Categories: Self-Improvement, Article570 words2.2 min read

How to empower ourselves


G. David Jaramillo


January 14, 2021


How to empower ourselves

Knowing our own value system is essential; So, how do we empower ourselves? This will help us to resolve doubts about which is the best decision to make. Also, it allows our life to be more meaningful and joyful. On a daily basis, it is normal for situations to arise that lead us to “fall” into a spiral of maladaptive thoughts and attitudes. Therefore, it becomes more relevant that we work to enhance our resources and strengths. And how do we do it?

One of the ways to do this is through breathing. It is essential to do frequent and balanced exercises of inhalation and exhalation. Another habit that shows great benefit is doing physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day at a moderate intensity. A moderate exercise allows us to maintain and improve our cardiovascular system and raise dopamine to increase the feeling of happiness. Likewise, it is important to moderate the consumption of energy drinks such as coffee, which, although they revitalize in large quantities, in the afternoon or evening hours can overstimulate the nervous system and reduce moments of reflection and meditation and affect the sleep cycle.

As I mentioned previously, during the day, various thoughts can arise, these can be negative, but in the same way, they can also be positive. Let’s take advantage of these moments to think about actions that allow us to accept ourselves as an “imperfect” human being and understand that there are things we can control and others that we definitely cannot. That is why it is essential to be clear about our value system. This can be made up of very concrete virtues such as giving more value to our physical form (health), or abstract ones that at first glance are not seen as “responsibility” or “commitment.”

On a day-to-day basis, we act based on our value system without acknowledging that we are doing it. We could define the value system as an onion that has several layers. The outermost layers are related to the way we interact with the environment. In the innermost layers, the core of ourselves is located, that is, our motivations, strengths and virtues. It should be noted that the values are multidimensional; If we work on one or more of them, it will serve us for various scenarios and goals that we set for ourselves in our lives. Let’s take the value of respect as an example. If we work on respect for ourselves, we could also be working on respect for others.

Remember that the values are individual and unique. You cannot find two people with the same value system since their life experiences have been different. Values are related to personal experiences, to the way we were educated. Sure, a psychologist or psychotherapist could help you identify them and guide you to get the most out of them. Even so, if you do not have this alternative, you can ask three people (e.g., family, friends, co-workers) to say the three most relevant virtues that identify you. Once identified, you can visualize how you can enhance them, for example, creativity. Let’s imagine how we visualize ourselves putting that value into practice, perhaps playing with our children (e.g., creating stories) or planning a family trip.

Let us recognize and work on our value system; it will act as a compass that will guide us to achieve our goals.

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I am currently registered as a psychologist at the Colombian College of Psychologists (COLPSIC) and as a psychotherapist (qualifying) at the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, Canada (CRPO). I coordinate the segment “Speaking with the community” in the program “Connections,” which is broadcast every Sunday from the radio station of the Western University of London.