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How to Calm Your Inner Critic in Seconds

How to Calm Your Inner Critic in Seconds

It’s amazing how mean we can be to ourselves.

The inevitable truth about your full-time inner critic is it knows your biggest weaknesses and darkest secrets. As a result, it only takes one nasty phrase from your inner commentator to bring out the worst in you.

It doesn’t matter how successful, kind, giving or loving you are. The part that judges you tends to ignore the good. It gains strength when you buy into its awful statements and it thrives when you act in self-defeating ways after it attacks your hope or character. The more your actions are dictated by your inner critic, the more influence it has over you in the future.

The benefits of soothing your inner critic

I’m going to offer you a simple, yet powerful way to give a chill pill to that unforgiving voice in your head. This suggestion will help you build a more understanding inner dialogue that has the power to neutralize the negative effects of your inner voice’s judgments against yourself and other people.

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By improving your ability to soothe your inner critic, you’re likely to enjoy the following benefits:

  1. Your anger will spoil fewer moments of your life.
  2. You’ll kill fewer brain cells. Yes, venomous self-hate and giant anger outbursts kill cells in your body.
  3. You’ll find yourself applying this technique to the way you judge others, which will make your personality more magnetic because you’ll appear more likable and approachable to others.
  4. You’ll feel more at ease knowing that you have a technique at your disposal for taming the angry beast inside you.

What I’m about to tell you has worked quite well for thousands of New Yorkers, especially people who specifically needed assistance with anger management or chronic depression, but it can help anyone. So here it is, the best way to be nicer to yourself (and the people you love).

There I go judging again

Every time you catch yourself in the midst of self-judgment, say in your mind or out loud, “There goes [insert your name] judging again.”

The goal is to repeat this every time you notice yourself judging inward or outward. I promise you that after 30 instances of hearing yourself say this, you’ll feel the difference. Let me show you how to apply this technique to self-directed, mental daggers.

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Example #1 – Shutting Down Self-Judgment

Let’s say you were just laid off from your job. Whether you were hoping for this outcome or not, your inner critic is probably going to have a field day with this.

Every time you begin to belittle yourself about losing your job, stop everything and say, “Upppp, here I go judging again.”

Example #2 – Shutting Down Outward Judgment

Don’t forget to apply this technique to your judgment of other people — strangers, family, friends, coworkers, teachers or your long-term partner — give them (and yourself) a break. For example, you’re at a party and someone you don’t know is ranting about why one political candidate is better than another. You completely disagree with him and you begin to feel the urge to put him in his place and shut him down by disproving every point he’s making.

If you’re passionate about politics, you’re probably not going to stop yourself from hating him in your mind, but you can neutralize the negative effects of hate on your brain by saying to yourself, “Upppp, there I go judging again!”

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Why is this simple technique so effective?

Because it allows you to practice putting distance between you and your judgments, thereby suppressing some of the negative effects of the judgment.

Know that when you judge, you lose.

There’s no winning in judgment. Judgment makes people depressed and unhappy. In fact, if you think about the most unlikable person you know, I bet he or she loves to judge people. Don’t be that person. Give your mind and body a break.

The key to the success of this simple, but potent technique is to commit to doing it as much as possible. When regular practice is combined with a true appreciation of it’s benefits to your health and happiness, you’ll begin to transform your inner critic into a less punishing entity.

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You must understand that the price you pay for judgment is not worth it. Even if the only message you get from this piece is that judgment kills, I will feel like I did my job. Tell me, what did you get out of letting that judgment hijack your mood? Ok, you might be able to prove him wrong, but there’s no winning.

Judgments aren’t wins

You’re not going to stop judging, but you can influence the impact that judgment has on your health and happiness. Judgments aren’t wins. They are losses that can ruin your life. Bitterness builds over time like mental plaque, which is the result of tens of thousands of heavy judgments.

Judgments aren’t wins. They are losses that can ruin your life. Bitterness builds over time like mental plaque, which is the result of tens of thousands of heavy judgments. People who feel like the world owes them something are usually the biggest judges and believe me, their health will suffer as a result of their unchecked judgment.

I must credit Dr. Peter Reznik with inspiring me to apply this technique to my work with patients and to my own life. Believe me, this easy hack can make a huge difference in your life!

Featured photo credit: Photo Credit: Bigstock via bigstock.com

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Last Updated on October 5, 2020

How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

We are given life with many opportunities to make it everything we want it to be and more. If you find that you’ve slipped into living a boring life, it’s time to take a hard look at what you’ve been doing and what you can start doing now to make it more interesting.

Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing and living the same life for too long, or maybe your daily routine is limiting your growth and happiness. Whatever your reason is, the following list can definitely make any day or life more interesting. Some of them are silly, while some are more meaningful, so hopefully just reading the list makes your life less boring and sparks your creativity.

Let’s dive in the list to quit your boring life and start living an interesting (and meaningful) one!

1. Channel Your 7-Year-Old Self

Imagine being a young child. Life was never boring, was it? That’s because children harness every ounce of creativity they have in order to try new things.

What would your 7-year-old self want to do in this moment? Maybe they’d pick up a paintbrush and try to paint the landscape around them. May they would go outside and build something with random materials around the yard. Maybe they would raid the fridge and put together a dish they’ve never seen before.

Just because you’re a grown-up doesn’t mean any of this stuff will be less enjoyable than you remember it. Give yourself permission to play and use your creativity to its fullest.

