Nurturing a Positive Self-Image: Seven Things You Can Do to Feel Better About Yourself Today
With the fast-paced world we are living in, it seems like it has never been more challenging to be a woman. Unlike our mothers and grandmothers, women of today have burdened themselves with way too many task to accomplish and way too many roles to fill. With the large number of privileges and rights we are enjoying today, there is also the added pressure of attaining a certain image imposed by society and ourselves as well.
Failing to achieve any of these unattainable goals often leads to frustration, stress, anxiety, and a struggle with self-esteem, which open up a vicious cycle of negative self-image and blame. Luckily, there is a way out of this modern societal trap. You can regain your power and build a more positive mindset with the help of a couple of techniques that you can start applying today.
There is much more to mindfulness than just a wishy-washy New Age expression. Being mindful means being aware of our thoughts and feelings, so that we can transform the negative ones into something more positive.
As our opinions of ourselves shapes our lives, monitoring our mind can help us act upon our beliefs and change them into more productive and constructive ones. Meditation is probably one of the most efficient tools that enables us to detach ourselves from the noise in our head and take a more conscious approach towards eliminating it. By practicing a calm, undisturbed state of mind for long enough, our mind becomes more capable of dealing with negative self-thoughts as they appear. This will make you able to take a more objective standpoint towards your thoughts, and instead of identifying with them, you would be able to choose a more comforting alternative.
From early on, we learn to evaluate ourselves based on the accomplishments of those around us. While a healthy dose of competition can sometimes be inspiring, more often it is the cause of a great amount of frustration and damage to our self-esteem. Because, quite frankly, there will always be someone that is better looking than us, that has a more successful career, a more supportive family or friends, and so on.
Yet, if you were given the chance to trade your life for the life of someone you envy, you probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much. Why? Because you weren’t supposed to from the beginning. We are all our own and exceptional individuals with a unique set of features and skills and as such, we can’t be compared to anyone but ourselves. You are in a league of your own, and the only comparison you should be making is to who you were yesterday. That is the only healthy way of doing it.
Be Your Own Best Friend
We tend to be much kinder and forgiving of the mistakes and shortcomings of our close friends or family members that we are to our own. It is easier to be more objective when your personal feelings and fears are not at stake. Moreover, we love our friends and family and want to make them feel better, especially at tough times. Therefore, next time you are feeling down or insecure, instead of criticizing yourself, imagine you are talking to your best friend, and watch how the negative self-talk is turned into encouraging and caring advice.
In order to feel good about ourselves, we should take a moment and dedicate some time to our physical appearance as well. Stress, lack of sleep and a busy lifestyle in general take a toll on our looks, specifically our skin. As skin problems are the most common challenges faces by women today, we should take action and find ways to eliminate them. Instead of investing in high-end makeup that only covers up the problems, we should be more proactive about it and find ways to pamper our skin with natural products, non-invasive treatments or massages in order to attain that healthy glow.
Another great method for nurturing a positive self-image is continual physical activity. We all understand the physical and mental benefits of it, yet we are quick to find excuses for skipping a yoga class, or blaming the weather for missing jogging today, and so on. Starting today, make it a priority to engage in any type of activity that makes your heart rate a bit faster, at least three times a week, and you will see improvement not only in your body, but your entire perspective on life will change for the better.
Instead of finding fault with everything you do, use the opposite approach and start rewarding yourself for the many great things you do on a daily basis. Appreciate the little things that make up your character. Praise and give yourself credit for being a good listener, helping a stranger, or solving a problem at work.
Make a List of Positive Aspects
Similarly to the previous method, writing down a list of positive aspect about ourselves will help us not to take ourselves for granted. The list may be short at first, however as you continue the journey of self-appreciation, it will become easier to add new traits you love and admire about yourself. These affirmations will soon overwrite the self-limiting talk that has kept you from feeling good about yourself.