Check out this great blog post about ways to overcome self-judgment….
The Link Between Self-Judgment and Depression and How You Can Break It
How you think about yourself, how you talk to yourself, and how you evaluate yourself matters. You know that.
But something in you still drives your mean-spirited commentary.
“How could you do something so stupid.”
“Obviously you’re not the right person for this job.”
“Of course someone like you will always be alone.”
That voice in your head–your voice–is unrelenting. You’re your own bully, filled with self-judgment and condemnation. And what happens when you’ve thoroughly run yourself down for that last decision, thought, or idea? You just feel overwhelmingly sad and worthless.
Because if you’re prone to self-judgment, then you’re probably prone to depression too. Feeling like you just can’t do anything right naturally gives birth to a sense of worthlessness and hopelessness.
So, how do you feel better when you can’t escape your own malignant monologue?
To stop the pain you keep inflicting on your yourself, you’ve got to break that unhealthy, inner reaction. It’s time to give yourself a good talking to. Come up with a plan to break up with that cold inner critic. Dissolve ties with depression and move forward freer and lighter.
Sounds good, right? Except that if you could do all that on your own, it’d be done.
Unfortunately, a harsh inner voice is so insidious because no one else can hear it. The resulting depression is so destructive because it’s invisible. It slowly isolates you from your joy, your loved ones, and negatively impacts your self-esteem.
To make a change, you need help, tools, and a game plan. Let’s look at how you can break the link between self-judgement and depression and learn to treat yourself with more self-compassion and tolerance.
Always start with awareness.
Pay attention to the times you really lay into yourself. Are you in emotional pain? Trying to protect yourself from pain? Acknowledge your depression, call it what it is and accept that both the way you deal with yourself and your emotions requires intervention.
Learn to be more curious and less critical.
It’s time to get to the bottom of your self-inflicted cruelty. Ask some questions. Allow your therapist to walk you through the “hows” and “whys” of your self-perception. When did you start feeling so inadequate? Is that your perception, or is your inner critic repeating sentiments shared with you by others early in life? A therapist or support group are good places to get to know yourself better and arrive at some clarity.
Be patient and productive.
Negative self-judgements get in your way. They keep you from your best life, stuck and cornered by depression. But as counterproductive as self-judgment can be, so too is pushing yourself to change the thought patterns of a lifetime in too short a time.
Allow yourself the time to change and gift yourself with the guidance of a therapist to help you heal. It will take work to uncover, recognize, and manage ineffective thinking patterns and unhelpful thoughts. Depression does not simply go away.
Working with support will help you see your depression clearly. It is more than malaise, anger, or that sick, hopeless feeling. A productive plan for therapy and treatment shines a light on how connected your self-judgment and depression really are. From there, recovery is possible.
Reframe your thoughts and retrain your brain.
To change your mind will require new mental tools. A therapist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you recognize how the ways you think and speak about yourself feeds the isolating, self-defeating behavior that drives the depressive cycle in your life. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) notes that CBT is an effective treatment for depression. With CBT, you can find new ways to think about yourself and transform the inactivity of depression into more useful, purposeful action.
Learn, too, about mindfulness meditation and techniques.
You can learn to notice your thoughts without any further judgement and let them go. Awareness of when you run yourself down can be observed, released, and simply considered opportunities to change a bad habit. No more or less.
As you know, self-judgement inspires very little. It doesn’t motivate you or elevate you. Quite the opposite. It depresses you. It keeps life very small and scary.
You don’t have to make yourself miserable anymore. Reach out to a therapist who will listen to your critical mind and help you change it… for good.