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  • Writer's pictureJo Leccacorvi

How to break free from your inner critic

One of the many symptoms you may experience during perimenopause is anxiety and depression. The chaotic fluctuations of your sex hormones (oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone) may trigger changes to your mental health and may impact the production of serotonin (an important neurotransmitter that helps to regulate your mood) and many women experience increased anxiety, irritability and sadness.  Many women also experience problems with sleeping during perimenopause and the lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health. You may feel really low, experiencing complete overwhelm, hopeless, feeling on edge, numb, experience a sense of apathy, loss of motivation or a loss of joy.


There can be many things that can perpetuate your feelings, for example, stress at work, relationship issues, money issues, exhaustion, past experiences, or your physical health. Another driver for anxiety can be your inner critic, or maybe you call it your gremlins, self-doubt, or negative self-talk. This is when there is an inner voice that talks down to you, judges you, or it may even bully you. Whatever you call you, negative self-talk can hold your back, stop you reaching your full potential which may result in limiting beliefs and impact both your professional and personal life.


The Impact of Negative Self-Talk on the Body's Stress Response

Negative self-talk triggers the body's stress response, releasing cortisol and adrenaline. Prolonged exposure to these hormones can contribute to heightened anxiety, disrupted sleep, and even affect hormonal balance during perimenopause. Recognising this connection is the first step toward a healthier mindset.


Negative Self-Talk as a Barrier

Think of negative self-talk as an invisible barrier preventing you from reaching your full potential. It creates self-doubt and fosters a mindset that limits your capabilities. By understanding its role as a barrier, you can start dismantling it and opening up new possibilities.


How Negative Self-Talk Hinders Goal Achievement

Negative self-talk operates like a relentless critic, casting doubt on your abilities and sabotaging your pursuit of goals. By acknowledging this hindrance, you empower yourself to break free from its grip and move towards success.


Understanding the Roots of Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk often stems from societal pressures, past experiences, your upbringing or unrealistic expectations. Unravelling its origins allows you to confront and challenge these sources, paving the way for positive change.


How to Stop Negative Self-Talk:

1. Awareness is Key: Recognize negative thoughts as they arise.

2. Challenge the Narrative: Question the validity of negative thoughts and replace them with empowering ones.

3. Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the kindness you would offer a friend facing a similar situation.

4. Mindfulness and Meditation: Cultivate a present-focused mindset to diminish the power of negative thoughts.

5. Surround Yourself with Positivity: Engage with supportive individuals and environments that uplift your spirits.


Five Thought Swaps to Shift Your Mindset:


1. Negative Thought: "I can't handle this."

Empowering Thought Swap: "I am resilient and capable of overcoming challenges."


2. Negative Thought: "I'm not good enough."

Empowering Thought Swap: "I am constantly growing, and my worth is not determined by perfection."


3. Negative Thought: "I'll never achieve my goals."

Empowering Thought Swap: "I am actively working towards my goals, and progress is success."


4. Negative Thought: "I should be further along in life."

Empowering Thought Swap: "I am exactly where I need to be, and my journey is unique."


5. Negative Thought: "I always mess things up."

Empowering Thought Swap: "I learn from my experiences and use them to grow."


Thought swaps help you to reshape your mindset, nurturing self-compassion and resilience during perimenopause. By understanding the impact of negative self-talk, recognising its barriers, and implementing mind set swaps, you can start to banish your inner critic. It is totally within your power and I believe in you.

As well as offering personalised nutrition support I also do health coaching. This is a really important part of my work, if you would like to have a chat about how your inner critic sabotages your health goals, click here to book in for a free no obligation chat.

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