The love affair we have with ourselves is the most important one we'll ever have.
We spend so much time working on the relationships we have with our family, our friends, our partners or our colleagues, but rarely do we spend enough time working on the relationship we have with ourselves. By understanding oneself on a deeper level, we're able to be far more forgiving of our mistakes, far more accepting of who we are, warts and all, and far more in-tune with our needs.
The more we understand about who we are and why we are the way we are, the more confidently we can navigate life's ups and downs, and the more easily we can bounce back after facing struggles. Building a stronger relationship with ourself can be confronting but it is one of the best investments we can make in our life.
Here are ten simple ways to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself:
Start the day off with a little gratitude
In this technological world, we've developed the habit of jumping straight onto our phone when we first wake up in the morning. We start our day off by bombarding ourselves with unnecessary information and stress, and this isn't a great way for us to head into the day ahead. Rather than kick-starting your day with this kind of negativity, do yourself a favour and use your first few waking minutes to be thankful.
There's a lot of positive ways you can start your day off that will set you up for a fulfilling, successful day, it's just a matter of finding what works best for you.
We love starting our day off with positive affirmations that we can use on the go such as these awesome apps.
Another great way to show a little gratitude is to make a mental list each morning of the things you're thankful for.
Starting your morning off with positivity and gratitude will have a wonderful ripple effect on the rest of your day.
End the day by switching off
Just as important as starting the day off right, ending the day in a positive way is just as powerful. Don't let your last thoughts before drifting off to sleep be ones of negativity or worry. Dedicating a few minutes before you sleep to switching your thoughts off will significantly improve your quality of sleep and you'll wake feeling far more rested and peaceful.
This is time is the moment for you to acknowledge that today is done, you've done your best and tomorrow you'll wake up to a brand new day with new opportunities. By consciously letting go of the day, you're allowing yourself permission to move into tomorrow without the stress, doubts and negative feelings that you may have accumulated today.
Make time for reflection
Reflection is a valuable process that allows us to learn a great deal about ourselves and scheduling regular time for reflection will pay off in more ways than you can imagine.
Looking back on what went well, what didn't go so well, how you acted and how you felt, you're able to constructively analyse the how's and why's behind your behaviour and feelings. The knowledge gained from regular reflection is powerful and extremely valuable in learning, growing and improving as a person.
A great reflection technique is journaling. Journaling Through have some of the best journaling resources around.
Being able to forgive yourself, let go of your mistakes and move on is easier said than done, but if you can master this skill you'll be able to live a happier, more confident existence.
Forgiving yourself involves acknowledging that, just like everyone, you have flaws and that's perfectly ok. Understanding and accepting our imperfections is a key in finding happiness and using this new found wisdom is an important step in living a more fulfilled and meaningful life.
Acknowledge your positives
When's the last time you complimented yourself? Do you pat yourself on the back for a job well done? Do you ever take a look in the mirror and tell yourself you look great today?
Complimenting others is second nature, but complimenting ourselves is tough. If you can perfect the art of giving yourself a credit when it's due, you'll start banishing self-doubt and and boost your self worth.
Dedicate time to work on you
Invest a little time in improving you. Whether you're keen to learn a new skill, want to dabble in personal development or improve on some area of your life, put some time aside and get to work. Allowing yourself the time to work on you is one of the greatest gifts you could give yourself.
It's ok to pamper yourself every once in a while. Take yourself on a weekend getaway, book a day in at the spa, spend a day at the beach, whatever it is that makes you feel good. Reward yourself every once in a while, you deserve it!
Nourish your mind, body and soul
Keep yourself healthy inside and out by focusing on your physical and emotional health in equal parts. Each has a significant impact on the other and you can't address one with out the other.
Eat well, exercise and take care of yourself. How well we do this, shows just how much we value ourselves. Plus the healthier you look and feel, the more you'll see an increase in your self-esteem and confidence. When you look good and feel good, you're truly unstoppable.
You can find some great tips on brain positive food here to help you kick-start your health journey.
Ask for help
There's a lot of pressure on us to be able to do it all alone but one of the kindest things you can do for yourself is to ask for help when you need it. There's no shame in leaning on others and once you accept this reality, you'll feel a lot freer and the pressure on you will be much lighter. It's ok to ask for help.
Learning to be more present and open is a wonderful skill that opens up to you, a whole new perspective on life. The art of mindfulness takes practice, dedication and determination but the hard work is certainly worth it.
Incorporating a few minutes of mindfulness into your day can result in decreased stress levels, make you more resilient, help alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety, assist with the regulation of emotions and positively impact your overall health amongst other things.
Relish this quiet time alone and use it to focus, grow and heal.