Practicing a More Mindful Self

We’ve all heard quotes like “you must love yourself before you can love another,” and seen them on motivational posters and on our Facebook timelines. They’re practically everywhere. But have you ever wondered why they are so prevalent? Well, the answer is because they are true. Or, they have the potential to be true if you believe them. Being mindful can help to manifest positive thoughts. Thoughts turn into feelings, and our feelings affect almost everything in our lives.

Understanding How We Think about Ourselves

Srini Pillay, MD, defines self-acceptance as “an individual’s acceptance of all of his/her attributes, positive or negative.” He describes how people tend to build self-esteem from the way they believe others perceive them. People who believe others think negatively about them are likely to develop low self-esteem. Someone with a negative self-image is likely to not engage with others frequently or effectively and spend less effort on maintaining themselves.

Meanwhile, a person who believes others perceive them positively is likely to develop high self-esteem. People with a positive self-image are likely to be more confident and push themselves to accomplish more. It’s plain to see, then, how one’s mindset can determine how they go about their lives.

Being Mindfully Positive

Being mindfully positive means actively working towards creating a better mindset for yourself. It is possible to change your outlook on yourself and your mental attitude by actively trying. Think of it like an exercise, but instead of working out a muscle you’re training your brain. Just like physical exercise, mental training can be difficult, tiring and take time. But it is entirely possible given significant effort and persistent determination.

And, much like a good gym routine, mental exercise requires a repetitive set of activities designed to achieve strength over time. And again, just like a good gym routine, knowing which exercise to practice makes all the difference. So, what are some of the exercises you should be focusing on if your goal is to obtain greater mental strength and improve your state of mind? Let’s look at some examples.

5 Tips for Practicing Being Mindful

There are a plethora of mental exercises you can undertake to achieve a more mindful, and more positive, mental state. Any of them can be effective if you believe they have that potential and practice them regularly. Ultimately the choice of which techniques you choose to utilize is up to you, and what you feel is most effective in your case.

A quick Google search of “practicing self-confidence” will turn up a number of results; feel free to peruse and find what best fits you. But if you’re looking for some advice, some effective techniques are listed below.

Live Your True Story features an article on the matter with some particularly beneficial things you can do on a daily basis to strengthen your mental state. Among those are:

  1. Present Yourself with Confidence

    this exercise challenges you to make a daily effort to present yourself the way you want others to see you. Little things like taking care of your hygiene, getting a new haircut, or dressing for the occasion can make all the difference in how others, and thus how you, perceive yourself. Take time to do the little things that make you feel better about yourself.

  2. Smile and Look People in the Eye 

    This exercise is meant to build your confidence over time, essentially by faking it at first until you’re not faking it anymore. If you force yourself to confidently interact with others, you will, over time, get more comfortable with such social skills and before you know it you won’t be faking it any longer.

  3. Practice Appreciation

    This one is motivational poster cliché. Instead of focusing on everything you dislike about your life, challenge yourself to focus on the positive aspects. This may not be easy at first, but you’d be surprised how quickly this can make a difference in your day-to-day attitude. And before you know it, you’ll find yourself focusing more on the positives and devoting more time and effort to them.

  4. Consume a Healthy and Balanced Diet 

    Remember the old adage, “you are what you eat?” Well, there is some real wisdom behind that. It’s well-established that one’s diet drastically impacts both physical and mental health. Adopting a better diet will not only improve your physical health but can also increase your self-estimation as you recognize your willpower.

  5. Perform Physical Exercises 

    The advantages of physical exercise shouldn’t be overlooked on your path to strengthening your mental state. Many people who have a negative perception of themselves do so because they feel they don’t meet standards of physical beauty. Physical exercise can help such people to achieve the body image they desire. But more importantly, physical exertion releases the chemical dopamine in our brains, the original ‘feel good’ drug. Partaking in physical exercise each day can, quite literally, make you feel happier, and will further your overall goals of being a ‘stronger’ person.

Do What Works Best for You

Some common methods for improving your mental state through mindfulness have been presented in this article. But it is important to understand that the same methods don’t always work for everyone. The best way to figure out what you can do to improve yourself is to first understand yourself, and decide which type of exercises will work best for you.

Whichever methods you choose to pursue, make sure to pursue them actively and with full confidence. These techniques have the potential to change the way you perceive yourself; if you believe in them and practice them regularly. Ultimately, changing the way you perceive yourself is up to you.