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Written by Ashlee Cantrell

The mind is a powerful tool. The three basic functions of the mind are wanting, feeling, and thinking. With this, theneeds of the brain. inner critic. functions of the mind can be used in a positive or a negative direction. Thoughts, feelings, and desires can often be positively used in our favor. However, there may come a time when these functions appear in a negative light and are instead used to harm us. Whether subconsciously or with awareness, a person’s inner critic may appear to wreak havoc throughout a person’s day-to-day life. Sometimes it may appear at your worst or even your best times, just to bring you down and nag you. The impact of the inner critic can be harmful, and it helps to have someone to listen. Let’s talk about it.

The Impact of the Inner Critic

When you think about your inner voice, do you consider it to be nice, calm, and friendly or aggressive, critical, and almost like a bully? If your inner voice feels like a bully, the inner critic might be reacting negatively. Those who struggle negative inner critic.to be nice to themselves may feel uncertain about what is the right thing to do, if they answered a question correctly, whether they look okay, and so many other things that can eat away at them. Where do those thoughts come from? The inner critic. This can happen a lot for many different reasons. The most common reasons that it may appear are anxiety and issues with self-esteem. The inner voice can often include self-sabotaging behaviors and negative thoughts such as messages that may influence how a person thinks, feels, and behaves based on that negative message. For example, let’s say a person is getting ready for a night out but is nervous about fitting into their outfit. The person tries on their outfit and suddenly, the inner voice appears. The person receives a message from the inner voice saying, “You look ugly in that outfit!” and the person decides to stay home rather than go out with their friends. In this example, the inner critic hurts the person by harming their confidence and stopping them from going out with their friends. What other ways can it cause harm to a person?

  • Damage ability to trust self
  • Increase self-doubt
  • Increase self-blame
  • Decrease motivation

How to Overcome It

Unfortunately, the inner critic is common, yet not commonly talked about. At times it can fester and become the loudest part of the brain. So, how do we make it go away? Well, the reality is that it may never truly go away. It is a part of us that can be used to help guide us and keep us safe. However, when it starts to change from an intuition to a bully, there is a problem. That’s when we must start looking at ourselves differently and caring for ourselves differently. Can you think of some examples? Let’s take a look.

  • Practice Self Compassion.

    Empathy is super important, especially when using it on yourself. Try using empathy and compassion towards yourself when the inner critic arises by eliminating self-judgment and negative thoughts.

  • Practice Positive Self-Talk.

    Whenever the inner critic shows up, take some time to yourself by talking kindly to yourself. Talk about your favorite qualities about your appearance, your personality, and other things you love about yourself! It may feel a little awkward at first, however practicing anything feels uncomfortable until it becomes regular.

  • Acknowledge When Your Critic Appears.overcoming negative inner critic.

    First, identify the negative thoughts you experience. Then, identify the environment, the times, or the people you’re around when these thoughts appear. These may be triggers that kickstart the appearance of your inner critic. Once you can recognize them, you may be able to prepare for it ahead of time.

  • Coping Techniques.

    When you feel that you cannot seem to slow down your inner critic, temporarily distract yourself! Spend time with your favorite people doing your favorite things. If you’re driving in the car, blast the cold air just enough to shock your system. Do some breathing exercises when feeling overwhelmed by your thoughts. There are many coping skills to temporarily quiet it.

  • Consider Therapy.

    The most effective way to calm the inner critic is by talking to a professional and getting to the root of the issue. There are many forms of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which helps people change their negative thinking into positive thinking patterns, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which allows people to accept their inner critic before releasing them.

 Everyone has an inner critic, some more powerful than others. It can create negative thoughts and behaviors that can be detrimental to a person’s mental health. A person must be able to recognize it as a part of themselves and overcome their thoughts interchangeably. Counseling can effectively help with this process. Upstate Restorative Counseling offers counseling services for those who feel the need to discuss the issues discussed. Reach out for help today!