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How To Stop Feeling Depressed, Criticizing And Bullying Yourself

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Humans are able to think about themselves as if they were thinking about someone else. We have feelings and make judgements about ourselves; there can be things that we like or dislike; we have relationships with ourselves that can be healing or unhelpful and even abusive.

If we are honest we can think or say things to ourselves, and feel emotions (anger and contempt) towards ourselves, that we wouldn’t dream of directing towards other people. We recognize that if we treated others like that it would be abusive. But we treat ourselves like that, especially if we fail in some way, make mistakes, do things we regret, or just feel bad. At the times we need compassion, we actually give it to ourselves least. Because we believe that somehow being critical, harsh, disliking or even hating ourselves is deserved or can be good, we continue to do it. However, self-criticism, especially feelings of anger, frustration or self-contempt, is bad for your brain.

Your sense of yourself is always with you, from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. It makes sense to learn how to have a relationship that is friendly, supportive, healing and stimulates the positive emotion systems in our brain rather than the threat systems. In depression, thoughts and feelings about oneself can become very negative. Sometimes, depression can be triggered by conflicts and splits in families, for example. The depressed person may feel defeated and trapped by these family complications. Sometimes depressed people feel bad about being depressed and the effect this is having on them and others around them,  but they do not feel that they are bad or inadequate as people; they blame the depression.

Nevertheless, many depressed people have a poor relationship with themselves. A poor relationship with oneself can pre-date a depression or develop with it. 

We live in a world that is very judgemental and treats us rather like objects. At school, being chosen to play on the football team, getting our first job and so on, we are surrounded by people who can do better than us, who we feel are more attractive, more capable, and so on. What is worse – in schools, through our media and in workplaces, we are constantly encouraged to compare ourselves with others – are we as good as them; as clever, attractive or slim; or as wanted? The more people feel under pressure to avoid being seen as inferior compared with others, the more vulnerable to stress, anxiety and depression they are.

Although it can be very difficult to avoid making social comparisons, here are some ideas to think through to help you think about how social comparison works with you.

 

When you compare yourself with others, choose a target who is most like you: in other words, avoid comparing yourself with those who are clearly a lot better in certain ways. If a comparison turns out badly, consider the reasons and evidence why this comparison may not be an appropriate one for you. We have different genes, backgrounds, talents and abilities – it is not a level playing field.

Think about the reasons for your comparison: Although comparing ourselves with others is very natural, recognize that it can be harmful and keep in mind why you want to do it – what’s the point of it for you? If it has value, such as giving you something you can try to copy, or if it inspires you, that’s fine, but if it depresses you – not fine. 

If you do compare and feel down, avoid attacking yourself: try to remember that there are always people who are better at doing certain things or have more, but it does not make you a failure or inadequate because you can’t do these things or don’t have as much.

Think of your life as your own unique journey, with its own unique ups and downs and challenges: Although you might want to live the life of someone else, this is not possible. Focus on you as yourself rather than you as compared with others.

Self criticism and blaming occurs when we look for the reasons or causes of things – why did such and such a thing happen? When we are depressed, we often feel a great sense of responsibility for negative events and so blame ourselves. Sometimes we self-blame because maybe as children we were taught to. Whenever things went wrong in the family, we tended to get the blame. Even young children who are sexually abused can be told that they are to blame for it – which of course, is absurd. Sadly, adults who are looking for someone to blame can simply pick on those least able to defend themselves.

One reason we might self-blame is that, paradoxically, it might offer hope. For example, if a certain event is our fault, we have a chance of changing things in the future. We have (potential) control over it and and so don’t have to face the possibility that, maybe, we actually don’t have much control. In depression, it is sometimes important to exert more control over our lives, but it is also important to know our limits and what we cannot control. 

 

If your internal bully is getting out of hand, you may want to try the following: In as warm and friendly a way as you can manage, say to yourself:

– I understand that my self-hatred is highly destructive; certainly not very compassionate.

– Am I a person who values hatred?

– If I don’t value hatred and can see how destructive it is, maybe I can learn to heal this part of myself. 

