How to Silence the Voice in Our Head
You will always be your worst critic.
Criticism is never easy for anyone to take. Whether it be a project you’ve spent months working on or a simple action you carry out in your day-to-day life, to hear another person criticize that is never easy. Nobody wants to disappoint others, especially the people they love. Even if that criticism is constructive or shared with you in a respectful, kind way, a part of you will always feel a little tinge of sadness, a shred of remorse, when you hear a disagreement. But what if the critic is vile? What if the words they speak are aimed to tear you down, make you feel lesser? Like you’re not enough? Even more, what if that critic is you?
As is the nature of mental illnesses and struggles, it comes from within. You tell yourself that you can’t do it. You tell yourself that you have screwed up beyond repair. And you believe it. You believe every single word of it. You can’t shut it up or quiet it, it is always there. Every single mistake, misstep, or fall, it is there and it is laughing at you.
“Why get up? You can’t fix it anyway.”
“You’ve done it again.”
“This is all you’re good for.”
“Just give up.”
It can be exhausting to endure. To have this constant criticism, hatred even, coming at you from within you. It doesn’t even have a physical source but it has a voice. To you, that voice is crystal clear.
There’s no clear way to go about coping with it. Some days, it’s louder than others, and some times, nothing seems to work. But here are a few ways to try and get that voice to be silent, at least for a little while:
Write Down Your Encouragements
Sometimes all you have to do is put the words in your head out on something. You have these encouragements in your head that you try to tell yourself. You know, in your heart, that they are true. But it can be so hard to listen. So get them out of your head. Pick up a pencil, or even a keyboard, and begin to write them. Make a list of everything that you know to be true about yourself. Every last word. When you’re done, read them back to yourself. Focus on what they mean, why you’ve written them. Let them really sink, and you may find that voice to be gone. You may have given yourself a beautiful moment of silence.
Talk to Someone
Not a professional, though that is also a fantastic option. Talk to anyone you know. A parent, a sibling, a close friend, anyone who you love and you feel can love you back. Just as cathartic as it can be to share your thoughts on a piece of paper or screen, it can be just as cathartic to put the words out into the world. Vocalize your thoughts and don’t let the voice get a chance to speak. Before you start, tell the person to just listen, if you want. Just put it all out there, uninterrupted, and know that they are there and they are listening to you, they are there for you.
How hard is it to listen sometimes? Almost impossible, it seems. Sometimes you just can’t internalize what you’re being told. Just like that professor in school whose lessons you just can’t listen to and digest what they’re saying. We get it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a try. Let someone tell you how wonderful you are, how you are enough. Because you are. Listen to this: You are enough.
Or try a different kind of listening. Find a song that speaks to what you are struggling with in the moment, find a song that speaks to who you are right now, and listen to those lyrics. Let the music transport you somewhere else. Think of a place that you’re reminded of when you hear the emotions of the song. Think of the time you saw that exact song played live.Take yourself somewhere else and you can find that the voice won’t follow you. You can be alone to be just you.
These are just three things you can try to help silence that bully in your head. We know it’s hard to imagine that voice not being there, but it’s possible. We can’t promise that you will be rid of it forever, but even just a few hours or a day can be so much to rejuvenate you so you know how you can handle it next time. Those moments when you’re taking yourself somewhere else, somewhere that the voice won’t follow you, those can be the moments when you can clearly see yourself for who you truly are.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with negative thoughts, do not hesitate to contact the team here at TrueRecovery.com. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 and [email protected]