Have you ever taken a moment to pause and focus on the thoughts running through your head? Sometimes we have to put our subconscious thoughts in check. Our brain is such a powerful tool, but due to it’s protective nature, it can be quite the pessimist. You might be surprised that when you slow down to listen to your inner dialogue, it isn’t as nice as you might like it to be.
We are our own worst critic and there is so much societal pressure surrounding us! There is an overwhelming pressure to keep pushing, to keep achieving . . . to be “perfect.”
But, here’s the thing — we aren’t perfect. And we weren’t built to be.
I truly believe that we can all find a happy balance between achieving our wildest dreams and loving ourselves throughout the process. It isn’t always easy, but that’s where the beauty comes in. We are only human, after all, and our emotions will inevitably ebb and flow with all of the unexpected twists and turns of life. And that’s ok! Learning to speak to yourself with kindness and grace takes work.
If you want to begin switching your negative self-talk, you must start believing you are worth it.
And spoiler alert — you are!
Even if it may not feel that way at the moment, the ability to change your perspective is very much alive inside of you.
But, how do you practice self-love?
First, strengthen your awareness . . .
The first step towards greater self-love is directing your awareness to your thoughts. We can’t control the millions of thoughts that run through our minds on the daily, but we can certainly choose the ones we wish to identify with. First, we need to become aware of our inner dialogue, so we can begin to choose which thoughts can stay and which thoughts must go!
Imagine your thoughts like clouds floating in the sky. Watch them pass as you lay and observe them, no judgement. Notice which thoughts align with your values and which ones do not.
Can you allow the negative thoughts to pass by softly? Acknowledge that they are there, but remember that they don’t define you. Can you replace those thoughts with a more positive intention?
There are days when this exercise will be easier than others and that’s OK! Release the judgement that you must be perfect. Thoughts are just thoughts — good or bad. The main goal here is to understand that you are NOT your thoughts, and the power to choose them wisely, is yours.
Next, get into your body . . .
To get out of the thinking mind, we must get into our feeling bodies! This has been, by far, the best tool for strengthening my self-love muscles. Grounding our bodies helps promote feelings of safety, and ease, and reminds us that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. It allows our minds to take a break from all the chatter, and connect to our deepest, and truest-self.
Take a quiet seat and bring your attention to your breath. Breathing in and out slowly. Feel your belly rise and deflate with ease. Then, begin a quick body scan.
Starting at your feet, notice how they feel touching the ground. Do they feel heavy? Tingly? Cold? Next, move your awareness to your calves, your thighs, and all the way up until you reach the the crown of your head. How does each part of your body feel? Again, no judgement! Just become aware. Sink into it.
Other wonderful grounding exercises include: yoga, standing barefoot in the grass, and getting a massage – find what works for you!
And always remember, this too shall pass . . .
Remind yourself that, “this too shall pass.” Sometimes we just have an off day, (or week, month . . . year . . .) and that’s OK! Our bodies were made to be resilient. Trust in your body’s natural ability to overcome challenge and your mind’s ability to build new habits over time.
Self-love is a daily practice and takes work, but the more you strengthen this muscle, the more natural it will become. Acknowledging the negative-self talk, and choosing replacement thoughts, is a great place to start. Once you open your awareness, you can begin moving from the thinking mind to the feeling body, all while giving yourself grace in the process.
“She has been feeling it for awhile now — that sense of awakening. There is a gentle rage simmering inside her, and it is getting stronger by the day. She will hold it close to her — she will nurture it and let it grow. She won’t let anyone take it away from her. It is her rocket fuel and finally, she is going places. She can feel it down to her very core — this is her time. She will not only climb mountains — she will move them too.” -Lang Leav
Nina Boyce is a certified holistic health coach based in Columbus, OH. After years of struggling with anxiety, hormone imbalance, and gut disturbances, she turned towards an all natural lifestyle to heal her body. Nina is passionate about women’s health and works with her clients to reclaim their energy, heal their bellies, and achieve overall balance in their lives. When she isn’t coaching, you can find her flowing on her yoga mat, relaxing with her husband Cody, and pup Jaxon, and gabbin’ all things wellness on her podcast, Wine and Shine (www.wineandshinepodcast.com). You can also visit her at www.nourishedwithnina.com and on Instagram @nourishedwithnina.