Self-Pity & Shadow Work
Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.
– John W. Gardner
If you’ve made it up to this point in the article, chances are that something within your life has recently shone a light on this negative trait within yourself.
We can feel insecure, ashamed, embarrassed, or flat-out angry toward ourselves when coming face to face with our own self-pity.
Don’t worry. As I said before, this is a normal human trait. Also, no one is perfect, and that’s okay. So be kind toward yourself. The good thing is that now you’re aware of this habit and you can do something about it.
One powerful preliminary step I recommend to overcoming self-pity is to explore your toxic core beliefs.
At the very heart of chronic self-pity is at least one deeply held mistaken belief about ourselves. So I strongly recommend reading and learning about core beliefs.
12 Essential Ways of Overcoming Self-Pity
Discovering that we suffer from chronic self-pity – and taking steps to overcome this issue – is part of the process of self-growth and spiritual transformation.
So if you suspect that you constantly self-pity, don’t fight it.
Don’t hide from your self-pity in shame or embarrassment, rather, face it and accept it as a fact of your life.
Embrace the fact that you are flawed and fallible … just like everyone else. Only then can you hope to make long-lasting changes within yourself!
Below you’ll find a list of beginner-friendly ways to overcome self-pity:
1) Keep a gratitude journal and write in it for 10 minutes every day
Keeping a gratitude journal, where you write down a list of things that you’re thankful for each day, is one effective way of re-programming your thought patterns.
Nothing is too small or irrelevant to write down. For instance, something like “I’m thankful that this cup of tea is warm” or “I appreciate the softness of my pillow,” are perfect candidates for being grateful.
Whatever you are thankful for, write it down!
Learn more about how to journal.
2) Grow a plant. Raise some herbs. Garden!
According to a survey conducted in 2013, 80 percent of gardeners reported that they were “happy” and “satisfied” with their lives, compared to the 67% of non-gardeners surveyed.
Not only does gardening remove the attention and energy you place on yourself and redirect it to something other than yourself, but it also instills you with a sense of accomplishment!
3) Sit in the sun
According to studies, vitamin D (which you gain from the sun), actually helps to improve your mood and energy levels, whilst decreasing depression. Ensuring that you get enough sun exposure each day is a good way to fight self-pity.
4) Watch funny videos, clips, and pictures
This is an excellent way of breaking yourself out of the self-pity cycle. Good websites to check out are Reddit and YouTube.
5) Get a pet animal
Whether it’s a dog, cat, bunny, guinea pig, fish, studies show that caring for a pet helps to reduce depression, thus helping you to overcome self-pity.
6) Read this infographic
This is powerful and eye-opening:
7) Take regular long walks
Exercise has been proven to boost the levels of endorphins in your brain, which are responsible for elevating your mood (plus a million other benefits). You may also like to consider joining a gym, or investing in your own sports equipment if you prefer privacy.