|Behind the Book ‘Your Inner Critic is a Big...
||I write a lot about inner critics here and in my other pieces for Psych Central, because for most of us—all likely!—the inner critic is especially loud and unreasonable. It … ...
|Tips for Successful Online Learning
||74% of American schools use technology in the classroom. 1/3rd of American schools issue mobile devices to students as a learning tool. About 5.8 million college students took an online course in fall 2014. Although most of us are technology savvy and able to use … ...
||Committing to a relationship requires whatever it takes to establish a secure base and resolve any problems that threaten the security, safety, and well-being of the relationship.
|The Importance of the Goodbye
||Much has been written and sung of goodbyes. I recently said goodbye to a city and life that I once loved in Chicago. More than 20 years of accumulated life was … ...
|Shhh! Let’s Talk About Moderation for Mild Substance Use...
||Are you worried about your patient’s drinking? Do he say he is not an alcoholic and AA is not for him? Approximately six percent of the Unites States’ population struggles with a severe alcohol use disorder. This group and their loved ones will experience devastating … ...
|Finding Your Voice
||Assertiveness is often misunderstood. People might think it means being confrontational or strident; they might assume it’s about having to sound powerful. In truth, assertiveness can come in many different … ...
|#217: The ME Generation or Individual Liberty: Splitting the...
|| The search for self-expression has become a groundswell that shows no signs of stopping. Its proponents have already begun to question traditional organizational structure on many fronts. Its … ...
|Brain Pain Part 3
||When the connection between the emotional brain and the front of the brain is damaged, people have trouble interpreting or feeling their emotions.
|Dire effects of sports head injuries, concussions still a concern
||As football and soccer become year-round sports, their popularity accounts for more concussions and head injuries. This has parents, athletes and head injury experts sounding the alarm of long-term health concerns for concussed participants.
|Cheese: A matter of love or hate
||Until now, the reason why some people hate cheese has been a mystery, but researchers have just solved this question. To find out what happens in the brain, fifteen people who like cheese and fifteen who do not were selected and participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study.
|Going for a run could improve cramming for exams
||Ever worried that all the information you've crammed in during a study session might not stay in your memory? The answer might be going for a run, according to a new study.
|The Bizarre Outbreak of Hallucinations in Oregon
||A mysterious outbreak of hallucinations has U.S. authorities baffled
|Helping Children Cope When a Loved One Suffers from...
||I have a loved one that suffers with severe mental illness. He’s a brilliant, beautiful, creative person who told spellbinding, captivating stories of far away places and taught me to not be afraid of the dark. But just as quick and easy as flicking a … ...
|Four Steps to Feeling Better about Yourself
||What gives you a sense of self-worth?
Data from my well-being survey recently revealed that positive self-views (or feeling good about oneself, a general belief that we are good, worthwhile human beings) were the best predictor of happiness—even more so than 19 other emotional processes including gratitude and strong personal relationships. Positive self-views emerge from self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-worth, among other things.
Why are positive self-views so essential to well-being? Because these views not only affect how we feel; they also affect our thoughts and behaviors. When we feel bad about ourselves, we unconsciously act in ways that end up confirming our beliefs. For example, if we feel like we are not good enough for a good relationship, a good job, or financial stability, we stop pursuing these goals with the intensity required to reach them, or we sabotage ourselves along the way.
So how do we break out of the negative cycle? Below I highlight four ways that you can start to promote positive self-views and begin to change the patterns of your life.
1. Figure out your needs
When we don’t feel good about ourselves, it’s easy to think that there’s something fundamentally wrong with us; it feels deeply rooted and unchangeable. In reality, though, we may have failed to clarify (and then pursue) exactly what would make us feel like a person that we could love.
People tend to feel badly about themselves when they feel powerless to get their needs met—so you can start this process by figuring out what your needs are. But be careful: It’s important that we don’t start demanding that the people in our lives fulfill our every want. Rather, clarify for yourself what you need. What people, places, or experiences are must-haves to live a fulfilling life? What aspects of your life—if removed—would leave you without a sense of purpose? Really think carefully about this and try not to consider others’ needs right now.
