It’s Okay to Feel That Way, It’s Okay to be Human

At times, we may not realize that our minds are consumed by negative thoughts, making us our own harshest critics. Katharina Stenger emphasizes the importance of being aware of and acknowledging these negative thoughts to foster self-acceptance and practice self-compassion.

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Nick: One thing maybe we can touch on briefly is we can do all these things like exercise, eat well, sleep, get good sleep, time in nature. But what about these internal conversations, so we can be our worst enemy, we can be cruel, we will say things to ourselves, we would never say to our friends, family.

Hopefully, we would never say to anyone, but we can be so hard on ourselves. And that seems to be I think or I imagine that's often the hardest hurdle to overcome, we can develop all these positive physical habits and eating habits. But the internal conversation going from you're useless, you're a fool.

Or you're stuffed up again to it's a mistake, forget about it, it’s all right. Look how far you've come. Look how many people you’ve helped. How do we go from that negative self talk to something more affirming and positive?

Rina: Yeah, exactly. That's a very important point. I think the first step is becoming aware that you are talking to yourself in a very negative effect and in a very descending manner. And when you realize that, you can try to learn more about self-compassion, which would be like being this caring for yourself like just as caring as you are for others.

Self-compassion is something that you can learn, and it's very mindful, of course. And it starts by acknowledging your pain first or the suffering first; don't suppress it, don't push it away. But acknowledge it, give it room and give it space, feel the emotion.

It’s very uncomfortable. You don't have to do it alone, there are people who can help you with that. But acknowledging first that there is pain is most of the time the first step. And then really be caring with yourself. Like, it's okay to feel that way. It's okay to be human.

Then when you when you realize how to be self-compassionate with yourself, you can take the next step and try to talk to yourself in a more brighter, positive manner. Like be proud of yourself, look at your accomplishment, realize the accomplishments you have.

This can be something also very small, like getting up in the morning taking a shower, doing the groceries, doing this podcast—that's something to be very proud of—and realizing that the things that you do and feel good about that.

That's for me, like the final step of self-compassion. Be really caring. And it's not an easy thing to do. It's like a whole switch in your mind, it's not easy. You might need some guidance for that. You might need someone else to look with you at your life, at your pain, at your accomplishment to realize that. Luckily, there are a lot of professionals like I am that can guide you and help you with that.