Ever feel stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts? We all have that inner voice, the one that whispers (or sometimes shouts) during tough times. But what if that voice was a little kinder, a little more understanding? Using self-compassion practice to reframing can help! Becoming your own best friend can be a good start to, reframing unhelpful thinking patterns, which is a cornerstone of CBT Therapy.

CBT Therapy equips you to spot unhelpful thought patterns and swap them for more positive ones. Think of it like mental fitness training. By replacing negative thinking with more balanced approaches, you can experience calmer emotions, see situations more clearly, and take action with greater confidence.

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How to Use Self-Compassion to Restructure Your Thought Patterns Over Time

The Compassionate Friend Test

Think of a time that you were critical or down on yourself. Imagine your best friend or even your younger self facing the same situation you’re in. What calming words and supportive advice would you offer them? Would you call them names or belittle their feelings? Probably not! Now, take a deep breath and try using those same words and that same gentle tone on yourself.

The Spotlight Shift

We often overestimate how much others dwell on our perceived shortcomings. Think about it: how much time do you spend analyzing other people’s mistakes? Most of us are too busy worrying about ourselves! Whenever you are spiraling with thoughts of others focusing on your shortcomings, imagining a spotlight shift from the person focusing on you to focusing on themselves, can free you to embrace your authentic self and know that the scrutiny might not be as harsh as you imagine.

Feeling ≠ Fact

Our thoughts and emotions are powerful, but they’re not always accurate reflections of reality. Just because you feel like a failure doesn’t mean you are. Think of someone you know who might be down on themselves, yet you see their strengths and potential. Can you extend that same understanding to yourself? Acknowledge your feelings, but don’t let them define you. Remember, you’ve had successes in the past, and you can develop your skills further.

Feelings Deserve a Hug, Not a Judge

Trying to shove emotions down only makes them stronger. Practice self-compassion by allowing yourself to feel your feelings, without judgment. Cry if you need to, scream into a pillow, or do something that soothes you. Imagine your feelings as a young child who needs comfort. Would you call a tired child “lazy”? Of course not! Treat yourself with the same kindness.

Mindfulness: Your Path to Self-Compassion

Mindfulness is a superpower for rewiring your brain. By focusing on the present moment, you can step away from self-criticism and past regrets. Meditation or simply taking deep breaths can help you become aware of your thoughts and choose how to react.

Remember, self-compassion is a right, not a privilege. Be kind to yourself, and if you need help cultivating this inner strength, a therapist can be a valuable guide. You deserve to be your own best friend, and with a little practice, you can be!

If you need additional help, don’t hesitate to reach out. Set up a free 15-minute consultation with one of our therapists or contact our Care Coordinator for more information by calling 914-902-5055 or emailing care@fullyintegratedtherapy.com.