It can be challenging to establish a kind and nurturing tone in which we communicate with ourselves, especially if, during our formative years, the people who influenced us the most weren’t very kind or nurturing to us. It is not uncommon that parents may be dedicated to giving their kids the best and most fulfilling kind of life, but they also may be not very encouraging or positive, probably due to the abundance of issues around them, or them not knowing how to be more nurturing.
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Unfortunately, then, criticism and neglect, low self-esteem and depression becomes the norm, more often than not.
In this case, learning to talk to ourselves in a loving and nurturing way could be the key to breaking the vicious cycle. Here’s what we recommend doing:
#1. Make a list of all the people who influenced your childhood, teenage and early adolescence years. Ask yourself, what words you needed to hear from them.
#2. Write those words down.
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#3. Don’t be judgemental towards these people on your list - they did what they could.
#4. Read them - it’s their words, but now they are coming from you and are for you. Feel the recognition, the joy of being heard and understood.
Take just a few minutes out of each day to bring yourself to a state of calm and wellness and balance your life using a combination of guided meditations and mindfulness techniques. The techniques are a simple, practical relaxation method for anyone.
#5. Focus on the neglected person inside of you, allow them to speak and hear the things they needed to hear.
#6. Here are some of the positive, uplifting, loving, kind messages you can send your own way, first as messages from people in your inner circle, and then from yourself: “You are a good person,” “You are talented,” “I accept you,” “You are smart,” “Your opinion is valued and respected by me,” “I believe you and I trust you,” “I appreciate your growth,” “I value your help”.
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#7. Feel free to take breaks between parts of this exercise, to rest and gather your thoughts.
#8. Once you think you’re satisfied with your job and exhaust your list of people/statements, try editing them slightly so that those words would fit into your current life. For instance, if you wished someone told you they accepted you and your choices, you now say: “I now accept myself fully as I am, and my choices are valid”.
#9. Once you get into the flow of this exercise, it will be easier for you to fall into the habit of speaking to yourself in that manner, too.
#10. A good thing would be to group those statements from the important people in your life (was it an apology? A question? Praise? Fact?) and see if/how you’ve progressed in this area of your life.
#11. See how those “I wish” statements you did not receive from others turn into assertions: “I matter,” “I care about myself,” “I believe in myself,” “I am loved and I feel safe, I am safe,” “I am confident about my future,” etc.
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We hope that with the help of this exercise, you’ll be able to practice self-love more, and create a place in your mind where you can escape to (or simply go to) when you feel the need self-care.
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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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