2. Go Play With Kids

Speaking of little kids, if you have your own (or a niece or nephew), go play with them!

Kids are absolutely hilarious, so it’s simply impossible to be bored when you’re around them. They also keep things so simple, and we can really stand to be reminded of this and stop allowing ourselves to get bogged down in boring details.

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3. Play Cell Phone Roulette

You’ll need at least one buddy for this, but this is a great way to avoid a boring life. Scroll through the contacts in your phone, stop on a random one, and (if it feels right) call the person.

You could spark an incredible catch-up session or, at the very least, remind someone that you’re thinking of them. Neither are boring.

4. Fill out a Pack of Thank-You Cards

This is a great part of a gratitude practice. We often forget to thank the people who do things for us, especially if we have come to expect those things. For example, have you ever thought about thanking your mom for that weekly phone call? Or thanking your sister for always sending you a homemade gift on your birthday?

Take time to think of at least 5 people you would like to say thank you to and write out a card. You could even write them out for random people in your neighborhood, like the local librarian, a teacher at your child’s school, or the accountant at your bank.

Anyone and everyone appreciates being thanked for their efforts.

5. Sign up for a Class

Nowadays, there are classes for everything. To make it as interesting as possible, try finding one that you wouldn’t normally consider doing, like salsa lessons, improv, or boxing.

Otherwise, try to find a course on something you’ve always wanted to learn, like pottery, photography, or a foreign language course.

What’s good about joining an interest class is that you will also meet new people, which will add even more interest to your life!

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6. Talk to Your Grandparents About Their Lives

We often underestimate how interesting the elderly are. You can rest assured that any elderly person you talk to will not have had a boring life! Take some time to talk to them and hear their interesting stories. You may even find that this motivates you to go out and find your own interesting experiences.

7. Get up on Stage at an Open Mic Night

Whether you’re funny or not, get up on stage. If you’re not into comedy, find an open mic that focuses on reading poetry or short stories and bring your own. These groups tend to be incredibly supportive for anyone who is willing to be brave enough to get up and try.

8. Do Something for Someone Else

Showing kindness automatically makes you feel good, but doing these small acts will also help to ensure that you don’t have a boring life. Try doing one or two things each week that are outside your normal routine.

For example, you could make a batch of cookies for the mailperson or help your elderly neighbor organize one of their rooms. There are a million ways to show kindness to those around you. Tap into your creativity and find your own or use some of the ideas from the image below[1].

Do random acts of kindness to avoid living a boring life.

    9. Start a DIY Project in Your Home

    If you have your own place, there is always a project that needs to get done. Many people simply pay for someone else to do it in order to avoid the hassle, but taking on a DIY project can make a boring life much more interesting.

    It doesn’t have to be super complicated. Maybe you repaint an old vase or build a spice shelf out of used pallets.

    If you need ideas, you can also check out these 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of.

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    10. Plan a Weekend Trip or an All-Out Vacation

    This will give you something to look forward to. One study actually found that most travelers are happiest before a vacation[2]. Therefore, simply planning a trip will boost your mood, even if you can’t actually take the vacation right now.

    Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a vacation, plan for a staycation, which is also fun and relaxing!

    11. Go People Watching

    Find a bench in a crowded area (centers of transportation like airports, bus stops, and train stations are great for this!) and just observe[3].

    People are infinitely interesting. Try to imagine what their lives are like, what they’re thinking, or where they’re going. You’ll never know if you’re right, but it will give you something to focus on and also help you practice empathy.

    12. Eat Something You’ve Never Eaten Before

    You can try that new Moroccan restaurant down the street and pick the most interesting dish on the menu. Or, you can raid your own fridge and throw together a dish you’ve never made before.

    If you’re up for a trip to the grocery store, try picking up a new fruit or veggie from the produce section. You may find a new food that you love!

    13. Dance

    You can get your friends together for a night on the town or just pull up a video on YouTube and bust a move from your own living room.

    If you’re feeling extra brave, you can even dance in public or join a flash mob.

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    14. Pick up a Book and Start Reading

    Reading a good book can keep you occupied for hours. It will also transport you to a life that isn’t your own, and one that likely will be the opposite of a boring life. You’ll be amazed by what you can learn from those pages.

    Pick on of these inspirational books to start reading: 10 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

    15. Spend Some Time With People You Care About

    Facebook stalking doesn’t count as real social interaction. Call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or bring a coffee over to your parent’s place and catch up. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and you’ll avoid boredom.

    16. Check out a Museum You’ve Never Been to

    Some people are bored by museums, so if that’s you, skip to the next one. However, if you love art, history, or culture, this one is for you!

    17. Write a List of Things You Desire and Truly Want

    This is a great way to help you figure out the real reason why you’re feeling bored about your life. Maybe you haven’t really done things that you truly enjoy? Maybe what you’ve wanted to do all the time has been left behind?

    Think about the list of things you really want to do, and ask yourself why you aren’t doing these things (yet). Then, start taking your first step to make it happen.

    Now, go make your life interesting and live your dream life!

    More on How to Quit a Boring Life

    Featured photo credit: Alex Alvarez via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] FECAVA: Random Acts of Kindness
    [2] Applied Research in Quality of Life: Vacationers Happier, but Most not Happier After a Holiday
    [3] Psychology Today: The Expert’s Guide to People Watching

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