Focusing on the positives

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2019. We’re looking at confidence and self-esteem.

  Having a brain injury can be an extra blow to confidence and self-esteem. After a brain injury a child or young person might be dealing with a lot of extra worries. Their life has probably changed and they might not be able to do the same things as they could before. A child or young person might feel a little bit removed from their friends at times. ‘Confidence’ means believing in what you can do and achieve, without worrying too much about what other people might think of you. ‘Self-esteem’ describes how you feel about yourself and how you view your worth. Here are our tips for a daily and weekly exercise that allows children and young people to focus on their positives. A teenager could do this exercise alone, or a child could do it with an adult. It acts as a reminder of all the things that they are good at, accepting and appreciating their skills and good points:
  1. Try to think of at least one success you’ve had during your day.
  2. Write it down at the end of the day. This could be progress in a therapy session, a good exam result, helping prepare a family meal, making new friends or simply making people laugh at a joke!
  3. Make sure you list at least one thing, no matter how big or small.
  4. Write down more, if you can.
  5. At the end of the week, look over your list and think about or discuss all of your achievements with your family or friends. You don’t have to share it with others. You might feel it’s just as helpful to think about your achievements yourself.
Your child or teenager might feel embarrassed or silly doing this exercise but it’s a really great way to build their self-esteem. After a few goes, they’ll soon find that it’s easy to list more than one success each day. This information and exercise was taken from Me and my brain, a handbook for teenagers affected by acquired brain injury, which you can order free online (P&P charges only).
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