-worth.
Sometimes, your inner critic can be mean. It knows what to say to push down your self-confidence. To soothe it, you may use a tool that allows you to have a productive dialogue with it. This tool is called journaling.
Journaling helps you develop a balanced relationship with your inner critic over the long term. To use it as a valuable tool, make sure to record your thoughts as you gain insight into your behaviors and moods. It does not only help you solve your problems, but it also reduces stress. It is a proven method to improve mental and physical health, thereby, increasing your self-esteem.
But how can you get started?
Start writing about your life
To start calming your inner critic through journaling, you need to start writing about where you are in your life right now. Are you living in one of the best cities for a healthy lifestyle? You can write about your living situation, your relationship and where you want to be in a few months or years.
Write for at least five minutes each day
Practice writing for five to ten minutes every day. It does not matter what you are writing. The goal here is to allow your stream of consciousness to flow. Never edit your feelings or thoughts. And don’t edit your grammar. In other words, don’t filter what you’re thinking.
Jot down things that you appreciate
In here, you need to have a separate journal for all the things that you value most in your life. When you’re feeling down, you can read those things to boost your happiness, making you more thankful, rather than regretful. Doing so will help you cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Write your achievements
Big or small, you should consider jotting down your successes or achievements every day or week. Read them every day to inspire and help you grow.
Include your self-portraits
Learn to love and accept yourself by taking photos of yourself and including them in your journal.
Write an event that disturbs you
If you are struggling with something or if there’s an event that keeps on bothering you, you may write it down in the third person so you can distance yourself and provide a new insight of the topic. Then, jot down what you have learned from that experience.
Write your questions and concerns
Take note of your questions, issues, and concerns. Then, breathe deeply and listen for a response from yourself and write it automatically. Now, if you don’t have an answer right away, you can look for signs throughout the day.
When you write down your inner voice, never allow your self-hating thoughts to take over. Instead, respond to it from a compassionate perspective. Write a more caring response to your internal voice attacks. Each time your inner critic sneaks in, shut it out.
Read back your past notes
It is called retrospecting. This method involves reading back what you have written in the past to find patterns, language, and underlying beliefs. You may do this activity weeks after writing an entry. In that way, you can read more accurately. Know if you have recurring complaints. Your inner critic may be focusing on your specific attributes, like your work ethic or appearance. As you identify those patterns, you can look at where they might come from.
Then, know whether there’s truth in the complaints. You may be tempted to dismiss your inner critics’ criticisms. However, they can also be useful in finding out where you might be behaving in a way that you’re out of line with your values. As you start writing down your thoughts, you become more compassionate about how you respond to your inner critic’s complaints. Journaling can help you develop a more positive dialogue that comes with consistent practice. With conscious attention, it is possible to shift the inner criticism to empathy and acceptance.
Catrin Cooper is professional blogger and freelance writer at Rentberry company from San Francisco.
She sees her purpose in providing people with up-to-date info in spheres of marketing, self-development, and real estate.
Apart from work, she adores traveling and yoga.