When we feel bad about ourselves, we often get caught in the circle of negativity which isn’t so easy to break.
It starts with our negative self-views, that subconsciously reflect on our feelings and our behaviors. When we think that we’re not good enough to hold a relationship, get a degree, or achieve any other personal or professional goal, we’ll start feeling like we don’t even deserve it, and either give up on those goals or don’t really give our best to achieve them.
There are no easy solutions for snapping out of this vicious cycle, but there are ways you to form new patterns and improve your sense of self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-worth.
1. Figure Out Your Needs
Feeling bad about ourselves is most often the result of losing touch with our inner beings, forgetting about our own needs, or feeling incapable to fulfill them.
The first step to take in order to feel better about yourself is to get in touch with that inner being, and listen to your innermost needs, hopes and dreams. Think about the things you need to feel that your life is whole, and the ones you can’t imagine to go without. For some, it might be their job that provides meaning, for the others, it may be an intimate relationship, traveling the world, or spiritual awakening.
Try not to dismiss those goals as soon as they form in your consciousness, but to encourage them in a realistic and strategic way instead.
2. Accept Your Uniqueness
To move on with your journey towards higher self-acceptance and self-worth, you need to learn how to cherish not only the things you like about yourself but your flaws too.
This may seem hard to accomplish when we’re stuck in our negative cycle. We then compare ourselves to how we perceive others, focusing only on the positive traits and characteristics they have, and we think we lack.
Try to remind yourself of the Ying-Yang concept, and that each of us is a unique being consisting of seemingly opposite but interrelated forces. You wouldn’t be the being you are unless you have both, so don’t suppress your quirks or your negative emotions.
3. Forget About the Negative Self-Talk
When we’re down we tend to drag ourselves to the bottomless pit of despair by practicing negative self-talk. Try to focus on the things you’ve been saying to yourself, and you’ll probably be surprised by how often you’re being rude and unkind.
When you notice that you’re being mean to yourself, consider how you would react if a friend talked to you in that manner? Would you be angry? Sad? Hurt?
And would you ever speak with a friend the way you talk to yourself?
It may take you a little while to learn how to talk to yourself kindly and with respect. For starters, try pretending to be your own best friend, and the consistent practice will give results.
4. Make Use of Science
Establishing certain routines and habits is a scientifically proven way to boost your mood immediately, but also to positively affect your wellbeing in the long run. Here are a few of them:
- Spend more time outdoors, especially in the natural environment, to restore your mental energy, decrease your heart rate and your levels of cortisol and to fight depression and anxiety.
- Avoid food high in sugar, fat or sodium as they can make your mood crash. Eat healthy food to feel more positive and energetic.
- Spend some quality me-time to improve your psychological well-being, improve your relationships and your overall performance.
- Try smiling even when you don’t feel like it, as the very fact of using your muscle to smile will trick your brain into believing that you are happy about something.
- Exercise more to get endorphins flowing through your body, triggering a positive feeling.
Medicine has also gone a long way, so use its achievements for your own benefit. Many issues that can cause a great deal of stress and unhappiness can now be successfully treated with non-surgical procedures, such as various skin problems and excessive sweating treatments.
5. Be Kind
Another successful way to start feeling better about yourself is by switching your focus from everything that you think is wrong with you, to caring about the others and making their lives easier and better.
Remember the “Pay it Forward” movie?
Even though it might be a bit emotionally manipulative, the movie shares the idea that you can change someone’s circumstances for better in the blink of an eye and sometimes even save someone’s life without even realizing it.
Be kind towards other beings, and you’ll start being kind towards yourself too. It’s that simple.
We all have our struggles and are on the same journey. Share your journey and your difficulties with those close to you, and you’ll see them opening up about their challenges too. Together you’ll find more power to change your lives for better.