I pray you are doing well and are enjoying the start of this Fall weather. This month we have been talking about all things good. Today I want to share with you the importance of working towards YOUR good. We all understand that kindness is of great value. It is something that you intentionally look out for in your friends, colleagues, and partners. The act of kindness comes with many health benefits. When you do acts of kindness for others, the pleasure and reward center in the brain lights up, otherwise known as the neurotransmitter dopamine. The brain also releases serotonin, which is the feel-good hormone that has a calming effect and quickens positive feelings in the body. You get this excitement and energy when you show kindness to others but what about showing it towards yourself for your good?
According to Kristen Neff (2007), a psychologist who has spent years researching and studying the benefits of self-compassion, those who are self-compassionate are, “Less likely to be critical of themselves and less likely to be anxious and depressed, which, in turn, leads to greater life satisfaction”.
Ladies, if you’re like most of us, you probably take yourself for granted a lot of the time and speak to yourself in a way you’d never dream of speaking to your friends. Overriding this negative inner chatter and replacing it with a kinder, more compassionate, and forgiving voice is one of the most transformative steps you can take to work toward your good. Here are several more steps to help you continue on this path.
Become mindful of your self-talk. It is important to become familiar with how you talk to yourself. Your inner critic can sometimes become so firmly embedded in your mind that you begin to think that is really who you are. When you notice you’re being hard on yourself, take a step back and question the validity of what your mind is saying, “Is there any evidence to support this belief you have about yourself?” If not, cast it down and think about what is true.
Give yourself an encouraging word. Ladies, next time you find yourself saying things like, “I’m such an idiot” or “I messed it all up” see if you can offer yourself an encouraging word instead. I always tell my clients not to speak badly about yourself. You are not an idiot, you are learning. And while you are learning about yourself there is an absolute learning curve. So be good to yourself.
Take time off. This might sound obvious but how often do you give yourself guilt-free time off? If this is something you struggle with, try planning the time off in advance of making plans. You don’t have to do anything over the top. Perhaps have a day that you sleep in, have breakfast in bed, or take a nice bubble bath with candles, that would be enough. Something that shows you how much you care about yourself and that you are doing something good for you and remember DO NOT FEEL GUILTY!
Commit to doing at least one thing every day that’s just for you and your good. Ladies as I said before, it doesn’t have to be extravagant. The good thing about it is you get to choose what you do. Just make sure you do at least one thing every day that brings you a sense of joy and well-being.
Focus on the values and qualities you admire and aspire to become. Instead of focusing on superficial qualities, consider what values are important to you. Learning your identity and who you are is very important. Many of us tend to focus on the things we don’t like about ourselves rather than the things we do. Think about the kind of person you want to be – for example, being kind, considerate, loving, honest, loyal, etc. and put your focus and energy into that.
Practice daily affirmations. One way we can work towards shifting negative self-talk is by practicing daily affirmations. For example, you could say, “I am enough”, “I am valuable”, or “I am growing and learning every day”. Or it could be as simple as writing a caring note to yourself and sticking it on your bedroom wall or the bathroom mirror, so you see it first thing in the morning. Something like, “Hello beautiful! “Good morning gorgeous”. Have a great day :)”
Practice gratitude. One of the best ways to create a positive mindset and work toward your good is to practice gratitude. It helps shift your attention to the things you already have, rather than focusing on the things you don’t. When your mindset is positive you feel good and that makes you want to do something good. You can start this process first thing in the morning when you wake up by speaking or writing five things you are grateful for. This can be something as simple as being grateful for your bed, a roof over your head, a supportive friend, health, and strength in your body… etc.
Be kind to yourself today, work toward your good, and see how everything changes.
Finally, ladies, use these transformative steps to help you work toward your good, and do not forget to be kind to yourself. See yourself as valuable and worth it. If you make a mistake, mess up, or make a wrong choice, give yourself grace. I have always said guilt, shame, and blame help no one, so don’t take yourself through that. Look for the good in everything you do and see the good inside of you.
Love and Blessings,