Everyone has moments where they are down or negative-totally part of the human experience. Everyone talks badly about themselves to themselves at some point. It's when you make a habit of this that you run into trouble.
How often have you had a moment where you performed less than fabulously, and you said something like, "I'm so stupid" or "I am such a failure". This negative thought pattern will eventually become a bad habit and it can be difficult to shake.
Human beings crave validation. It's not always healthy to require that validation from others, but you can always supply it yourself through affirmations! For the following, I would suggest getting a journal or just a notebook so that you have a place to refer back to when things get tough.
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1) Write down 5 things you like about yourself or that you are good at. Refer back to this when you are feeling less than lovely. This can take practice, so if you can't think of 5 things, think of 3. Come back later when you think of more!
2) Appreciate your faults and flaws. It's what makes us human. It's what makes you unique.
3) Try a new hobby that interests you. First of all, you may surprise yourself. I have never considered myself remotely artistic. I decided on a whim that I was going to try painting. I went to Wal-Mart and spent about $20 on supplies, went on YouTube and started painting. My art isn't going to sell for millions, but I am SO proud of it! I created SOMETHING out of NOTHING! I learned something about myself-I have greater potential than I imagined. Maybe you won't be great at it=and that's okay. How many times do babies fall before they finally walk across the room. Remember, you don't see the master's beginning pieces, you only see the masterpieces. It's about perspective.
4) Put a post it on the mirror that says, "You are good. You are beautiful/handsome. You are complete. You are enough."Look in the mirror, look yourself in the eye and say that verbatim-out loud. Research has proven this technique to be effective in combating negative inner dialogue.
5) When you start to look at your surroundings in a negative way (perhaps where you are in life), know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now.
6) Make goals for yourself. Check this out (http://lifeyourway.net/printables/goals-worksheet.pdf). Celebrate each step no matter how small. It's still a step in the right direction.
7) Restructure your perspective. When something doesn't go your way or if something just falls apart (we've ALL had those days), look at the situation until you can find something positive about it. For example, life threatening diseases have been proven to give people a greater respect for life and a license to live freely.
8) Stop negative thinking in its tracks. When negative thinking comes up, firmly (but always gently) say, "No. I am not *insert negative description here*, I am *insert positive description here*."
9) Start your day choosing to be happy. Make a conscious choice. If negativity crops up during the day, say it: "I choose to be happy."
10) Thanksgiving isn't the only time to be thankful. Go to your nifty journal and write down 5 things you are thankful for. (Here are mine off the top of my head: My parrot, my husband's work ethic, deodorant, the sun, Pinterest.) When you begin to feel genuine gratitude, it will open you up to feel that way more often and towards more. If you feel like this helps, do it every day.
11) Do something for others. Volunteer. There are so many people in our world that are in need. Find a homeless shelter, go to an animal shelter or wildlife sanctuary, or find a nursing home in your area. Even if you can only dedicate a few hours a month, it's something and it will be appreciated more than you can imagine. Think of a time when you desperately needed something and it was provided-or a time when someone was there for you. You can be that for someone! Being selfless is one of the greatest ways to fill fulfilled.
12) Cliche's can work. One of the best ones is "This too shall pass." It's true! When things get overwhelming, repeating that to yourself and writing it down can help alleviate a lot of the stress you may experience when times get tough.
13) Know that you have something to offer. We all bring something to the table-you are the only one of you that has ever been or ever will be. Isn't that an awesome thought!?! Think about some of the things that make you unique. Write them down if you like :)
14) Hug. Hugging can decrease cortisol levels (stress hormone), lower your blood pressure and decrease your heart rate amongst other great benefits. If you don't have anyone to hug, hug yourself. Wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze. No, it's not pathetic=loving yourself is love (the best kind, really) and is nothing short of awesome.
15) When you are faced with a challenge, be your own cheerleader. Tell yourself, "I am prepared. I can do this. I am going to rock."
There was a study conducted at Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, that showed participants who used positive affirmations for two weeks experienced higher self esteem than at the beginning of the study. There are a multitude of scientific studies that show positive results from positive thinking. Try it and see what happens!
Cause let's be honest, we can be our own worst enemy.