Most of the time, the only thing getting in our way from making lifestyle changes is our self. We know we should exercise, eat more vegetables and less pastries, or relax. But we are often too overwhelmed, scared of the unknown or full of resistance. Or perhaps we feel general anxiousness, hurt or anger that leads us to to try to avoid how we are feeling by eating more comfort foods, scrolling online, shopping, prioritizing other things, etc.
As we live in a culture that celebrates distraction and avoidance, we don't have much experience or skill in how to sit with ourselves with kindness. We berate ourselves for not doing it right. For not exercising enough. For cheating - again. For being too undisciplined, soft, emotional, etc. This shame can cause a lot of suffering and make it almost impossible to take good care of ourselves.
I invite you to regularly give yourself moments of self-kindness so you can learn to befriend those uncomfortable feelings. When you are infused with daily medicinal doses of self-kindness, you will be able to take more frequent and small steps to building healthier habits. As your inner self-talk is full of more kindness, you will naturally want to treat yourself with kindness by eating well, moving your body, and slowing down.
I am learning to be more kind to myself and it is literally changing my whole life - how I feel about myself, my ability to move forward with the NOURISHtopia mission, my relationships, my health, etc. Now that I am less hard on myself and more loving, I reach for treats less frequently, I do not taking other people's actions as seriously, I sleep better, and I want to workout.
I recorded a 3 minute Self-Kindness Meditation that will guide you though a simple - yet medicinal - transformative practice that I invite you to do frequently through out the day, especially for the first 21 days.
You can listen to my free 3 minute Self Kindness Meditation here:
Self-Kindness 3 Minute, 3-Step Meditation, step-by-step guide (please listen to the audio meditation above at a few times):
STEP 1: Acknowledge the discomfort
Take a few calm breaths.
Locate the uncomfortable feeling in your body.
Place your hand there and simply notice the sensations.
Do not try to change how you feel, be more peaceful or make it go away.
Simply let the uncomfortable sensation be there and hold it with curiosity and love.
STEP 2: Acknowledge that this feeling normal and a part of being human.
All humans have felt this way many times.
There are likely many humans feeling like this right now.
You have felt this way before.
You are ok and do not need to change anything.
STEP 3: Acknowledge the discomfort and love for yourself.
This is step to prevents 'psychological reversal', which can lead us to self-sabotage our progress.
Say to yourself - silently or out loud - 3 times:
"Even though I feel this way, I still completely and deeply love and accept myself."
You can make it more specific, such as:
"Even though I feel afraid, I still completely and deeply love and accept myself."
or "Even though I really want to eat all the ice cream, I know that I love myself deeply."
Repeat this as frequently as needed throughout the day, every day, especially for the first 21 days. You are creating new neural pathways of more self-compassion and acceptance in your brain. Soon you will do it automatically. Most of us need to do this for awhile to reprogram old beliefs that we aren't good enough, until we naturally know and trust that we are lovable, always.
Neff, Kirsten, "Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself" (William Morrow Paperbacks; 2015)
Craig, Gary, "The EFT Manual" (Energy Psychology Press; 2011)