There has been a huge focus on women all across the nation for quite a while now. From gender bias, pay gaps, and the #metoo movement, women are no longer being quiet about their concerns and are doing so much to raise awareness and create opportunities for women to thrive. The impacts that these issues have in personal lives, relationships, and in your career run deep. The key issues that women are currently focusing on and facing also impact their sense of self love. I've heard many women say that some of the ways they were treated in the past made them question their competence, their worth, and their confidence in themselves. Myself included! This is not OK and I'm glad that, as Oprah said at the Golden Globes, a new day is on the horizon!
Here are 5 tips to manifest self-love.
Start each day with gratitude
Waking up in the mornings can be a drag. It can also be exciting! Seriously... don't roll your eyes yet. How do you start your day? I used to be really bad about snoozing for as long as I possibly could, then being in a mad rush out the door every morning. I can tell you now in hindsight, those were such awful days. I never felt like I was at peace and I felt like I wasn't ever really prepared for the day. A good morning routine is important, but one that includes reading brief current news updates and gratitude is #everything to me. More and more researchers are finding that gratitude doesn’t just make you feel like a better person, it’s actually good for your health. Take time each morning to wake up with a grateful heart, reflect on the small blessings from your prior week and set yourself up for success. There is enough negativity in this world that we can't control, but what we can control is ourselves and how we choose to think each day. Gratefulness = happiness.
Take time to reflect on your successes
No matter how big or small, success is success. This looks different for us depending on where we are in our lives and what we are focused on, but it's important to reflect on (and celebrate) even the small wins that we have each day. Many people spend too much time complaining and looking at everything that is going wrong or isn't right in their life. Why not spend more time thinking about what you have accomplished and celebrate that? Life is too short to waste time being unhappy or disappointing with yourself. Keeping a daily journal can really help with this. We all have areas in our life that we wish to improve and we will get there, but reflecting on the successes in our lives (and poppin' bottles) will certainly bring you a greater sense of happiness and self love.
Practice mindfulness in all that you do
I was once told that I need to listen better (oops!). After I got over the initial offense that I took to that statement, I sat back and started wondering, what did they really mean by that? So I asked. It was noticed that there are times where I'm in a conversation with someone, but my attention is noticeably far, far away. Today's society is filled with people who are ruled by their iPhones and Andriods, so attention to particular moments has dramatically reduced, but there is a way to snap back to reality and live in the moment (away from your phone and out of your head). Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says that mindfulness meditation makes perfect sense for treating anxiety. “People with anxiety have a problem dealing with distracting thoughts that have too much power,” she explains. “They can’t distinguish between a problem-solving thought and a nagging worry that has no benefit.” Some people find that learning mindfulness techniques and practicing them with a group is especially helpful, says Dr. Hoge. I have to admit that meditation isn't really my thing, but I love taking hot baths and soaking in lavender to escape from daily stress and reduce anxiety. Even if you aren't a fan of meditation or have trouble meditating without falling asleep, take a moment to sit back, breathe, and be present in your next conversation, meeting, or experience and live in the moment. If Michelle Obama can do it, so can you.
Make your happiness a priority
If I've learned anything over the past few years, it's that you cannot make anyone else happy if you are not first happy with yourself. This may seem like a simple cliche statement, but take a moment to reflect on your own happiness. Are there areas of your life that you aren't particularly happy with? Sitting down and reflecting on what you would like to improve each month is an important exercise that I practice regularly. You may notice that you're eating more sugar than normal, drinking more alcohol than you probably should be, or lacking sleep and feeling like your wheels are spinning each day. Regardless of what this looks like for you, taking time to identify the issue and actively work on that is extremely important to your overall happiness. For me, I was working myself into the ground and I wasn't happy at all. I had to make a few tough decisions, walk away from some obligations, and prioritize my time. Life is much happier these days and I'm now able to serve others with a much more open heart without feeling extreme anxiety or guilt when I have to pass on certain things that don't bring me happiness. I also joined a home delivery wine club #convenience. If you find that you're spending time doing things that don't bring your joy, it may be time for you to sit back and begin reflecting to make some changes. Get ready to live a much more fabulous life.
Pray for others
I am what I like to call myself - an immature Christian. I devote time each week to bible study, prayer, and giving back, but I noticed that my prayers were a bit self-serving. I would pray for many things to change in my life, for guidance to help myself through a situation, and for patience to get through tough times. When was I taking time to pray for others? I really wasn't. This is something that I've begun doing more and I realized that it's helped me to appreciate others in a much deeper way, respect all of the relationships in my life more than before, and has brought much more peace into my life. Praying for other people is not just a religious exercise for very devote Christians seeking to check all the boxes on their spiritual to-do-list. According to Scripture, praying for other people is massively important to their success in ministry, life, and walk with God. There are many people in our lives who are dealing with things that we may not even be aware of so it's just as important to pray for them as it is for ourselves and our personal situations.
Brittanni Below, MBA is a coach, speaker, and trainer based in Houston, TX that provides services to help fierce and self-driven women to live a more balanced, healthy, and more fulfilling life. By fully understanding your unique talents and gifts and what is distracting you from being successful, Brittanni helps you transform fear, lack of confidence, and life challenges, into lessons that push you to crush the goals that you've set for yourself. If you're interested in personal coaching, book a session with Brittanni here.