8 Steps To Feel Better About Yourself When Staying Positive Is A Struggle

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people practicing how to feel better about yourself and stay positive

It's hard to know how to feel better about yourself in the moment, especially when you're struggling to stay positive and not get sucked into the vortex of negativity.

We're not talking about sometime in the future and not when you finally achieve some "milestone" — you need to feel good about yourself right now.

The fear that your negative feelings won’t ever go away, or won’t go away so easily, is simply a false worry. Happiness, joy, and peace can seem so ephemeral, while sadness, heartache, and loneliness can feel everlasting.

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The truth is, you do have control over how you feel, and you can transform your negative feelings quickly and easily.

If you're struggling with feeling better about yourself, then follow these steps right now!

Here are 8 steps you can take to feel better about yourself now, in the moment.

1. Brighten someone else’s day.

Have you heard the best way to feel better when you’re down is to do something nice for someone else? If you want more love in your life, find ways to spread love to others.

Who do you know that needs some love right now? Who can you reach out to with a text or a phone call?

Maybe you can leave a basket on your porch for delivery workers with some treats to brighten their day? Or maybe write a letter or send a card to someone you care about to let them know you’re thinking about them?

Want to know how to feel good about yourself right now? Reaching out to others in need will give you an instant lift. Putting your focus on helping someone will take the energy away from your problems and put you into a service mindset.

Everyone is here to be of service in some way. Some are being of service in tangible ways, but service can be as simple as reaching out to someone in need or doing something nice for someone who isn’t expecting it.

2. Create a connection with those you love.

Whether you’re living by yourself or with others, are you taking time to really connect with those you love?

Part of feeling down is a feeling of disconnection from others. Humans are social creatures who need to feel like they belong.

Taking time to connect with those close to you, or with those who you’ve not spoken to in a while, will bring you that sense of belonging that you desire. Feeling disconnected from those you are close to can be one of the most painful and isolating feelings.

Here is a connection practice you can do before going to sleep every night:

Before going to bed, connect with each of your loved ones by placing a hand on one another’s heart and take a turn to ask, “Do you need anything from me?”

This is an opportunity to wipe the slate clean from the day. This gives you a moment to express what your needs are.

If you’re on your own and you don’t have other people to connect with before bed, you can do this practice to connect with yourself and ask your inner child what she needs.

This experience can be quite profound. The habit of regularly connecting with yourself and your inner child will bring you many gifts.

3. Focus on what you're grateful for.

Every study on happiness points to gratitude as one of the biggest keys to living a happy life. Put your focus on what is going well, and then you will feel more resourceful taking action in what needs improvement.

Each night before bed, list five things you're grateful for. If you have children, this can become a fun nighttime ritual before bed.

Throughout your day, take time to share your gratitude with others for their smile, their kindness, or their efforts.

Gratitude is a practice of appreciation. Take time to find appreciation for the people in your life.

Can you list all of the qualities that you appreciate in those close to you? Have you ever shared your appreciation with them?

Taking time to share your appreciation and gratitude with those you care about will deepen your relationship with them. It will also spread love and happiness.

How would your relationship with your mother, your partner, your ex, your child, or your friends change if you shared something you appreciated about them each day for seven days straight?

Want to really know how to feel good about yourself right now? Practice gratitude and share your gratitude with the people in your life. Spread love and happiness, and feel your own happiness grow.

4. Celebrate your successes.

Do you end each day thinking about all the things you haven’t done, saying to yourself, “I didn’t…” “I should’ve…” or “I could’ve…?”

Your inner dialogue about yourself is the determining factor in how you feel about yourself and your life. When you put your focus on your failures, you have no fuel to make changes in your life. It drains you of energy and motivation.

Plus, speaking negatively to yourself just before going to sleep allows those negative thoughts to seep into your subconscious. It’s no wonder you often feel like a failure.

Instead, fill your tank at the end of the day by focusing on what you got done. These successes need not be lifetime accomplishments.

Successes are relative to that day. If you have a head cold, making toast and tea for yourself is a success. Getting your laundry done is always a success you can recognize.

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On the days you're feeling good about yourself, start making a list of lifetime accomplishments. These are achievements from throughout your life that are age-appropriate.

Be sure to start your list with learning to walk and to talk, because not everyone gets to do that.

Your lifetime accomplishments become fuel on the days when you're struggling to stay positive. Looking back on your triumphs inspires and motivates you to accomplish more. Focusing on what you haven’t yet accomplished in your life drains your energy and motivation.

