Updated: Dec 10, 2018
“If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better. And that makes you so happy.” — Kristin Chenoweth.
I recently had a friend ask me why she is so mean all the time. I wasn’t really sure what she meant by this, so I asked her to explain. She stated, “I just feel so mean when I talk to my parents, my husband, my co-workers, and even my kids. I just want to stop being mean and be happy.” Many times people find themselves feeling angry or impatient with others because there is something within themselves that makes them feel insecure, unloved, or disappointed. It may be time to start looking within yourself for love. Read below to learn how to find the ‘you’ that you love by following these 4 steps.
#1. Change Your Negative Thoughts to Positive Thoughts
The first step towards self-love is changing your automatic thoughts. Reframing your negative automatic thoughts into more positive thoughts can be very powerful. Start by listening to your internal dialogue and challenge those comments that are negative or abusive to yourself. Take notice of the themes and emotional tone of your self-talk. Then intentionally reframe those thoughts so they are more positive, supportive, and encouraging. Here is an example of how to do this:
According to the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia (2015), "It is important to note that positive self-talk is not self-delusion. Psychologically, it is knowns as Cognitive Reprogramming and acts to correct our faulty thinking. Faulty thinking is a bad habit that limits our chances for success and happiness."
#2. Get Outside and Be Active!
Exercise Makes You Feel Better. Period. According to a center for CBT Therapy in London, when you exercise, you not only feel better physically, but you feel better mentally. Studies have shown that exercise can even help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, especially when done outdoors (Vitamin D!! – hello??). Find an outdoor workout that fits your style! Whether it’s walking your dog, jogging, biking, rock-climbing, hiking, or renting a canoe, just get OUTSIDE and see how much self-love comes with it.
Exercise also releases endorphins, which contributes to your level of happiness and will ultimately help you feel better about yourself. You will feel more interested in exploring new places and meeting new people. You will have the energy to overcome obstacles and the emotional stamina needed to take on personal goals.
#3. Find Gratitude in Everyday.
When we focus on all of the things we DON'T have, we get caught up in all of our negative thoughts and they become louder and louder in our minds. When we incorporate gratitude into our daily routine, we feel less anxious, more grounded, and all around joyous.
I challenge you to write out the following sentence in the morning and before you go to bed everyday.
“I am truly blessed to have ____________________________, because _______________________________.”