How do we learn to respect others? We begin by developing respect for ourselves. When we have self-respect, we are saying to ourselves and others that we matter also. We are willing to stand up for what is best for our bodies, mind and emotional well-being. Self-discipline, assertiveness, and moderation in all areas of life are how we show respect for ourselves.
Self-respect begins with how you treat our body:
Nutrition: What kind of foods are you eating on a regular basis? Are you getting the vitamins from the vegetables and fruits you eat? Are the meals you eat balanced and in proportion with calorie intake appropriate to our activity and weight? Are you drinking enough water to keep you hydrated and our brain alert?
Sleep: Is your sleep habits regular and are you getting the right amount of sleep for your age and activity? Even adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to operate at their best and children need even more. Eliminating the distractions at bedtime and having a regular schedule that you keep even on the weekend shows you are respectful of our need for sleep.
Exercise: Exercise three times a week, both weight bearing and cardio are what is going to keep our bones healthy and our heart healthy. Taking the time to walk or just taking the stairs when you can all add up to helping you live longer. Exercise is not only for the body though. It is also for the brain. Reading, using your creativity, solving puzzles and continuing to learn keeps our mind from inactivity that can lead to severe issues.
Avoiding unhealthy risks: While healthy or good risks are a part of growth and meeting challenges for yourself, unhealthy risks like smoking, drugs, or anything that would harm our mind or body need to be removed or never started. Doing so shows respect for ourselves and our loved ones. All of us want to do what we can to be here with and for our family as much as possible.
Self-respect is your emotional well being too:
Goal-setting: No matter our age, young and old, having goals for what you would like to learn, challenges to overcome or a mission/purpose all show that you believe in your unique gifts and talents given to you by the Universe are to be used for the good of humanity. Starting at a young age, setting goals and learning to overcome the challenges helps us become resilient, and adults goal setting keeps us involved in living a full, happy life.
Self-talk: Respect for self by the way you speak to and about your person can build confidence and self-esteem. If you find you call yourself a name when you mess up, you soon begin to believe that you are not valuable to others. Using positive self-talk, encouraging ourselves to keep moving forward, looking for what you need versus what you do not, helps you to grow. Just asking, what virtue do I need at this moment to make a positive impact, will change how you feel about who you are and want to be.
Learning to say no to the things that do not help you to grow or be a better person and yes to the important things and people in your life shows that you respect yourself. Growth in life takes examination and reflection on taking care of ourselves, doing so on a regular basis while you work on those areas that you need to grow. Doing so sets the example for those that look up to us and might be imitating the way you act, speak and think.