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5 Ways to Feel More Self Love

Let’s face it—feeling self-love is much easier said than done. Especially when we live in a society obsessed with Snapchat-filter perfection. We constantly see others obtaining status, owning the latest and greatest technologies, going on dream vacations, and living in a big house on a hill with the perfect family.

It’s no wonder we often feel like we don’t measure up.

Even worse, we begin to tell ourselves lies. We start to think that we’re weird, poor, ugly, awkward, not smart enough, or even too smart. In short, we feel like we’re never enough.

But what if we’re wrong?

What if you were good enough, just the way you are? In this very moment?

When it comes to love, it’s often easier to give it to others. But showing yourself love is just as important, maybe even more so. Here are five ways you can start showing yourself some much-needed love today.

1–Make a List of Your Positive Attributes

How often do we take the time to praise ourselves? If the answer is “rarely” or “I don’t even know what self-praise is,” let’s fix that, pronto. Try writing out a list of your positive attributes and take time to reflect on it every day.

When putting together your list, instead of being super generic in your attributes, try to be specific and have a little fun with this. (And then get really wild and add one or two new attributes to the list every week.)

For example: “I always give genuine compliments to others.” Or: “I’m non-judgmental and I always try to see things from another person’s point of view.” Or: “I have a nice singing voice and my husband/wife/next-door neighbor/puppy (woof!) loves it when I sing loudly when doing the dishes.”

Another tip? Along with the positive attributes list, try making a list of the things you are grateful for. Showing gratitude can go a long way into helping you out of self-defeating and negative thinking patterns.

2–Take Time for Yourself

Maybe you’re a super busy mom with adorable but rambunctious children. Or maybe you’re a hard-working sales rep putting in 60 hours+ of work each week. Your time can start to feel like it doesn’t belong to you anymore, and far too often you may feel like stretched taffy pulled too thin.

But how can you fully give to your children or to your job if you haven’t given anything to yourself?

This may mean taking extra time for yourself to meditate. It could mean curling up with a good murder mystery for a half hour before bed or indulging in the latest episode of your favorite guilty pleasure.  It could mean making it to your daily Jazzercise class or going to a weekly yoga class. It could even mean making a delicious snack for yourself and not sharing it with anyone.

The bottom line: fill your own cup first before you share with others. And don’t feel guilty about it. Just do it.

3–No More Negative Self-Talk

Another way to show love for yourself is to quit with the negative self-talk.

Seriously, stop. When you call yourself a name or criticize yourself, you are shrinking yourself from a human being of value down to a single element of yourself that you don’t like.

This can be a hard habit to quell, but it’s one that can have truly astonishing results. Think about it. You wouldn’t tell a 5-year-old that their crayon drawings look terrible. You wouldn’t tell your best friend that they’re hopeless for not knowing how to do their taxes online. And you certainly wouldn’t tell your loveable Grandma that she’s a basket case every time she smears pink lipstick on her teeth. (At least let’s hope you’d never do this.)

Yet how often do we berate ourselves and think negative thoughts like “I’m so stupid” or “I never get anything right”?

Instead of thinking of yourself as a total dumb-bat, rephrase the way you think about things. Try this instead: “Okay, so I don’t know how to relight the pilot light on my furnace. But there are YouTube videos that can probably teach me how to do this.”

4–Don’t Compare Apples to Oranges

Everybody is different. You don’t look the same, act the same, speak the same, or have exactly the same mind and heart and experiences as anybody else. You are a unique individual. Embrace it.

To make my point, let’s look at fruit. Say you are an orange. You are tangy-sweet, smell like a citrus-flavored candle, and are round with a thick skin. As an orange, why would you compare yourself to an apple? Or if you’re a strawberry, why look at a kiwi and think you’re somehow less? Every fruit has a little something to bring to the fruit salad. Likewise, we all have something unique to bring to the table.

5–Leave the Past in the Past

If we’re being real, life isn’t always hunky-dory and chances are you might have some old emotional wounds or negative memories lingering on the surface in the present moment. If you find yourself dwelling on an old memory you’re not too fond of, catch yourself and say, “I’m not that person anymore.” Because truthfully, you aren’t. You don’t have to be defined by mistakes or incidents from the past.

Another thought—try accepting where you are right now, in the moment. Sometimes we give ourselves a hard time simply because we are feeling emotional. We feel like we need to be stronger. But it’s okay if you might be feeling a little down about something. Instead of beating yourself up for feeling down or emotional, give yourself permission to feel the feels for a bit. And then let it go and move on to greener pastures.

Allow Self-Love into Your Life

Self-love isn’t something you arrive at overnight. But by taking small, daily steps, you can begin to truly appreciate your uniqueness. You absolutely can love yourself just the way you are (and I sincerely hope you will).

After all, you’re pretty flaw-some.

How do you show yourself self-love?

How to Create a Positive Mindset for a Positively Positive Year

What happens to you when negativity takes over and you can’t see anything good in your life, your work, your day?  Does it mean you are losing your mind, or are you just losing your perspective? Is there anyway to turn around “stinking thinking”?

I know what it is like to get caught up in negative thinking and it never ends well.  The more you focus on negative thoughts, the bigger and badder they get and the bigger the toll it takes on your body, mind and spirit.  Being in a state of chronic negative thinking can make you sick!

“Many negative emotions such as anger, fear, and frustration become problematic when those emotions turn into a more permanent disposition or a habitual outlook on the world,” explains Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, science director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. And then you are at risk for ailments such as depression, heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, stroke, decreased immunity, inflammation.  http://www.health.com/heart-disease/can-negative-thinking-make-you-sick

So this is serious and no one wants to go down this path if they don’t have to.  But what strategies are available to break out of this cycle? Here are some ideas.

Awareness

Did you know you have control over your thoughts, and if you are always thinking negatively you can change that right on the spot?

Try this activity.  On a sheet of paper draw 2 columns side by side

In the left column, list all the negative words you can think of.

Once you complete the list, how do you feel?

In the right column list all the positive words you can think of.

Once you complete the list, how do you feel?

Notice that you feel better after writing the positive words and feel worse after writing the negative words.  So words matter!  Try to notice when you are using negative language and try to reframe it toward positive words when you catch it. This means paying attention to what you are thinking and correcting the thought before you speak it.

Practice

Now, identify what is leading to all the negative thoughts you are focused on and practice changing from negative to positive. Draw another 2 columns side by side.

List negative statements you make in the left column.  Ex: I get stressed out when I am at work.

Now rewrite each statement in the right column using positive words. Ex: I am grateful that I have the ability to provide support for people who need my services.

After you complete both lists, focus on the right column only and see if it changes your thinking from negative to positive.  Don’t give any attention to the left column because it will drag you down again.  Remember you have control over your thinking and you can only hold one thought in your mind at a time.  So choose which one you want to hold – negative or positive.

Tools

Positivity Self Test takes 2 minutes to complete. Your score provides a snapshot of how your emotions of the past day combine to create your positivity ratio. Do this as often as you want since it changes each time.  http://www.positivityratio.com/single.php

Loving Kindness Meditation.   This is a tool to improve compassion and resilience.  Practice it regularly to change your perspective. Access the recording from this link. https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/loving_kindness_meditation#

There are many ways to “refresh” your attitude and these are just a few.  As a wellness professional, I believe the answers lie within us. We just need to seek resources that will help us uncover our truths.  Bottom line is if you are stuck in negative thinking, make the decision to take a first step forward.  There are many resources available including wellness coaching to move forward with your goals.

If you would like a complimentary 20 minute laser coaching session with me just click here to contact me.

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Be well on your wellness journey.

Carol