How to Be Nicer to Yourself in 2018 By Abby Wynne
How to Be Nicer to Yourself in 2018 By Abby Wynne
New year here – you’ve tried the diets, tried going to the gym, you even went to that yoga class last January for a few weeks. By February, well, it became more of a chore, and by April you stopped altogether. It’s too much work to do something that sounds like it will give you a healthier life but isn’t really something that you love. When you’re being totally honest with yourself there’s nothing you like more than to kick back, put your feet up and watch TV with your favourite snacks. That’s what gives you the peace you oh so need so you can keep going with your busy life.
And guess what? I think that if it gives you peace, then go for it. Because inner peace is the foundation of what everyone is looking for, and you certainly don’t find it when you’re rushing around, putting everyone’s needs ahead of your own. And at the end of the day, when all that’s left to do is pack the school lunch and look at what’s on the agenda for tomorrow, rest is what you actually need the most.
Here’s my take on it – to get inner peace you have to give yourself inner peace. Be peaceful on the inside. And to achieve that, well you need to be nicer to yourself. That’s it – sounds simple, but it actually can be tricky to start. Think about it – if you get yourself on your side, if you’re acting as a friend to yourself instead of an enemy, it’s like the sun comes out on the inside and life is that little bit rosier. Well actually it’s a whole lot better.
Here are three things you can do to learn how to be nicer to yourself without having to put it on your calendar, go too far out of your comfort zone, or use up energy that you just don’t seem to have right now. In fact, doing these three things regularly will give you more energy, so you might actually make it to that Pilates class you were thinking about.
What you need to know first:
To learn how to stop being mean to yourself you have to learn what it is you’re saying to yourself in your mind. It’s difficult to do this because our thoughts are so busy these days they’re like having the radio on in the background, we’re not really listening to the lyrics, but we hear the music. Just as tuning into a radio station playing sad music, and having it on all day would make you sad, the tone, or music of your thoughts, affect your emotions. I call this your subconscious thought stream, thoughts that are going on in the background that you’re not really aware of, but they do have an influence over you.
Know that you are not your thoughts, that you are the observer of your thoughts and you get to choose consciously if you believe them or not. For example, if we keep telling ourselves how lazy or how stupid we are, we believe it. It’s not true, however we created these thoughts sometime in our lives and we have handed our power over to them. Know that the tone of your subconscious thoughts are set by your life experiences, the people around you, what you listen to and watch on tv, and what you put into your awareness. When you’ve been playing the same music in your head all your life, it’s what you’re used to.
The three steps
#1 – Tune into your background thoughts and really listen to them
You have the power to soften the music and make it much more uplifting, and it’s time to change the radio station. You’ve got to learn what the words are that you’re using, learn what the most common thoughts are and write them down using the language that you are using. Put it all into a notebook, as if you’re taking minutes at a meeting, no judgement, no engagement, just get the facts.
#2 Have a chat with yourself and make an agreement
Make an appointment to sit down with yourself for some contemplative time. It doesn’t have to be longer than 10 minutes, but you do need to make time and space for this. Pick one of the thoughts that you documented in your notebook and pick it apart. Take an easy one to start with, and don’t do more than one at one sitting. You will see that yes, maybe when you were 16 years old you needed to be yelled at to study for school, but now you’re a grown up and you are allowed read nothing but romance novels and look out the window if that’s what you want to do. So why keep on yelling at yourself now? Look at your achievements, remind yourself that you are capable, and tell yourself you no longer have to yell at yourself to get things done. Tell yourself that it would be much easier for you if you could have a gentle reminder instead of screaming banshee in your head.
#3 – Replace your most damaging thoughts with new, healing ones
Once you’ve gently picked the thought apart, realised that it is no longer valid, then create a thought that’s an antidote. For example, for each sad song that radio station plays, you have a happy song at hand that you can deliberately choose to listen to instead. So replace “I’m lazy and stupid and I should have had all of those things done ages ago” with “I’m doing as much as I am able to do today, and it will all get done when it’s done.”.
This task is something you may need to do consciously, with pen and paper in hand. But once you have your healing thought, you’re more than half way there. You just have to plant it into your subconscious thought stream, by thinking it consciously every time your subconscious throws the equivalent damaging thought up at you. By doing this you calm the energy of the subconscious thought stream and the tone changes, becomes softer, lighter and more friendly. And you slowly obtain that inner peace that you’ve been looking for outside of yourself, but was inside of you all along.
This may not be quite what you expected me to say. And it may seem a bit like work to you, to begin with. But over time it becomes easier, and when the tone of that inner music shifts becomes more peaceful and hopeful, your overall outlook on life also shifts to match.
Take it one day at a time
I find that people need some help to sustain the work, as you have to do it over a long period of time for it to really stick. I’ve created affirmations and meditations that help recalibrate your radio station, to help you tune into music that’s much more pleasant to hear. The affirmations act as healing thoughts that you can repeat in your mind to change the tone of your subconscious thought stream.
My new “One Day at a Time Diary 2018” is in fact, a tool for you to help you sustain this over a whole year. Each month has a theme which lifts the tone of that inner music over the course of the year, almost like a wave on the sea, catching you where you are, rising you up gently, helping you let go of the things that are keeping you down, and bringing you to a softer, nicer place. To get the most out of the diary you still need to do the work I speak of here, because everyone has different thoughts that need to be picked apart. But once you learn what you need for you, you can alter the healing thoughts to be exactly what you need. The daily and weekly reminders will keep you going at a gentle pace over a long period of time. And as well as that, I’ve recorded all the affirmations, the visualisations and exercises as audio files that you can download for free from my website. So by playing these audio files each month you help your conscious brain and your subconscious thoughts tune into the healing energies to help you soften and shift towards inner peace. I’ll be doing Facebook live videos each month too, and optional healing sessions for that month’s theme. It’s all here for you, all you’ve got to do is say yes to yourself.