This short video highlights the costs of self-criticism and strategies for engaging in self-compassion. Self-criticism leads to focusing on and magnifying the perceived negative aspects of oneself. Despite the very common myth that harsh self-criticism helps motivate one to better themselves, self-criticism actually leads people to feel awful about themselves so much so that they need to use unhealthy strategies (drugs, drinking, food, restricting, etc) to cope with the pain caused by the self-criticism. In contrast, when people use self-compassion (which often involves seeing yourself objectively and giving yourself the same compassion that you'd give to others in that circumstance), they experience less anxiety and depression, are able to let go of their unhealthy coping strategies and live a much happier and accepting life. Self-compassion is not about being blissfully ignorant of your shortcomings, it is about seeing yourself objectively and being more balanced with yourself.
Anna Clark is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that specializes in working with eating disorders, including bulimia, binge eating, chronic dieting, compulsive eating, emotional eating and anorexia.