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How to accept myself for who I am?

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Google has released the most searched for topics of the year, and amongst the US election, Euro 2016 and David Bowie, lots of people were asking "how to accept myself for who I am". So what's the answer?

It was the tenth most frequent 'how to' question to Google in the UK.

The answer Google gives begins with a list of "12 ways we can cultivate self-acceptance" from mental health social network Psych Central.

Suggestions include "shush your inner critic" and "grieve the loss of unrealised dreams".

What do the experts say?

Jessica Chivers is a coaching psychologist and author. She said it was important to look at the context in which a person might ask this question.

"We are able to see more than ever before what people are doing. We see an edited view of people's lives on social media," she explained.

She said it becomes easy to convince yourself that everyone else is having a better time than you.

"Recognise where you are strong and what brought you a sense of meaning, success and happiness," she added.

Jessica suggests doing "small things" that make you feel good like eating healthy food and sleeping well.

Image copyright Google

Play therapist Amanda Seyderhelm works with children struggling with confidence and low self-esteem.

She said self-acceptance was about "not trying to change your flaws".

"Take responsibility for your wellbeing. Eliminate as much stress as you can," she added.

She said people can feel shame about who they are.

"It's about being really honest with yourself. If not to a therapist, to yourself in the mirror," she explained.

"Accept your flaws and use your voice."

'Be the best you'

Kim Stephenson is a financial psychologist and said self-acceptance is often linked to low self-esteem.

"You have to ask what it is that you want from life. What do you actually want?"

He said mindfulness can be useful in separating what is real to what people can build up in their heads.

"Everybody is unique. Only you can do what you do, so be the best you, you can be."

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