Tuesday, November 17, 2015

6 Ways to Shower Yourself With Kindness

6 Ways to Shower Yourself with Kindness

I've been ruminating about "kindness" lately, because someone I care about was rude to me. Although my adult self knew his angry tone and harsh words were all about him, for a few hours, the tender young person inside me took his actions personally. I felt ashamed, even though there was no good evidence to back up my conclusion that his behavior meant I was at fault, guilty, and flawed. To make matters worse, I went as far as to think of how I could retaliate, seek vengeance, and inflict pain on him. 

Writing this blog is my way to look at myself and admit my spirit felt depleted and grieved for the loving kindness he couldn’t give. In hindsight, I know his behavior was a blessing in disguise. It was an opportunity to confront that vulnerable part of me that let myself be disturbed by an outside situation, person, place, or thing and reminded me
 to shower myself with the loving kindness I sought from outside myself.

Knowing what happened to me may come in handy for you, when something triggers you or makes you feel unlovable. Read on to discover the steps I took to recover my equilibrium and love myself unconditionally. Hopefully, these self-help methods will work for you too.

1.    Let go of things that are none of my business. What someone says or thinks about me is beyond my control. This tip helps me refrain from analyzing why I think someone acted a certain way, and puts the focus on me, where it belongs. I've learned that people carry and reveal their hurts in different ways, and this knowledge helps me forgive without knowing more than that. Detaching with love lets me go on with my day unburdened by carrying around resentments, suffering, and things that are beyond my control.

2.    Use "heal not hurt" as a mission statement. This phrase reminds me to pause to rope in my feelings and take to higher ground. I write out my emotions in a journal and reach out to a close friend to express the undercurrents in my emotional sea. When I share about my heartache with someone I trust, it usually releases trapped energy and allows me to go to a loving place.

3.    Take a break to refresh my spirit. If I notice my mind rehashing the situation or wishing things were different, I recite the serenity prayer or meditate. Other ideas may include a soak in a warm Epsom salt bath or a long walk in nature. Both remove toxins from mind and body. 

4.   Love and accept myself just as I am. As soon as I say this mantra and recognize that everything happens for my highest good, I feel more grounded and secure in my self-worth.

5.    Express gratitude for my blessings. This is a key element that helps me accentuate the positive. My “gratefuls” seem to multiply when I count them while disappointments and grudges diminish. My daily gratitude list starts with the blessing of life, love, hope, family, friendship, and goodness and contains even the smallest detail like being grateful I saw a bee in my garden. Being specific and using people’s names and things like my eyesight, dark chocolate, and yoga helps me tap into the abundance in each day.

6.   Treat myself with self-compassion. Unkind words, especially those I think or say about myself, creates stress and turmoil within me. If my inner critic prevents me from coming up with a gentle way to deal with myself, I ask “What would my best friend say or do to comfort me?” Then, I apply it to me. Another tip is to remember that self-esteem is built on and strengthened by self-acceptance, caring, and respectful treatment of oneself.

Once I've taken time to shower myself with kindness, I notice the ripple effect that self care has on other areas of my life. My thinking is clearer, my creative juices flow, and relating to my work and people is invigorating instead of draining. 

Self-help techniques often bring insights later on about what is really going on inside oneself. Do you use any of them or are you willing to try a few on for size? What methods help you remember to be kind to yourself? Please comment below.  

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The quotation for today is: “Champion yourself and all else follows.” Nancy Andres

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