How often do you remember to praise yourself? Do you frequently acknowledge all the good you do each day? Or are you more prone to berate and criticise yourself?
We can set ourselves crazy unachievable lists of attributes that we should have, or activities that we should do before we can feel good about ourselves. Do you plan to go to the gym or do other exercise each week; do you aim to do a meditation every day or every few days; do you always intend to eat healthily? And do you sometimes and/or frequently mess up on these intentions? I’m sure you do, because you are human! What do you then do? Do you then unconsciously feel bad about yourself, without even realising why? Do you then add to this by thinking of other things you haven’t done that you feel you should – flossing your teeth twice a day, keeping your house spotlessly clean, calling your parents once a week, checking on an elderly neighbour or ill friend each week? We can have a list of dutiful things that we feel we ought to do that we don’t follow up on.
‘The world is increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind. To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.’ Matt Haig, author.
It’s really important to forgive ourselves. No human being is perfect. It’s also important to congratulate ourselves frequently to counteract all the negative things that we unconsciously feel about ourselves. And above all else it’s really important to love and cherish ourselves.
If you have children, you don’t love them any less just because they don’t pick their clothes up off the floor, or they are rude to you because they don’t like the dinner you cooked.
Be a loving adult to yourself. Love yourself each day, in every situation and circumstance. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Some days you won’t feel like speaking to your parents or checking in on your elderly neighbour or brushing your teeth! That’s ok! Because some days you will. Some days you will go above and beyond. Some days you will be incredibly generous to others with your time and love; you will feel abundant and overflowing with energy and will offer support and kindness to everyone you encounter.
Being kind and loving to yourself and recognise and acknowledge your positive qualities. Working with positive affirmations can boost your energy vibration. Be aware of the adjectives you use when you talk about yourself. So many people put themselves down without even realising. Doing this regularly and over an extended period has a negative impact on your energy field. For example, saying ‘oh, stupid me! Why did I do that!’ when you feel cross with yourself about something you did. We all make mistakes, this doesn’t make us stupid and, of course, we can learn from them too. Expressing your frustration in a different way, such as ‘oh, how annoying, that was a really stupid thing I just did!’, has a very different effect on your inner core and how you feel about yourself. Criticise the action, not yourself.
Don’t talk in a way that expresses shame about your body, or creates body shame in others. We are conceived with the genetics that create the body we have. If there is something you wish to change about your body, this won’t happen unless you stop thinking about your body in negative terms. Instead, focus your energy on the potential changes you would like to see in your body, or encourage yourself to be more accepting of your body with all its individual strengths and flaws. Gradually, over time, if you work on shifting your inner feelings about yourself, you will hopefully learn to love your body exactly as it is. Focusing on all the pleasure and enjoyment you get from your physical body helps to reduce negative feelings relating to certain aspects of it. However, you have to stop the negative body shaming of yourself and others.
‘Fall in love with your physical body
Write a list of all the things you love about your physical body. If you don’t have great love for much of the appearance of your body, you could focus more on the functions that your body performs for you that make your life easier and more enjoyable, for example:
– Legs that walk you to work, the shops, in nature or that can pedal a bicycle through beautiful countryside.
– Eyes that enable you to see beautiful views.
– Taste buds that enable you to enjoy good food.
– Fingers that enable you to do so many varied activities throughout the day.
– A digestive system that efficiently converts the food you eat into energy for your body to move and grow.
– A urinary system that releases toxins and impurities from your body.
– A liver that detoxes your whole body at a cellular level.
The body is truly an incredible system, and the more you focus on just how amazing it is, the more you will fall in love with yourself and the less any perceived imperfections will impact on you. Whenever I have studied anatomy and physiology, I have been in awe of the incredible intelligence and intricate relentless workings of the physical body at both a cellular and holistic level.
Use your physical body as a channel to experience greater love and happiness. The most common body complaint I hear is from people who want to lose weight. When you focus your energy on all that works well in your physical body, you start to develop more love for it, and you then want to start treating it well: eating healthily and exercising. When you combine this with releasing negative thoughts and a limiting mind-set, you will find that any comfort, boredom or stress-related eating will diminish, leading to you being your ideal weight.
By loving yourself more and more, you will look after yourself better, talk about your body in a more loving way, become more mindful about what you eat, and learn deeper acceptance of yourself exactly as you are. If you are open to this exploration, your physical body can be a great route to learning how to love yourself better and more fully.’
Extract from my newly published book YES YOU CAN create a life you love. Available for sale from Amazon.
Boost yourself up. Believe in yourself. Tell yourself that you are important, valuable, unique, worthwhile. That you don’t have to do, produce, say or create anything to be special, supported, loved, deserving and above all else amazing. You are these things because you are alive.
“Loving yourself starts with liking yourself, which starts with respecting yourself, which starts with thinking of yourself in positive ways.” Jerry Corsten