Want a Happier Life? Make Friends With Your Inner Critic
Wherever you happen to be on the rewarding and rocky road to a healthier lifestyle, you'll travel more gently and feel more joy if you learn to make friends with your Inner Critic.
We all have one. Well, maybe not Donald Trump. He just says what he says, does what he does, amazingly free of self-doubt.
But in most of us, the Inner Critic is alive and kvetching, causing us to constantly question our behavior, our thoughts, our accomplishments: "How am I doing? Am I doing well enough -- in my relationships, at work? Do others see what I'm doing? Do they approve?"
Psychologists call this critical voice the Standard Setter. (And you thought it was called Mom.) It's the part of the human psyche that sets the bar for us. It's a good thing in many ways, as a source of inspiration, as a spur to achievement.
It lets us know if we're measuring up.
But it has a dark side -- the one that beat us up. And when we feel beaten up, we humans are much more likely to eat and drink too much, sleep too little, skip yoga class and otherwise ignore our own rules for living a healthier life.
So how do we silence our Inner Critic when it's leading us astray?
Here's the expert advice of Margaret Moore, author of the best-selling life-changing book "Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life." Moore is a force of nature in the evolving world of lifestyle coach training. She is co-founder of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, affiliated with Harvard, and CEO and founder of Wellcoaches, an organization that's trained more than 9,000 health and wellness coaches in 45 countries. (Full disclosure: Including me.) To learn more about her work, visit www.coachmeg.com.
"To get out of the Inner Critic," Coach Meg teaches, "focus on the present moment."
Shift your attention to a flower, the sunshine. Stand up and stretch. Any of these mindful choices -- conscious breathing is good, too -- helps you shift your brain state to now, and from that place, you can be the more accepting, less judgmental person you want to be.