7 Days of Self Love (part 3 of 3)
This is the final post - days 6 and 7. I hope it has given you some ideas and an excuse to do something for yourself!
Day 6: Give Yourself a Compliment
I’ve heard crazy statistics, like the fact that our brains process 80,000 messages each day and more than half of them are repeats from yesterday. Another significant percentage of those thoughts – is negative. No wonder why it’s so tough to get out of the vicious cycle of negative self-talk. Well, let me tell you, someone walked up to me after class Tuesday and gave me a big hug telling me her story of having fallen down the stairs 3 years ago and the depression she has encountered since because of her limited mobility, and then my husband learned someone he has worked with passed away yesterday – well life is fragile. And it’s precious. And it just doesn’t last very long for some of us. The more we know about how our brain works, the more we realize how often it works against us. It’s important to recognize the positive – even if we feel like all we have is the fact we got out of bed this morning. Be grateful you’re not the person who suffered from a broken tailbone and couldn’t.
The mind is amazingly powerful – the chatter can get so loud and overwhelming I’ve literally had to leave a room so I could get away from it. We can’t let it take over. We can’t let it win. So tell yourself something positive about you – about your life – about your day. Maybe even repeat it a few times.
When you find you’re getting into the same negative chatter, Psychology Today offers the following exercise:
“Write down some of the negative messages inside your mind that undermine your ability to overcome your depression. Be specific, whenever possible, and include anyone you remember who contributed to that message.
Now, take a moment to intentionally counteract those negative messages with positive truths in your life. Don’t give up if you don’t find them quickly. For every negative message there is a positive truth that will override the weight of despair. These truths always exist; keep looking until you find them…(and I would add to find someone who can help you find them) Positive self-talk is not self-deception. It is not mentally looking at circumstances with eyes that see only what you want to see. Rather, positive self-talk is about recognizing the truth, in situations and in yourself.”
I’ve been down before. I called it my “funk”. And before I made changes in my life, I started getting into that "funk” more and more. It started once every few years, then once a year, then twice. Fortunately, I did something about it. Fortunately, I had support.
It's tough to get out of the cycle of negative self talk. The above exercise is one way to get out of it. I’ve also heard of journaling, or simply saying three things you are grateful for each morning. For me, I like to say a prayer each morning that includes an element of gratitude. I say thanks for the opportunity to share yoga with others or to deepen my own practice. I say thank you for clients that pay their bills. I say thank you for the three amazing guys in my life (my husband and two sons), for the roof over my head and the fact there is food in the frig. For me, starting with gratitude puts me in a better state – I start the day saying something positive, instead of thinking of what I’m behind on, or what client may not take a liking to me that day. I’ve come to realize that when you work with as many people in a day as I have, someone is bound to be unhappy and you’ll be the first to know about it, so why waste energy worrying about it.
Day 7: 10 Minutes for You
It’s the end of the week – what do you need to feel a little extra love? I encourage you to take 10-15 minutes today – do something you like. Read a book, or your favorite magazine, or watch your favorite program. Run an errand – by yourself. Get a pedicure. Take a hot bath (even if it is with Barbie bubbles), buy yourself some flowers or take a morning walk. Seeming impossible? Some of us would admit to locking ourselves in the bathroom and turning the water on so we couldn’t hear what’s going on outside. If it works for you, go for it! Read that trashy (or dreamy) article until the pounding at the door is too loud to ignore :-). Tomorrow starts yet another week. Don’t let yourself enter into it without knowing you gave just a smidge to yourself today. You deserve it!