Choosing yourself is a crucial part of your health and happiness in life. Many mistake this choice/trait for selfishness. To explain this confusion: selfish people always choose themselves, but those who choose themselves aren’t always being selfish.
Choosing you simply means that you put yourself first when it’s necessary; you take your own health and feelings into consideration and, when necessary, you put those feelings and needs over the wants of others.
People who are merely selfish always put their needs and wants over the needs of others. So how can you start to choose yourself first?
1) Stop and Think Before You Just Say Yes Out of Politeness
One of the most important and significant first steps towards choosing yourself on a daily basis is putting an end to the bad habit of saying yes to everything.
While it’s good to be open to new things, taking on too much work or too many obligations can overwhelm you and harm your overall mental health.
Do this: Pause when someone asks something of you, and say you'l get back to them with an answer later, then reflect on your own needs.
Can you take on more work or another event?
Can you handle a party, or do you need to go home and recharge your batteries?
Contrary to popular beliefs, it’s okay to say no to helping someone out sometimes.
2) Treat Yourself with Kindness
Part of choosing yourself first is treating yourself well. If you don’t treat yourself kindly and with respect, how can you expect others to do it? Stop being so hard on yourself; we all make mistakes, choose poorly, and miss the mark sometimes.
Give yourself a break and forgive yourself for your errors; as long as you learn from them, it’s all a part of life. A good way to practice this is by giving yourself pep talks throughout your day.
Do this: You don’t have to do this out loud, say positive affirmations and think positive thoughts. The act of deliberately thinking positive and inspiring thoughts about yourself will help you to overcome obstacles and improve your self-esteem and confidence.
3) Speak Up for Yourself
Another big part of choosing yourself is standing up for yourself and your beliefs. You matter just as much as anyone else and so does your opinion.
Do this: Practice stating your opinions, views, wants, etc. and standing up for yourself when necessary. You’re important and you deserve to be heard.
4) Take Care of Yourself
Part of getting into the habit of choosing yourself first is choosing to take care of yourself. You’re only given one body and one life; you need to take care of it.
Do this: Eat healthy food, exercise regularly, maintain proper sleep habits, go to the doctor when necessary, and do what you need to do to minimize stress and improve your mental health. It’s hard to choose yourself in social situations if you aren’t healthy enough to be in social situations.
5) Let Go of Toxic People
Letting go of toxic people isn’t only a step towards choosing yourself, but also a crucial step in maintaining good mental health. Toxic people bring no good into our lives; they tear us down and keep us there.
One popular opinion is to let go of these people by saying goodbye, good riddance. I prefer another way...
Do This: Inner Work - which is the practice of going deep within yourself for the purposes of self-exploration, self-understanding, healing, and transformation. When you work on yourself, you growth. When you grow, those around you who are not having similar experiences will fall by the wayside and continue on their own negative journey without you.
6) Remind Yourself You’re Worth It
This step is crucial to keeping steady with your progress in choosing yourself regularly and maintaining positive mental health on that journey.
As we said before, people often have a pre-conceived (and mistaken) notion of this endeavor as being an act of selfishness. However, this effort is more in the name of self-care.
You’re choosing yourself in situations where it is necessary: when you can’t take on a larger workload, when you can’t handle more obligations, when you need to remove a toxic person from your life, etc. You’re doing this because you’re worth it.
You are your own best champion, always remember that.
Do you feel you could use a healthier attitude toward life? Would you like to approach things in a different way? Is a healthier lifestyle attainable?
Even if you find yourself leaning toward a pessimistic attitude, you can still achieve a healthy mindset. You just need to go about it in the right way.
How You Can Have a Healthier Mindset
Many people sit back, look at their lives, and wish they could view things in a more positive manner. Then they beat themselves up for being negative or not having the attitude and responses they wish they had. This typical response doesn’t do anybody any good.
Building a Healthy and Safe Support Network
One of the most effective paths to a healthier mindset is to find ways to deal with the stress in your life. For some people, this is as simple as writing in a journal or blog every day. Other people find that talking with friends or joining a support group is a rewarding experience.
Eating Healthy = Feeling Healthy
Another way to achieve a healthier mindset is to eat the right foods and get enough rest. When you feed your body healthy, nutritious foods and get the rest you need, you feel better all over. Your attitude, as well as your body, feels refreshed.
Food and rest will not change the way you respond to things if you tend to respond negatively, but it will be a great start. You don’t have to give up all junk food and your late night activities all at once, but try swapping carrot sticks for French fries and an hour of sleep for late night tv.
You’ll find that you’ll be able to acquire a healthier mindset when you take active steps to deal with your stress and treat your body with the tender loving care it deserves. Suddenly the world becomes a much more positive place when you pair these things with positive thinking.
For example, each morning you could say, "I make positive choices for the best of my body, mind, and soul." You can use positive affirmations in moments of weakness when you are tempted to fill up on junk food, respond negatively to something, or trade sleep for something less important.
When you create a healthy mindset by making good choices about food, rest, and positive thinking, you’ll enjoy the new ways you think, feel, and live. You’ll discover that your happier, healthier lifestyle has arrived!