Now, every person has different needs. For example, many people feel that they need to have children; this is one of those things that they need to do in this life to feel whole. Other people need to travel. I personally need to love what I do for a living. Without this, my life would feel meaningless to me. But everyone is different.
If you’re having a hard time figuring out your needs, just reflect on times in your life when you weren’t thriving. What was missing?
2. Live authentically
You figured out your needs already, right? If your needs are being met, this step is easy. Just keep them in mind, and don’t stray too far from living a life that is authentically yours.
But what if your needs aren’t being met? You have to start thinking about how you will communicate your needs, how you will start creating a life that meets your needs, and what you will do if people in your life can’t meet those needs.
This step was really hard for me. I discovered that some of my core needs were not being met. It was easier in many ways to just go with the flow than to be more direct about exactly what I needed and exactly what would happen in the future if those needs weren’t met. I drew some scary lines in the sand and clarified for myself exactly what my deal breakers were—deal breakers for my friendships, my marriage, and my work life. At the same time, I discovered that I had been pushing to get my wants met, even though they were not so important. I prioritized, focused, and communicated my needs with brutal honesty, and I let everything else go.
It’s funny how standing up for yourself and living a life that is authentically yours generates positive self-views. I now have more positive views of myself because I pushed for what matters to me. It was terrifying to put myself first, but it was worth it.
3. Forgive yourself
Now that you understand your needs and have a plan for getting them met, you are on your way to feeling that sense of self-assuredness that comes from having control over your own life. You’re moving in the right direction. But what about those past mistakes? You know, those things you’re not so proud of? Almost everyone has said something hurtful, forgotten an important event, or betrayed someone they love.
We have to remember that our mistakes do not define us. They do not make us good people or bad people. If we learn and grow from them, then they make us better people. To develop positive self-views, you must keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes. Forgive yourself, and give yourself credit for trying not to make the same mistakes again.
4. Celebrate your quirks
Each of us is one of a kind. When we cherish our eccentricities and celebrate our flaws, we begin to develop a deep love for ourselves just as we are. Instead of focusing on all the things wrong with us, self-celebration enables us to derive deep satisfaction from being uniquely us. Practice self-celebration by enjoying your awkward laugh or poking fun at your inability to remember people’s names. Or you can do as I do, and smile big for pictures to show off your buck tooth.
While celebrating your quirks, don’t forget to keep growing. Keep your eyes and ears open to the people you trust. Listen when they tell you that you have work to do on yourself. It doesn’t make you bad, just human. People you care about will be the ones that help you distinguish between flaws that need acceptance and flaws that need fixing. (Remember, you want others to get their needs met, too.) This part is crucial, and it keeps us from sliding out of self-love and into complacency.
In sum, feeling positively about ourselves takes effort. But by changing our views, we can change our lives.
|Part 2: 7 Challenges of Borderline Personality Disorder...
||Last week I discussed 7 challenges of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) such as: dysphoria, attention-seeking, manipulating, controlling, emotional chaos and storms, internal emptiness and loneliness, relational chaos, denial, anger, rage, … ...
|Religious media consumption increases opposition to same-sex marriage, studies find
||Two new studies suggest that religious media outlets in the United States shape their viewers’ attitudes about same-sex relationships. A longitudinal study published in Sexuality & Culture found that frequently watching or listening to religious media on the television or radio in 2006 predicted increased opposition to same-sex marriage in 2012. (However, this was not true of religious internet-based media.) A second [...]
|Are You Single or Married? – The Ring Finger
||Recently I came across one of my Mother’s rings that I’ve had for quite some time, but, I’ve never had a chance to wear it cause it doesn’t fit on … ...
|Speech patterns of incumbent presidents differ from speech patterns used in their first campaign
||Presidents campaigning for re-election use better influential language in their re-election campaign than they did in their first campaign, according to a recent study published online this June in Electoral Studies. The study provides some explanation of the incumbency effect. U.S. presidential election campaigns are the most highly funded and studied attempts to influence the [...]
|Groundbreaking Study Roots Out Signs of Depression in Brain
||This pioneering discovery could lead to more effective treatments for depression.
|Groundbreaking Study Unearths Physical Roots of Depression
||An international team of researchers has identified the neurobiological roots of depression. This pioneering discovery could lead to more effective treatments for depression.