The conversations you have with yourself are powerful. The subconscious listens and reacts to what you tell yourself, both positive and negative. The importance of self-love shouldn’t be overlooked.
A few months ago, I realized I needed to change the unkind tone of my internal dialogue. According to Psychology Today, up to 70 percent of our mental chatter is negative. As I come to terms with several waves of raw emotions, I’ve made self-care a top priority in my daily life so I don’t get engulfed in the negativity that replays in my head. I came to the realization that I needed to take better care of myself, to learn to feel my emotions, and to process painful feelings in healthier ways.
Taking Back My Happiness
This article is the first in a three-part series about the importance of self-love. While dealing with grief specifically, I no longer allow others to steal my joy, negate my feelings, or fill my head with negative talk. This process has been slow, but I’m finally seeing a shift.
I’m honored to share how I’m navigating this difficult journey though self-love and acceptance. Being kind to yourself during times of hopelessness can’t be overstated, which brings me to the first step: Accept that you need to make a change. Reject daily pain. Whether you’re told you expect too much from loved ones or you’re dealing with self-imposed feelings of low self-esteem, that ends now. Agree to make a change to improve your mental health and get out of the cycle of negativity.
You Deserve to Feel Better
Don’t be smothered by the cruelty of others or process it over and over again in your mind. First, choose to experience more clarity and contentment in your life. Consciously decide to be positive and actively work with your feelings to banish negative thoughts in your head. This decision won’t come fast or easy, and expect it to challenge your patience and ego. You will do a lot of soul-searching and question your process as you open up to yourself and others in a new way, but overall, being honest with yourself is always the right choice. A good way to start this is to reinstate doing something you used to love back into your daily routine. Maybe you return to the sports you played in your youth or grab a new book to read. Whatever you choose, this can help you take time specifically designated for you.
Write It Out
It’s no surprise that, as a writer, I evaluate and explore my feelings with words. I pen a healthy lifestyle blog with the tagline “Making Healthy Decisions One Day at a Time,” because sometimes that’s all we really have the capacity for when feeling overwhelmed. So, I’m asking you to take action and solidify your acceptance and willingness to change, one day at a time. Start a journal, a blog, or a sketchbook. Each day, give 15 minutes to yourself and express what makes you feel whole, loved, and safe. You might write one word, 20 pages, or a poem. You might sketch your pet or doodle a flower. Let your intuition and inner voice guide you.
Please join me in this ongoing journey. And don’t be scared of change; being nice to yourself isn’t selfish or something to be ashamed of.
In part two of this series, I’ll explain how I’ve started to acknowledge and dismiss negative thoughts when they creep up. I’ll share exercises I use to find a sense of calm, which reduces my physical symptoms of anxiety and releases tension in my body. Watch for upcoming articles here on the Good Matters blog, and share your self-love journey with us on Twitter.
Image source: Angela Tague
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom’s of Maine.
Why It’s Good
When negative feelings become frequent, learn how to process them and find more joy in life. Accepting that it's OK to love yourself, feel your emotions, and take charge of your life is empowering and emotionally healthy. If we don't take care of ourselves, we can't be attentive to those we love.