3 Ways to Strengthen your Relationship with Yourself
Are you your own best friend or worst enemy?
I came across this quote the other day on Pinterest, and like most inspirational sayings, it hit me right in my emotional gut:
Commence ugly crying.
Like most women, we're conditioned, from a young age, to see ourselves in a negative light.
Doesn’t matter if you’re short, tall, blond, brunette, a supermodel, a teacher, a stripper, a police officer, a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a student - there’s always someone ready to scrutinize our appearance, wardrobe, weight, career, language, religion, or sexual orientation.
According to societal standards, we're never good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough. No matter what.
On the flip side, if you do believe in yourself and see that you're a freaking badass, you're labeled as self-absorbed, vain, or narcissistic.
You can't win.
Thankfully, things are changing.
Although 'self-care' seems like the latest wellness buzzword, it truly embodies a shift in our mindset towards empowering women - and men - to nurture and grow a relationship with ourselves.
At the end of the day, you're the person you spend the most time with so you might as well treat yo self like the queen you are!
I know it's easier said than done.
I spent most of my life putting myself down because I didn't see my worth or value. I ascribed to labels like 'fat,' 'shy,' and 'unlovable' and these affected my weight, health, and relationships. I didn't see my value so why would anyone else?
But then, I grew tired of seeing myself in such a negative light that I declared, "I'm worth loving myself." It takes daily effort to break old habits of self-hatred, but once you rid yourself of that negative energy, your whole world changes.
Imagine feeling the same love you willingly give to your family, friends, partners - hell, even your pet - towards yourself? Think of all the mental energy you expel on tearing yourself down and how life-changing it could be to redirect it towards building yourself up.
How different would your life be? What opportunities, dates, promotions, or experiences have you passed up because you didn't believe in yourself?
It’s time for a change, don’t you think?
To get you started, I've listed 3 simple ways to grow and strengthen and your relationship with yourself. Give them a try and witness how your body is longing for your love.
Forgiving yourself and your past (anything or anyone that’s brought you pain/hurt) is the first step towards creating a better relationship with yourself.
You must release negative attachments, grudges, and resentments - even though it's tough - so you can move on. Letting go of these connections then makes room for new and better energy to take its place.
Think of it as a major form of emotional detoxing.
There's a highly effective forgiveness method called ho‘oponopono - a Hawaiian forgiveness exercise - that'll guide you through this process. Ho‘oponopono (word meaning ‘to make right’) helps you mentally cut connections of resentment so you can release the energy and forgive.
I learned this practice from Kathrin Zenkina - founder of Manifestation Babe - who uses it regularly in her courses.
I’ve linked a guided meditation on how to use ho’oponopono - click here to watch it.
2. Make time for YOU
Yes, here comes the self-care portion of this list. I'm sure you've heard the benefits of self-care for a while but trust me, it's pretty magical.
Self-care massively boosts your view of yourself. It might seem trendy or trivial, but added up, daily moments of love shows you that you are worth it!
Think about it, how great do you feel after a new haircut, a massage, a pedicure, a great meal, a long talk with a friend over wine, or a long soak in the tub?
Pretty fantastic, right?
These are just examples, and you can easily find acts of self-care that you enjoy that'll fit into your busy schedule. All it really takes is 5-10 minutes.
Adding self-care into my daily routine significantly improved my anxiety, stress, and as a result, my relationship with food and weight. Since I realized I was worth the effort, I saw how awful I was treating myself and decided to let those habits go. I started eating better, exercising, and slowly found ways to see self-care as an essential daily part of my routine - not a chore or selfish.
So go ahead and discover whatever it is that makes your heart all warm and fuzzy - exercise, eat deliciously healthy food, spending quality time with your partner, read, listen to podcasts/audiobooks, use positive affirmations, dance, light a candle, organize your closet... The list goes on!
For more examples, enter your name and email below to download:
The Busy Girl’s Guide to Self-Care
3. Nightly gratitude
Gratitude instantly changes how you view yourself and your life. Taking time to focus on what you like about yourself and the abundance around you instead of your flaws trains your brain to focus on the positive.
Practicing gratitude daily is the simplest, quickest, and most significant ways of improving your health and happiness. It lessens stress and shifts your focus on the positives in life, and like queen Oprah says:
"Be thankful for what you have: you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you'll never, ever have enough."
And, it’s easy to start!
Right before you go to sleep, grab a journal and write down 5 things you're grateful for in your life, your career, and yourself. In the end, your list should have 15 positive things.
Have more to share? Keep the list going!
I hate to admit this but putting yourself down and disliking your appearance is easy. Changing your attitude and destroying this lifelong habit is one of the most challenging things you'll ever do. But, I can promise you that it’s incredibly worth it.
Just remember that your are worthy of loving yourself and that you are enough.