how to make spirits bright (in January!)
positively present's turning 5!

using positive words to promote self-love


Hello, February! It's the month of love, which, to me, means it's a great time to focus on self-love, a topic that often gets lost amidst the romance and roses that come along with this month. Loving who you are is one of the most important aspects of living a positive and present life. It's a major theme in my upcoming book (coming out January 2015! Yay!), and as I've been writing about it, I've been thinking a lot about positive words and how we use them (or don't use them) when it comes to talking about ourselves.

Most of us don't want to come off as arrogant, so we play down our positive attributes and traits by either hedging them (like saying, "Oh, I'm alright..." when you're really an expert) or by challenging them (like saying, "Oh, but I'm really bad at math!" when someone tells you what a wonderful wordsmith you are). It's not a bad thing not to be a braggart, but more people are more in danger of not thinking of positively about themselves than they are in danger of being too full of themselves.

With that in mind, I wanted to create a little challenge for the month of February. The challenge sounds simple, but it's not as easy it would seem: speak and thinking positively about yourself. Below are four steps to take for using positive words to promote self-love. 



Think about the words you use when thinking or speaking about yourself. Are the words often negative? Do you think of yourself in a positive light? And do you speak positively about yourself to others? Thinking and speaking of yourself positively is more difficult than it sounds. Most of us tend to be critical of ourselves or the situations we're in, skewing toward the negative when it comes to our word choices. Pay attention to the words you use and, whenever possible, try to replace them with more positive descriptors, even if that means completely countering your current thoughts.

For example, when you find yourself saying, "I feel tired," swap out tired and say, "I feel energized." Just imagining the opposite, more positive, state can help push you toward it and might make you realize that you're not, in fact, that tired after all. Likewise, if you find yourself in front of the mirror thinking, "I look frumpy today," switch your thinking to, "I look fabulous today." Transforming your thoughts might make you see the good in the way you look, making you realize that maybe you're not looking so bad after all.



Also pay close attention to what you're saying when you're around others. Sometimes we mirror others feelings or word choices to feel more connected to them, even if they are really true for us. An example of this would be when your friend says, "Ugh, I feel so fat today," and you reply with, "Me too. I really need to hit the gym." Do you really feel fat? You might after mimicking your friend's comment, but before she said it, how were you feeling? Probably feeling perfectly fine about yourself, just going about your business not thinking negatively about your body.

It makes sense that we do this sort of mirroring of one another—it helps us bond, it makes others feel as if we understand them, and it shows empathy—but it's not healthy when it comes to creating a positive frame of mind. The next time a friend says something negative, respond with a more positive thought, such as, "You aren't fat at all! In fact, we both look great!" 



We have enough pressures to deal with when it comes to cultivating self-love—the picture perfect images in the media, the advertisements urging us to change how we look, and the sometimes negative words from those around us—and the last thing we should be doing is adding to that by talking to ourselves negatively. One way to focus on the more positive aspects of you is to choose a (positive!) word of the day.

Sometimes it's hard to come up with good things to say about yourself, so I've created a list you can print out and place on your mirror. Every morning, if you can, choose a word that embodies how you feel (or want to feel) that day and try to keep in mind the whole day through. After choosing your word, you might even want to look up the definition to get an even more precise idea of what it means (and maybe even some additional insight on how to embrace it).  

Bonus idea: Print out and frame the list of words. Place it somewhere you'll see it every morning (in the bathroom or by the front door). Each day, use a dry erase marker to circle your word of the day. If there are multiple people in your house that want to participate, choose different color markers for each person. 


Self-Love Click here to download!


If you want to keep up with thinking about yourself positively, it's important to surround yourself with people, situations, and influences that encourage you to focus on the good within in you. One place to seek some additional inspiration might be the Self-Love Archives here on PositivelyPresent. Or you could check out this week's playlist on YouTube, featuring empowering, self-love songs! Whatever it is, find something that keeps you focused on loving who you are. 'Cause, whether or not you realize it, you're awesome and you deserve to love yourself every single day of the year. 




PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer




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Love all the positivity happening here, Dani! Just found your blog this morning... it's SO refreshing to see a unique post about the 'month of love' and Valentine's Day that isn't all roses and chocolate.

Thanks a million! :)

Love this post! Woke up today feeling tired and groggy and now I'm feeling inspired and energized! Thank you. :)

Thanks for that important reminder on the dangers of "mirroring". I totally used to do this with friends to support their own statements - not realizing that I was actually bringing my own self-esteem down in the process. You bring up some great techniques here for self-monitoring and keeping positive thoughts in check. I definitely live by most of these rules already, but it's nice to get the reassurance that you're recommending it too :)

What a nice post! I agree that mirroring is especially insidious, and have found that an even MORE dangerous habit is to downplay something about yourself that others actually really like about you. Doing this to make yourself seem humble can unintentionally put others down: it implies that your success isn't good enough, even though it is beyond theirs. I have had this experience both ways ... when I give someone a compliment about something I admire but have not accomplished it and they pooh-pooh it, and when they compliment me and I realize later I should have accepted the admiration graciously and didn't. Wise words.

for some reason it says abode won't let me view the image when i click on download! I'll keep trying though!

I love the list! Loving is so easy but we insist in making hard. Thanks for making the world more positive with your words.

Be mindful of your words. This is it exactly, what we think in our minds comes out in our hearts and establishes itself into our lives.

We create our word from the thoughts we think, through the words we say and through the actions we take which are most often in support of the prevailing ideas we started with.

This is an excellent post and serves well for anyone to read and take action on. Thank you.

I am completely guilty of countering others praise of me by telling them something I'm not good at. Time to stop.

I'm a big believer in the things you put out are the things you attract back.

Alysa - So glad you found Positively Present! Thanks for stopping by and checking out this post!

Stephanie - You're welcome! Thanks for reading!

Jason - Mirroring is a tricky thing because we generally want to connect with those around us and it can sometimes be an easy way to do so. Glad to hear that you're already doing most of these things!

Sarah - I agree: downplaying is a really dangerous habit. As you said, it makes you feel humble, but it can actually be very negative.

Liv - Hope the download worked. If you can't get it, email me!

Veronica - Thanks! So glad you enjoyed the list! I spent a lot of time looking for the words so I'm happy to hear that you enjoy it.

Stephen - Being mindful of your words is so very important. You're so right about how we create our world from what we think.

Katherine - Glad to hear you're going to stop countering that praise! You deserve to take it to heart and love yourself!

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