Sometimes it seems easier to love others than it does to love yourself however, self-acceptance is an important part of developing healthy relationships. This concept of self-love is often at the heart of the work that is done at Healing Path Counselling Services. All too often, an individual’s past experiences, relationships, upbringing or interactions with the world around them leaves them feeling defeated and lacking in self-worth.
How can someone learn to love themselves again? See below for some strategies from a Cognitive Behavioural perspective on improving your inner voice.
Overcome Negative Beliefs About Yourself
Through cognitive behavioural interventions we learn how to overcome negative beliefs about yourself. Many people have trouble letting go of negative thoughts that they have about themselves. This is often because they have been engrained and are a part of our inner belief system. One way this manifests is by calling yourself names such as “I’m a failure”. Calling yourself a name is reducing yourself from a human to a single element of yourself that you do not like. Just don’t do it – reframe the statement by acknowledging that an error was made but focus on the facts of the situation rather than your feelings about the situation.
People have trouble accepting anything less than perfection from themselves. If you find yourself pursuing perfectionism and feeling negatively about yourself when you are less than perfect try these three steps: Stop your current line of thinking, then focus on the effort that will be required to work towards a goal, then steadily apply the required effort.
Discard your negative filter.
Focusing only on the negatives in your life is a bad habit. Excessive focus on negative or less favorable events in your life can make these events seem disproportionately important. If you find yourself complaining that everything that happens to you is bad, try to find a little evidence to the contrary; it is very unlikely that everything is really bad.
Rewrite your internal script.
When you realize that you are thinking negatively about yourself, acknowledge the feeling, identify the source of the feeling, and then consciously make a new statement re-writing your thought as a more positive one. This is where that evidence finding becomes important. When working with clients – this intervention often highlights how ones internal script is usually based on perceptions rather than on actual facts involving the circumstances.
Self-esteem is so important and begins from childhood. If we can learn how to practice the art of self-love and build this capacity from even a young age, we enhance the likelihood of strong relationships with others, with the world around us and, most importantly, with ourselves.
If you or someone you know, no matter the age, struggles with self-love please connect at Healing Path Counselling Services.
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