– I know perfectly well that, if I cared for someone, I would not treat them with hatred.

– Am I as bad as Hitler? No? Then maybe I need to get my hatred into perspective.

– Maybe I have learned to hate myself because of the way others have treated me. If I attack myself, I am only repeating what they did to me.

– I can learn to be gentle to my hatred – just be in compassionate self mode and then see how hate covers up hurt and fear. That might be tough! But that is the compassionate path I’d like to take, even if it is small steps at a time.

– First, I commit myself to recognizing my self-hating part as understandable but unhelpful, linked to the hurt – and then build on my desire to heal it.

 

We need to consider, too, that we hate what hurts us or causes us pain. Rather than focusing on hatred, it is useful to focus on what the pain and hurt is about. If you discover that there are elements of self hatred in your depression, don’t turn this insight into another attack. 

The tough part in all this is that you will need to be absolutely honest with yourself and decide whether or not you want you want hatred to live in you. When you decide that you do not, you can train yourself to become its master rather than allowing it to master you. However, if you are secretly on the side of self-hatred and think it’s reasonable and acceptable to hate yourself, this will be very difficult to do, and it will be hard to open yourself to gentleness and healing. For some people, this is a most soul-searching journey. 

Someone once said “The hard part was realizing that, whatever had happened in the past and whatever rage and hatred I carried from those years, the key turning point had to be my decision that I had had enough of my hatred. Only then could I start to take the steps to find the way out.”

And, of course, it is not just with depression that coming to terms with and conquering hatred can be helpful. Many of our problems of living together in the world today could be helped if we worked on this. We all have the potential to hate – there is nothing abnormal about it. The primary question is, how much will we feed our hatred?

So to conclude…

The way we treat ourselves is quite complex, but the basic question is, can we be a friend to ourselves when things go wrong and we mess up? It is easy to criticize ourselves. Compassion self support is harder but well worth working for. Perhaps you can write a letter to yourself that might look like this:

 

 

Blog post reference

Book: ‘OVERCOMING DEPRESSION’ (Fully revised 3rd edition) by PAUL GILBERT

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500 Words You Should Know (Part 7)

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71. Draconian

Draco was an Ancient Athenian politician who introduced a code of laws according to which a startling number of crimes were punishable by death. The adjective derived from his name therefore means exceedingly strict, severe. It’s most often used to describe such things as discipline, punishment, rules and regulations, but if a person whose views on these things were harsh they could be accused of having draconian attitudes, or indeed of being draconian himself.

72. Effrontery

Cheek, insolence, as in ‘He had the effrontery to say I never give him anything after I paid for his whole family to go on holiday last year’. Not to be confused with affronted, meaning offended, which is how the person uttering that last complaint might feel. 

73. Enormity

A commonly misused word, this does not mean enormousness. It means appallingness, great wickedness, ‘He seemed not to realize the enormity of his crime’ means he didn’t acknowledge he had done something dreadful, but not necessarily that he had wiped out an entire city.

74. Ersatz

From the German for ‘replacement’ this is an adjective describing an inferior imitation of something more valuable or attractive: ‘It was one of those twee little hotels with ersatz Victorian furniture’ or ‘Ersatz lemon meringue pie, made with some awful artificial lemon substitute.’

75. Etiolated

In the plant world, this describes a green plant that has gone pale through lack of sunlight; in human terms it means pale and weak: ‘His skin had that etiolated look of a video-game player who has spent his youth on his game console’.

76. Excoriate

This means literally to take the skin off, so metaphorically to flay someone alive, to criticize very severely. A critic might, for example, write an excoriating review of a film or play he loathed, while an angry politician might make an excoriating criticism of government policy.

77. Extravaganza

An Italian word, this time related to extravagance and meaning a very showy and elaborate performance, the sort of thing that might have been put on by Hollywood director Busby Berkeley. Special effects, fancy costumes, fireworks – you name it, an extravaganza has it. Expense is no object and taste is rarely a consideration.

