When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said, “I love you”?
When was the last time you acknowledged your strengths or patted yourself on the back?
If your self-love meter is running a little low, here are 9 ways to fill it up fast! I hope you find something new that works for you.
1. Give yourself at least one compliment every day. We know from research that expressing kindness benefits the giver and the receiver; in the case of giving yourself compliments, you are the giver and the receiver so the impact goes even further. This is an excellent activity for women who may deflect compliments more than men and are less likely to focus on their strengths than men. Examples of strengths include: “I am generous” or “I am a fabulous ice skater” or “I am a fantastic listener”.
2. Write yourself a love letter. Are you the person who always remembers everyone’s birthday or anniversary, or gives people cards simply because they are awesome? It’s time to douse yourself with the same treatment! Write yourself a letter or grab your favorite greeting card and express to yourself how wonderful you are! You might feel silly doing this at first and that’s okay. The relationship you have with yourself is directly related to the relationship you have with everyone else in your life. When you pamper and indulge yourself, others will do this for you too.
3. Shower yourself with loving visual cues. Write, “I love you, (name)!” on sticky notes and put them on your mirror, bedside table, computer screen, in your car and as your phone screensaver. You’ll appreciate the nice, loving surprise for days to come.
4. Commit to five minutes of daily journaling every day. Journaling is scientifically proven to decrease stress and increase clarity and creativity. To start, observe your thoughts without judgment and just write. It’s amazing what an effect five minutes has in shrinking worries and fears down to size!
5. Make “happiness appointments” with yourself and always follow through. How? Create a joy list, containing 5-15 items that bring you joy. These can be anything from smelling flowers to taking a walk to spending time with a person you love. Pick one item from your joy list every day and make an “appointment with joy”. Schedule it in your phone and set a reminder. Then, follow through! Within a week, the increased happiness in your life will be evident.
6. Unplug. Commit to unplug from electronic devices once a day and just be. Check in with your breathing and your body. This is a wonderful, quick stress-relieving technique.
7. Make a list of your top 10 strengths. This is an assignment I give my students and they rave about how good it feels. Set aside ten minutes today and write down your positive qualities. Then, read it aloud to yourself.
8. Meditate. According to a 2008 study, only 8% of the population meditates. However, more companies are jumping on the bandwagon, and rightfully so. The benefits of meditation include decreased stress, decreased blood pressure levels, increased clarity and increased creativity. These are all factors that make employees more productive, effective and efficient. Meditation is easy, free (download a free guided here: http://bit.ly/visualize_meditation) and anyone can do it. If your office doesn’t have a meditation break like Harpo and Google, create your own! It can be a simple sneak-away for 5-10 minutes at lunch with your earbuds. Midday meditation is like a reset for your day.
9. Turn off the critical voice. We all know what it feels like to have a loved one criticize or demean us, yet many of us do this to ourselves daily. Becoming aware of what this voice says to you and making a conscious decision to notice it and choose different thoughts, is one of the most loving things a woman can do for herself and her self-esteem. In his book, “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy”, David Burns MD says, “You don’t have to do anything especially worthy to create or deserve self-esteem; all you have to do is turn off that critical, haranguing inner voice, because that critical inner voice is wrong! Your internal self-abuse springs from illogical, distorted thinking.”
Jaime Pfeffer is an international happiness coach and teacher, writer and
radio host. Her debut book, “Uplift: Amazingly Powerful Secrets to Conquer
Stress and Boost Happiness”, comes out in Spring
2015. Find her at jaimepfeffer.com.