4 Ways To Develop Healthy Self-Talk

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This wall art can be purchased at the I Am Awakened etsy shop. At the time of this post, it was listed at $5.50.

This post is a continuation of last week’s Overcoming Self-Criticism. While I shared my story of working towards overcoming this nasty habit of being unkind to myself, I wanted to give some concrete ways of healthy self-talk.

So here’s a list of 5 things I have done in the past that has helped me with positive self-talk:

  1. Writing a “happy” list. I have written about things I am grateful for, or a list of my favorite things. I like to write down favorite memories, moments in nature, my favorite foods, etc. Sometimes remembering what you love and what makes you happy can help you to feel that happiness again.
  2. Reminding myself that it’s okay. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to experience. I can move on from where I am. This particularly helps when I feeling stressed about being stressed, or angry about being angry. 🙂
  3. Using a creative outlet. Now, when I say this, I don’t mean that long novel you’re editing, or the piece of art that you can’t quite get right. I mean something fun. I’ve made collages, or played with acrylic paint. Sometimes I make up a silly song. I think the combination of creativity and play allows me to be more accepting of myself.
  4. Forgetting Myself. This one can seem counter-intuitive, but it does work. When I take time to try and make sure those around me feel loved, I tend to forget my doubts about being lovable myself. There are many different ways you can do this, including volunteer service, reaching out to coworkers or family members. (Of course, please don’t neglect your personal needs in the process.) This can be a great way of overcoming self-criticism.
  5. Write A Self-Love List -Seriously. Write down all of the things you love about yourself. What are your talents? Your interests? Your accomplishments? Personality traits? Sometimes this can be a little hard when you are feeling down -believe me, I know. So, you can start by asking friends, family and loved ones things they like about you. Or try writing things down when you are in a good mood. Then refer to this list when it gets really tough to be nice to yourself. I’ve made a list like this, and it has helped me to pull of many a rut.

These are some of the items in my toolbelt that I use when I am having a “hate Dana” moment. I hope that they will  be able to help you on your journey towards a healthy self-relationship. 🙂

 

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Overcoming Self-Criticism

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You can instantly download this awesome wall-art from the Studio Printables etsy shop. At the time of this post, it was listed at $3.

To be honest, when I first listened to the challenge for Day 6, my first thought was “Ugh.” I don’t like sharing vulnerability. Then, I decided that maybe this challenge will be really good for me. 🙂

So, today I decided to talk about verbal abuse –towards one self. I’ve been on Pinterest long enough to know that I’m not the only woman out there who struggles with being self-critical. You don’t have to search for long to find posts reminding us that we’re special, that we’re enough, and that we’re filled with glitter and sunshine. 🙂 And yet, even though I know I’m not alone in self-criticism, it can seem really isolating. So often, it can seem like I’m the only one who spends way too much time saying unkind things to myself.

Sometimes it can seem like I’m just being honest –that I’m just speaking the cold, hard truth to myself. Most of the time, however, that’s not the case. While self-improvement is a good thing, and working to overcome weakness is also a good thing, self-destruction is not. I think a lot of what makes this key distinction between the two is the tone, or the attitude in which we talk to ourselves. Self-critiquing can be effective when paired with compassion, patience, and a belief that we can change. But when it becomes a downward spiral filled with shame, and hopelessness, it veers into the territory of self-hatred.

I believe strongly that we all have worth beyond measure, and the capacity to grow exponentially. I think that when done right, we can objectively look at ourselves, determine how we want to change our lives, and reach those goals. But I really think this needs to be done with kindness towards ourselves, not harshness.

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This wall art can be bought at the Rhys And Ryn etsy shop. At the time of this post, it was listed at $9.

But how does this apply to me? Well, let me tell you… I have struggled so much over the years with social situations, simply because of how unkind I am to myself. Time after time, I have come to the event, my heart pounding, worrying that I everyone will hate me, that I will say something stupid, and that somehow, I will have ruined everyone’s day. And then, after each time the evening has ended, I have been ready to cry, convinced that I have ruined other’s perception of me, that I was beyond awkward, and that I have ruined future chances for friendship. Most of the time, this isn’t even true. Most of the time, I just came off a little shy. While I do still struggle with this on occasion, it has -thankfully -gotten much better.

This past time losing weight, I decided to take a different route than my usual. I took small, reasonable steps, and most importantly, I worked on being kind to myself. Instead of looking at photo-shopped models that I wanted to aspire to be like, I looked at pictures of my highest weight, and said kind things to that girl. I then cheered myself on when the mirror indicated I was losing weight. I cheered myself on for getting stronger. I cheered myself on for cheering myself on! And this optimism, this embracing of myself helped me to want to reach out more, and in a very real way, it helped me to reach my goal of losing weight in away verbal self-abuse never could.

