You Are Your Own Worst Critic

I woke up last night a bunch of times — each time with a different worry. Throughout the night I was rethinking plans for taking some time off, worrying about work and giving myself a hard time about things I need to get done but have been putting off. I woke up in a miserable mood. I was really down on myself.

Does this happen to you? Maybe it’s not when you’re trying to sleep; it could be at any point during the day when you’re caught up in your thoughts, and you’re being really hard on yourself. Suddenly you feel like poop.

When Your Life Makes You Anxious

 Worrying can make you cranky

When I’m worrying and feeling bad about myself, I tend to get cranky with others and annoyed by things that normally roll off my back. Suddenly, even a small irritation becomes a big deal. Some of my angry thoughts this morning: Why is my husband chewing so loudly? The dog needs to stop barking, NOW! What the heck, my computer is so slow! I need a new one.

As I sat with these angry thoughts, I realized that my worries during the night left me feeling stressed, anxious and really unhappy with myself and my life. Instead of allowing those feelings to color how the rest of my day would go, I decided it was time for a little self-compassion.

Practicing Self-Compassion

I did a short, guided meditation to promote self-compassion and felt so much better! It reduced my anxiety, generated feelings of love and compassion for the struggle I was having, and allowed me to feel less irritable and anxious. Research has shown that practicing self-compassion reduces anxiety and generates feelings of goodwill towards self and others.

Want to try it for yourself? Below is a short, guided meditation on self-compassion. 

Having Compassion For Others

Regardless of your political views, right now the world feels extremely polarized, and social media can make us feel as if it’s “Us versus Them.” This can leave you feeling anxious, disconnected and stressed. Through a self-compassion practice, we can begin to accept our imperfections and feel more connected with those around us, because we are all human, and humans occasionally struggle. We learn to accept the ups and downs in life as a part of our experience, instead of a reflection of who we are.

If you’d like to explore more ways to silence your inner critic by practicing self-compassion, please call me at 410-340-8469 or email me.


Elizabeth Cush, MA, LGPC is a therapist and the owner of Progression Counseling in Annapolis, Md. She helps busy, overwhelmed men and women manage their anxiety and stress so they can live their lives with more ease, contentment and purpose.

Photos courtesy of Ben White for Unsplash.com.