Do you desire to know how to feel good about yourself right now? Focus on your achievements, not your failures, and write down five successes for the day.

5. Find compassion for yourself and others.

Judgment of self and of others creates a feeling of disconnection and steals your happiness.

The truth is everyone is human and therefore flawed in some way. Only machines are perfect, all humans make mistakes.

Everyone is deserving of compassion for their flaws and is still worthy of love — even you.

Can you practice putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and finding understanding for their choices and their behaviors for feeling loved and safe?

The biggest mistake you can make in all of your relationships is to assume that the two of you will have the same strategies. Or, to judge other people because their strategies aren't like your own.

Finding compassion for those strategies or behaviors that you disagree with will melt your judgment and fill your heart with love.

The key to a successful relationship is remembering that the other person is not you. You will have different strategies for dealing with the same events and situations.

Communicating with compassion and kindness is essential to finding a way to reconnect and repair with the people in your life that you love.

This doesn’t mean that you have to excuse bad behavior, but finding understanding for why someone behaves the way they do will transform your judgment into love.

When it comes to yourself, are you still riddled with regret and self-doubt? Finding compassion for yourself allows you to heal and create positive change in every area of your life.

Accepting your past mistakes because you didn’t know better will allow you to feel good about yourself right now.

6. Laugh your troubles away.

Laughter produces endorphins, which naturally make you feel good. In fact, even just putting a smile on your face will trigger the endorphin response.

If you are feeling down and wondering how to feel good about yourself right now, find something that makes you smile or laugh, and let your body’s natural processes melt away your troubles.

Watch your favorite comedy, read a funny book, or find funny videos on YouTube. Discovering sources of humor in life around you will immediately transform negative emotions.

You don’t even have to be sincere about smiling or laughing. If you put a fake smile on your face or practice a laugh, you will still get the benefits.

To deepen your laughter practice, you can retell a story about a past issue while laughing. Find a friend to share with, or do this with yourself in a mirror.

Retell the events of a recent problem, but laugh out loud while telling the story. The endorphin rush that you produce will transform your relationship to the past event.

You can simply cycle through the three sounds of laughter: "Ha-Ha-Ha, Ho-Ho-Ho, Hee-Hee-Hee!"

To discover how to feel good about yourself right now, laugh and smile at your troubles. What is the difference between a story being funny or tragic? An endorphin rush is the delineating factor.

8. Affirm your new reality.

Do you know you have an inner dialogue with yourself all day long? This conversation in your own head is affirming your reality.

If you’re telling yourself all day long messages like, “I can’t find the love I want,” “I failed again," or, “The world is a scary place,” then it’s no wonder that you’re feeling anxious, fearful, and worried. In order to change your reality, change your inner dialog.

Bringing conscious choice to what you affirm allows you to create and shape your reality. Feeling good about yourself right now can be as easy as identifying your negative self-talk and replacing it with positive affirmations.

Let’s look at what makes an effective affirmation.

Effective affirmations are stated in the positive. Don’t affirm what you don’t want, only affirm what you are moving towards.

Write or say your affirmations as if they are happening right now. You don’t want to affirm something that you hope or wish to accomplish in the future; you’ll just be creating more hoping and wishing.

Instead, affirm it as if it is already happening. Use in-process language to affirm large goals.

If you are affirming something that is a big change in your life, your subconscious may reject the affirmation. Instead, use language like, “I’m excited to learn…” or, “I’m developing new skills to…” This will put you in the mindset of moving toward your goals.

Put emotion into your affirmations. When you are affirming how bad things are in your life, you feel all of the negative emotions attached to that.

You can put more juice in your positive affirmations by saying them with energy and emotion, and by using powerful emotional words when you write or say them.

If you want to quickly experience how to feel good about yourself right now, then practice affirming what you desire. You’ll find that it is so much easier to believe that you can create what you want when you already believe that you deserve it.

With all the uncertainty in the world, don’t let your negative thoughts and feelings rob you of the happiness that you deserve to feel today.

Follow these steps, and you’ll find yourself feeling more present, more connected, and more empowered to live a happy life while you learn how to feel better about yourself.

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Orna and Matthew Walters have been soulmate coaches for over a decade and helped thousands of readers create long-lasting love. Download a complimentary copy of their ebook, Recognizing Mr. Right, along with a guided program on self-acceptance from their website.

This article was originally published at Creating Love on Purpose. Reprinted with permission from the author.