Like everyone, you face daily stresses and struggles. Maybe it’s a bill that you can’t quite afford right now, a mistake you made at work, or an unexpected traumatic event, like relationship problems.

These everyday strains can wear you down physically and mentally. You might suffer an upset stomach, or your anxiety might be more persistent.

These daily challenges will always be there and it’s important to try to deal with them in healthy ways to protect your physical and mental health.

But some of the daily challenges you face don’t necessarily have to be there. You can face everyone of these challenges and potentially eliminate all of them.

How? Because they come from within yourself.

A stressed woman hiding her face

What’s Your Inner Voice Like?

What’s your inner voice’s reaction to everyday stresses? For many people, it can be quite negative.

Got a bill that you can’t afford to pay? Your inner voice might tell you that “You’re hopeless. You’ll never get out of the hole.”

Made a mistake at work? “You had a chance to show them how good you are and you blew it!”

Lost a loved one? “You never visited him as often as you should!”

Imagine you had a boss who spoke to you that way. How would it make you feel? Probably quite bad, maybe incompetent or worthless. You might tend to believe what that boss told you. That you were not capable of doing your job.

Even worse, imagine what it all might do for your self esteem, anxiety symptoms and even bouts of depression.

A Bad ‘Inner’ Boss Can Be Just as Damaging as a Bad Boss

It’s said that many people don’t leave a job, they leave a bad boss. Fortunately, if a bad boss is among your daily stresses, you might be able to do something about it by finding other work.

But when you inner voice is a bad boss, not only is what it tells you almost as damaging as negative feedback from others, you don’t have the option to leave. It’s always there. And it can contribute to symptoms of physical and mental health problems too.

How to Be a Better Boss to Yourself

There are many ways to help yourself deal with your stress, anxiety and depression. Trying to have a more positive inner voice can be a surprisingly effective one.

While it might seem difficult at first, thinking about how you would speak to others in certain situations can help.

  1. You’d Be Understanding – If you were the sort of boss you would like to have, and one of your staff made a mistake, you might say: “OK, let’s see where the problem happened, and how to make it better next time.”
  2. You’d Be Encouraging – Let’s say a friend was trying to lose weight. He hoped to drop 10 pounds in the first month, but only lost seven. He might tell himself that he failed because he missed his goal. But you might point out that he still lost seven pounds and that’s great. Keep it up!
  3. You’d Focus on the Positive – If your partner came home depressed because of a mistake she made at work, you might point out that she’s been promoted fairly quickly, or that she’s overcome these issues before.
  4. You’d Point Out That No One is Perfect – This is one that your own inner voice can fail to consider more often than not. We all want to do our best. No one likes making mistakes. But everyone does. You wouldn’t berate people every time they made a mistake. So you should try to berate yourself every time you make a mistake.

To learn more, please contact BRCook and Associates for a no-obligation discussion.

Bruce R. Cook

I have been a practicing mental health professional for the past 26 years and I have worked in various public and private practice settings throughout the GTA and Ontario. The populations that I work with are adults 18-64 and I have extensive experience working with both individuals on various presenting problems, and also as a couples’ therapist.

I am a certified solution-focused therapist, and I integrate a number of theoretical orientations into my practice including cognitive-behavioural, humanistic, psychodynamic, reality focused therapy. In essence, my experience and style have been dynamically moved into an eclectic approach that best seems to fit the client and their personal needs.
Bruce R. Cook