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This wall-art can be downloaded at the Kathy Panton Art etsy shop. At the time of this post, it was listed at $1.

 

I’d love to be able to say that I’m 100% over perfectionism, and self-criticism, but I’m not. What I can say is that I have come a long way in this regards. I can feel the difference. Through this process I have become a lot more compassionate towards others. I’ve found that it helps me to think more objectively about myself, and about stressful situations.

Now, again, I don’t advocate running from challenges, or for a lackadaisical approach to life. I simply think that we should show the same love to ourselves that we do to other people. After all, we’re stuck with ourselves. We might as well make it a beautiful relationship.

Well, that was me getting vulnerable. I hope I’m able to reach out and help someone today. 🙂

Confidence Tips From Alex Beadon

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This image comes from the Etsy shop Inspirational Quote. You can click on the picture to see this and other wall art available.

I am signed up for Alex Beadon’s website, a photography business owner who does vlogs on how to improve businesses and personal blogs. I love listening to her weekly installment of Chatty Tuesday. Today’s vlog was called 5 Things I Do To Be More Confident. I think this is a really important topic, and that her video was really good! My favorite quote from video was this:

“If you want to be a truly confident person, you have to know that it all starts from an agreement that you make with yourself. I am going to be a confident person. I am going to back myself up no matter what.  I am going to believe in myself no matter what. I’m going to be confident.” –Alex Beadon

This is a revolutionary concept to me. While it may seem like a basic concept, I guess I haven’t ever thought about backing myself up. Instead of berating myself when I’m in a disappointing situation, or just an uncomfortable one, I should be my own backup support. I really like this concept, and I am going to work on incorporating it into my personal life.

This confidence tip was part of 5 tips that Alex gave. That being said, I actually counted 7 tips to improve confidence, not 5. Not that I’m complaining –more is always better, right? Without further ado, here they are.

1. Make inner agreement with yourself (see above).

2. Understand what’s holding you back

3. Agree to embrace failure

4. Monitor your thoughts. Only keep those thoughts that serve you.

5. Get comfortable outside your comfort zone.

6. Picture what confidence will look like.

7. Your online presence is the best version of yourself –be okay with that.

I really like these tips, and I think they are a good game plan for improving personal confidence. In addition to the personal agreement tip, I also like the tips about understanding what is holdng me back, and getting comfortable outside out my comfort zone. She talked about delving why I am scared of being confident. If I can understand my reasons for wanting to hold back, then I can combat them. Along a similar line, I like that she talked about coming up with specific situations where I feel uncomfortable, and working on tackling them head on. It’s one thing for me to vaguely say, I’m going to step outside my comfort zone, and quite another to pinpoint areas where I feel uneasy, and learning to deal with them better.

I really like the tips, and think her video is worth watching. You can check it out here: Five Things I Do To Be More Confident.

Self Esteem And Sparkles

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“Any woman can look her best if she feels good in her skin. It’s not a question of clothes or makeup. It’s how she sparkles.” –Sophia Loren

I love this quote, and think it is so important to remember that confidence, and self-esteem are crucial aspects of being “pretty.” The world of marketing and advertising sell us a dream in a bottle or a bag, telling us that once we try this one product, then we will find inner confidence. Then we will find ourselves. While new clothes or a new hair cut can help boost confidence, if you don’t like yourself to start with, it will only go so far. Growing up, my mom told me something that really stuck with me. She told me the importance of being my own best friend, because I’ll always have me around, and if I like myself, I can be in a crowd and never be alone. My mom’s a pretty smart lady. 🙂

Obviously, this is harder said than done. It is so easy to be critical of myself, when I don’t reach my goals, or when I wake up feeling tired, groggy, and unattractive. But, curbing my thoughts really seems to help with this. Lately, when I think, oh, I’m fat, I remind myself of the 27 pounds I’ve lost. I also remind myself that my body is healthy and strong, and that I don’t have to look like a supermodel to have worth. When I find myself criticizing my personality, my appearance, or how I fell short in some area, I remind myself that I am trying my best, and that I already have family, friends, and wonderful husband who love me just the way I am.

Also, a little self-pampering never hurts. 🙂 A nice hot bath, an at-home facial, or a nice cup of herbal tea do wonders for me. And of course, any form of stress-relief, like painting, going for a walk, or meditating, help me to feel at ease with myself as well.

