012: How to Stop Being Mean to Yourself: 3 of the Best Tools I Learned in Counseling

Three strategies to stop negative self-talk
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Five years ago, I realized that I needed to go to counseling.  I had been coping with stress and heartache through both undereating and overeating for almost ten years, and my negative thoughts about myself had become debilitating and all-consuming.

I sought treatment from an outpatient eating disorder clinic, and I fully expected my counselor to teach me how to control my eating; instead, my counselor went to the root of the problem and taught me how to control my thinking.

I learned that destructive behaviors (such as eating disorders) are part of a three-part cycle: we have a negative thought about ourselves, we then feel a negative emotion about ourselves, and we then cope with that feeling through a destructive behavior.  In order to stop this cycle, we must have strategies to stop the negative self-talk that starts it all in the first place!

Whether or not you’ve ever struggled with an eating disorder, I think this episode will benefit you.  I share three of the best tools that I learned in counseling:

 

1) Reject “filtered thinking” and embrace “big-picture thinking.”

2) Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend, sister, or daughter.

3) Use “coping statements” to help  you re-center and stay calm in moments when you might spiral into despair.

 

I truly believe that almost no topic is more important for women and mothers–so I hope you will listen, and let me know what you think in the comments.

Additional Resources

Unhealthy Stress or Habits? Break the Cycle (podcast with Power of Moms): https://powerofmoms.com/unhealthy-stress/

Listening to and Loving your Body through Intuitive Eating (podcast with Power of Moms): https://powerofmoms.com/intuitive-eating/

It Is What It Is” (article with a list of coping strategies): https://powerofmoms.com/it-is-what-it-is/

The Surprising Way I Confronted my Eating Disorder” (full narrative therapy): https://powerofmoms.com/eating-disorder/

About the Podcast Host, Rachel Nielson

Rachel taught high school English for five years before deciding to be a stay-at-home mom to her two miracle babies, Noah Atticus, who was adopted, and Sally Grace, who was conceived through IVF.

In her life, Rachel has experienced great sorrow but also great joy--and she loves diving deep into the topics that matter most. Thank you for listening to the podcast and giving her a chance to share her heart.

8 Comments

  1. Bethany Adair on 01/13/2018 at 4:13 PM

    This was such a great episode! Thank you so much for sharing your story. These takeaways really helped me visualize similar concepts I have been learning with a life coach.
    One of my mantras is “Peace begins with me”.

    • Rachel Nielson on 01/15/2018 at 8:47 AM

      I love that mantra!! So true and wise! Thank you for taking the time to come back here and comment! I hope you will keep listening to other episodes. Much love.

  2. Jessie Allen on 01/16/2018 at 5:45 AM

    I loved this episode so much too Rachel! I also have an intense perfectionist personality and I often am so mean to myself. I haven’t ever had a eating disorder, but these things still applied to me very intensely. I already noticed a difference in how I reacted to certain circumstances the last few days when I tried to look focus on big picture thinking. It really has helped me. Thank you. I love our podcast and listen every week.

    • Rachel Nielson on 01/17/2018 at 10:49 AM

      Thank you so much, Jessie! I love knowing that a few people are coming back week after week! And I’m so glad to know that this episode was particularly helpful. I know the principles have certainly changed my life! Love you!

  3. […] How to Stop Being Mean to Yourself: 3 of the Best Tools I’ve Learned in Counseling […]

  4. Zinah on 02/20/2018 at 1:13 PM

    I love these ideas. I’ve been working on a more positive self talk for a while now. When hings go wrong, even something as simple as losing my keys, I tend to beat myself up internally. It’s been a journey trying to stop those thoughts and pull myself out of the negativity hole.

    • Rachel Nielson on 02/20/2018 at 10:17 PM

      Yes, me too! I totally used to berate myself for little things like that. Sometimes I am still tempted to, but I fight it! I’m so glad you’re fighting it too!

  5. […] -Episode about the three best tools I learned in counseling, including how to recognize and combat “filtered-thinking”: http://3in30podcast.com/ep-012-stop-mehan-3-best-tools-learned-counseling/ […]

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