Do you find yourself blaming and criticizing yourself whenever something goes wrong? This may be an act of self-loathing or self-hatred. Self-hate is a painful and complex emotion that many people experience at some point in their lives. It is a feeling that can stem from past experiences, societal pressures or unrealistic self-expectations. While it’s totally normal to have moments of self-doubt, prolonged self-hatred can be detrimental to your mental and emotional well-being.
Health Shots spoke to Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Founder-Director and Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali, Delhi-NCR, to know the best ways to stop self-hatred or self-loathing.
Self-awareness is a must in order to deal with self-hatred. Many people try to push away or deny their self-loathing, which only exacerbates the problem. Instead, you should try to recognize your feelings of self-hatred without judgment and understand that it’s okay to feel this way sometimes, but it will change one day. By doing so, you can begin the process of healing and transformation.
Self-hatred is often fueled by negative talk and self-criticism. To cope with self-hate, you must challenge these negative thoughts. When you catch yourself thinking harshly about yourself, stop and question yourself whether those thoughts are based on reality or are simply distorted perceptions. Dr Kapoor says, “Try to challenge them with more rational and compassionate thoughts.
Sometimes, self-hatred can be deeply ingrained and may require the assistance of a mental health expert, which is totally fine. Therapy or counseling can provide valuable tools and insights to help you navigate and heal from self-hatred. Dr Kapoor says, “It offers a safe and non-judgmental environment where you can explore the root causes of your self-hate and develop healthier coping strategies.” So, before it affects you, control it with professional help.
Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness. Instead of being overly critical, practice self-compassion by speaking to yourself in a gentle and supportive manner. Remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you’re deserving of love and acceptance. Dr Kapoor says, “Self-compassion helps break the cycle of self-hatred and fosters a more positive self-image.”
One common source of self-hatred is setting unrealistic expectations for oneself. When you constantly demand perfection or hold yourself to impossibly high standards, it’s easy to feel like a failure when you don’t meet those expectations. Hence, it’s crucial to set realistic and achievable goals. By setting achievable goals and celebrating small successes, you can gradually build self-esteem and reduce self-hatred.
Ultimately, the goal of coping with self-hatred is to move towards self-love. Try to engage in self-care practices that nurture your physical and emotional well-being. This might include exercise, meditation, hobbies you’re passionate about, or simply taking time for relaxation. Try to set some achievable goals, and making small, positive changes in your life can also boost your self-esteem and self-worth.
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Moving from self-hatred to self-acceptance and self-love may take time. So, don’t lose hope, and stay committed to becoming a better version of yourself!