So, here’s to all the amazing ladies out there struggling with accepting themselves: You already have plenty of sparkle, even if you don’t know it. Take some time to care for yourself, and tell that inner critic to go take a hike! Life’s too short to spend it berating yourself.

(Note: The photo above is of a lovely pendant that you can buy on Etsy for $14.47. You can check at Kitschy Coo Design’s shop.)

Style and Self-Esteem

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What Not to Wear is one of my favorite shows. I love watching Stacy and Clinton take people who feel rundown and help completely transform their outlook on life and view of themselves. I learned recently that Stacy London has given a lot of lectures on the relationship between style and self-esteem. I came across a list of quotes that she gave at a lecture in Manhattan. If you want to see my source, you can visit here:

Here are a few quotes that I absolutely loved:

  1. “Base your fashion choices on how you want to feel.”
  2. “The way you dress is one way to tell the world who you are.”
  3. “If you’re going to be stylish, you have to look in the mirror and like the way you look.”

I really liked these quotes, because it shows that the way I dress myself is a form of self-care. If I choose to not put effort into my appearance, I will feel less attractive. When I walk out the door, I will waste time worrying about other people’s opinions of me which I could use to reach out towards others. If I do not care for my appearance, it tells others that I do not value myself; which if I don’t value myself, how can I expect others to?

On the other hand, if I choose to care for my appearance, I will feel much better. When I strive to look neat, clean and attractive, it tells the world that I am responsible, of worth, and satisfied with my life. I am much more likely to be satisfied with my life if I can accept myself. Dressing well definitely helps with this.

While dressing nicely can’t create self-esteem where there is none, it can help me to see my own personal beauty that I already have. Even the simple of act of spending the time on myself to dress well can help me value myself better.

Learning To Love Myself

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So, today, I’ve been feeling down. My life has been a wild ride, with many rough twists and turns. Right now, I am a puddle of discouragement. I am struggling with accepting myself, and accepting my body. As I was thinking and pondering today, I wanted to figure how to properly care for myself. In the process, I came across this post by Tama J. Kieves.

How To Nurture Yourself And Be Your Own Mother

In it, there was this amazing quote: “I’ve learned to become a fierce advocate for my joy. I am still working on becoming a resourceful presence for my pain. I tell myself, ‘You can tell me anything,’ and mean it. I no longer punish myself for feeling helpless, angry, jealous, or stuck, and I’m willing to fill a thousand journals with my feelings. I buy myself tokens to celebrate achievements, large and small. I whisper to myself in the crevices of emptiness between my bones, ‘I’m proud of and have so much faith in you.’”

I realized several things from reading this article. Basically it talks about 6 ways to love yourself:

1. I need to be willing to listen to myself. This may seem like a strange concept, but I can definitely see how it is true. Many times, when I am feeling scared or depressed or overwhelmed, I belittle myself. I refuse to listen to my feelings, because of the fear that my feelings will consume. Most likely, the opposite will happen. I need to be a good listening friend to myself; when I do this, I will be able to relax and let go of the negative feelings.

2. Another thing I learned is that I need to concentrate more on talking positively to myself. I am so often criticizing myself and beating myself up for my imperfections. This does nothing to help me; it only hinders me. If I talk positively to myself, it will uplift and change my mood. I will be more willing to try new things and more able to see the many opportunities around me.

3. Another thing I was reminded of is that I need to be journaling. I have fallen out of this habit, because I didn’t want to face my feelings, and I didn’t want to remember this rough time in my life. I have determined that this is a big mistake. Ignoring my feelings doesn’t make them go away. The only way I can make them go away is by facing them with kindness and compassion. Journaling helps me to do this. When I write down my feelings, I let them loose and free to express themselves. And I should want to remember this time. I can take this challenge as an opportunity to grow and rejoice in my improvement.

4. When I am happy and taking care of myself, my capacity to love grows as well. When my capacity for love grows, I am able to reach out and help more people. I want to be friendly and loving and approachable. Taking care of myself will help me to become this kind of person.

5. In order to reach my goals, I need to be a cheerleader for myself. I need to push and encourage myself when i feel discouraged. I need to be daring enough to imagine the future that I can possess if I keep working towards my goals. Focusing on the negative and my imperfections beats me down into the grounds and makes my goals -and desirable future -impossible. I need to cheer myself on!

6. I was reminded that taking care of myself is not only a privilege; it’s a responsibility. If I do not take care of myself, I will fall apart. This will result in other people having to take care of me. Therefore, I need to care of myself.

This is going to be a hard journey for me, but I am excited to embark on it. I hope to find a happy, confident, outgoing Dana somewhere along the way. 🙂