“The first rule of kindness is to be kind to yourself”.
It is true to say that most people do not realize how important it is to be kind to yourself. Many of us indeed think this is a silly and immature notion, after all, surely it’s a given that we are kind to ourselves? Wrong.
Most of us walk through the journey of our life with no respect or any love for ourselves. This is dangerous territory and will lead to unhappiness and most probably, an unfulfilled life. As Eckhart Tolle said, “It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living”. Let us not be those people…
I bet that at least once this week, you may have called yourself an idiot, fat, crazy or some other negative adjective. And the truth is this: when we are not comfortable with ourselves, no one else is going to be comfortable with us either. That is why it is absolutely imperative for you to make sure that you are being kind and gentle with yourself.
So let’s get to it with five hot tips to help you to do exactly that:
1. Monitor the thoughts you are thinking
Everyone is unkind to themselves sometimes, but you really must have a think about how you talk to yourself on a regular basis. When was the last time you thought something nice about yourself? If you are like many people and you simply cannot remember, then that is unfortunate, very unfortunate.
A quick tip that works for me is really simple to apply but achieves powerful results. This is it: think of a really great visual or audio moment that you absolutely adore. It could be that winning smile of a loved one, or the start of your favourite music track. The minute you start to get that ‘unkind’ inner talk, hit the brain with that visual or audio moment. You will quickly forget the self destructive rubbish running around in your head and instead start to smile!
2. Make a conscious effort to have more positive self-talk
This may sound a little strange, but give this a go. Start with an "I love you" in the morning to yourself in the mirror or even as you open your eyes. This may seem silly at first, but over time, you will find that it is an entirely normal and wonderful start to the day to do for yourself.
It will set you off on a positive track and thought process for the rest of your day. Indeed, keep it going throughout the day and your self esteem and love for yourself will get a timely boost.
3. Do something you like to do each day
All of us do get caught up with work and life ‘issues’ and if we are not careful these can start to rule our day to day lives – we simply put other things on hold whilst we turn our full attention onto the so called ‘important things’.
So treat yourself like you would want to treat someone you care about, and allow yourself one fun thing every day. It does not have to last a long time, but make room for it each day in your life.
4. Make sure that you surround yourself with like-minded, loving and energetic people
Do not, I repeat, do not spend time with people who tear you down. Being around negative or cynical people is the quickest way to reduce your own energy. This includes the moaners and whingers – we all like to be a friend and willing to listen, however, keep these associations to a minimum if you can.
Keep your mind positive by spending time with positive people who are kind to you and who genuinely like being with you – and you know who they are!
5. Start a diary
Specifically write in it good things about yourself. People are reluctant to compliment themselves, lest they seem conceited, but it's a good idea to go down the list of your virtues every now and then.
Writing them down is a helpful thing to do, so when you feel that you're a mess, you can simply look back over the notebook, smile and see that you are indeed fantastic. Diaries should be about what is real in your life, but contain as many good things that happen to you each day.
There’s a strong connection between happiness, mindfulness and reenergizing yourself through being kind. By all means be kind to others, but also take time to be kind to yourself.
You might be out of practice being kind to yourself, but doing any of the tips above are definitely going to help you. It is important that you take the time to try each of these and put them into practice. Being good to yourself is worth it, some of the techniques do not take a lot of time but they need to be done!