We all hear about self love pretty often, but rarely do we apply it. Today I have 10 tips to share with you from Nutritionist Allison Keller. If you're struggling with self love, reach out to a friend or even me and see how you can move forward with hope. Below are 10 tips to help you appreciate your beautiful self more :)
Thank your body for everything it does. Every morning, write a thank you list to your body. This sounds easy when we are full of energy and victory, but is most powerful in the midst of self-perceived defeat. We always have choice. We can choose to be thankful. If you tired, thank your body for communicating to you that you need rest. If you are frustrated, thank her for recognizing she isn’t processing her environment optimally. If you are stressed, thank her for reminding you to slow down and prioritize your energy. If you are struggling, thank her for being sensitive to your well-being and indicating change. If our bodies were robots, we would have to rely on pure mental energy to fuel our living. Be grateful we have souls, emotions, hearts and passions. We have so much to offer once we allow ourselves to human.
Practice self-compassion. This is a tough one for perfectionists and extremist, like myself. Just reflect for a second. In all your years of disorder and avoidance, you forgot how to be your own best friend. You denied yourself your needs and criticized yourself for not being “enough”. We all have these moments, but once again…we all have a choice. If you fall short of “goals” you’ve set, forgive yourself and get back up. If you lost desire to improve, stay open for change. If you stopped caring about your body, stay curious about why. Be compassionate to your needs. Be your own friend. Take time to journal with yourself, forgiving yourself and reestablishing new grace-filled intentions.
Face Reality. We all have broken records in the back of our minds. Start a new song. The brain biochemically functions dependent on the amount of blood flow we send to certain areas. When a societal pressure, negative emotion, past experience or unwanted thought surfaces to our conscious, DO NOT AVOID IT. Don’t push it away. Don’t fear it, as well. It will only get stronger. I encourage you to welcome it. You are in control. Welcome the thought, label it for what it is. For instance, I look in the mirror and immediately think, “my thighs are bigger today”. Instead of avoiding mirrors or convincing myself they aren’t, welcome it. “My thighs are bigger today. I chose to label this observation as “old survival response”. I accept that. They are beautiful today, as well. They are stronger today. It actually doesn’t matter what size they are. The size of my thighs has nothing to do with the size of my heart nor the size of my purpose. My body is ever changing, and that is okay. If I still have a deep-seeded desire to have smaller thighs, stay open and curious what that “idea” provides me. You will be surprised on what is beneath. Then sing a new song to yourself; “I am loved, I am enough, all is well”.
Seek the truth. Society has this big lie that skinny is beautiful, rich is comfortable and happiness is a destination. I am here to say, happiness is a trap. Beauty is within the eye of the beholder and wherever your heart is, you find your treasure. SEEK THE TRUTH. Don’t believe the lie we have to measure up, or down. A lie is only as powerful as the belief of that lie. However, Truth remains. Find a good devotional, book, audio tape or TED talk to start the exploration of truth. Listen to it in the shower, while running, while driving etc. If you are believing a lie, understand why. Let it go and connect to the truth. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. The number on your hairs are numbered and you are never too far gone.
Practice! As you continue to practice self-love and compassion, you will naturally become less perfectionistic. Gain awareness of your self-talk in relationship to your tendencies. Once again, the brain biochemically functions on habit. In the midst of starting new habits, our brain creates new nuero pathways. The more blood flow we send to these pathways the deeper the grooves get. While we can fully erase memories, experiences and triggers, we can give them less attention (aka less blood flow). If you are “triggered” acknowledge it and let it go. You can only get stronger. The more we practice the more we mold ourselves into the people we want to be. Chose ONE solid practice every 2-3 weeks, and commit to that practice. For instance, I commit to writing one affirmation out every morning. On work days, holidays and tired-days, I will write this affirmation out. Be amazed on how your perspective shirts.
Stay curious. When we slip up, as we all do, stay curious! Harvest a child-like curiosity and wonder. It is self-loving to be concerned, but obsession and worry blocks the way for victory. Ask yourself what is going on inside. Is there anything you are subconsciously avoiding, fearing or trying to control? The focus is to learn from it. Understand it and release it with grace. Take whatever action needed to reconnect to truth and value-based living.
Practice self-love. Commit to doing ONE nice thing for yourself a day. Mix it up, get creative and be intentional. Sometime I commit to getting my nails done, getting a message, going to bed at 7pm, buying myself a meaningful piece of jewelry or letting myself check out completely for the day. Attempt to love yourself like a perfect parent would. Give yourself whatever your inner child wants. Obviously you wouldn’t give a child excessive food, drugs, sex etc. So stay mindful with valued action and integrity. If you don’t know here to start, right now give yourself a hug. Hold it for 10 seconds and release. Do this whenever you remember to. You have you and that is all you need.
FORGIVE. Forgive yourself, and forgive others. Then make amends. Clear out any dark or bitter energy, allow room for forgiveness to do its thing. Picture yourself truly releasing the burden into the universe. Let that energy dissipate with patience and love, then gently redirect your thinking towards things pure and true. It’s a diligent practice, but a true freedom.
Shift Connection. We all are connected to something whether we know it or not. With eating disorders, co-dependency, addictions etc. its all just unhealthy connections to unhelpful experiences. With eating disorders, there is an obsessive connection to the body and food. With co-dependency there is an unhealthy addiction to having another’s actions through your emotions. With addictions, it is treasuring the drug-seeking process and effects over real life. All these take energy, require time, chain the heart and leave our souls starving for love. CONNECT. Connect to yourself; be honest to yourself on how you are actually doing and find self-love. Connect to others, replace those unhealthy obsessions with healthy relationships and experience the power of love. We are not meant to live alone, we need each other interdependently. Only love remains- connect to it!
Try to apply these tips to your days and see if your self love grows! You are capable of so much - take care of yourself :)
Written by Allison Keller
For guest posting please email PetersL93@yahoo.com