Activities · Happiness · Mental Health · Positive Affirmations · Self-Esteem · Stress Management · Tips

I Am Me: Positive Affirmations and Happiness Tips

Today’s blog post is a little different from what I had originally planned. This is because the last week or so for me has been filled with many days of illness and symptom flare-ups, and therefore today I wanted to do a post that was simple yet positive.

In addition next week is my first face to face appointment at the hospital since the pandemic and I need this week to be as relaxing as possible. These things combined have inspired my topic for this week: Positive Affirmations.

Positive Affirmations are statements that have meaning. People use them for a number of different reasons including to motivate, to encourage, to inspire, to be happy, to heal and to change the way they think and feel. Positive affirmations are also believed to rewire the brain as they work to challenge any negative thought processes we may be harbouring.

Traditionally affirmations are said repeatedly aloud or inside your head. They are often short, used in the present tense, include the word ‘I’ and are of course of a positive nature! Examples include:

  • I am happy
  • I am confident
  • I am strong

Needless to say you don’t need to stick with tradition, you can say them to yourself whilst looking in the mirror, you could write them down, you can use them in longer sentences – in any way that makes them meaningful to you. The only suggestion I would make is you keep them positive and that you make them in the present tense because after all it is about feeling good in the moment – not in a months time. Examples could include:

  • Today is going to be a great day
  • I stand up for what I believe in
  • I can become anything I put my mind to
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In line with the fact I have hospital next week I thought I would share some of my own positive affirmations to prepare me for what is to come.

  • I am calm
  • I am worthy of good health
  • I am important and therefore will be listened to
  • I love my body

In addition to affirmations I am going to spend the week finding little pockets of happiness to pick me up from the week I have just had, and to keep my mind productive knowing what’s to come. It sounds strange, but sometimes I think how do you make yourself happy? What constitutes as happiness? Here are some ideas:

  • Write a gratitude list – For more on gratitude lists read my previous blog post here
  • Better sleep
  • Get outside – Even if this is just sitting at your door or window.
  • Smile
  • Laugh – It’s difficult to just roll around laughing, but even watching some funny videos or programmes can help to realise some feel good hormones.
  • Treat yourself
  • Practise kindness – Do something nice for someone else if you struggle being nice to yourself.
  • Embrace the small things
  • Exercise – Highly debatable with certain chronic illnesses!
  • Keep learning
  • Do something you love – This doesn’t have to be major, something as small as having a cup of tea or a bath is more than enough.

Here we have it my list of happiness inducing ideas and positive affirmations. If you have any affirmations you would like to share I would love to hear them.

Sarah xx

Mental Health · Self-Esteem · Tips

Boost Your Self-Esteem Month

February is International Boost your Self-Esteem Month, so I thought this week I would talk about just that: self-esteem.

I was always someone who suffered with shyness growing up, and a lack of confidence. Someone who always wanted to be in the background. Nevertheless it was an issue with my self-esteem which was truly holding me back. It was how I viewed myself and my abilities which had the most damaging effect, because I never felt enough to anyone anywhere. It took me until my 30s to fully get to grips with my self-esteem issues and see the bigger picture, but there are times even now when I fall back into old habits. So, this blog post is a reminder to myself as much as everyone else to why boosting self-esteem is so important.

What is self-esteem? Self-esteem is an evaluation of your own self-worth, essentially the opinion we have of ourselves.

When somebody suffers from low self-esteem it can hold them back from doing things in life they want to do, make them believe they are not capable of success, make expressing their needs difficult, make them believe other people are better or more worthy than them, make them critical of themselves and overall give people a feeling of not being good enough.

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Boosting your self-esteem – especially when you have been used to feeling/thinking something for a long time – is a working progress. It takes time, patience and a lot of kindness to yourself, nevertheless here are my top tips:

  • Learn to say no – When you are a yes person you are putting other people’s needs before your own and this needs to change. To boost your self-worth you need to do what feels like the best option for you, and if that means not meeting up with a friend when they want you to then that is what you should do. To begin with people may badger you because they are so used to you saying yes, but the more you do it the more authority your voice will have.
  • Avoid focusing on negative experiences – Every time you think about something that has gone wrong in your life, you are emphasising the thoughts of not being good enough. The thoughts that you must be the problem or that it went wrong because of something you did. Acknowledge the event of course, but then leave it where it belongs: in the past.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others – One of the worst things you can do when it comes to self-esteem is compare your life to others (guilty as charged!). We are all on different paths at different times juggling different challenges, therefore how can your life be exactly the same as someone else? Living with chronic illness, it is hard not to see other people your age and see where they are in life in comparison to you – so don’t! Avoid social media searching and finding reasons to believe other people are better than you, instead focus your energy on yourself.
  • Learn about yourself – Rather than criticising yourself, why don’t you praise yourself and write down the positives in your life. Having low self-esteem can mean you have spent so long beating yourself up that you probably don’t really know yourself at all. What are you good at? What are your hobbies? What have you achieved? We all have things in life to be proud of no matter how small. By learning about yourself, it can remind you why you are good enough and change your opinion of your self. Read my post on gratitude lists for more ideas here.
  • Understand there is no thing such as perfect – The reality of life is nothing can be perfect all of the time, if ever at all. By holding high standards of where you think you should be or who you should be like, you are always setting yourself up to fail. Then when you fail you are confirming to yourself that you are not good enough and reinforcing your low self-esteem. Realising life is a learning curve in which you can only do your best in and that no situation will ever be 100% will help you regard your worth.

I hope you find these tips helpful – I for one will be reminding myself of a few of these things again. If there is anything you take away from this Boost your Self-Esteem Month make sure it is this: Know your worth and that you are good enough no matter what.