As you age, what type of person do you want to become?
Do you want to be critical, judgemental, nitpicking and negative?
Or, do you want to be light, warm, encouraging, fulfilled and happy?
How the mind talks to you can have an impact on who you might become and what you do with your life and aging.
Being aware of the way your mind talks helps choose behaviors that represent you better.
I feel confident that many of us have experience with the “inner critic”.
This is the part of your mind that judges you harshly, comments negatively about your choices and reprimands you when you “fail”.
It is like a running commentary of all the bad things you do.
Sadly, the inner critic – although it is trying to help by having you strive for perfection (so you can be loved and accepted) – is very negatively oriented, not very accurate and over the years can crumble your sense of worth, leaving you feeling unlovable and unworthy.
It is important to be aware of this because it can affect how you interact with the world and the people around you.
Feeling unworthy and unlovable may lead to poor self-care, to disengagement from life and potentially impact your aging in a very negative way.
If you can relate to the experience of the inner critic, there are some things you can do to help you shift your relationship with it.
Firstly, become aware of the negative “background commentary” of your mind.
If this was a friend that followed you around all day, talking to you so harshly you would probably lose this friendship quickly.
Yet, we don’t seem to react to the ramblings of our minds.
Rather, we believe them without question and let them affect our lives.
So here is a radical idea… do not believe everything the inner critic says!
When the critic strikes – ask yourself:
Is this accurate? Is it helpful? Does this thought serve me?
Signs the inner critic could have taken over include the use of words like: always, never and should.
You always make mistakes…
You never do a good job…
You should have known this way was better…
These are all examples of inner critic’s unhelpful chatter, and something we undoubtedly find ourselves proclaiming regularly.
Instead, we should choose to give attention to commentary that is helpful and respond with kindness and humor, to what is pointless criticism.
Another way is visualizing the inner critic as a character.
I imagine mine as Yoda, the wise old Jedi from the movie Star Wars.
Only this version is not very wise but mostly mean.
By doing this, the critics’ words lose power, and I can chuckle at the fact Yoda gave me a hard time – again.
Sometimes I respond with a comment like “Thanks, fascinating as usual”.
But I don’t really mean it. He is always saying stuff like that and there’s nothing fascinating about it.
By doing this, just in the same way as we would with a person who is full of judgments and little knowledge, I can step back and not believe the harsh criticisms I am presented with.
The more you alter your response to these moments, the more you will build a way of relating to this internal chatter that is healthy.
Most importantly, the hold the inner critic has on your actions will be reduced.
So, if you want to age happily and be a positive presence to yourself and others, take note of your inner critic.
Ask yourself: Is this true? Is it helpful? Does it serve me?
Learn to respond to it with humor and know not to believe all it says.
Most importantly, remember the more you respond in this way, the freer you will be from the inner critic impacting your life and actions, allowing you to live your life as someone who is warm, supportive, fulfilled, happy, positive and light!
We hope these tips provide you with some insights and assistance to living your most brain healthy life.
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