Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center
International Eating Disorder Referral Organization
ADDRESSING YOUR INNER CRITIC
by Dr. Susan Albers
We all have it. It's that little critical voice in your head that just won't be quiet. The inner voice questions and nit-picks, gives unfavorable commentary and has the ability to make you feel about the size of a pea.
This inner voice becomes pretty obvious the moment you slip into an outfit and stand in front of the mirror. Suddenly, the voice pipes up out of nowhere. It has a lot to say about the shape of your thighs and your nose.
Wouldn't it be nice if we all had an Oprah like inner voice that was compassionate, encouraging and accepting? Imagine stepping in front of the mirror and instead of hearing critical comments about your weight or the "f" (fat) word immediately jumping into your head, you accept who you are. Sure, Oprah has had weight battles. But, she doesn't judge herself for this or use the "f" word as a weapon toward herself or other people.
How to get there? We can't control when the voice pops up, but what we can take charge of is how we respond to it. Instead of nodding in agreement with the critical inner voice, begin to ask yourself, in a nonjudgmental way, why you feel that way. Notice how Oprah phrases questions toward guests. The questions are nonjudgmental and simply push people to think deeper, particularly about things that would be an easy target for judgment. She begins questions with words like this: "I'm wondering," or, "I'm curious," or, "Help me understand," or, "Explain to me."
What if you already notice the presence of your critical inner voice and want to take it one step further? The good news is that self-affirmations can help. Affirmations are positive self-statements. Yes, it may feel silly and forced. But, they are about rewiring your inner critic. It's as easy as writing down five positive self-statements and repeating them silently to yourself throughout the day. In general, repetition will help turn these thoughts into automatic statements that will bring them to mind effortlessly. You are creating a shield to help defect critical thoughts.
Does this take practice? Yes. But, in the long run you will be on your way to quieting your critical inner voice.
For examples see, or http://www.livestrong.com/article/15086-selfaffirmations/ 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food
From Dr. Susan Albers, the author of the new book 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food. www.eatingmindfully.com
The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author and are presented without editing. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of EDReferral.com, and no official endorsement by EDReferral.com of the opinions expressed herein should be inferred.
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