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5 Simple Ways to Quit Picking on Yourself

Updated on September 14, 2020
ShyeAnne profile image

ShyeAnne is pursuing happy, healthy and productive ways to age in peace and with grace..

'I was pulling up my sleeve this morning and I punched myself in the face. Don't worry, I deserved it. I have been mad at myself for a while.'

wish for good luck
wish for good luck | Source

Quit Picking on Yourself

I read this funny thing online the other day.

'I was pulling up my sleeve this morning and I punched myself in the face. Don't worry, I deserved it. I've been mad at myself for a while.'

When I first read the above words I laughed hard. The comment really struck my funny bone. Then I began to think about how often we berate and beat ourselves up with negative self-talk when things aren't going well in our lives. We need to teach ourselves to love and respect our own self as much as we love and respect others.

Quit picking on yourself!

Do You Engage in Negative Self Talk or Are You Your Own Biggest Cheerleader?

See results
Beautiful Chrome Island off of Vancouver Island, BC Canada
Beautiful Chrome Island off of Vancouver Island, BC Canada

1. Quit Holding Your Breath

When I find myself stressed, agitated and/or annoyed as I go about my day, I often realize I have been holding my breath, or have jagged breathing with very little lung movement.

The simple act of breathing correctly is a learned behavior that needs tending to, especially if one is used to a flight or fight syndrome based childhood.

Five deep cleansing breaths is all it takes to return to a calm center.

  • Stand straight, legs slightly parted, arms loose by your sides
  • Inhale to the count of 5 through your nose as you raise your arms and touch your hands above your head
  • Exhale to the count of 5 though your mouth as you lower your arms to your sides
  • Repeat 5 times

This brief 5 minutes of self-care returns us to a centered, calm energy and enables us to be more effective and efficient with our daily tasks.

Do it, you'll be happy you did!

2. Toss Out All Ill-Fitting Out-Dated Clothing

I made a commitment to myself to buy no clothing for this whole calendar year.

I am sorting through my wardrobe and paring it down to what fits comfortably and I am keeping only the things I wear regularly.

I have easily twice as many clothes as I could possibly ever need.

I have a closet stuffed full with shelves over flowing with shirts, skirts, blouses, pants, tights, dresses. I have vests and coats stored away, waiting for the day once a year or so when they are tried on and tossed back in the tote.

Time and again I try on my favorite jeans only to take them off within minutes because they are digging into my belly or hanging off my flat butt. Not all jean styles are flattering to the aging physique. I peel the jeans off and admonish my aging body for being less than perfect. I am tossing them in the discard pile too.

I am tossing out all my tight clothes.

I get emotionally attached to some pieces of clothing. I have a gray sweater that I have worn maybe two times in the past twenty years. Every time I purge my closet and put the sweater in the discard pile I quickly snatch it back out. I have allowed that one sweater to be my 'Linus's Blanket' (ref. Charlie Brown) .

It getting easier to let go of other pieces when I allow myself one 'cheater sweater'.

I am going through all of my clothing, all the seasons.

I am going to donate or toss anything that is too tight, out-dated, stained or damaged.

I am going to say good bye to the coats, hats, jackets and scarves that sit forgotten in a tote year after year.

  • Be mercenary
  • Toss all ill-fitting, old garments out of your wardrobe and out of your life

Quit waiting for the day your shape shifts back to a more youthful time. That's not going to happen.

When everything in your closet fits you feel good!

old and ill fitting
old and ill fitting | Source

**April 2020 Update**

I have so far been able to stick to the commitment I made to buy no clothing in 2020. It was touch and go once or twice. I went into a thrift store or two to look at the hardware, pots and pans, furniture etc. One day temptation took over and I strode across the aisle and reached for a pretty sweater that was adorned with stars down the front. I quickly pulled my hand back and walked out of the store, shaking my head at how ingrained some habits are. I felt slightly ashamed of myself for my momentary weakness, yet proud too for resisting the urge.

COVID 19 has changed the way we shop and go about our daily lives. Mindlessly thrifting is no longer an option in this time of physical distancing.

As inconvenient as Social/Physical distancing is to our lives, the Planet thanks us. This huge planetary slowdown is creating way less burning/using fossil fuels and creating way less pollution. It is also giving us plenty of time to reflect on our lives. If upon reflection we are not living our best lives, here is an opportunity to start fresh.

As I continue to keep the commitment made to purchase no new clothing in 2020, I am going to look for other ways to reduce my carbon footprint.

**September 2020 Update**

I failed at my commitment to purchase no clothing in 2020. I won't bother list my justifications for doing so, I have many!

The bottom line is I caved.

I will attempt this challenge again in 2021..

Look Yourself In The Eye

me | Source

3. Look Yourself in the Eye Not in the Wrinkle

I have taught myself over the past couple of years to look myself in the eye, not in the wrinkle, when I look in the mirror.

All of a sudden I am in my 60's and I have a road map on my face to prove it. Mine is a face that has seen so much joy, hope, love, victory, defeat, sadness and grief.

I appear to have picked up a wrinkle or two for each experience.

