Your phone beeps. It's your best friend. She's stressed out and not feeling too good about where she is in life. You read as she writes to you how everything is her fault. She says things as 'I should've been smarter' or 'I'm just no good at...whatever'. Your heart tenses with these statements as you know they're untrue. You need her to see what you see in her so you do what good friends do. You remind her of her awesomeness.
Now suppose you're you and you're also that best friend. You already know how to be kind so this should be easy...
Unfortunately in our society at times self love is looked at as selfish, self centered and a whole bunch of other things that simply aren't true. So, let's begin by changing the idea that the ones around deserve more from you than you give yourself and start loving from the inside out.
Being kind to yourself will make you happier. Enhance your life and help you be more self reliant in a very liberating way. Self love and kindness is not justifying your wrongs but giving yourself credit for the good.
So wherever you are right now start by implementing habits of kindness to yourself. Of course, here are some things I do myself and always work for me.
1- Invest in yourself.
To serve others you must be well and to be well you must diligently take care of yourself.
For this one let's focus on expansion. Growth of knowledge about who we are. The betterment of oneself.
Dedicate 15-30 minutes reading or listening to valuable and uplifting material. One of my favorite things is reading followed by inspirational podcasts. Aim for things that trigger change and evoke action.
My last read for example is 'The Slight Edge' from Jeff Olson. I recommend it! But pick a title suits you and your taste.
2- Pick better feeling thoughts
We all have that sub personality. The inner critic...oh boy. That little annoying voice inside lying up a storm. When you feel it coming you'll know because of how you feel (not good).
Let that not so good feeling be the red flag that makes you turn away. As soon as that thought and feeling come in kick it out with a better feeling thought. That simple.
You look at yourself in the mirror and inner critic comes in 'ugh I should eat better and workout more' you don't feel so good. Now let that bad feeling be the guide to pursue a better feeling. You can reply by saying 'I still look beautiful', 'I love my eyes and hair'. I can achieve whatever goal I put my mind to so these extra pounds are no big deal' and so on.
Practice this every time the inner critic visits and you'll feel how nice it is being nice to yourself.
3- Laugh it up!
If you know you'll laugh about it one day why not laugh about it now?
While trying new things sometimes you will fall, fail and at more often than desired just make a fool out of yourself. Instead of judging and beating yourself down just laugh at yourself.
Laughter is the best therapy and life should not be taken so seriously after all. You know perfection doesn't exists so that means neither does imperfection. Laugh it off and move on.
4- Be your own best friend
Just like with those you love when speaking to yourself choose your words wisely. Be kind, patient and encouraging.
I know you wouldn't call your friend useless, fat or stupid. So don't call yourself anything negative either. Your inner dialogue has the power to take where you want to be or take away from where you want to be.
Now you're your 'bestest' of friends. Lift yourself up, be kind and encourage yourself everyday.
5- Remember why it's wise to be kind to yourself.
Knowing the positive benefits of your habits make them stick better. Know that being kind to you is not only going to affect your day but your life in general.
Remember that self love will bring you more peace, perseverance, patience, better and healthier relationships, improved mood, higher self esteem and the list goes on.
Kindness whether for you or those around is the only way to go if you're aiming for true growth. The power of change is in your hands and will always be. Start with a better feeling thought and keep going. Take care of yourself and the rest will take care of its own.