Originally published by Hers Magazine at www.hers-magazine.com.
Throughout the years, my Self-Esteem and I have had a very tumultuous relationship, to say the least. Throughout our teens and 20s, I was extremely critical of her and my self-doubt was beyond measurable. The constant criticisms and lack of respect, trust and belief in myself were too much for her to bear and by the time we reached our early 30s, my Self-Esteem had had enough. She gave me an ultimatum: either I straighten up my act and treat her with the love and respect that she deserved, or we were over.
I had no choice. How could I walk away from the most important relationship of my life? I had to do something about it, and over time I’ve learned how to love, value, and respect her. It’s been a long journey, but the most important lesson this Happy, Upbeat Realist learned was that in order for my relationship with my Self-Esteem to flourish, we would have to keep working at it. Here are six tricks I’ve learned along the way to maintain a healthy relationship with your Self-Esteem:
- Continue to believe in yourself by stating your affirmations on a daily basis: As part of my “self-esteem regime” every morning, I state my positive affirmations to myself. Saying good things to yourself about yourself starts your day off on a positive note.
- Eat right and exercise on a regular basis: Eating right and exercising on a regular basis can help you feel energized and rejuvenated. If your body feels good, your mind will follow. Let me make this clear…I am not promoting exercise and eating right to fit our society’s rigid beauty standards of having the perfectly thin body. I am talking about feeling good in your own skin. Treat your body like a temple and take care of it; after all, it’s the only one you’ve got.
- Learn to pamper yourself: Take some time just for you. Go for a walk, get a mani/pedi, or join a yoga or dance class. Do something for yourself that makes you feel good. This tip is especially for all the Mommies out there. This tip is especially important for mothers who tend to put others first. Don’t ever feel guilty for taking some “me time.”
- Focus on the positive and stop all the negative self-talk. Why criticize yourself every time you look in a mirror? Why put yourself down every time you see a skinny, perfect looking model in a magazine? The realist in me knows just how difficult it is for me to conquer my negative self-talk. There are times when I just can’t help myself, but – and this is a big but – anytime I am aware of those negative thoughts, I change them into positives.
- Show gratitude for all you have: Every morning, along with my affirmations, I state what I am grateful for. Showing gratitude for all the good things in your life completely changes your perspective and puts a positive spin on your daily activities.
- Surround yourself with confident and positive people: You don’t need to be friends with someone who puts you down or makes catty remarks to you. My Self-Esteem and I realized that we needed to say goodbye to those kinds of friends. Do we miss them? Yes, but not enough to bring back that kind of negativity back into our life. Remember, you deserve to have only the best possible people surrounding you: those who will build you up, those who are positive and those who truly care about your wants and needs. You know why? Because you are worth it!
Alicia Emamdee is the author of the book, “Aloha Self-Esteem?” which is created specifically for teen girls and the challenges they face with regards to their self-esteem in our society today. Written as a fictional love story, the book provides ways to help increase self-esteem and gain self-confidence.”
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