Why Do I Hate Myself
If you are thinking “I hate myself,” chances are that you have a negative inner critic who constantly puts you down. It is possible for this voice to be so loud that it causes you distress, making you feel bad about yourself. While some of us may think of self-esteem issues when we hear the word “hate,” they can also be caused by other problems like depression, anxiety, addiction, or eating disorders. But no matter what your problem is, if you find yourself hating on yourself, here’s how you can change things around and get back on track with healthy living.
The first step in changing course is to recognize exactly why you are feeling badly toward yourself. Is it because you’ve been criticized? Are you overweight? Insecure? If you’re not sure where these feelings come from, consider journaling. Write out everything that comes into your mind regarding any negativity you experience toward yourself. For example, let’s say you wake up one morning feeling depressed and overwhelmed because you were told last week at work that you had missed an important deadline. Instead of immediately blaming someone else, take note of all the thoughts you had while lying there in bed. Was there something you could have done differently? Were you expecting perfection from yourself? Would being late have made such a difference? By writing it all down, you will begin to realize the extent to which your own actions contribute to your unhappiness.
Next, try to pinpoint what part of you feels flawed. What is it about you that makes you feel inadequate? Maybe it’s your appearance, your finances, or your job. Whatever the reason, look closely at all aspects of your life. Identify anything that contributes to your lack of confidence, and then make changes. Perhaps you need more education. Or maybe you just want to start exercising. Try volunteering somewhere. Join an organization — even if it’s just for fun. The key is to do something active that helps boost your spirits and improve your outlook.
Once you’ve identified what needs to change, you’ll likely see improvement right away. When you focus on improving areas of your life that aren’t working well, you put less pressure on yourself to perform perfectly. And by focusing on doing things better rather than worrying about whether you did them right, you feel much better.
With a new attitude, you can move forward and eliminate negativity from your life. On the next page learn ways to turn the tables on your negative inner critic.
Tips for Changing Course
Negative experiences often lead to self-doubt and pessimism. Learning from mistakes can help you grow and become stronger. Here are some tips for turning the tables on your negative inner critic and finding the positive instead:
Knowledge is power — Learn as much as you can about health, nutrition, exercise, relationships, spirituality, and finances. Read books, listen to podcasts, watch educational videos, and/or join support groups. Knowledge empowers you by helping you understand how your body works, how to eat properly, how to live a healthier lifestyle, and how to deal with stress.
Get educated — Educate yourself about the latest news, trends, and research studies related to topics like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, weight loss, healthy aging, and nutrition. Take classes, read articles, watch documentaries, and talk to doctors and experts about health-related subjects.
Take action — Once you know what you need to know, take the necessary steps to implement those ideas. Don’t wait until tomorrow to go grocery shopping; buy healthy food today. Don’t worry about missing that important phone call; answer e-mails later. Start taking care of yourself now!
Find support — Find friends and family members who will encourage you to stay focused on your goals and dreams. Surround yourself with positive influences. Get involved in activities and volunteer for organizations that make you happy. Keep busy and distracted.
Change your environment — Change your surroundings by moving to another area of town, state, country, or world. Sometimes simply switching scenery can give you renewed energy and inspiration. Spend time outside, breathe fresh air, meditate, and spend time alone. Move away from stressful places; avoid coffee shops, bars, malls, and movie theaters. Visit libraries, bookstores, museums, parks, zoos, aquariums, concerts, and festivals.
Move toward happiness — Happiness isn’t something you should chase after but something you should allow to happen naturally by following your values and passions. Be open to opportunities and possibilities. Allow yourself to dream big and follow your heart. Make decisions based on your gut instincts, intuition, and true desires. Let go of fear and doubt.
Love yourself unconditionally — Love yourself as best you can without judgment or expectation. Accept yourself completely, flaws and all. Then, love yourself through your imperfections and shortcomings. Know that you’re special and unique. Appreciate your strengths and gifts.
Focus on the present moment — Live in the present and stop dwelling on past failures and disappointments. Focus on your current accomplishments and successes. Stop ruminating over your worries and anxieties. Concentrate fully on the task at hand. Avoid multitasking.
Acceptance is key — Accept yourself for who you are and your limitations. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the simple pleasures in life. Embrace your emotions and feelings. Allow yourself to be human. Relax and enjoy being alive.
Don’t blame yourself — Blaming yourself for things beyond your control doesn’t solve anything. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes. Look at what happened and analyze it objectively. Then, forgive yourself.
Forgive yourself — Forgiveness is free. Give yourself permission to forgive yourself. You deserve to be loved and accepted for who you really are. Life is too short to hold onto resentment and anger.
You can do it! You are beautiful, strong, smart, talented, capable, and worthy of happiness. Now that you know how to change, use the tips above to make lasting improvements in your life.
To learn more about self-esteem issues, please visit the links below:
Self Esteem Books
How to Beat Self Doubt – Dr. Gail Sheehy
Self Help – Dr. Wayne Dyer
Feeling Good – David Burns
Depression Treatment Centers
National Health Service Depression Information Center
Suicide Prevention Lifeline http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/international/home.aspx
What are some signs of suicide?
Call 911 or a local emergency number. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line (text “NAMI” to 741-741). Contact a supportive friend or relative. Consider reaching out to a therapist or joining a therapy group.
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