There are many self-help and positive thinking books, articles, and tools you can use to help rewire your brain for more positive thoughts. However, the theme of many self-help books/articles/courses etc. is really learning how to love yourself again. When you truly love yourself, you are able to manifest better health, relationships, and abundance in all areas of your life.
So how do you silence the harsh inner critic and learn how to love yourself again? Well there are many different ways of doing this. Some people use religious paths, some use cognitive behavioral therapy, and some use self-help books and courses. The path that has worked for me is the path of heart-centered living. That is a very broad term that can cover a variety of things so I will share my own personal path of heart-centered living.
My research of the human heart started with something my pastor said 2 years ago when I started my spiritual journey when he said, "DeVon you're an intellectual, but if you want to know God, you need to open your heart." So being the researcher that I am, I immediately started researching the human heart. One of the best teams to explain the human heart are the folks at The Heart Math Institute (heartmath.org) and I recommend them as a good starting point to learn heart-centered living.
Now that I was understanding the physical parts of the human heart, I needed a better understanding of the spiritual and psychological parts of the human heart. Hands down, my favorite teacher/author on this topic is Matt Kahn. He has taught me self-love in so many ways that words cannot possibly describe. Not only do I HIGHLY recommend his book, Whatever Arises Love That, but his YouTube videos (TrueDivineNature.com) are blessings themselves.
Matt Kahn has many daily practices that you can do so I'll share a couple of them that have worked really well for me.
1. Put your hand over your heart (or both hands) and take a few slow deep breaths imagining the air flowing in and out of your heart (at least 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out, longer if you can). According to heartmath.org this will also get your heart-rate variability back to where it needs to be for optimum physical/emotional health.
2. As you are doing your heart centered breathing, send love to your OWN heart. Say out loud to yourself "I Love You" as many times as you need to feel warm and fuzzy inside. This is you getting into alignment with the REAL you. Your true nature is a state of love, appreciation, and peace. Any negative state you find yourself in is you responding to the conditions you're observing or stuck in the stories you're telling yourself about You or other people. They are just stories that can be altered or let go of at your own choosing. Sending love to your own heart daily will help you release negative thinking patterns because love is a much higher vibration than fear, guilt, shame, etc.
3. If you're near a mirror- look into your own eyes and say "I Love You" as many times until it feels good. This may seem fake because you're busy judging your physical appearances, but the more times you do this, the more you will get into alignment with the Real you. You are not your physical body, you are a beautiful, eternal soul having a physical experience. The more you love yourself, the more you will see it manifest in your physical body. You will make healthier eating choices, do the activities that feel good and keep your body in good health, and your skin will have a natural glow to it. Self-love is the missing component of why so many weight loss plans fail and why the psychology of eating is sweeping by leaps and bounds to real long term healthy lifestyle changes. If you're stuck in a pattern of eating junk, then self-loathing- the way to break out of that cycle is through self-love. The more you love yourself, the better care you'll take of your physical body.
Practice these heart-centered and self-love activities on a daily basis and watch your attitude towards yourself and others change for the better. Remember that we are all on individual journeys, including YOU. Love yourself and others exactly where you are today and you will be on a path to happiness and in alignment with who you really are.
In the words of Abraham-Hicks: “You are free. You are powerful. You are good. You are love. You have value. You have purpose. All is well."
Peace and love my friends,