In a recent post, I discussed how to avoid cognitive distortions as a way to promote positive thoughts of self-worth by reducing negative self-talk.
Today, I would like to delve deeper by explaining how cognitive distortions may prevent you from loving yourself in a holistic manner. I will also connect how loving yourself is critical to maintaining mental health.
As a recap, we should AVOID cognitive distortions as they tend to have a way of reshaping our thoughts and feelings. Once our thoughts and feelings are negatively reshaped, it can be quite difficult to reel them back in, but it CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED through the brain's neuroplasticity capability which I discussed in last week's newsletter.
When cognitive distortions invade your feelings, they encroach your emotions and force you to believe a narrative that
is just not true such as, "I'll always be a loser" or "No one will ever love me." Rather than allowing cognitive distortions to take your mind hostage, focus your energy on really loving yourself as you are instead.
You may be wandering, "How do I show love to myself?" Well, I'm glad you asked! What will follow are 5 practical ways to show yourself love. When you put these tips into practice with intention, your outlook on life may be transformed in ways you never thought of before.
You show that you love yourself when you:
- Stop comparing yourself to others. It may sound like a cliché, but there's POWER in believing that you're the MOST AWESOME AND MOST IMPORTANT person on the universe. Not in a pretentious, self-absorbed way, but in a self-confident, unselfish way. Comparing yourself to others will only bring you pain as you will always find something that someone else has that you do not have. So, you become laser focused on wishing you had what you see on peoples' Instagram and Facebook stories. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but those peoples' lives aren't what you're being led to believe, friend. Focus on you. Focus on your own beautiful journey.
- Stop stressing yourself out by trying to be PERFECT! Some days Canva is going to piss you off! Some days your posts may only garner a thousand views! Some days everything will go wrong! No, but seriously, perfection does not exist, so trying to achieve a state that does not exist is futile and will only exhaust you both mentally and physically. The sooner you let this false reality go, the better off you will be as it will release you from a mental bondage of something that is not possible to attain.
- Stop seeing yourself in a way that others DO NOT! As a matter of fact, it is not fair to others to believe you know what they are thinking. Let me reiterate, you have no right to assume you know what someone is or is not thinking. Not to mention the fact that when you do this, you can make your own thoughts spiral out of control which leads to going down a road of negativity that can have lasting, devastating effects. People do not see your weight when they see you...they see your beauty...they see your smile...they see your CHARACTER! People do not think you are stupid...they think you are brilliant...they think you are a scholar! People do not believe you are weak...they think you are STRONG, MIGHTY and COURAGEOUS!
Stop believing negative thoughts. Those negative thoughts are LIES from the pits of HELL! They have no place in your beautiful mind. Send them back to the miserable pit where they belong. Replace those negative thoughts with positive thoughts and it will transform your thought patterns which leads to a better quality of life, higher energy levels, lower rates of depression, better psychological health and a host of other benefits.
Lastly, stop putting yourself LAST and instead put yourself FIRST! You will never be able to please every single person in your life even if you catered to all their needs. Putting yourself first will refresh you. Putting yourself first will renew you. Putting yourself first will allow you to be a better person, mom, dad, child, friend, employee, etc. Putting yourself gives you the ability to be fully present for those around you. Putting yourself first is not selfish. It allows you to connect to yourself spiritually, mentally and physically so you can better connect with others.
It is my hope that you will try at least ONE of the above tips. Each tip will guard your mental health against the trap of negativity. Implementing even one change may result in a radically, positive impact on the way you view your life !Be well! Ashley