| A Better You |

How to Build Self-Confidence 

Practice positive self-talk: Thoughts like, I can’t do this or this is too hard for me lead to feelings of overwhelm


Abby Delouya, RMFT-CCC, CPTT

Quick Tips: How to build self-confidence

Some people are blessed with a healthy sense of self from childhood and some have to actively work on it as they grow. Sometimes external factors or change — losing a job, moving, becoming religious, life-cycle changes like marriage or having children, or alternately, challenges like divorce or infertility — can cause us to feel lapses in confidence in certain areas. Even someone with a solid confident core may find that certain challenges can plunge them into self-doubt. What are some quick tips to nurture our sense of self in the face of external challenges?

1) Stop comparing yourself to others. This is especially true with social media communications that often don’t portray an accurate depiction of someone else’s golden life. Help eradicate envy by keeping a daily gratitude journal.

2) Surround yourself with positive people. Friends and family who support you and are upbeat can help impact our own happiness and positivity.

3) Take care of yourself physically. Practice self-care by exercising, eating well, connecting with nature, and getting enough sleep.

4) Practice positive self-talk: Thoughts like, I can’t do this or this is too hard for me lead to feelings of overwhelm. Optimistic self-talk can foster self-compassion.

Jargon Decoded: What’s metacognition?

Metacognition is thinking about thinking, or in other words, developing an awareness of one’s thoughts. When we take the time to observe our thoughts, we have the power to change them. Metacognition means that we can use prior knowledge of our thinking patterns and apply it to our current thought process to  plan, assess, and monitor our performance and understanding of things. For example, one could say to herself: “I am feeling anxious about going to that simchah. I think no one will want to schmooze with me there. I know I have thought this in the past — and it’s actually worked out well. Maybe I don’t need to be worried….”

Relationship Reflections: Can you let it go?

It’s possible your spouse has some habits that you find irritating. She forgets where she put her keys often… He leaves old tissues in his pants pockets… There are myriad examples of innocuous small habits or gestures that can surprisingly turn into bigger deals. (“If he cared about me, he would put his coffee mug in the sink!”)

Try to make a conscious choice to let some things go. Choose three to four small habits that irritate you, and make the decision to turn a blind eye. Husband can’t find his keys for the third time in a week? It doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours searching for them, but try to replace your natural irritation with an empathetic comment, a quick search, and a judgment/criticism-free check-in later. How does the shift happen?

1) Reframe by thinking of all your spouse’s good qualities and habits.

2) Remember that you have irritating little habits as well.

3) Think about how you feel when you are criticized or not accepted for your foibles.

4) Make a joke and try to see the positive side of the action/behavior.

In the News: Prepare for moving day

Regardless of whether it happens because of good or bad circumstances, moving is destabilizing. Research shows that mental preparation for a move can help significantly with the adjustment. When we employ positive visualizations and grounding techniques, we can feel tethered even as we move away from our comfort zones and support systems. Do some research and think micro. You probably checked out the schools and shuls, but do you know where to take your dry cleaning? Where to get that self-care manicure? Little bits of information like these can help to create a sense of normalcy and competence.

Abby Delouya, RMFT-CCC, CPTT is a licensed marriage and individual therapist with a specialty in trauma and addiction.


The Weak Link  

Zipora Schuck,  MA. MS. 

Have you ever felt like a friendship was a one-way street, and that you were always the one calling, texting, inviting, sharing, and giving? Time and time again your efforts were minimally acknowledged and rarely returned.

Guess who determined the quality and extent of that relationship? Not you, the one who was trying hard, but the other person — who may not have wanted this connection as much as you did. Relationships are usually controlled by the one who wants it least.

Help your children understand this to minimize hurt. Some people do not have the emotional capacity to be reciprocal, while others may not want to have a close relationship with you. It doesn’t necessarily mean giving up. It does mean changing your expectations so you’re not disappointed when your efforts and investments aren’t returned. And it’s a wise idea to find other relationships in which your efforts will be reciprocated.

Zipora Schuck,  MA. MS. is a NYS school psychologist and educational consultant for many schools in the NY/NJ area. She works with students, teachers, principals, and parents to help children be successful. 


A Matter of Interest

Sara Glaz-Aloni

Your grocery bill may have gone through the roof over the past year, but do you know what else also blasted off like a rocket ship? Interest rates! Due to rising inflation, among other factors, the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates over the past few months. So what does that mean for you?

First, check out your savings. Storing money in a no- to low-interest account might not be wise, especially since certain savings accounts and CDs have much higher interest rates than just a few months ago.

Next, rethink your investments. The stock market has been very volatile recently, so it might be worthwhile to take a second look at more stable places to park some of your money, such as CDs and bonds.

Lastly, keep in mind the other side of the coin — the cost to borrow. Mortgage rates are going up… and up and up. If you have a variable rate on any loans, this might be a good time to rethink your situation.

Sara Glaz Aloni  is an investment advisor and financial planner at The Munk Wealth Management Group in Cedarhurst, New York.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 819)

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