Saturday, May 28, 2011


Building positive self-esteem is a good way to work toward self-growth.  This is done by placing an increased emphasis on your attributes and a decreased emphasis on your weaknesses.

We are much too quick to notice our faults and too slow to give ourselves credit for, and acknowledge, our strengths.  By doing so we begin convincing ourselves we are not worthy of the time and effort it takes to make the new habits and attitudes a permanent part of our lives.  Now is the time to reverse this and start growing and loving yourself as you should.  It will take daily practice.  This is because of our tendency to have made negativism a habit.  Begin making your strengths what you always notice about yourself.  Doing so will help you believe you are worthy of continuing working toward the new habit and attitude goals you have set for yourself.

Complete the exercise shown below.

Building My Positive Self-Esteem

Write down at least seven things that are good about you.

 For the next seven days, follow the instructions for the following section of the exercise.  Then continue doing it on your own.  It will help you get in the habit of noticing your attributes and can lead you to feeling better about yourself.


This is a positive statement about myself:

This is where I will post it so I will see it several times each day:

This is my initial reaction to the positive statement:

This is my assertive response that will help me feel better about myself:

Then, take the next step:

Start reversing your negative self-concept by practicing a principle used in advertising and propaganda campaigns.  Repetition. 

Repetition of a message drives it home unconsciously so it becomes a subjective truth of your belief system.  To reverse negative self-statements, repeat and rehearse the opposites of your negative sentences.  Reverse at least twelve negative statements.

Negative statement:_____________________________________

Positive statement:_____________________________________

Practice these positive alternatives as often as possible.  Repetition builds strength!

Copyright 2011 Lynn Borenius Brown

Saturday, May 21, 2011


You have three selves:  public, actual, and ideal.  All of these interact to help you make decisions, with any one of the selves taking priority during different situations.  Problems arise when the discrepancy between any of the selves is too great.  It is difficult to know “who” you are if the selves aren’t at least somewhat compatible.  So, to get to know yourself better you will be describing each self (public, actual, and ideal), determining how they are different from each other and the stress that causes and then deciding how you can go about bringing these selves together.  By doing this, you will understand why you have, at times, had inner conflicts regarding decisions, perceptions, and behaviors.  And with this knowledge, you can begin working toward being one self that is at peace with him/herself. 

Complete the following SELF-AWARENESS exercise.

My Selves

List 10 to 12 words or phrases that describe your public self (the “you” others see).

List 10 to 12 words or phrases that describe your actual self (your personal opinion).

In what ways do your public and actual selves differ?

In what ways does this cause you stress?

List 10 to 12 words or phrases that describe your ideal self (who you would like to be).

In what ways do your actual and ideal selves differ?

In what ways does this cause you stress?
After answering these questions, take some time to think about how you could go about bringing these selves together and write down your answer.

Now, how will you go about bringing your selves together?  (Changing some of your self-imposed demands, unrealistic expectations, irrational beliefs, becoming more assertive, etc.)

Copyright 2011 Lynn Borenius Brown

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Achieving Psychological Wellness, Part 3

Here are the last six factors that can increase psychological wellness.

Touch.  Touch people. Touch animals.  The only way to be sure someone or something exists is to touch it.  Research has shown that infants who do not get held have a higher mortality rate than those who get touched.  And this need never ends.  Just because you no longer are a baby doesn’t mean your need for touching has diminished.  Studies have also shown that when we pet dogs and cats, our blood pressure goes down.  Touching is imperative for wellness.  So, give and/or get three hugs a day.  And don’t hesitate to lightly touch someone’s shoulder when conversing.

Develop an intimate relationship with another person or at least be open to the option.  Caring for someone and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with the person brings more facets of who you are to the surface and more joy than can be described.

Have access to someone who will listen and not try to give advice.  We each need someone who will let us talk and talk and ramble until we come to terms with what is happening and then begin to work through it.

Spend time with people who enhance you, who bring out all that is good in you.  Don’t waste your time with those who drain and deplete you.  You are influenced by those with whom you spend time and listen to.  There are enough people in the world for you to find a few who are good for you.  You do take on the attitude of those with whom you spend time.

Take time for recreation.  Recreation involves re-creating, recharging.  When you relax and engage in activities you enjoy, you are not wasting time.  You need a balance of work and recreation for stability and mental wellness.

Free yourself from all addictions.  Stop smoking.  Don’t take recreational drugs.  Cut down on refined sugar, milk chocolate, salt, etc.  Addictions limit your freedom of choice.  And to be at peace with yourself, you must be a free agent.

Copyright 2011 Lynn Borenius Brown

Monday, May 9, 2011

Achieving Psychological Wellness, Part 2

Here are six more factors that can increase psychological wellness.

Make time daily when no one demands anything of you.  Make room for time when no one needs or pulls at you.  It is important to begin feeling comfortable with being alone.  Most of us are not accustomed to silence and believe that being alone means being lonely.  But actually, we need time alone to listen to ourselves.  Sometimes it takes silence for our inner voice to be heard.  Time to ourselves helps us sort out the maze that living causes.  Alone time is imperative for mental wellness.

Learn time management.  There never seems to be enough time to do what needs to be accomplished.  So, the answer is to prioritize.  Make a list every night or every morning of what needs to be done.  Determine the three or four that absolutely must get accomplished.  That way at least the necessities will get done.  If time allows, you can do some of the other things too.  Accept the fact there will always be too much to do.  It will help you achieve inner peace.

Eat a nutritionally balanced diet.  You are what you eat and it affects how you feel, how you deal with stress, and how much you are able to enjoy living.  Treat your body with kindness.

Exercise.  Your body requires exercise in order to be able to function as it was intended.  Exercise helps relieve physical tension, anxiety, and promotes psychological wellness.

Work at something that reminds you that you are more than a spouse, parent, sibling, etc.  We all want to be appreciated for who we are as a person, without any labels.  Work gives us that opportunity.  It allows us to be judged by and valued for our skills and abilities, not by and for whom we married, gave birth to, or happened to be in the same family with.  That sense of individuality is necessary for our well-being.  If you don’t need to earn money, volunteer your time.

Improve your self-esteem.  Most people need to enhance their self-image.  You can do this by having a sense of connectedness.  We need to belong to something, someone, or somewhere.  It can be a social group, cause, place, family, etc.  You cannot have a positive self-image by yourself on an island.  What we believe about ourselves is in part determined by the reflections we see and get from others.  Where we are, who we are with, and why we are there influences how we feel about ourselves.  But, be sure to keep your uniqueness alive.  Don’t ever give up your uniqueness to belong.  There is no one on this earth who is identical to you and you should feel pride and joy in this.  There never has been, nor will there ever be, anyone who can contribute in the exact manner you can.  Revel in this fact and be sure to live it.  Make good choices for yourself.  Remember that your choices help determine your future.  Have models.  We all need models of people who are doing more than we are, who have excelled beyond where we are, and who represent where we want to be someday.  You don’t want to be those people, just what they have accomplished or who they are.  We need a vision of what can be.

Next week I‘ll give you the last six factors that can enhance psychological wellness.

Copyright 2011  Lynn Borenius Brown