Be Kind to yourself
Resolution Series 1
We have reached the beginning of a new year – a time of reflection and rebirth. This is the time that we set our intentions for the rest of the year through the making of resolutions. Unfortunately, these resolutions can sometimes be unkind toward ourselves, focusing on perceived flaws. Or they can be unrealistic – setting ourselves up for disappointment, which is also unkind. I’d like to take the month of January to discuss realistic resolutions, that come from a place of respect and compassion for ourselves and for our bodies.
Be kind to your self
Self love is important to me, and I know that it is important to Neelam, which is one of the reasons I was drawn to Aradia as an instructor. I’m very happy that this blog series can find a home here, where people are passionate about breaking cycles and healing.
The first resolution I’d like to discuss is BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
“You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head.
Be Kind to Yourself” – Anonymous
As a psychology student studying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, I discovered the concept of Self Talk. This is the inner dialogue we have with ourselves, and it is super important! What we say to ourselves in our head manifests our reality – our attitude towards ourselves and others. Many times, our Self Talk can be negative. We say things to ourselves that we would never say out loud to someone we care about. Why do we do that? Shouldn’t we treat ourselves like someone we care about?
Improving Self Talk is not only linked to better mental health, reduced stress and anxiety, but also improved immune function, cardiovascular health, pain reduction, and life span. So how do we get started?
The first step is awareness. Pay attention to your Self Talk. What do you say to yourself? When are you negative? When are you positive? Do you notice any recurring thoughts or patterns? What would you like to change about the way you talk to yourself?
Here are some common negative patterns to watch out for:
- Personalizing – blaming yourself for everything.
- Magnifying – focusing on only the negative, ignoring the positive, and blowing things out of proportion.
- Catastrophizing – expecting the worst, regardless of likelihood.
- Polarizing – seeing the world in black and white, no middle ground.
The next step is correction. When you notice that you have said something negative to yourself, correct it. Even if you don’t really believe the positive side, yet. Thinking it will help make it real. For example, correct “I’m going to mess up this presentation” with “I’m going to do the best that I can”.
After that comes intentional positivity. Even before you correct a negative thought, start thinking positive things about yourself. “I worked hard today”, “I’m a compassionate person”, “I like the way my hair looks today”. The more you practice, the easier it will become, until it’s second nature. Positive affirmations have a bit of a silly reputation, but they work. FInd some that resonate with you.
Neelam has written a wonderful blog on this subject herself. She also discusses searching for a deeper reason when you think an unkind thought towards someone else. So be sure to check that out here.
Aradia Instructor Lady Curvicorn has spent years researching self compassion and intuitive eating, and has used that experience to create a list of compassionate New Year’s Resolutions. We will be sharing her blog series with you throughout the month.