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Positive reminders of your self-worth

Positive reminders of your self-worth
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Changes to your everyday life can remind you that you’re worthy and that you should be kind to yourself. Here are some active steps you can take to boost your sense of self-worth.

Write a “have-done” list instead of a “to-do” list

Write a “have-done” list instead of a “to-do” list
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Admit it: Staring at a mile-long to-do list is a panic attack waiting to happen. Put your list-making skills to good use by flipping it around and writing a have-done list, naming all the things you’ve accomplished recently, suggests Lisa Hutchison, a licensed mental health counsellor. And they don’t have to be big things. Even seeing “paid electric bill” or “remembered to feed dog” as done will give you a little boost, reminding you of what a superstar you really are. Sometimes it just takes seeing it in black and white to make you realise everything you really accomplish, she says.

Rethink your Netflix queue

Rethink your Netflix queue
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For anyone who’s ever watched HGTV and felt bad about their home, listened to a fitness podcast and pinched their fat, or seen the latest documentary and felt bad about every life choice they’ve ever made: Turn. It. Off. (Even if it’s supposed to be “inspiring”!) What you choose to watch or listen to in movies, music, TV and the Internet can have a powerful effect on how you feel about yourself so don’t be afraid to change it to something that will make you feel better about yourself, suggests Natasha Oates, a licensed therapist, relationship coach and international speaker.

Take your face off of Facebook

Take your face off of Facebook
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Scrolling endlessly through your social media feeds is one of the fastest ways to tank your self-worth, especially if you’re prone to comparing your worst to other people’s best. You may worry that if you skip social media you’ll miss out on important things, so you can try simply culling your “friends” lists to your actual friends – the people who build you up. “As you change the people in your life will have to adjust,” Oates says. “Some may feel threatened by your new-found esteem. Pay attention to that.”

This 10-step digital detox will help you break up with Facebook

Shut down the shame spiral

Shut down the shame spiral
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To understand how worthy of love, life and happiness you really are, first you have to understand the difference between shame and guilt, says Jameela Jackson, a counsellor and marriage and family therapist. Guilt is “I did something bad” and shame is “I am bad,” and while both are totally normal feelings, only one is productive. Guilt can inspire you to make a positive change while shame just makes you feel like a failure. So if you’ve made a mistake, do what you need to do to fix it and move on. Stewing over past mistakes only makes you feel bad about yourself.

Ditch toxic friends and family members

Ditch toxic friends and family members
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Have a friend who vents constantly to you but never answers your text when you need support? A cousin who demands money? A parent who repeatedly belittles and shames you? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Sometimes the biggest impediment to feeling worthy is hearing other people repeatedly tell you that you aren’t, especially if those toxic people are very close to you. You don’t have to totally cut off communication but you can learn to love on your terms, Jackson says. “Create healthy boundaries by identifying those who are safe to share your feelings with and those who are not, and stick to them,” she says.

The buddy breakup: how to end a toxic friendship.

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Meditate on your happy place

Meditate on your happy place
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Quick, what was your favourite place when you were a child? Whether it was a cosy book nook with all your favourite stuffed animals, a field of wildflowers near your home, or some other special spot, you can use that memory to help you regain your sense of worthiness, suggests Helen Kramer, an author and therapist. “Picture a place that you love and know well, taking time to notice every detail from the sun to the feel of the grass,” she says. “Allow yourself to gently breathe in the wonderful, peaceful energy and you’ll find yourself filled with a sense of wellbeing.” Repeat this five-minute meditation every time you need a reminder.

Here’s what might happen when you start meditating every day.

Take note of compliments

Take note of compliments
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It’s all too easy to remember when someone criticises you, yet similarly easy to brush aside a compliment. Reverse this negative trend by noticing when you’re paid a compliment or when someone does something kind for you, and you’ll feel instantly better, Kramer says. “Don’t look for grand expressions; rather, focus on any comments that are pleasant or affirming,” she says. “Also, many people are not verbal but show you they’re caring with gestures and behaviour that is supportive.” You’ll soon realise that you’re more loved than you know.

Say gracias, danke, merci or plain old thanks

Say gracias, danke, merci or plain old thanks
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Acknowledging the worthiness of others is a great way to increase your own feelings of self-worth, Kramer says. An easy way to do this: Recognise when someone goes out of their way to help you and tell them thank you. “Everybody wants to feel that what they do matters, so your acknowledgment sends back a positive message, which is likely to inspire the same feeling in you,” she says.

Create an upbeat mantra and set it on repeat in your brain

Create an upbeat mantra and set it on repeat in your brain
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Instead of getting stuck in a cycle of reacting to negative situations, choose your own happiness by creating a mantra just for you, to remind you of how awesome you are, says Erika Labuzan-Lopez, a licensed professional counsellor. It can be silly, funny, serious or powerful, as long as it’s meaningful to you. Choose a short, concise statement that reinforces strength and resiliency, and repeat it when you’re faced with challenges or feeling unlovable.

Try these 18 resilience quotes to help you overcome adversity

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