Chances are, you’ve already done some spring cleaning around the house: donating outgrown clothes, swapping out sweaters for swimsuits, washing pool and beach towels. Why not try a little tidying of the mind? Many of us are overcommitted overachievers who may not have the best manners when talking to ourselves. Now that spring has sprung, let’s kick our old ideas to the curb and make room for fresh thoughts. Here are 3 great ways to train your brain to boost your self-esteem rather than tear it down:
- Become aware of your words. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, so, this step is key. Be gentle with yourself as you notice your inner voice. It can hurt to really hear the names you call yourself or the all-day critiques. So, you didn’t smile at the store clerk or you ate that gluten-filled, fried whatever. There is always a next time! Noticing the thought is the first step to changing it. Take at least a week with this one, without trying to alter anything. Really listen to those old messages and maybe even consider where they came from.
- Change the thought. It’s time to tell your inner critic to take a hike. When you think “I’ll never get there…” imagine instead successfully accomplishing tasks calmly, with ease. Make note of the way your body feels as you see yourself successful. This step can take a lifetime, but you’ll be thrilled with the results of a concentrated, 30-day period of using your awareness to change the way you think.
- Share your joy. Now it’s time to put that positive thinking to use! Say hello to your neighbors, smile wide at that parent with a crying baby on the plane, tell your friends how beautiful they look. When you feel good inside, it’s hard not to do this step. Maybe even share your new process with the people you care about. And, when that inner critic resurfaces, be patient with yourself and firmly tell her to go play somewhere else.
Trying these three tricks can really clear out the mental clutter, make room for a better self image and put a spring in your step!