Keep This In Mind When You're Being Super Tough On Yourself

Picturing yourself in another light can make a world of difference.

Man looking stressed while staring at laptop DimaBerlin / Shutterstock

Feeling like you're always on the go? Do stress and constant tiredness leave you feeling breathless? If this sounds like you, you're not alone.

Many people struggle with pushing themselves too hard, so therapist Kristina Virro has a helpful analogy to help you ease up on yourself.

Keep This Analogy In Mind When You Struggle With Being Hard On Yourself

Imagine you're a runner, and every morning before work, you enjoy a three-mile run. However, one day, as you're running, you trip and sprain your ankle.


The sprain is bad and you have to visit a physiotherapist to heal. Yet, what would happen if you ignored that sprain?

What happens when you say screw it and continue running? One thing's for sure, you wouldn't heal properly.

You'll likely make your injury worse which would lead to your recovery time increasing.

RELATED: 18 Quick Ways To Relax Instantly, According To Science

The sprain is horrible and now you'll likely have to visit a physiotherapist to heal.

But what happens if you ignore the pain you are feeling? What happens if you said screw it and continued exercising like normal? Well, one thing is for sure, you wouldn't heal.


You'll probably make your injury worse, meaning it'll take even longer for you to heal. And this is a good way to think about your nervous system.

Virro explains, "If you have gone through something very very stressful or you're just going through those times where all of the things in life are happening at once, you can sort of see that as an injury to your nervous system."

Your nervous system can't handle as much as much as usual because you're constantly in fight or flight mode.

And when you continue life as normal, you're the runner who continues running on a sprained ankle.

But when we treat this like a nervous system injury, it's easier to be kind to ourselves and give ourselves time to heal.


However, if relaxing is hard for you, here are a few things to think about, according to Rogel Cancer Center.

RELATED: 7 Signs You're Way Too Hard On Yourself

How To Relax More

1. Deep Breathing Exercises

If relaxing is a challenge, try adding deep breathing exercises to your daily routine.

Rogel Cancer Center writes, Breathe deeply into your abdomen. When you are tense, you tend to breathe shallowly into the upper chest. Breathing deeply into the lower abdomen begins to lower your stress response."

Next, exhale as deeply as possible before inhaling through your nose. Repeat this process at least three times to feel the effects.

@anew.acu Feeling anxious? Chest feels tight? Come do a quick and easy breathing exercise before you keep scrolling. #anxietyrelief #painrelief #breathe #breathingexercises#depressionanxiety #highbloodpressure #stressrelief ♬ Lofi Vibes - Gentle State

2. Suggestive Relaxing

According to Rogel Cancer Center, "Suggestive relaxation is a technique that uses direct verbal suggestions to promote physical relaxation."


So say, "My right leg is heavy. My right leg is heavy. I'm at peace and my right leg is heavy."

This helps you focus on something tangible, grounding you when anxiety hits. It also serves as a reminder that you're okay and everything is fine.

Keep repeating and focusing on different parts of your body. Repeat each body part for at least 60 seconds.


It seems like everyone's stressed about something these days. And while understandable, managing that stress is important for both your mental and physical health.

So, be sure to keep this analogy in mind and use these two techniques whenever you feel overly stressed and anxious.

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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.