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Nowadays, it seems as though the pressure and stress that people are under are at an all-time high. The pandemic has upended people’s lives across the globe, with many having to completely change the way they work, go to school, and interact with others. All of this increased pressure and change have harmed people’s mental health. Negative self-talk and feelings of inadequacy can lead to depression, anxiety, and serious issues. The following are ways to identify whether they could benefit from being kinder to themselves.

The Pursuit of Perfection

It is a natural tendency for people to want to strive for perfection. This may start in childhood when children receive positive reinforcement for good grades in the form of praise, money, and recognition. This trait often continues into adulthood and extends into other realms of a person’s life. It is essential to understand that perfection in every area of one’s life is impossible and that it is okay to make a mistake at work or home.

The self-criticism that extends from this drive towards perfection is detrimental to mental health and overall well-being. Self-criticism can lead to “rumination,” which is the continuous loop of negative self-talk that runs through one’s mind when feelings of inadequacy start to bubble up. It is crucial to be able to identify when this cycle begins and actively work towards replacing negative self-talk with healthier thoughts about one’s strengths and abilities.

Becoming Less Critical and Focusing on Strengths

Everyone has their strengths and flaws. It’s essential to identify these strengths and focus on them when the temptation towards self-criticism becomes overwhelming. Metacognitive therapy can be a helpful tool for those struggling to control their negative thought patterns. Through metacognitive therapy, a person can see their thought patterns objectively. A person can redirect those negative thoughts and turn them into more positive ones by doing this. While this process may take time and practice, those who exercise this skill daily are more likely to achieve relief from the vicious cycle of rumination while enhancing their self-esteem and quality of life.