6 Mindful Habits to Help You Stop Worrying and Start Loving Yourself


“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only saps today of its joy.” ~Leo Buscaglia

We all want to be happy, but sometimes we hold ourselves back from that possibility. It can be a sad but liberating truth. We all have that voice inside our head. You know the one I’m talking about. Sometimes we listen even when we know we shouldn't.

That voice is most often the source of our own self-sabotage. That voice can be the cause of our own misery.

I know because I used to listen to this voice—every single day, all the time. Eventually, I began to believe in this voice. Everything this voice was saying, I associated with the truth. I started to believe that I just wasn't enough. It was only downhill from there.

You are not enough. You can't do it, so don't even bother trying. You are a failure, and you won't amount to anything.

All these thoughts had one common denominator: I was a failure that couldn't amount to anything, and I shouldn't even make an attempt because I was destined to fail.

Now imagine listening to something like that every single day, every week, every month, every single year. Eventually, I was bound to become miserable, hateful, and filled with negativity.

Since only I could hear this voice, I started to believe that this was the truth. So I started projecting this outward, onto others, which meant I was treating others badly, judging them, and hurting myself in the process.

I began to believe that I just didn't deserve to be happy.

The more I listened to this voice, the more I would worry and hurt myself. It affected every aspect of my life. I would never win against the voice, because I forgot to be mindful of myself. I was out of the picture, and my voice was all there was.

I would tune into the voice and start listening to its repetitive, involuntary, and completely useless noise. This voice became the source for my thoughts. These thoughts started to steer my actions and everyday behavior.

One day I was walking, and Eureka! When I ignored this voice, I realized that I was not the voice inside my head. This voice was just a mental noise going off constantly. I didn’t have to associate who I was with this repetitive noise.

This was my turning point, when I decided to listen closely and take action. This listening was what helped me become mindful of myself. I started practicing a few habits each day to see how it would affect, impact, or benefit me.

After a few months I noticed a major difference in my life. The voice started speaking less, and it wasn't always negative. I realized a difference when I started to become more mindful of myself, and started listening without judgment.

Being mindful helps to put in perspective what's important.

That's you. You are important. And with practicing daily, you can start believing it, and start living it.

6 Mindful Habits To Stop Your Worrying and Start Loving Yourself

1. Stop criticizing yourself.

If you keep looking at what you are missing, you'll never be happy. You will just keep looking forever. What you have now is more than enough.

You just need to start to appreciate yourself and let yourself know you are enough. Whenever the negative voice comes on, listen but don’t react. Don't interact with the voice or try replacing a negative with a positive.

When the voice puts you down, saying “I love you” to yourself can be a very powerful thing.

2. Don't take your thoughts seriously.

The voice inside your head is repetitive, loud, habitual, negative, and involuntary, to say the least.

Take the seat as a spectator, and see your thoughts without listening to them. When you see it as noise, you no longer have to take it seriously, or as the truth.

If you feel like the voice is becoming loud, say to yourself, “I won't take my thoughts so seriously anymore.” Make it a habit to say this so you can ingrain this behavior into yourself.

3. Be kind to yourself.

You deserve your own love. You are always with yourself, wherever you go; why go in anger, sadness, or frustration?

It took me a long while to practice this. I was critical of myself, judgmental, and negative. It was awful, and it almost made me hate myself. I was my own worst critic. I realized being hurtful to myself wasn’t going to help me in any way.

Treat yourself with kindness. Even a little can make a huge difference.

4. Just be.

Stop trying to be so comfortable all the time. Stop trying to control everything, including your emotions. If you are uncomfortable, then be uncomfortable. Just be, however you are feeling at that moment.

It takes a great deal of effort to try, be, and feel something that you aren't. You are masking your own happiness with this effort.

It’s been said everywhere that those who try to find happiness don't. Why? It’s because they’re trying. Happiness doesn't come from trying. It comes from being.

If there is sadness, then be sad. If there is anger, then be angry. Stay mindful that it is just an emotion, and you don’t have to associate who you are with your emotions.

If you are feeling sadness, it doesn’t mean that you, as a person, are defined by the sadness. It is just an emotion passing by. When you begin to watch the sadness, you are no longer engulfed by it. It gives you enough space for the sadness to pass and for you to feel liberated.

Happiness is effortless. It comes when you’re not trying to stuff it inside your pocket.

5. Meditate.

Meditation will help you dissolve your voice. It will allow you to be more mindful of your breath and yourself, and allow you to love yourself more. Meditate every single day for the greatest benefits possible, even if it’s for two minutes at a time.

Meditation taught me to slow down the voice and helped me become aware of its habitual patterns. It’s allowed me to focus on what matters.

It's really that beautiful, and a transformative process that is felt rather than spoken about.

