1. Carve out Analysis Time to get to the root of the issue
You may not be a mental health professional, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a professional of your own life.
Carve out thinking time for yourself.
Make it a dedicated amount of time on your calendar. If not, it’s just going to blend in with all the other blobs of feelings and tasks you have going on.
Setting aside time to quietly think about why you hate yourself seems like it’s just adding insult to injury, but it’s actually astonishingly powerful.
Before you can act, you must know.
Make a list of all the thoughts, feelings, and experiences that could be contributing to how you feel about yourself.
2. Make your Analysis Time more productive
Carry a notepad or a piece of paper around with you for a few days.
Each time you have feelings of self-loathing, write on your paper what is happening in those particular moments.
Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? What time of day is it?
All of these details can help you pinpoint what’s going on and if there’s anything in particular that’s causing your self-hatred.
It’s all data. It’s all grist for the mill.
Get the data in front of you so you can get a better picture of what’s going on.
3. Get some entire-life perspective
This next one is interesting because it helps you zoom out and get a grip on where you are in your life.
When people say that they hate themselves, they normally are talking about a particular moment in time.
All feelings are fleeting. All life experiences are fleeting as well.
Don’t obsess over one feeling.
Instead, think about your life as a vast timeline, with point A starting years and years ago when you were a child–and point B happening right now.
What happened in between those points to make you hate yourself?
Was it a particular event?
Was there one person in your life who said something so awful that it’s stayed with you ever since?
Your timeline is massive. There’s so much you can do between point A and point B.
Because point B is always moving. It’s not over yet.
What would it take for you to change your life story?
What event could you help bring forward to change the trajectory–and the timeline–of your life?
4. Mine your behaviors to find the hidden culprits
Much like you can find the root cause of your self-hatred by carving out thinking time, you can also find your root, most destructive behaviors.
What makes a behavior so incredibly destructive that it contributes to extreme self-hatred?
It’s anything that you do that, immediately after, you regret or feel intense shame.
For me, it’s picking at my skin and obsessing over blemishes on my body. Without a doubt, I feel intense regret after I do this.
But I’ve been able to identify this as a source of great shame and hatred.
As a result, I’ve orchestrated new routines to avoid this bad behavior and replace it with a good one.
This is another technique from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
Many mental health apps can walk you through this approach.
is a great one that I’ve used in the past.
It all starts with becoming mindful of what you’re doing.
That’s the hard part.
Then it’s up to you to figure out what you want to do instead of the bad behavior to get back on the path of self-compassion.