Most people have heard about self-esteem and its significance, but how often do we think and check in about our self concept? Self-esteem is an important aspect of our health and well-being, but it’s challenging to define. The way we think and feel about ourselves can be subtle; it takes some introspection to notice, but it has a major influence on the choices we make and how we move through the world. We could all benefit from thinking about our current self-esteem and how we can best support a positive self image.
Have you ever stopped to listen to what you’re telling yourself? Take a moment to reflect on the way your self talk impacts your attitude. Is what you’re telling yourself helping you in your life or making things more difficult? More often than not, we go about our busy day unconsciously, responding to the tasks and responsibilities that call us, reacting and responding to feelings about our actions and performance, but perhaps not listening to the specific messages we send ourselves.
Often, the way we feel about ourselves is influenced by experiences we’ve had during our life that affect the things we say to ourselves about our choices and characteristics. When we intentionally take time to notice habitual thoughts, we can make progress in identifying and restructuring these messages. Sometimes extra support is needed from loved ones or a professional to help shift these deeply-rooted self statements.
It takes a lot of patience and compassion to begin to redirect deeply rooted patterns of thinking and self talk. It may take a long time to start to catch these thoughts as they’re happening. You might start by committing to doing your best and being kind to yourself if you notice your self talk getting off track. Journaling is a very helpful way in recording your own thoughts to notice patterns more clearly.
When self talk is more positive, accepting and compassionate, we can find more ease in daily life activities and accelerate other areas of our growth. Productive self talk leads to higher self-esteem, which helps cultivate happiness and improved health. The nicer we are to ourselves, the better we treat ourselves and the better we treat ourselves, the healthier we are.
This month, we’d like to bring awareness to the idea that a positive relationship with our Self is worth cultivating for our best possible health. We’ll be discussing this topic in each of our support groups to begin this work together and hope you’ll join us in those spaces.
How can I independently get started on improving my self knowledge and self-esteem? It takes some courage and a commitment to really getting to know ourselves. Sometimes it’s hard to notice and acknowledge the things we’ve said and the ways we’ve treated ourselves.
Here are a few journal prompts to get your thoughts going: What do I like about myself? What do I notice I’m really critical about and can I be more accepting in this area? What is important to me?
If you or a loved one are struggling with self-talk and self-esteem and would like a referral to a professional for more help, please reach out to the NW Kidney Kids team for resources in your area. We care about your health.