How would you describe your relationship with yourself? Is it a healthy, positive relationship or is it destructive? Are you consistently picking yourself up or putting yourself down? The relationship we have with ourselves has a profound impact on our day-to-day lives. Not only does it show up in our mood and disposition, but also in our actions. Over the past three years I have been in the pursuit of trying to level up and become a better me. I’ve realized that the better my relationship is with myself, the better every other aspect of my life becomes. Below are five ways I’ve found to improve this relationship.
1) Act Through Love
When you want an aspect of your life to evolve do it because you love yourself. If you’re looking to improve your diet, implement some type of physical training program, or better yourself in any way do it because you love yourself, not because you hate some aspect of the person you currently are. In my personal experience I’ve had times where I wanted to change my diet and up my exercise regimen because I had a negative self-image. I thought I was fat, used negative self-talk, and didn’t think anything I was doing was good enough.
This created a negative feedback cycle where every time I didn’t get the result I thought I was supposed to get, I would tank and get down on myself more. This continued for years until I was 24-years-old and started eating better. Once I did that I noticed how much better my mood became and I starting looking at my life through a more optimistic lens. Now, everything I do is because I love myself and want to do what’s best for me. I’ve learned that the more I love myself, the more I can love others. This is apparent in my relationships with family, friends, and complete strangers.
2) Practice Self-Care
To me, self-care is when we do things that have a positive effect on our body, mind, or spirit. There are so many self-care strategies out there that benefit people. The strategies that have worked best for me are eating high quality foods, meditating, getting restful sleep, using non-toxic hygiene products, gratitude journaling, going to the beach, yoga, and regular use of an infrared sauna. All of these things give me more energy, put me in a good mood, bring me peace, and allow me to bring my best every day. Some other forms of self-care include reading, going to a spa, walking in nature, writing, and pretty much anything that raises your vibrations. Find the strategies that work best for you. By implementing some of these on a daily basis you can create better synergy within yourself.
3) Gratitude Practice
We live in a world where society has molded us to focus on all of the things that we don’t have and to down play all of the good things that we have going for us. Unfortunately, this has us always yearning for more, creating a sense of insufficiency within ourselves. One of the most effective ways to reverse this is by adopting a gratitude practice. Gratitude allows us to sit back and reflect on all of the great things that we have going for us in our lives that we typically take for granted:
- Being alive
- Having a roof over our heads
- Having family and friends that love us
- Being able to touch, feel, and hear
- Having capable bodies
- Having a career that allows us to pay bills, travel, etc
Regularly being grateful for the good things going on in your life positively impacts your energy, mood, and overall vibe. I love writing in my 5 Minute Journal every morning to start my day. This instantly sets the stage for my day and has me in a positive mood before I leave the house. An even easier practice is to write down three things that you are grateful for every morning when you wake up and three things that you are grateful for before you go to bed. Having a consistent gratitude practice can shift your focus towards what you have instead of obsessing over what you don’t have. This creates a bigger sense of fulfillment.
4) Hold Yourself Accountable
Being able to hold yourself accountable works wonders in fostering a better relationship with the person in the mirror. For one, it helps you take your power back by not placing blame on others when things don’t go your way. Oftentimes, when we don’t get the result we are looking for, we place the blame on everything/everyone else instead of looking at ourselves and seeing if we took all of the necessary steps needed to succeed.
When we place blame externally we end up giving all of our power away. It takes a strong, secure person to be able to admit when he or she is wrong. It takes an even stronger person to do something about it. From this day forward, understand that you are in control of what gets done in your life. If something slips through the cracks, take ownership of it and change it for the better. When you do make that change, you will have a huge sense of accomplishment after.
5) Practice Forgiveness
Practicing forgiveness has had the biggest impact in improving my relationship with myself. In the past, if I ate bad, drank too much, or did anything that I wasn’t proud of I would instantly guilt myself. Holding ourselves accountable is super important, but we have to be careful that we don’t go overboard and start beating ourselves up. I’ve fallen victim to this many a times. Not only did I do something negative with my poor actions, but then I’d compound the negative energy by feeling guilty after and throwing myself a pity party.
“How could I have done this?”
“Why was I so stupid?”
How did I let this happen AGAIN?!”
All of these sentiments dug me into a deeper hole, further sabotaging my mood and self-image.
The day I started forgiving myself for such actions is the day my mindset and relationship with myself really changed for the better. I took the time to deeply reflect on all the baggage of my past that I kicked myself in the ass for and decided to forgive myself. Literally, I just told myself that everything was okay. I still mess up from time to time just like anyone else, but the way I deal with it is different. First, I hold myself accountable because I understand that it was my fault. If I catch myself feeling some type of way, I’ll simply forgive myself and move on. This has enabled me to bounce back much faster after I’ve messed up and right my wrongs.
At the end of the day, none of us are perfect. We make mistakes and we always will. Having the mental capacity and self-awareness to recognize this and not beat yourself up about it is key. Acknowledge, take ownership, forgive, and move on for the better.