by Diane Gibson, M.A., Registered Provisional Psychologist
We have been told since we were very young to “be polite to others”; “be kind to your friends”; “treat your elders with respect”; and “do unto others as you would have done to you”. The last one may be a bit tricky because what we expect of how others treat us and how we treat ourselves may conflict. We do want others to treat us with kindness and respect, however, what we say to ourselves can be far from kind and respectful.
Try something new this month. When things go bad, talk to yourself as you would a friend. For example, “I will get through this…look how much I have already been through in my life”; “this doesn’t define me, it just hurts me”; “hold my head high…I have done nothing wrong (or everyone makes mistakes)”; and “people will talk about me…that is human nature. It does not affect who I am”.
Studies are showing that our resiliency, or how we recover from hard times, may be positively affected if we are a little more kind to ourselves. Positive self talk will also be helpful if you have a complaining habit or you are a catastrophic thinker. Recovering from hard times is key to moving on and living the life we want to live. Teaching positive self talk to our children will also help them be more resilient and increase their self-esteem. What a wonderful gift to give ourselves and to our family!
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