How I stopped being unkind to myself
I used to be unkind to myself all the time. There was a voice in my head that made jibes constantly – “You’re so stupid!” and “Why did you mess that up?” and even “You hardly got any likes on Instagram!” I was my own worst enemy, stuck in an eternal internal battle with myself.
The thing is, being unkind to myself wasn’t motivating at all. I’m motivated by positives, and now I’ve learnt to be kinder to myself, I’m so much more at peace with my strengths and my weaknesses.
I want to talk about it this with you because often we pretend everything is fine and brush stuff off when friends ask if we’re OK. But true glowy happiness comes from understanding ourselves and being kind to ourselves – it’s the most important relationship we have.
Here’s what I do to be kind to myself…
I CULTIVATE A GRATITUDE ATTITUDE
Every morning when I wake up I list three things I’m grateful for. It helps me focus on what’s good in my life, not the negatives, so I start the day with a kind mindset. For example, this morning my nanny couldn’t look after Shay, so I feel grateful that I have a wonderful little boy to hang out with, and also that I can be flexible with work. Thirdly, I’m grateful for my home, because it’s lovely to have a place to call my own where I can juggle work and family life.
I STOP TRYING TO BE THE BEST
At the weekend I went to a pottery class – a gift from my boyfriend Kieran. I sat at the potter’s wheel, hands dirty, clay all over my face, and I got joyfully lost in the moment. I made a vase. It’s a very wonky vase, but I love it because it represents the freedom of doing something just for fun. Life is not a competition.
I WATCH MY THOUGHTS
I first started practicing this when I learnt meditation. As I watch my thoughts go by, I realise how my thoughts are separate from who I am. I discovered I’m prone to playing what I call ‘the victim tape’ – it’s where something bad happens and someone saves me. When I watch my thoughts at a distance, I can pull them apart. Do I really want someone to save me? No way! I want to help myself. And I know I can help myself by thinking positive.
I REALISED I CAN CONTROL MY THOUGHTS
Of course we all have times when we feel low and we can’t pull ourselves out of it. But I’ve learnt that I can decide what I think about, and I can decide how I react to stuff going on around me. It’s empowering to be the master of my thoughts.
I ACT LIKE MY OWN BEST FRIEND
I would never say unkind things to my best friend, so why would I say them to myself? When I see my friends getting into negative self talk, I’m their positive friend who makes them feel good. I try to talk though their problem, see a different perspective and pinpoint what’s important. Helping a friend makes me feel 100% better, and it’s a good feeling to be that friend to yourself as well.
Everyone hears that destructive inner dialogue sometimes, but the more we talk about it and feel connected, the sooner our worries dissipate. Come and say hi on Instagram and let’s stomp out our unkind thoughts together. What kind thing are you going to say to yourself today?