Tame Your Inner Critic – Hypnotherapy in Ely and Newmarket
Every waking moment you have a constant stream of thoughts running through your mind. You have ideas, you make decisions, evaluate things, replay things, imagine things and talk to yourself in an ongoing stream of thought as you go about your day. Much of the time you may not even notice this is particularly happening. Sometimes these thoughts are encouraging, positive and helpful and there may be moments where they are random or unfocused and your thoughts just seem to flow in all sorts of directions.
And, of course, there are those thoughts that cause negativity, low mood and that limit you and hold you back in a variety of ways. Sometimes the things you might say to yourself in your head are not that kind. You can berate yourself, criticise yourself and put yourself down about something you have or haven’t said or done or a mistake you think you’ve made. Long after everyone else has moved on and forgotten about it, you can still find yourself criticising yourself over and over inside your own head.
You may even judge and be harsh about yourself as a person, putting down who you are, what you do and what you are capable of achieving. You wouldn’t let a stranger talk to someone you loved in the same way yet there you are putting yourself down all the time. And it has real life consequences in how you feel and what you do.
This inner critic is that part of you that grabs hold when you put yourself down and criticise yourself. You tell yourself you’re a failure, that you always mess up, that you’re a loser and that you aren’t good enough. And perhaps the worst bit is that this inner voice of yours follow you around all day, reminding you of every little mistake you’ve ever made.
Yet because this all occurs inside your own head it is very possible to tame your inner critic and to learn how to encourage and support yourself in ways that all you to move forward confidently and capably.
Your Inner Critic
We all have that inner critic. For some it just comes occasionally and is not too problematic. Yet you may find that voice in your head that criticises you, berates you and puts you down just seems to be there all the time. Whenever you think you’ve made a mistake, messed something up or failed in some way, there are those thoughts to remind you of all your failings.
It may seem that your inner critic has always been there. It can start when you are young and then it just becomes habitual to think in this way and to mentally and emotionally beat yourself up as you navigate your way through life. It may seem like it’s always been there and you may feel very used to berating yourself in this way. It can seem natural, just who you are, to remind yourself that you’re a failure, that you always mess things up, that you’re not good enough and a host of other critical and harsh thoughts and statements.
Sometimes people develop this as a way of trying to protect themselves and to cope with situations and challenges. After all, if you go ahead and put yourself down, then any negative judgements and criticisms from others may not seem so harsh (because you already feel bad in yourself anyway). Yet, for whatever purpose this critical inner voice developed, it still just leaves you feeling low, down, anxious and full of self doubt. It can take the joy from successes, it can steal away your motivation to achieve your goals (if you are going to fail anyway then what would be the point of even starting) and it leaves you not liking yourself very much.
No matter how long you’ve been putting yourself down inside your own head, it is very possible to change what and how you are communicating to yourself. You can learn to change what you say to yourself about yourself. Rather than habitually giving time, belief and focus to the inner critic, you can start to become more encouraging, balanced and supportive towards yourself. In the same way you would talk to a loved one who you want the best for, you can draw upon an inner voice that is kind, supportive and encouraging. You can successfully tame your inner critic.
Tame Your Inner Critic
Rather than berating yourself and putting yourself down, you want to draw upon an inner voice that encourages you and leads you to believe in yourself. You can start to trust, feel and know that you are capable, that you can achieve your goals and that you can handle, deal and cope with whatever comes your way. You can encourage and support yourself in a self assured and balanced way. You can feel better and better in being yourself, more comfortable in your own skin and feel more resilient when challenges arise.
