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THE POWER OF SELF VALIDATION: NURTURING EMOTIONAL & MENTAL WELLBEING

BY: HANNAH ANDERSSON


In a world filled with external expectations and societal standards, the journey towards emotional and mental well-being often begins within ourselves. At the heart of this journey lies the profound practice of self-validation—a transformative process that honors our feelings, experiences, and inherent worth, regardless of external validation or approval.

Self-validation is a cornerstone of emotional resilience and psychological health. It involves acknowledging and accepting our emotions, thoughts, and experiences without judgment or self-criticism. When we validate ourselves, we affirm our right to feel what we feel, recognizing that our emotions are valid and worthy of acknowledgment.


One of the key reasons why self-validation is so crucial for emotional and mental well-being is its ability to foster a sense of self-compassion and self-acceptance. By validating our own experiences, we cultivate a deeper sense of understanding and empathy towards ourselves, allowing space for healing and growth to unfold.


Source: Pinterest


Moreover, self-validation serves as a powerful antidote to the toxic cycle of seeking external validation and approval. When we rely solely on external sources for validation, we become vulnerable to fluctuations in others' opinions and judgments, leading to feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. In contrast, self-validation empowers us to trust our own inner compass, anchoring ourselves in our inherent worth and value.


Practicing self-validation is not always easy, especially in a culture that often emphasizes self-criticism and perfectionism. However, cultivating a self-validating mindset is a skill that can be developed over time with patience, self-awareness, and practice.


Here's how a self-validating process could look like:

  1. Mindfulness and Self-Awareness: Begin by cultivating mindfulness and self-awareness. Notice your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations without judgment or resistance. Practice observing them with curiosity and compassion.

  2. Validate Your Feelings: When difficult emotions arise, acknowledge them with kindness and understanding. Remind yourself that it's okay to feel what you're feeling, even if it's uncomfortable or challenging. Offer yourself words of reassurance and support, such as "It's understandable that I feel this way" or "My feelings are valid and worthy of acknowledgment."

  3. Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion you would offer to a friend in need. Be gentle with yourself during times of struggle or suffering. Offer yourself words of comfort and encouragement, affirming your resilience and strength.

  4. Challenge Self-Critical Thoughts: Notice when self-critical thoughts arise and challenge them with self-compassionate responses. Replace self-criticism with self-affirming statements that honour your worth and potential.

  5. Celebrate Your Achievements: Take time to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Acknowledge your efforts and progress, recognizing the value of your contributions and achievements.

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can cultivate a deeper sense of self-validation and nurture your emotional and mental well-being. Remember, your feelings matter, and you are worthy of love, compassion, and validation—from yourself, above all.

Source: Pinterest


Relying solely on external validation for one's feelings and experiences can be precarious and unreliable. While validation from others can provide temporary relief or reassurance, true emotional and mental well-being stems from a foundation of self-validation. Here's why practicing self-validation is crucial and how it differs from seeking validation from others.

Self-validation is the process of recognizing, accepting, and affirming one's own feelings, thoughts, and experiences without seeking external approval or validation. It involves cultivating a compassionate and non-judgmental relationship with oneself, acknowledging the validity of one's emotions, and honouring personal boundaries and needs.


One of the primary reasons self-validation is important is because it fosters autonomy and self-reliance. Relying on others to validate our feelings can create a dependency that leaves us vulnerable to fluctuations in external support or validation. When we cultivate the ability to validate ourselves, we become less reliant on external sources for validation and more resilient in the face of adversity.


Furthermore, self-validation promotes emotional authenticity and self-awareness. It encourages us to trust our intuition, listen to our inner voice, and honour our emotions as valid and worthy of acknowledgment. By acknowledging and accepting our feelings without judgment, we create space for genuine self-expression and emotional growth.

Practicing self-validation also enhances emotional regulation and resilience. When we validate our own feelings, we learn to regulate our emotions effectively, rather than relying on external validation as a coping mechanism. This empowers us to navigate difficult emotions with greater ease and adaptability, ultimately leading to improved emotional well-being.


So, what does a self-validating practices look like?

  • Mindfulness and Self-Reflection: Take time to tune into your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations without judgment. Notice how you're feeling and validate those feelings by acknowledging them as valid and understandable. This could be through meditation, finding a moment of solitude and silence, or somatic breathing and movement that has been an very helpful tool for me personally. See this article!

  • Positive Self-Talk: Cultivate a compassionate inner dialogue by using affirming and validating language when speaking to yourself. Replace self-criticism with self-compassion and understanding. This is not about telling yourself lies and things you don't believe. It's about holding safe space for who you truly are and affirming that.

  • Setting Boundaries: Honour your personal boundaries and needs by asserting yourself in relationships and situations where your feelings are not being validated. Communicate assertively and advocate for your emotional well-being. Remember: setting and respecting boundaries are for yourself for you to be aligned with your values. From a self validating perspective it's you who has to respect and uphold your boundaries, not others. This cultivates integrity and alignment with your authentic self.

  • Journaling: Write about your thoughts and emotions in a journal as a way to validate and process them. Reflect on your experiences and affirm the validity of your feelings without censoring or judging yourself.

  • Seeking Support When Needed: While self-validation is important, it's also okay to seek support from trusted friends, family members, or mental health professionals when needed. However, it's essential to remember that external validation should complement, not replace, self-validation.

In conclusion, practicing self-validation is essential for emotional and mental well-being. By cultivating self-awareness, fostering emotional authenticity, and honouring our own experiences, we empower ourselves to navigate life's challenges with resilience, compassion, and authenticity.

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