To avoid brain calcification, be sure to keep mentally active. Stimulate and exercise your mind continually by solving crossword puzzles, playing chess, memorizing or going back to school to take some special-interest courses.
A useful technique for increasing self-esteem is to talk oneself into it – this is called the argumentative technique. You should come up with counter-arguments against low self esteem, just as if you were participating in a debate. This can be a down and dirty process and it's pretty much no holds barred. Using every argument at your disposal, counter the thoughts, concepts and emotions that are currently convincing you that you aren't worth much. When you "hear" yourself thinking a thought such as "You do that every time... how could you be so stupid?", respond in some positive manner to that thought. Examples might include:
Do not let the negative self-talk continue unchallenged. Use of the argumentative technique demands that you refuse to be convinced of the opposing side's position. It may try and use deep emotions in its counter-attacks such as depression, despair of ever being good enough or worthlessness.
These counter arguments are knee-jerk conditioned reflexes. This part of the self really isn't very intelligent. It can only repeat what it's been told by yourself and others as well as create the accompanying emotions. It just isn't reasonable to allow oneself to be persuaded by inner voices without challenging them or allowing moodiness to take over.
These inner voices have been generated by someone at some point in time and you can change them; you can alter the program that plays in your mind. Your input is vital in diminishing the thought processes and arguments that put you down. Although you may have failed over and over in some area, letting it get you down doesn't do any good and the tendency to fail or the unwillingness to try new things (because you might fail) will spread to other areas of your life.
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