How Mindfulness Can Help Silence Your Inner Critic
We all have that inner critic, that voice inside of our heads that tells us we’re not good enough, strong enough or successful enough. It is that nagging voice that tries to bring you down—and sometimes it succeeds.
It is completely normal and healthy to have a critic. However, if you spend too much time listening to that inner critic it can really prevent you from meeting your goals and being the best version of yourself possible.
So, what is the key to silencing that inner critic and keeping your critics negative thoughts and actions at bay? Mindfulness. When you are more mindful and have a grasp on the self-awareness that comes with that mindfulness, you will have the ability to “talk back” to your inner critic and to respond to that voice that is nagging you inside your head.
Responding to Your Inner Critic
When you are more mindful and more self-aware, you are going to have the power to determine when your inner critic is talking to you and when you should ignore their criticisms. When you feel your inner critic is getting you down, just respond to them, plain and simple.
It may seem a little silly at first, but it is important that you are able to give your inner critic its own name, voice and identity, so that you can separate yourself from that inner critic that is being negative inside you. Once you have identified your critic as a separate entity, you can start responding to that critic when their negativity starts to creep in.
Here’s how to respond to your inner critic when you don’t like the message you are hearing?
- Say “so what?” Your inner critic may be very negative, but who cares? Just because your inner critic is telling you there is something wrong with you, it doesn’t mean that they are right.
- Ask your inner critic “why?” If your critic is telling you that you can’t do something or you are not good enough to do something, ask “them” why? Many times your inner critic won’t have an answer of why you aren’t good enough or why you can’t do something.
- “What if it doesn’t matter?” Sometimes you can’t argue with your inner critic. Maybe your inner critic is nagging at you for gaining a few pounds. Maybe you did gain a few pounds, but what if it doesn’t matter? What if you don’t care? Use this is an opportunity to empower yourself instead of letting your inner critic win.
When you feel as though your inner critic is really getting you down and making you feel negative, overwhelmed or stressed out—that is the perfect time to start practicing your mindful meditation.
When you sit down and really start to meditate, you can pay attention to your thoughts, your real thoughts and have the presence to ignore your inner critic and focus on the real you.
Meditate and allow your mind to do nothing but follow your breath. Your mind will start to relax and you can get refocused on you and your thoughts. Meditating allows us to focus on our thoughts so we can pick out any blaringly negative ones and regain the power and the presence to shift from negative to positive. Meditation gives you presence to shift the power away from your negative voice so mindfully meditating in a way that puts your mind in the right position to see things more clearly and shift away from the negativity.
Daily Ways to Silence Your Critic
The more positive you can be throughout the day, the easier it will be to silence the negativity that your inner critic can bring. Here are a few powerful ways that you can bring more positive light into your life while giving you the powerful positivity you need to silence your inner critic for good.
- Practice compassion. Having self-compassion enables us to be more kind and loving not only to others but to ourselves. When we practice love, we learn to love ourselves for who we are, which gives us power against our inner critic. It allows us to forgive ourselves more easily and learn that we are more than our negative thoughts.
- Be self- When you are faced with negative thoughts and negative ideas, it is a great time to really sit back and ask yourself if those negative feelings are true, or if you are convincing yourself that they are. If you are more introspective on a daily basis, you can create some separation between yourself and the negative voice in your head.
- Laugh more. People in general need to laugh more and bring more joy into their life. Laughter can help mend a broken day and help bring a sense of lightness to your mind. It is also a great weapon against your inner critic. Next time you feel yourself believing the harsh judgements from your inner critic, just sit back and laugh at yourself—it can really go a long way.
- Love others. Loving others can help you love yourself. When you truly care for other people or even animals, you want to be the best version of yourself possible so you can give them the companionship you believe that you deserve. This will help bring a more positive, loving voice into your life instead of a negative one.
Do these things and do not forget to be more mindful and aware of all of the positive, wonderful things around you, even if it is something as simple as a nice sunny day, or a friendly neighbor that always waves hello. Little things like this can really go a long way in transforming your life and giving you the strength to push that negative thoughts aside