Do you sometimes put yourself down when something goes wrong? We tend to be compassionate and empathetic towards others, but are often hyper-critical towards ourselves. While this tendency may seem insignificant, negative beliefs can actually lead to self-sabotage and may hold you back from achieving your dreams.
Let’s take a pause today and understand how you can be kinder to yourself and encourage your friends, who are on the same journey as you, to do the same, too.
Before we continue, here’s a little something to brighten your day.
P.S.: Save these cards as daily reminders to know that you’re awesome!
That nagging critic in your mind is more common than you think. It pays you a visit every now and then, especially when you make a mistake on your project, are rejected by a loved one, or do not perform as well as you’d have liked in your exams.
In times like these, it helps to have a good support system in your friends and family. While you hold on tight to the people who’ve got your back, what can you do to regularly take care of your own feelings?
Affirmations are a method of transforming negative thoughts into positive ones by repeating kind words to yourself.
Here’s how your brain works – it’s formed of millions of structures known as neural pathways, which become stronger with use. Upon repeating a thought or an action, it becomes a part of the physical structure of your brain. The stronger a neural pathway becomes, the more automatic and frequent the thought or belief is.
These beliefs influence your life and relationships in a monumental way, so why not wield their power to your advantage?
Practising positive affirmations is extremely easy; all you have to do is repeat a phrase to yourself in the mirror, or write them down in a journal.
“I am capable and I am prepared to write this test.”
“I am stronger than yesterday. I will not let this setback affect me.”
“I am unique. I look good. Today will be my day. I got this.”
“This is hard, but I can do hard things.”
“My dreams, goals, and desires are as worthwhile as anyone else’s.”
These phrases can be used to challenge the negative or unhelpful thoughts that are set in your subconscious mind. At first, you might find it a little awkward to practise your affirmations, but gradually, it can change your thought patterns and influence different behavioural changes for the better.
Consider this exercise as a way to motivate yourself every morning and also boost your self-esteem.
Step 1: Acknowledge your feelings.
As hard as it may seem, start by making a list of your negative thoughts. This will help you notice a pattern or a specific theme. Then, you can try to counter those thoughts directly.
Step 2: Say nice things.
Note down your affirmations that are the positives to your negative thoughts. Keep them realistic to increase the chances of their success. If your affirmations are not true to who you are, you might doubt yourself and end up feeling worse.
Step 3: Be more specific.
Focus on the traits and values you like about yourself rather than a generic positive statement. Say, I am kind and patient, instead of I am a good person.
Step 4: Be more present.
Use I am, instead of I will. Envisioning your affirmations as a reality instead of a far-away goal will increase your chances of success.
Step 5: Be consistent.
Make affirmations a part of your daily routine, until they become like an automatic response. You can repeat your sentences at different times of the day — when you wake up, when you shower, when you’re on the bus, while you’re meditating or relaxing, and in bed before sleeping.
Step 6: Share the love.
When you’re nice to yourself, kindness spills over. Every now and then, tell your friends how much you appreciate them. If they’re feeling a little low, tell them why they’re amazing and that it will get better.
While affirmations help you feel good about yourself and take control of the day, remember that they alone would not help resolve mental health issues. Most people need support to overcome the more serious symptoms. If you feel like you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone you trust or talk to a mental health professional.
Tell us in the comments below, what do you do to feel good about yourself?
Vandya is a copywriter by the day and an amateur illustrator by the night. She's a cat mom 24/7. As a certified organisation freak, she lives and breathes in Notion. With a head full of ideas, she is passionate about crafting interesting concepts - for work or play. To kick back at the end of the day, she likes binge-watching shows with an inclination for all things spooky.
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