This particular exercise is not an account of the good and 'not so good' - it is a written account of good things only.
It is especially helpful when I am filled with depression and feel as if I have accomplished nothing in the day, week, month, year - you know how it is with depression, all we can see is the negative and it seems like we have always felt this way.
This exercise is a way of keeping track of the good stuff we can and do accomplish no matter how bad we may be feeling. Writing means it is there in black and white to prove to ourselves that we are doing something good for ourselves and for the world regardless of how bad we may be feeling.
It also gives us the opportunity of consciously doing good acts during the day that may benefit someone else - even something as small as blessing a person I pass on the street or listening to someone else's problems in real life or on line.
The benefit of this is that I can turn my thoughts away from how bad I feel - at least for the moments it takes to think of another person. It will not make me feel any worse - and it may just help someone else if I listen to them and perhaps even help me to feel better knowing that I am not alone in my suffering - either way it is not going to do me any harm, or make me feel any worse than I currently do.
I am into Quantum Healing, so this has the added benefit in my thought system, of attracting good towards myself. One of the theories of QH is that we attract to ourselves what we think about the most frequently. Therefore it makes good sense to me that if I think about the positive things and people I want in my life - I am more likely to attract them if I send out kind and positive thoughts. I am not saying this is easy to do when we are in a depression - it does require a conscious effort - but perhaps that is the very thing that makes it so helpful.
It turns our minds outward and away from ourselves and how dreadful we may be feeling - which is frequently a very good thing, especially when we are depressed. Depression tends to turn us in on ourselves at the very time when we would be better occupied looking outward.
Self-searching to discover our flaws is a great exercise - but I find best done when in a level place emotionally so that it is more likely to be a balanced self-searching and free of grandiose notions that my mission is to save the world single handed (if I happen to be feeling good) or on the other hand think I am the lowest and most wretched worm in the Universe when I am in a funk.
Both these extremes are common territory for me because of my particular personality - so it is helpful to look for the things that need changing in myself when feeling good about me, and during depression to focus my attention on those things which I have done that are good and positive.
As this is about raising self esteem - my focus right now is on that. There will be plenty of time to look at our flaws (if we choose to) once we have a more balanced view of ourselves.
It seems best to use a positive statement because this, so we are told, has more impact on the subconscious mind. So for me the list might start like this...
1) I have stayed sober today. Being a long time sober member of AA this is always my number 1 good thing and the thing I value most in my daily life. Without this I lose contact with myself and my Inner Self.
Make this list of whatever things make you feel good about yourself when you have done them - or you can do right now today no matter how you feel.
If you are in a very depressed place it might be.. "I got out of bed" or "I drew the curtains". Simple things like this can be enormous obstacles when we are in a state of deep depression or some other mental condition. It may even be "I reached out to someone for help today because I chose to live instead of taking my own life.
I have done this myself - so it is no exaggeration for those of us who suffer with mental disabilities. Those who have not had these experiences may not realise how difficult some of these things can be - so we benefit as we each choose those things which are possible, even if difficult for us, in our own situation. It may be exercising, sticking to an eating plan, walking down the path to the front gate, getting out into the street or smiling at someone when it is the last thing we feel like doing.
Whatever it is we can do it consciously and keep a daily record of these positive things. This is an exercise that may not work quickly in helping our moods to change but as we begin to see some good in our lives, created by our choice, self worth begins to rise. Relying on others as a means of gaining self esteem is liking being on a seesaw depending on the way others view us. True self-esteem comes from doing those things which we, as individuals, can be proud of - no matter how small or insignificant they may seem to others.
In this particular journal exercise write only the positive thing/or things you have done today. Do not write down the things you would have liked to do and did not. This is ONLY for the good we have accomplished today - no matter how seemingly small or large those things may be. We are in competition with no-one. There is no way to compare a snail and a hare in a running race - but in the production of slime... well then the tables would be turned and slime might just turn out to be a far more valuable commodity than speed.
I am wanting to emphasis this above all else here, because when we are depressed and have low self-esteem we seem to compare ourselves to everyone else and find ourselves lacking and falling short in every area of our lives. This is such a distorted view and the more depressed we are the more likely are we to see everyone else as having everything good and ourselves as having everything bad, or even worse see them as being totally good and ourselves as being totally bad... hence the suicidal tendencies I mentioned earlier.
Letting go of trying to impress others or ourselves is a big relief. We have no one else to live up to, to measure up to, to race, to beat, to be as good as. All we have when it comes right down to it, is ourself and all we can do is learn how to live the best way we can with whoever that is.
Learning not to compete with others in any area of living but to focus on who we are and what we can do individually, brings its own feelings of selfworth and contentment.
"Give thanks for everything until you are absolutely sure it is not a blessing in disguise." Eastern Proverb.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world.." Mahatma Gandhi.
"Quitters never win and winners never quit." Anon
Make the decision to enjoy today. Do what you need to do for tomorrow - but live fully in TODAY.
| current weight: 175.0