6. Breathe.

You can always come back to your breath no matter where you are. The breath is always there, but sometimes we forget about it. Usually this happens when the mind is becoming too loud.

Focus on your inhale coming up and let go of your exhale. Focus on the pause until your next breath. Keep on repeating this simple process of watching the breath come and go, as it naturally does.

If your voice is becoming too much, just focus on your breath and that voice will begin to quiet down.

Give each habit a fair try and see which works for you. By applying a habit each day, it becomes a part of what you do. You become a part of the habit, and being mindful becomes habitual.

Choose one habit you want to practice and write it down. On paper, on your phone, take a picture of it, tell your friends, always have a constant reminder of it. The more you ingrain it, the more mindful you can be of the habit.

Mindfulness image via Shutterstock

About Dragos Bernat

Dragos Bernat writes at SelfHabit where he shares methods and strategies based on research and practical knowledge to help make creating good habits, living healthy, and increasing productivity. For refreshing ideas on how to simplify your lifestyle both physically and mentally, and optimize your happiness, join his free newsletter.

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  • Hi Dragos
    Thank you so much for sharing your story and your tips. I think your experience is one many of us can relate to–we are quite hard on ourselves.

    I really loved your tips and they all resonated with me really deeply. Not taking my thoughts so seriously has been something I have made great strides with over the years. I owe that to meditation, which has helped strengthen that space between that pure perfect ‘higher self’ and all the thoughts that run through our minds all day, which really aren’t the true us, just fleeting entities.

    I also really agree with just letting our feelings be without trying to fight them. That resistance creates an extra layer of upset that just intensifies everything. Again, meditation has helped strengthen my awareness of the fleeting nature of our thoughts and feelings–they are constantly in flux. When I remember this, I don’t get as caught up in my thoughts and feelings. I know they will pass and I don’t give them any more energy than they may already be sucking from me at the moment.

    Great post!

  • Peter Brecska

    Well writen article. I like it.

  • A White Canvas

    Really helpful, especially when speaking about meditation, it’s important to persist, even if it’s ten minutes per day, it will become natural, as it is actually one of the most natural actions an human being can do.

  • I like that “It is actually one of the most natural actions an human being can do”.

    I say, do as little as possible, so little that you won’t fail at it. I started with 2 minutes a day, and I can do 1 hour sessions.

    As long as you’re willing to persist, you’ll achieve your goals.

  • Thanks Peter, happy to hear that! 🙂

  • Awesome comment Kelli!

    I completely agree with you, and I’m happy we have shared similar experience in our lives.

    We have so much in common from reading your comment, especially the ” I know they will pass and I don’t give them any more energy than they may already be sucking from me at the moment.”

    I’m now trying to let the energy of an emotion fuel my energy in other avenues of my life, it’s been an transformative method to redirect energy to different areas of your life (if that isn’t too vague, I can expand haha!)

  • Anja

    Good one! Thanx!

  • Daniels

    How exactly do you just “ignore the voice”?

  • Akash Bothra

    I think to ignore the voice is to listen to the voice without reacting. Ekhart Tolle’s book, “The Power Of Now” can be of real help on practicing mindfulness.

  • Akash Bothra

    Thanks a lot Dragos for this awesome post !!!

  • Thanks for commenting Anja! 🙂

  • Thanks Akash, for the self-esteem boost, and for commenting! 🙂

  • When you ignore, you resist, which in turn gives power to “your” voice. Instead, just listen, and be active with what is being said. Even though you hear it, doesn’t mean it is true.

    What is being heard is due to your previous conditioning, and behavioral patterns. It has no degree of truth, it is just voice that is habitual.

    Focus on the breath, and make a mental reminder that your voice is just a voice.

    Asking questions like “who is talking” is a great way to examine what is being said, and can help you not identify with the voice.

    Hope this helps Daniels.

    -Dragos 🙂

  • Daniels

    That helps. I appreciate it, Dragos.

  • Anytime, glad it helped 🙂

  • dancesexmusichiphop

    The six helpful habits are helpful but when u described how your negative thoughts took over and how it made you miserable, I completely understood that feeling. Now I only hope to get rid of that negative voice that tells me I’m not good enough so I can get better!

  • Great post Dragos. I practice most of these, but the one that I need to make an effort to do more consciously is #4. Such a good point that it’s better to feel uncomfortable or out of control and that this takes more energy than trying hard to NOT be so… precious energy that we can use elsewhere more constructively! Thanks for the reminder.

  • Sometimes all we need is a little reminder every now and then 🙂

  • You’ll get there. Keep practicing. Any progress you make is progress 🙂

  • Meri Sundar

    Thanks Dargos for the post..Been there myself,so I can relate.It’s true we do tend be hard on ourselves..I liked your tips.They are simple to do.We just need to do those more often.