Yes, 14th February is fast approaching and of course Valentine's day is the day that we celebrate our love for the special people in our lives. I am sure like many of us, you can reel off a list of people that you love and care about, but does that list include yourself?
I bet most of us would omit to include ourselves in that list. Some may even shy away from saying "I love myself!" because they would believe it is arrogant or egotistical.
On the contrary in order to love other people we need to love ourselves first and foremost. Loving yourself is an important part of enjoying and getting the most out of your life. It's also crucial for getting and maintaining satisfying relationships with others. Loving yourself is mainly having self-respect, and treating yourself with respect and kindness, which are the only dependable ways to create love in your own life. To be able to be loved, you must love and respect yourself as much as you do others.
So many of my clients when they come to see me can be very harsh on themselves, saying things like "I am so stupid" or "I hate my tummy/legs/body" or "I hate myself for feeling so anxious" - whilst this is often a venting of their frustration at their own issues, it is a very harsh way of treating yourself. The first step to loving yourself is self acceptance. Just simply accepting that this is where you are at currently and that you are ok. Many of my clients have asked me, how do I love myself?
Obviously for each of us, learning to love, respect and accept ourselves is personal, but below are some general tips to learning how to love yourself, be kind to yourself, and treat you with self-respect.
Top Tips for Learning to Love Yourself:
Forgive yourself for any past mistakes that are still troubling you, No-body is perfect and we all make mistakes - otherwise, how would be learn and grow? Say to yourself now: “I forgive myself for _______.” Go look in a mirror and say it out loud to yourself. Look yourself right in the eyes and speak forgiveness like you mean it. Don't put yourself down or beat yourself up mentally any more over the past. That was then and this is now. Every day is a new beginning. If you did something you are not proud of, resolve to never do it again, and take steps to keep it out of your mind.
Love yourself for your efforts not just your accomplishments. Celebrate your accomplishments of course, but let go of the things you haven't done yet. Remember that success is not a destination. Success is making progress (towards the desires of your heart). Accept yourself, and others will follow your lead. You are not your deeds, appearance, or bank balance. You are more than that!
Nurture yourself. Self care is very important. Set up some time to be by yourself, to spend some time with you. Do something that gives you peace, love, and joy with yourself. You can nurture yourself physically by exercising and consuming healthy food. You can nurture yourself emotionally by listening to music that lifts your spirit, by drawing or writing, or helping others in need. As you give yourself to others and offer help, you receive the gift of love back. You feel good about yourself because you live your life with purpose.
List your best qualities. Make a list of the things you could love about yourself. For example, put things you've done in one column, that if you saw someone else do them, you would love them. For instance, if you did a good deed, write it down, or if you achieved something that you set out to do, write it down - you will then build up tangible evidence of what there is to love about you. In this you could also include qualities about yourself that you love in others, eg being a good friend, being a loving mother, etc It could be physical things that you love about yourself: you may have shiny, healthy hair, or beautiful eyes, write them down
Look in the Mirror Once you have completed your list of your best qualities go and stand in front of your mirror and say out aloud "You have amazing eyes, or well done you for passing that test ...
AND FINALLY FOR VALENTINES DAY.....
Give yourself a little love note - Write yourself a some positive statements about yourself eg "I have a beautiful soul!" "I am caring and loving" I have the courage to try" I am beautiful." and put these somewhere where you will see them to remind you of all that there is to love about yourself. . Read them out loud, every day, at least once, ideally at least ten times each time you notice one of them.
How to Create New HabitsAround Snacking For many of my weight loss clients, one of the habits that they need to change in order to lose their excess weight, is their snacking habits and behaviour. Snacking is part of everyday life for most of us, but for many people that are overweight, snacking becomes a form of self-sabotage and is usually not due to feelings of hunger.
If you are snacking on "empty nutritious, but calorie laden foods" then this is contributing to your weight gain without doubt! So how do you change this habit. In my Weight Hypnotherapy and You sessions I would seek to establish what other emotions this habit is fulfilling and then we would address this.But on a more practical level, there are ways of preventing your old snacking habit.
Alter the environment so temptation is no longer there. Throw away your sweetie jar, take the biscuit tin out of sight and put it in a "harder to reach" cupboard. Throw away those "Easter Egg Chocolate advertising mugs" (Subliminally encouraging you to eat chocolate!).
Amend your shopping list, so that you don't buy the calorie laden sweet or processed foods that you usually snack on
Keep "snacking" food out of sight, unless it is the healthy variety like fruits and vegetables.
Habits mediate the relation between self-control and behaviour!
Therefore self-control can result from creating new automated habits and behaviour rather than having to rely on will - power and effort.
Repetition is the key to creating a new habit. You need to repeat the new action or behaviour over and over again (20-40 times) in order for it to become automated. So decide what new behaviour you wish to implement eg no longer having a biscuit with every cup of tea! Remove the biscuits, or change the type of tea you drink and practice this new habit over and over again. Eventually, you will break the old habit cycle and you will find that you don't even think about having a cuppa and a biscuit.
You are what you Think!
If you fill your mind with negative thoughts, you will feel negative.
If you fill your mind with anxious thoughts, you will feel anxious.
If you fill your mind with worries, you will feel worried.
By the same token, if you fill your mind with happy thoughts, you will feel happy!
If you feel your mind with thought of gratitude, you will feel abundant!
If you fill your mind with loving thoughts, you will feel loving and loved!
Try it and see !
Even if you don't have that someone special in your life to celebrate valentine's day with, then spend some time loving and celebrating with yourself. You are special and important; you are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. And you deserve to be here and you deserve to be happy.
With love & lightness,
Integrated Advanced Hypno-Therapist,
NLP Master Practitioner, Licensed IEMT Practitioner,
Trainer & Mentor for Women in the Business of Therapy
Working with you to: "Take the weight off your mind!"