The saying goes, “we are our own worst critic,” and it is so true! What I notice most about myself and the clients with whom I work is… we can be really mean and hateful to ourselves. We beat ourselves up for things we felt we should have done better and we often give little credit when appreciation is due.
I did not realize how negative my thoughts were about myself until one day I was at a spa taking a mineral bath. I decided to go through each of my body parts and send loving thoughts to all of my body, piece by piece. As I did this and moved around from my eyes, to my nose, to cheeks, chest, stomach and so on, I remembered all the nasty thoughts I had in my past about nearly EVERY single body part.
I had been completely unloving to myself and my physical body. I have had negative thoughts about my nose, my eyes, arms, stomach, thighs, hips, legs, head, feet, hands and on and on. The only body part that I never was cruel to was my ears and elbows!! Pretty much everything else had been attacked in one way or another.
This is just one example of how my thoughts have been directed towards my body. I could spend another few pages talking about how mean I am about other aspects of my life, but let’s not go there today. You get the point.
I believe many of us experience these discouraging thoughts about ourselves. My goal here today is to let you know you are not alone in this experience. Nearly EVERYONE has these thoughts!
So, what can we do? I have a few tips that can help you shift the energy around how you feel about yourself. These have been effective for me as I am moving towards more self-love and acceptance. These suggestions also help to increase awareness about how you really are treating yourself.
SUGGESTIONS TO LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF A LITTLE MORE!
- Look at yourself, or rather into your eyes every day in front of the mirror and tell yourself how much your love yourself. Let you know how amazing and wonderful you are. (Sometimes, I can’t quite feel that emotion, so if I’m not “feeling” it that day, I ask that I love myself as much as source/god/creator/the universe loves me).
- Find ways to appreciate yourself. Give yourself compliments and encouragement even if you just did something small. Maybe you went for a walk instead of watching TV. Give yourself a pat on the back.
- Notice when you’re being “mean” or experiencing negative self-talk. Chose a mantra or a phrase that helps to shift from that experience. My favorite is, “I love and accept myself just the way I am with unconditional love”! Repeat this as needed and even more powerful to do in meditation.
- Journal or meditate about your feelings. Some of these lower vibration thoughts and feelings need a place to go and need to be acknowledged. Release them by writing them out, by meditating on them or allowing the emotion to be expressed. Sometimes we just need a good cry to let these go.
- Practice vigilant self-care every day and every week. Do something every day that supports your well-being. It could be taking a 10 minute walk or a 10 minute breathing meditation. It could be to read an inspiring message from a book or article. Then do something once a week that really makes you happy for at least an hour!
- Be patient with yourself. You are here to experience these challenges to overcome them and ultimately come from a place of unconditional love for self and all. I may be an idealist, but I believe that is our true nature to be in a state of LOVE and we can ALL get there!!
Coming from the perspective that loving yourself is your number one priority allows you to get in touch with who you really are. It helps you to shift more quickly from less than desired feelings to feelings of joy, happiness, love and peace. Isn’t that what most of us are striving for? Enjoying life, helping others and feeling good? If you get in with and follow your heart, you will find your way back to LOVE!