78. Facile

An extract from the Atlantic Monthly dated 1900 gives a particularly damning use of this word: “The English drawing master did not teach art, but facile tricks of the brush.’ Facile comes from the Latin for easy and did once mean just that. In  modern usage, however, it has the added sense of being just a bit too easy and thus having little value: a facile victory is more or less a walkover; a facile remark is a glib one, easy to make but not requiring much thought.

79. Fallacious

In logic a fallacy is an error of reasoning that produces a misleading conclusion; fallacious therefore means illogical, misleading, as in a fallacious argument or a fallacious news report. It’s also worth being aware of what philosophers call the fallacy of many questions, of which ‘When did you stop beating your wife?’ is the most frequently given example. It means that the question presupposes something that may be false, but you can’t answer it without acknowledging the accusation. Lose-lose. 

80. Fastidious

This means picky, critical, hard to please and the Latin roots conjure up its connotations beautifully: they are the words for pride and weariness (the second part of fastidious is related to tedious and tedium). So the fastidious person looks down on something as being beneath her and manages to be bored with it at the same time. You might pick fastidiously at your food if it didn’t appeal to you or lift your trouser legs fastidiously so as not to get them wet on a rainy day. 

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Ariana Grande Quotes

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Here are some awesome Ariana Grande quotes which I have edited and put together for you. I aim to add more quotes to this page as time goes on so do make sure you keep checking back. Hope you Enjoy the ones I have added so far! 🙂

1. You should never stop believing in something, and you shouldn't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.

2. There's too many people telling you that you're not good enough, but you are good enough.

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3. There's always tomorrow and it always gets better.

4. The thrill of not knowing what's going to happen, trained me to be prepared for anything.

5. When you feel your best, everybody else can feel it too.

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6. I think it's so important for girls to love themselves and to treat their bodies respectfully.

7. I don't feel much pressure to fit in. I never have. I've always just wanted to do my thing. And if I don't fit in somewhere else, I fit in at home.

8. Gotta find a way to break the spell to get the hell away from those who block my vision.

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9. Don't ever doubt yourselves or waste a second of your life. It's too short, and you're too special.

10. If you're passionate about something then it will definitely work out for you.

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11. sometimes, people can be extraordinarily judgmental and closed-minded to anyone different or special.

12. Don't need permission, made my decision to test my limits

13. On a scale of one to ten, I'm at 100.

14. I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it

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15. The best fashion advice I'd say would be just to do what makes you comfortable and what makes you feel cute, and that's how you're gonna look your best

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16. Be happy with being you. Love your flaws. Own your quirks. And know that you are just as perfect as anyone else, exactly as you are.

17. When you're handed a challenge, instead of sitting there and complaining about it, why not try to make something beautiful?

18. You can work your way to the top. Just know that there's ups and downs and there's drops. Unfollow fear and just say "you are blocked". Just know there is so much room at the top.

19. Every time you're faced with something ugly, focus on something beautiful. What you focus on expands. Only you can change your reality.

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300 Pink Quotes For Girls Success Inspiration (Part 1)

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Being a girl myself I can definitely say that these quotes have made a huge difference to my life, especially the way that I think about success which has inspired me greatly. I hope it does the same for you too. Hope you enjoy these quotes

1. Whatever you are, be a good one.

2. In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

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3. You were put on this Earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.

4. You deserve to have happiness that flows freely from you

5. Be a champion who gets up even when you can't

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6. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why

7. You deserve the best for putting up with the worst.

8. It's hard to stay motivated when you don't know exactly what you're doing or where you're going

9. Give up on being perfect and start working on becoming yourself.

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10. Don't give up... keep it up... keep going... you can make it happen.

11. Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.

12. Don't let yesterday take up too much of today.

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13. Strive to get all the things that will create your happiness

14. If someone makes you happy, make them happier

15. Beautiful faces, good shaped bodies and bad hearts are so mainstream.

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16. You gotta build yourself so strong that nobody can trash you down or make you look bad

17. No matter how unhappy you are, know that good days will come and you will be happy. Your happiness matters.

18. Never let fear decide the future.

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