Sometimes life can get hard. Maybe it’s just the monotony of the day that gets to you. Sometimes trying to accomplish a goal can be tiring…or, you are just ready for a change that isn’t happening yet. No matter what life throws at you, having the skills and the ability to encourage yourself will continue to be valuable for you now and into the future. It can help you maintain a positive attitude, increase your ability to help others, and improve your outlook on life.

The word ‘encouragement’ implies support, courage, and strength. Oftentimes when we think of encouragement, we think of giving it to someone else, or someone else giving it to us. But did you know that you can encourage yourself also? Learning how to encourage yourself will give you a valuable skill that you can continue to rely on. Here are some ideas for how you can encourage yourself:

  1. Take a moment to acknowledge all the ways that you have grown, matured, developed and stretched yourself. This can include things that you’ve tried that have worked out, or things that you have tried that you learned from. Acknowledging all of the ways in which you are pushed yourself helps you recognize the progress that you are making.
  2. Every time that you accomplish something, write it somewhere. It can be in a notebook, on a spreadsheet, or on your phone. If you are feeling discouraged, you can go back to your list and recall the things that you’ve already completed!
  3. Think about something that you are grateful for. Often times when we think about what we don’t have, it can be discouraging. When you think about those things in your life that you do have, it helps you realize all that you have to be thankful for, and helps get you in a good mindset to keep working on your goals.
  4. Acknowledge that being aware of your feelings sometimes is all that is needed. On those days when you are feeling down, it is important to recognize your feelings, and identify why you feel that way. Then – don’t judge the fact that you have those feelings. Stopping to recognize and acknowledge your feelings is a great step to helping you learn more about yourself.
  5. Search for and download a phone app that you find to be encouraging. It can be an app that shows a progress bar on a goal that you have, perhaps some inspirational quotes, scripture verses, something to make you laugh, or a little pep talk message.
  6. Think positively about yourself on purpose. It seems as if our brains are wired to look for the negative, so sometimes our weaknesses can get a disproportionate amount of attention. Spend time thinking about what you like about yourself, what talent or skill is unique to you, and positive attributes about yourself that you really like.
  7. Listen to music that you find calming and uplifting. It has been said that listening to music engages many parts of your brain, helps to reduce anxiety and improve your mood.
  8. Try to surround yourself with things that feel energizing and lift you up. This can include watching a positive or funny show, reaching out to a friend whose company you enjoy, and ignoring discouraging thoughts or messages.
  9. Completing smaller tasks such as cleaning up, finishing a project or a portion of a goal will help you feel a sense of accomplishment. Feeling productive and successful in smaller ways can help you keep a strong mindset so that you can keep going after other goals. Some people say one of the best things that you can do to contribute to a great start of your day is to make your bed. This small task provides a sense of completion and success that helps you start your day off right.
  10. Don’t compare your journey with someone else’s. It is so easy to compare your life with someone else and their relationships, attitude, or possessions. Remember, your journey is different than anyone else’s. No one else on this planet has your same background and you don’t see everyone else’s private struggle. Try to speak to yourself like your own best friend and comfort yourself when you are feeling down.
  11. Embrace your quirks. Be yourself, along with all of your unique qualities that make you, you! Other people mostly have their own selves on their mind, so don’t worry about what others think.
  12. Exercise! You may not think that exercise can be encouraging, however it helps to oxygenate your brain and muscles, which can actually help you feel physically better! Exercise also provides you with a feeling of accomplishment.

If you think of the capability to encouraging yourself as a skill that you can develop, learning how to get better at it can help you navigate life’s setbacks, challenges and routines in a way that makes it more fun and enjoyable. Plus, you will be better prepared to encourage someone else when they might need it because you will have already received a lot of practice!

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