Hear Your Inner Critic, but Listen to Your Inner Heroine: A Psychologist’s Guide to Coping with Depression, Anxiety and Stress.

June 07, 2021, 06:36 GMT

Dr Debra Campbell reveals how developing awareness of how you speak to yourself supports mental health and threatens hurtful habits. MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, June 7, 2021 / — Dr Debra Campbell’s newly released book titled How to Be Your Own Hero: The 3 Loves Project is a psychologist’s guide to a life of resilience, flow, love and self-compassion.

As a practicing psychologist, Dr Deb guides the reader in understanding the cycles that keep them stuck in dysfunctional relationships, depression, anxiety and self-destructive patterns. The book is a 360 page blend of narrative and practical exercises, so the reader need waste no time, diving into a pragmatic approach to cultivating three great loves – self-compassion, mindful relationships and finding flow.

For people worldwide, COVID-19 has negatively impacted plans, income, health, their sense of empowerment and flow, consequently leading to a decline in mental health. “COVID-19 has made us prioritise health and community more than ever,” says Dr Deb, who has personally experienced an increase in people seeking her clinical support online during the pandemic.

Dr Deb’s solution for people experiencing mental health struggles is to seek support and to build emotional fitness (much like building physical muscles) to cope with the burden of stress, losses, frustration and disappointments. This usually requires developing awareness around self-talk, listening to our inner dialogue and being discerning about which parts of it to strengthen and which parts to retire.

Dr Deb explains, “For me, it’s been wonderfully therapeutic to characterise both my self-critical, and my inner avoidant chatter, as friends, or at times frenemies, I can assertively manage, rather than being completely dragged around by unhelpful thoughts and feelings.”

Throughout her book, Dr Deb references the Inner Critic and Inner Heroine, and the role they both play as members of her inner team.

Potential readers of The 3 Loves Project, may assume this book is another self-help and affirmations offering. Instead, it is a warm, often funny, practical guidebook to our inner world and how to navigate it. Paradoxically, it seems for quietening the voice of one’s Inner Critic, it’s necessary to first, hear it out – acknowledge its messages that bring anxiety, humiliation, judgement and hurt – then engage the Inner Heroine, the voice of self-worth. Like any benevolent, emotionally intelligent leader, the Inner Heroine can treat the Inner Critic with kindness and compassion, assertively telling the Critic when its thoughts are not helpful or productive.

For someone who struggles with entrenched negative thought patterns, it is challenging but potentially life-changing, to become very mindful of your inner dialogue. “Discerning which thoughts you’d like to buy into and devote attention to, is one of the most potentially empowering decisions you can regularly make for yourself,” Dr. Deb explains. However, she is cautious to build a level of expectation that a constant state of happiness is not the goal people need to realistically aim for.

“Happiness may be an unrealistic expectation in times when lousy things are happening” She warns. “Instead, work towards eudaimonia; which means resilience, acceptance, trust in yourself, even contentment with who you are at your core. Even when times are difficult you know you can feel your emotions fully, confident you will survive the difficult ones and rise again, because you trust your inner heroine-part to pull you through.”

As part of building emotional fitness and moving towards greater resilience, Dr Deb offers suggestions for dealing with a multitude of challenges people face daily, like short attention spans, lack of motivation, relationship challenges, even the problems of social comparison.

“Comparing yourself to others slows you down, and distracts you from whatever you could be creating, inviting you to plummet into other people’s business, to doubt and de-prioritise you own. Stay in your own lane. Keep pursuing your flow.”

Knowing the underpinning principals to creating more self-love, finding your flow and reducing feelings of depression and anxiety is only the beginning of the 3 Loves Project. The practical tools offered in the book empower you with the means to embody your own heroine, or hero, long after reading the book. The 3 Loves Project provides ample exercises to get the most from the theory, including mindfulness practices, journaling, self-reflection, self-coaching support, day-planning tools and cognitive-behavioural exercises.

You can purchase your own copy of How to be your own hero: The 3 Loves Project here.

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