Do a little mental find-and-replace with downer thoughts
I’m so fat. I’m so stupid. I hate myself. Everyone has some negative thoughts that kick in automatically when they make a mistake or feel embarrassed, but these only make you feel worse and can lead to catastrophic thinking, Labuzan-Lopez says. Instead, erase negative beliefs about yourself by writing them down and replacing them with something positive and realistic. For example, “I can’t do anything right at work” becomes “I did not meet this goal but it does not make me a bad employee or person.”
Be your own BFF
If your best friend started talking about how awful she was or how he can’t do anything right, you wouldn’t stand for it, right? So take the same approach with your own negative self-talk, speaking to yourself as if you were advising your friend, Bennett says. Instead of being your own worst enemy, become your own best friend. Doing this doesn’t just help you to feel better, but may actually help you to choose actions or behaviours that are more advantageous to you. In other words, feeling more empowered or confident can pay off externally as well as internally.
Volunteer at the local food bank
If you want to feel worthy and happy fast, serve someone else. Not only will you feel pleased at being able to help others but you’ll be distracted from negative thoughts, says Donna Volpitta, EdD., founder of The Center for Resilient Leadership. Think of service as an anti-depressant minus the pill: Serving at a soup kitchen, visiting a nursing home, raking a neighbour’s leaves all give you a boost of dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin, the neurotransmitters responsible for feeling positive and happy, she explains. There are even virtual ways to volunteer online, too.