Be they genetic or caused by the elements and our own personal experiences, wrinkles are the bane of many a person's existence as we age. In a social climate where youth and smooth skin are heralded and applauded, the bulk of society is left dealing with the wrinkles of time.

How we adapt to the wrinkles on our aging faces and bodies and what if anything we do about it depends on

  • our own personal sense of self worth
  • our economic status
  • our own perception of the visual signs of aging

It seems easier said than done to accept the aging process gracefully.

One way to hasten the acceptance of change in your appearance as you age is to look yourself in the eye for a full minute before you look at the rest of your face. Look directly and with love into your own eyes for a full minute before you focus on the new wrinkle, blemish, sag or droop.

Don't dwell on your perceived imperfections.

Blow yourself a kiss and get on with your day. You will be glad you did!

my mutt
my mutt | Source

Dogs Are Great Ice-Breakers If You're Shy

4. Don't Isolate

Many of us develop a routine as we move through our lives. We forget to nurture our friendships and family connections along the way.

It is our own responsibility to keep ourselves active, valid, necessary and current in the lives of our friends and loved ones.

It is so important to make time and take time to visit and connect with others.

  • Don't wait for people to seek you out, seek them out

Regular connections to family, friends and loved ones are integral to our emotional health and well being. Don't deny yourself communication with others. Talk to that person in the grocery store line up or on the park bench you sit down on.

If you find yourself staying indoors most days get a dog. A dog fills a home with love and is a very good reason to get outdoors every single day.

  • Dogs teach us a lot about unconditional love and are eager to lend an ear
  • Dogs are great ice-breakers if you're shy

Don't deny yourself the company of all the wonderful people in your life.

Get out, reach out, even if it's just for 5 minutes here and there, every single day.

You'll be glad you did!

calming prayer
calming prayer | Source

5. Be Kind to Yourself

Be kind to yourself.

To steal a phrase from the Alcoholics Anonymous Handbook, "Accept the things you cannot change".

No truer phrase was ever spoken.

We have a tendency to mull over events from our past. This is an exercise in wasted time because there is no changing the past. The past is written, it is history, signed, sealed, delivered. For better or for worse it is done.

Accept the things you cannot change and move on.

We have a tendency to fret and worry about the way we perceive how things will be in our future. We do have the ability to shape our future but it isn't going to happen when we waste energy wondering how we are going to get there.

The challenge is to stay in the present, the precious present. When we pay attention to what we are experiencing in this moment, when we give the present day our full attention, everything else falls into place and unfolds in the best possible way. then we are able to focus on the things we need to do to achieve our goals and have full-filling lives.

Are you kind to yourself?

See results

"Be The Boss of Your Own Brain".

In Conclusion, Remember to be the Boss

It's easy to get tumble down a rabbit hole of worry, angst and fear due to of our personal and global past, present and future.

There are many current and on-going events, both natural and human caused, that are creating at the very least, global uneasiness. Many of us have lives fraught with challenges that keep us tossing and turning at night.

As a result many of us are living with high stress levels. Unchecked stress wreaks havoc on the mind, body and soul. We CAN choose to pick kinder, gentler ways of thinking to help our own selves live in a happy, healthy and productive way. We can teach ourselves to rein in our despairing, hopeless, panicked thoughts. We can teach ourselves to harness the galloping negativity that tears through our brains, usually in the wee hours of the morning.

When I began practicing being the boss of my own brain it was very challenging to stay on point. Some established thought processes are like stubborn stains. If you can persevere it does get easier.

When you find yourself having black thoughts simply yell CANCEL! really loud, in your head or right out loud.

  • Be consistent.
  • Don't get discouraged.
  • You will get results.
  • You will be happy you did.

Be the boss of your own brain. Be the leader. Don't take the easy way out and let your brain 'quick pick' what you are going to think about. When you realize you are having negative thoughts CANCEL them and choose a positive thought process.

Wax on..Wax off.

Choose something else to think about.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 ShyeAnne


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    • ShyeAnne profile imageAUTHOR


      12 months ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you JC Scull, I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.

    • JC Scull profile image

      JC Scull 

      12 months ago from Gainesville, Florida

      Very good article ShyeAnne.

    • ShyeAnne profile imageAUTHOR


      12 months ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      Lol Eric Dierker, I hear is a constant challenge to treat ourselves well. I strive to Live in the Light and be kind to myself. Sometimes 'it don't come easy'.

      Thank you for your comments. I appreciate it.

      Thank you, Gay Davis for your kind words. Positive feedback is good for my soul!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A very fine list. It is not the knowing of them but the doing of them and then I pick on myself for not doing them. But that is down to about 10% of the time. Progress and not perfection I reckon.

    • profile image

      Gay Davis 

      12 months ago

      This is very well written! Reading it has given me new purpose and understanding...I feel like I have found another key for living a calm and peaceful life. Thank you for the eye-opener!

    • ShyeAnne profile imageAUTHOR


      12 months ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you Umesh Chandra Bhatt for your positive feedback on my writing. I appreciate it very much.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      12 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Very motivating and encouraging. Appreciate the force in your writing. Good reading. Thanks.


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