It’s easy for us to become self-critical or impatient when we set standards that are unreachable. Perfectionism is a huge reason for self-criticism.
Comparing ourselves to others is another way we can slip into not thinking we are good enough and criticizing our own abilities or successes.
However, despite the negative patterns that have been created in your brain, there are ways to form new patterns, learn new ways of dealing with things, and essential rewire your brain to be more positive.
What’s Happening in Your Brain
When certain areas of your brain have constant activity, like worry and anxiety, these patterns or areas of the brain are strengthened.
The parts of your brain develop denser grey matter in those parts while other, more helpful parts of your brain, like the positive thinking parts, remain less developed.
After time, these stronger, more developed negative parts of your brain takes over. However, the brain has a certain level of plasticity; it can learn new patterns. You can help to develop these other parts of your brain by doing some easy practices.
Practices to Get Your Positivity Back
While there are many challenges within the day that you might not overcome with the level of success and perfection that your mind thinks you should, there are many opportunities to change your thinking during this time too.
In order to start re-training your brain, you need to acknowledge the little victories every day and congratulate yourself for them. By noticing when you’re hitting small goals, you can help yourself create a stream of congratulations that leads to feelings of success and pride.
When you are engaged in positive self-talk and congratulation, your critical brain doesn’t have the ability to take over and start down-talking you. Even when you experience failures or setbacks, when you’re constantly achieving small goals, you can reign in the negative thoughts and get back on track.
Rewiring In Different Situations
No matter who you are or what you are doing, you can take a few seconds or minutes out of your day when you feel overwhelmed or recognizing that you’re engaging in self-criticism. Some examples of overtaking your critical brain include:
- Focus on one thing (something achievable)
- Make a list
- If you’re feeling not good enough, list positive qualities
- If you didn’t get the job, list other opportunities
- If you had an argument, reconcile
- If you’re facing a big decision, list pros and cons
- If you’re overworked and feeling like it’s not going to all get done, take a breath and a couple minutes to create an achievable goal for the next hour.
By looking at things as small goals and then consistently congratulating yourself and engaging in positive self-talk, you can change the way your brain works.
It can scientifically establish new neural connections within your brain and provide a way to become self-empowered. We will all suffer failures and mistakes in our lives, but by supporting yourself and creating healthy habits, you can get right back out there and start achie