rewards

How to handle criticism (and actually feel good about it)

The most natural reaction to criticism is to feel awful or angry. The beauty about using assertiveness techniques is that it exposes whether the criticism is justified or not and, knowing this, you are then able to decide whether to take it on board or not. But what do you do if it is justified? Do you simply curl up in a ball and feel awful and helpless? Although I have been guilty of this in the past this is very seldom helpful.

 

The good news is there are so many ways to turn the criticism around so that – rather than feeling like a lost cause and helpless – you can instead feel empowered and optimistic! It’s just a matter of seeing the criticism as an opportunity to exercise empathy and understanding towards others, gain more self awareness, develop more personal responsibility in life and grow into your best self.

 

Of course this outlook and the process of developing more empathy, personal responsibility and working on improving yourself is never easy but never underestimate the impact of rewards! When you first discover a new weakness you possess and feel low treat yourself with pick me ups and walks (a ten minute walk has been shown to significantly improve mood). Then reward yourself every time you progress in the right direction like reading a self-help book or article, reacting to small things in a new healthier way or big treats like a weekend away for when you achieve a major breakthrough.

 

Some amazing treats are:

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Feeling Down? How to Get Yourself Back on Track to Feeling Great

 

It’s natural in life to feel down at times, a hard break-up, a loss of any kind or even conflict with those we care about can cause our mood to plummet. In 2009 I went through such a time, it seemed that my world was crumbling. Thankfully I had world class treatment that taught me how to handle such times for the future. One of the main strategies I learnt was the skill of rewarding and treating myself.

 

Sounds simple I know, and for the most part it is, however when you are feeling low, creating a reward system or treating yourself can often be the furthest thing from your mind. Below I have outlined both an effective reward system and wonderful treats that you can use if you are ever feeling low – feel free to use as is or adapt it to suit you (for example, you might not even like hot chocolate). I keep my list in the back of my diary so it’s always to hand when I might need it!

 

Reward System

 

Give yourself tasks to do which are fun, relaxing or achievement based. If you are feeling very low then these tasks would be quite small and, if just a little low, you may wish to create bigger tasks so no matter how you are feeling, after completing the tasks, you feel like you have achieved something significant.

 

Now create treats to reward yourself once you have completed each task. Below are a list of treats to indulge in. You may wish to copy these directly or create your own tailored to suit you. Typically, the bigger the achievement, the bigger the treat.

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