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LEARN TO LIKE YOURSELF

When was the last time you berated yourself?

Five minutes ago?  Maybe half an hour?

I’m talking about that uninvited, vicious little voice that sneers, “You idiot – why did you say that?”, or “You look like a dog’s dinner today!”, or “You’re such a dunce.  How could you get those numbers wrong?”

The sort of self-blaming, accusatory inner dialogue that does nothing to raise your spirits lives within each of us.  You’re in good company.  It can add so easily to a low mood, snatch away any sense of happiness from your day.  With so many men suffering from depression – now officially the biggest killer of men under the age of fifty – this little voice of harm needs to be addressed and put in its place.

Here are some pointers on how you can start:

1)    REFLECT, DON’T RUMINATE

Apologies for likening you to a cow regurgitating its cud, but if you’re going over and over the same faults then it’s an apt analogy.  It’ll keep you busy for ages but it will taste pretty horrible.

Learning how to forgive yourself is not easy if you’re not used to it.  It’s a new habit that will take practice.  You can start by talking about it with a therapist or trusted friend, focusing on the bits of you that you really like.  Love, even.  You’ll find that when you start seeing the good in yourself, you’ll start seeing the good in others, too.  It’s infectious, in a good way.

2)    LEARN TO LIKE DOING YOUR THING

Speaking of others, let them do their thing while you get on with doing yours.  If you set your standards according to others’ principles, you’ll never be satisfied.  There is usually more than one way to get from Point A to Point B in every area in life – work, relationships, recreation … why choose somebody else’s road map when you’re allowed to follow your own?

Value your time and go your own way.

3)    PERFECTION IS AN ILLUSION

Process your circumstances as they really are, not the way you wish them to be.  You cannot control everything that happens to you – but you can control your reactions.

If you choose to take Life less seriously then you can avoid the feeling of self-pity.  Self-pity is a sure way to misery and can be dodged entirely by your setting the bar a little lower on your expectations.

4)    TO ERR IS HUMAN …

You make mistakes.  We all do.  You know that you’ve made some humdingers in the past – but that’s where they should rest, not live with you gallivanting into your present and future.

5)    SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE ON YOUR SIDE

You know who they are.  You know instinctively who brings you down, too.  Learn to listen to your instinct and give yourself the gift of spending time in the right company.

Make the necessary changes to your diary and spend time with people who deserve your kindness.  It will come back to you a hundredfold.

If you start practicing those tips, you’ll soon shut that little voice of harm up, once and for all.  Here’s to your mental health.

 

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