I’m planning to head to the recording studio soon to produce a tame your inner critic hypnosis download to support you getting the most from this process. And if you want to start benefiting until then you can follow these steps:
1. Ensuring you are sitting somewhere quiet, take a deep breath and close your eyes. If you know self-hypnosis techniques you could incorporate these here. Start to extend your out breath and say the word ‘relax’ to yourself on every breath out. You could tense and relax each part of your body or tell yourself that each part of your body is relaxing. You could imagine a calm colour or sensation spreading through you or fill your mind with a relaxing sound. You could engage your imagination and imagine being in a remembered or created place of calmness, seeing the sights and hearing the sounds. Or you can draw upon and utilise any other ways that allow you to feel comfortable, calm and relaxed. Your aim here is just to feel as safe, calm and comfortable as you can right now.
2. Start to become aware of your entire body as one, from the top of your head down through your body and into the tips of your toes. Just aim to be aware of your entire body as one right now. You don’t need to try to change anything and you don’t need to try and stop anything from changing. Just notice what you notice, feel what you feel in your body and be aware of your entire body as one, with a sense of contentment.
3. Now, move your awareness to your breathing. Notice the sensations of your breathing. The rise and fall of every breath that happens so automatically. The feeling of your chest expanding, and then relaxing. Notice the sensations anywhere and everywhere caused by your breathing. Just tune in and watch your body breathing. If your mind wanders at any point you can gently bring your awareness back to your breathing.
Tune in and notice the sensations of your breathing as you let your body do the breathing, almost as if you were watching someone else breathing, or a little bird in a tree breathing or like you are watching a perfectly working machine. Imagine that you are breathing in calmness and becoming more calm, balanced and at ease as you breathe out.
4. Now, start to become more comfortably absorbed in the sensations of your body. Become aware aware of the sensations in your arms, in your chest, in your stomach and legs and then into each and every part of your body. You can notice whether each part of your body feels warm or cold or somewhere in between, whether you feel lightness or heaviness or something in between and just be content to notice what you notice as you let your awareness go deeper into your body. And throughout you can bring your awareness back to your breathing, the rise and fall of every breath that happens so automatically.
5. Then begin to think about the kind of times, places and moments where your inner dialogue tends to be overly critical. Those moments where you put yourself down and are harsh and negative towards yourself. You can take a moment to remember these times and to notice where you were, who you were with and what you were doing. And as you briefly imagine being back in the moment, be aware of what you say to yourself and what goes on inside your head and then how this makes you feel. Take a moment to notice not only what your inner critic says but how it says it and the tone of the words.
6. Being aware of your inner critic, now think of someone that you love, accept and want the best for. Start to think about how you talk to this person you love, not only what you say but how you say it and how you communicate with them. Notice how you encourage, support and demonstrate your love, positive regard and support towards them in what you say.
7. You then take that voice and start to adopt similar thoughts, intentions and sentiments towards yourself, replacing the old inner critic with a new inner voice that encourages and supports you. Imagine being in the same kind of situations where in the past you were unduly critical in your inner dialogue and now imagine being there with more supportive thoughts inside your head. Really imagine this new inner voice strongly speaking to you and reminding you that you are capable, that you can handle it and you are capable, worthy and good enough. Take enough time to really adopt this more positive and encouraging inner dialogue and think it with a depth of belief and conviction where you know this is how you now communicate with yourself. Let this new, more positive inner voice dominate your mind.
8. And then think of the kind of future situations where you’ll benefit from your positive inner dialogue. Imagine being in these situations while being balanced and supportive in your thoughts. Let this encouraging voice influence your feelings here so that you know you can handle things and that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to. Really notice how when you think in this way you feel better in yourself, and when you feel better in yourself you think in this way even more readily.
9. Then, when you are ready to bring this process to an end, count yourself up in your mind from one to three and on three, open your eyes and re-orientate yourself back into the present.
Changing what you habitually say to yourself, and how you say it, is one of the most powerful ways to feel better in yourself. Instead of negatively, harshness, self doubt and rumination, your inner dialogue becomes more encouraging, kind, supportive and understanding. This means you feel more and more safe, capable, resilient and comfortable in your own skin. You tame your inner critic and then start to do things in ways that please you and bring you positive results.
To your health and happiness,
Award Winning Hypnotherapist in Ely & Newmarket
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