Have you ever had the experience where you wake up feeling good about yourself, but then you stand in front of the mirror, and the negative thoughts creep in? If yes, you probably have a poor self-image which has become quite common in today's modern world.
So, how to start loving who you see in the mirror? The only answer to this question is to love yourself truly. What happens when you love yourself? Your life gets better, you feel better, and everything around you seems so much more positive. On the other hand, if you keep the negative self-image your chances of reaching goals and making dreams come true are close to zero.
Yes, loving yourself takes time and effort, but it is also an incredible adventure that will bring you plenty of benefits. So, open your mind and embrace the potential life-changing improvements that self-love can give to you.
Here are five easy ways to help you love who you see in the mirror:
1. Let Go of the Past
The first thing you should do to start loving yourself and improve your self-image is to let it go. Dwelling on the past will only make the situation worse, and you will fall even deeper into self-criticism. Instead, take a few moments, think about your past mistakes and learn something from them.
Remind yourself that you are merely a person trying different things and that it is entirely natural to make mistakes sometimes. No one is perfect! We are all human! Learn to see errors as part of the learning experience, forgive yourself, and let them go.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Next, you should stop comparing yourself to other people if you don't want to continue damaging your self-image. Remember that every person on this planet is different, so comparing yourself to others doesn't really make any sense. The truth is, you cannot really start loving who you see in the mirror if you are continually trying to look like someone else, to be someone else.
So, remind yourself that everyone in this world, including you, has their good and, let's say, not so good qualities. That being said, focus on finding your good attributes and try to improve the ones that you don't really like. And, next time you see yourself in the mirror compare yourself to the person you were yesterday.
3. Give Your Appearance a Little Boost
The third way you can improve your self-image is to help yourself feel better about the way you look. It is true that happiness comes from the inside, but we sometimes need to give our appearance a little boost to feel joy from the outside, too.
There are numerous ways you can do so. For example, you can go to your favorite salon and get a new haircut. Alternatively, you can go shopping and buy yourself some new clothing items which will help you feel more confident, motivated, stronger, and happier. Haircut and clothes seem like trivial things, but they will instantly change the way you look yourself in the mirror, for sure.
4. Start Appreciating Yourself
Start appreciating yourself and giving yourself credit is the fourth way to help you truly love yourself and the person you see in the mirror. We already mentioned that you shouldn't dwell on your past mistakes and everything that went wrong. But, it is just as important to say that you shouldn't also forget to treat yourself well when you do something right.
Giving yourself credit when you achieve a goal or reach a target is very helpful and crucial for improving your self-image. So, next time you do something well, you should definitely reward yourself. For instance, treat yourself a meal at your favorite restaurant, a long-desired item from your number one store, or even a luxurious spa day.
5. Choose Your Company Wisely
Last but not least, if you really want to love what you see in the mirror, you should choose your company wisely. Imagine spending time with people who only have negative thoughts. It won't really help you improve your self-image. Ideally, you should spend most of your time talking to people who share the same ideas and interests with you and who will support you unconditionally.
So, find such people and create your 'dream team'. Such a loving and understanding environment will hugely affect the way you feel about yourself.
Why? Because you will undoubtedly feel the love they give to you, and in return, you will start loving yourself.
Plus, your 'dream team' will help you find inspiration and motivation to think out of the box and reach your goals.
The holidays are officially here and that usually means lots of cheer. We eat with family and friends for regular meals but also to celebrate. Sometimes we eat just because we can – which is comforting.
Comfort eating and stress eating are things we often hear about (and maybe even do), but is it a real thing or just an excuse to eat more food?
When we feel sad or down about something or even just bored, eating can often help us feel better. Grabbing a bag of our favorite treats, eating a large pizza with friends or snacking on some nibbles in bed can lift our spirits, but usually only temporarily. When you've finished eating bad foods, it's rare not to feel sluggish, tired and even worse about yourself.
Why do some people participate in emotional eating?
For most of us, we've grown up with bad foods being used at treats. Most of our parents didn’t offer us carrots and apples when we got a great report at school or behaved well all day. Many children grow up associating good behavior and good times with junk food. On birthdays, we go out to a restaurant and celebrate with our friends, making unhealthy choices most of the time. We have birthday cakes full of sugar and don't even feel bad about it, because after all, it's our birthday! This habit that makes us associate junk food with happy occasions and feeling good is one of the main reasons why people eat emotionally.
Another reason why chocolate and sweet foods tend to be the ones we reach for first is because sugar is addictive and gives us temporary pleasure. While we're eating sweet foods, we experience high levels of enjoyment, which is why we reach for the candy and sugary snacks when we're sad.
How do you know whether or not your emotions are tied to your eating habits?
When you feel low, do you eat your favorite foods to feel better? If so, it's very possible that your emotions are tied to your eating habits. Are you more likely to make healthier choices when you're happy? This is another indication that your emotions are playing a big part in your diet. Food should provide healthy nutrition for our body, and shouldn't be used as a tool to help us feel happier (especially if you're binge eating or gorging on junk food).
How can you detach your emotions from your eating habits?
The holidays can bring about a lot of stress so detaching your emotions from your eating habits can be difficult to do as it takes a lot of time and effort. One of the best things which will help you with this is to find other things that make you feel better when you're down and/or stressed.
Go play, find a sport you enjoy and start or join a game, listen to some good music and dance around the house, go for a walk or do some yoga or other exercise; and if you're tempted to reach for the snacks, make sure you keep healthier options available to choose from such as fruit, raw vegetables or low-calorie crackers and rice cakes. Sometimes our emotions can get the best of us, but if you have a plan in place with all the activities and healthy snacks loaded in your arsenal, you’ll find yourself ahead of the game.
We live in a fear-based world. We are taught to “do as you would be done by” or to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Yet in the next instant, we are told that thinking of ourselves, of putting ourselves first, is “selfish.” On top of these contradictory and confusing messages, we often receive the message as little children that we are “not good enough” or that we are “unlovable.”
We can be our own worst critics and may not even be aware of how hard on ourselves we are being. Our internal automatic negative thoughts become unconscious; yet they have a power that is not to be underestimated. They can lead to low mood, depression and anxiety.
There is hope, however. With commitment and practice, it is possible to discover these negative automatic thoughts (NATs) and to transform them into thoughts stemming from kindness, compassion, and self-love. Our thoughts are so powerful that they can change our chemical make-up.
Here is a simple meditation exercise that you can do that will transform within minutes the way you feel about yourself. Try it and see for yourself. Notice how you feel before you do the exercise and notice how you feel afterwards.
With consistent practice, you can truly change your most important relationship: your relationship with yourself. Then you can watch how your relationships with others transform for the better as you experience the power of loving yourself.
Notice how your inner state has transformed. Tell yourself a positive statement such as “I am worthy of love”, or “I am loveable exactly as I am.”
The above meditation is a version of the ancient Taoist Inner Smile meditation as taught by Master Mantak Chia. It is one of the most foundational practices for developing self-love and as Master Chia himself says, “Love heals.”
Registered clinical counsellor Elizabeth Morelle says that this, combined with the practice of changing negative thoughts as they arise can be very health giving. “It is an investment of time that is well worth the effort,” she says.
Changing negative thoughts is one aspect of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT has been found in studies to be at least as effective as medication in reducing symptoms such as pain and negative mood in patients with fibromyalgia.
Loving yourself is an art that can work wonders for your self-esteem, your confidence, and your well-being.
Let me know how loving yourself changes things for you!