By Alesa Van Dyke

Do you find it hard to be kind, loving, and respectful to yourself? Can you show yourself the same kind of respect and compassion that you show other people?  We are so often willing to give others kindness and respect, but we find it much more difficult to give ourselves.  We are our own harshest critic and are much harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else.  So, how can we increase our feelings of self-esteem and be kinder to ourselves?  Allison Abrams, LCSW-R suggests several steps you can take.

  1. Awareness – We can’t make a change if we are unaware of our thoughts. Become more aware of your negative self-talk.  Note what is happening and remind yourself, “These are thoughts, not facts.”
  2. Avoid Comparisons – These can lead to negative thoughts, anxiety and stress.
  3. Use Affirmations – What attributes do you wish you could see more of in yourself? Repeat these attributes to yourself every day.
  4. Exercise – There is a great body of research that indicates that exercise improves mental health and self-esteem. If you can do it, you will be better for it.
  5. Forgiveness – Are you holding onto feelings of anger or resentment? Is there someone in your life you haven’t forgiven? Yourself? Letting go of old mistakes or injuries that we have given or received can release us from bitterness and negativity.  It allows us to be kinder to others and ourselves.

Almost everyone has times when they are hard on themselves and hopefully these suggestions will help you to find a greater sense of love, kindness, and acceptance for yourself.  Is it time to step back and reevaluate how you treat you?  If you find you need additional help these or other mental health concerns Aloha Behavioral Consultants is just a phone call away.   Please call us today at 801.399.1818.