We can be our own worst enemy and our biggest bully when it comes to emotional support, we are often the fastest to cut ourselves down using tremendously harsh words that we wouldn’t dream of using to describe someone else in our lives. Even the people who wrong us don’t receive the sort of emotional abuse we dish out to ourselves and although many think this way of harsh thinking is more of a motivator, after a while, you can start to believe your own insults and get trapped in a negative spiral.
To practise emotional wellbeing after so long treating ourselves so poorly can be a difficult habit to break. By using the following advice to guide you, you can soon be back on the path of positive emotional wellbeing and help to motivate rather than demotivate yourself through practical encouragement;
Treat Yourself As You Would Treat a Stranger
The core message of many religious texts focuses on treating others with kindness and looking after others as though you were taking care of a loved one, regardless of your connection to them. Even in some countries, there are no ‘strangers’ and everyone is a Sister, Brother, Auntie or Uncle in some capacity, even if just in name but not in the way they are treated. This helps to bring communities together, forming bonds between strangers that wouldn’t be experienced elsewhere and ensures a better society with more support provided for those in need. Such as the way during Ramadan, when families contribute charity () to help communities living in poverty to fast safely by providing nutritious food and basic necessities.
Rather than focus on treating others as you wish to be treated, treat yourself the way you treat others, with greater patience, genuine kindness and a kind, supportive touch that offers encouragement and motivation.
Enjoy the Journey, Don’t Get Caught Up on the End Goal
Often, we are at our harshest to ourselves when we are trying to achieve something or meet a new goal. This might be learning or developing a new skill, establishing a new routine or doing better by ourselves by trying to eat healthier or exercise more. It becomes all too easy to fixate on the end goal, forgetting the progress that is made along the way which can itself be an achievement that should be celebrated. If your goal is to achieve a certain weight, then every move in the right direction should be considered an accomplishment. If you are learning a new skill such as drawing or writing, then every time you draw or write something, small improvements are made and by documenting your progress you’ll be able to see these before long.
Even if you don’t see the developments right away, don’t treat yourself poorly and instead pat yourself on the back for a good effort and keep at it. The sooner you start cutting yourself down for missing a practice session or not doing a ‘good job’ in your eyes, the faster you will demotivate yourself and begin to feel negatively towards your goal.
Avoid Holding Yourself to Others
We all need heroes and heroines to motivate us but if we constantly compare ourselves to others we can quickly fall into a negative spiral that can be difficult to get out of. If you are using social media to find others to inspire you, make sure to find a nice balanced group of people at a similar level to you in addition to those you consider ‘great’. This way you can reach out to others and help motivate each other and watch as you all develop and become better together. If you only refer to ‘experts’ or people who have achieved the goal that you are trying to reach, you can quickly become demotivated and fall back into the cycle of cutting yourself down emotionally.
It’s important to remember that we are all individuals and some people take a long time to reach their goals while others seem to fit right into them straight away. The important thing is to take care of yourself, to encourage and motivate yourself and to celebrate the small achievements and movements in the right direction and being gentler to ourselves when we don’t make the progress we want to.