Are you kind to yourself?
In the words of RuPaul, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” And it is so true! Negative self-talk and self-love do not work together.
How can you love yourself if you are have a mean inner-dialogue going on picking yourself apart day in day out?
For some reason it is human nature to compare ourselves to others, and this can never really end well. Comparison is the thief of joy and with the likes of social media it has become an almost daily occurrence to judge ourselves.
That habit of negative self-talk can be a really hard one to shift, especially if you have been doing it for a long time. But it is never too late to try and turn that around and change that dialogue into something more loving.
We all have crappy days; that’s a fact of life. One day we can look in the mirror and feel confident and the next day our reflection could make us well up in frustration.
Flaws are a characteristic of human nature – we all have them, yes, including the Instagram models you see all day everyday. Thanks to make-up, Photoshop, plastic surgery and good lighting it is far too easy to feel bad about yourself when we compare ourselves to others.
Accepting and loving yourself, warts and all, is really hard. But this is the first step towards quieting negative self-talk and being kinder to yourself. Be proud of being you! You are wonderful and beautiful and no one else can be you – that is why you are special.
USE DAILY AFFIRMATIONS
I bloody love these and I post a lot of them on my Twitter account to share them with others who may need a boost. What are affirmations? They are statements providing mantras for confidence and self-belief to aid positive thinking. They are basically like a shortened version of a pep-talk you can give yourself every day. I listed 101 examples in another post for reference to how they are usually structured but they can be whatever you need – go wild!
Feeding your mind these positive mantras on a daily basis can only have a positive effect. so try them out and see how you get on.
FIND AN OUTLET
Having negative feelings floating around in your head can be absolutely draining and debilitating. Finding some sort of outlet for these emotions is so important for not only your mental health but your physical health and relationship with yourself.
I know from experience that these terrible thoughts and feelings can make you angry and bitter, and it wasn’t until I started having different outlets to channel these frustrations that I really felt like I was living again instead of just surviving.
Common outlets tend to be journalling and talking therapies, however I found working out really helped me. an outlet can be pretty much anything though…from walking to art. Find something that works best for you.
THREE GOOD THINGS
We can all do this, even if some days it feels impossible. Name three things you love about yourself whether that be physical or personality-wise. It is kind of like a gratitude practice but focused entirely within yourself.
Getting into a routine of saying kind things to yourself is a productive way of making yourself feel better and also quieting that mean inner-voice we all have. Don’t feel like you are being full of yourself or arrogant doing this; it is entirely for yourself and your mental health.
INTERRUPT YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
This is something I learnt in speaking therapy and it has been working for last last few months for me. When you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of picking yourself apart, tell yourself to STOP. This can either be in your head or if it helps say it out loud. Stop everything – what you are thinking and what you are doing.
Take yourself out of the thought pattern and take your mind to another place. Meditation can be a good method of pressing ‘refresh’ if you need to. There are plenty of apps out there which can help you or Chloe Brotheridge, hypnotherapist and anxiety expert, has a free relaxation mp3 available which you download and listen to.
Whatever helps you to take your mind from a bad place; do it for your health.