Month: October 2021

Top 10 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself Starting Today

Be Kind to Yourself

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Be Kinder to Yourself – Simple Self-Love: The Top 10 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself Starting Today

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” – Henry James

Being kind to yourself in everyday life is in my experience one of the best things you can do for yourself. Life will become lighter and your relationships will most likely improve.

You will feel happier overall. And your self-esteem and your sense of deserving good things in life will go up. But it is also one thing that is often neglected or something some may feel guilty about doing.

To make a positive change with that simply start a new habit today. One of kindness and love towards yourself.

How to Be Kinder to Yourself

We all tend to think the worst of ourselves when under a lot of stress.

The next time you feel like you’re being too hard on yourself, try this simple practice to foster self-compassion.

Being kind to yourself doesn’t always come naturally. The phrase “you are your own worst critic” rings true for a reason.

1. Talk Kindly to Yourself

Think about how you speak to the people you love and care about, and then turn that voice on yourself.

Be conscious about your inner voice – let it be a friend to you or one that is kind to you, rather than one that is harsh or belittles you. This can help you pick yourself up if things go wrong and help you cope better.

2. Practice Gratitude

We often find that people who practice gratitude and notice the things they are thankful for are happier and have a greater sense of wellbeing.

You might want to try and think of a few things in the morning or before you got to bed. You could tell someone in your household or write them down.

Actively focus on the positives of your day. Reframing situations and looking for the positives can help strengthen your resilience.

3. Perform Acts of Kindness to Others

Be kind to others. Small gestures have a big impact – whether it’s smiling at someone or letting someone go in front of you in a queue, for example.

Doing good for others boosts your own wellbeing and at the same time helps brighten someone else’s day.

4. Reflect Daily

Make time every day to give yourself some space to reflect on what’s going on for you and how you are feeling. A few minutes to sit and think or write in a journal can help you process your thoughts and feelings and cope better.

5. Self-Care

Keeping healthy routines and rituals are an important way to look after yourself. These might be things like having breakfast, carving out some time for yourself in the day, planning what you eat and performing exercise, and doing some things you enjoy.

6. Be Responsible for Yourself

If a stressful or busy day tempts you to treat yourself with alcohol or junk food for example – think about whether this is a healthy move to make or not.

A treat now and then is fine, but recognize not to use it as a crutch, as it can sabotage all the efforts you’ve made to look after yourself. Self-compassion comes with self-respect, not self-sabotage.

7. Invest in Your Interests

Do things that really align with your interests and passions.

If you have a creative streak, make time for a creative outlet, or if you like being outdoors or doing sport – make time for these too. These are the things that can often get pushed off your priority list, but it’s important that you don’t compromise them.

8. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of thinking – focusing on the here and now. It encourages you to pay attention to the present moment. This can help reduce thinking too far ahead (and worrying about things that haven’t happened yet), or thinking about the past (and dwelling on things you cannot change).

You can mindfully do almost anything – eat a meal, brush your teeth, or choosing to go for a walk mindfully.

9. Spend Time in or Around Nature

Being around elements of the natural world can be calming and improve your sense of wellbeing.

Consider how you can make time to be with elements of the outdoors and natural world. This could be greenery such as your garden, a walk in the park, and green spaces around you.

It could also be water, such as a stroll by a canal, lake, or river, or better still a beach or parts of the coast if these are nearby.

10. Think of the Opportunities

We’re currently in the middle of a global pandemic, which is understandably a cause of worry and stress. It may help to counter these feelings if you can consider this a unique time of opportunity too.

We can reframe our perception of this time as a chance to pause, reflect and reset.

Think about the things you didn’t enjoy in your life before, and what you may want to keep or change going forward.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

About the Author
Trishna Patnaik

Trishna Patnaik is a BSc (in life sciences) and MBA (in marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. Previously a corporate professional, she realized that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion, painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter based in Mumbai, as well as an art therapist and healer.

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I Used to Keep This Quiet


There’s a quiet, poignant scene at the beginning of Eat Pray Love, where Liz Gilbert reads a line from a Louise Gluck poem: “From the center of my life, there came a great fountain…”

This is what I think of when I go for daily walks with Baby Girl. Each morning, we set out with the stroller. On our way home, I steer us toward the fountain downtown. The closer we get, the more attentive Baby Girl becomes.

We circle the perimeter, and her eyes go wide. I can only imagine what she’s thinking, what it feels like for her to see all of that leaping, rushing water. It probably seems like a great mystery, a profound wonder, an inexplicable gift.

I can relate because that’s how I feel when I see her face.

She looks at the water, and I look at her.

You see, our Baby Girl was a long time coming. We – I – went through a lot to welcome her into the world. There were times when it seemed impossible. When the odds seemed stacked against it. When the pain was almost too much to bear.

And yet.

I’m not superstitious, but I longed for her so much that I would throw pennies into that downtown fountain. It became a regular ritual, one I kept quiet from the world.

Each time I would close my eyes for just a moment and think: Little one, I wish that someday we will walk by this fountain together.

And then I would go home and handle the latest hurdle in the way of that beautiful dream.

Sometimes I felt like I was crazy to keep wishing and walking past that fountain.

Do you know what that’s like?

To long for something that seems so far out of reach, and to be so bold as to take action on that longing?

If you do, then you know that it isn’t easy. To do as Rilke advises – to “go to the limits of your longing” – that is a tall order.

And also: It is a sacred task.

To long for something that doesn’t exist yet takes faith. It takes courage, to let yourself be vulnerable and admit: Yes, I actually DO want what I want. Some wild, tenacious part of me believes that it’s meant to be mine.

Yes, even in this incredibly challenging time, even in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Perhaps especially now.

When none of us know what the future holds or how much time we have – how very important it is to be honest with yourself.

To acknowledge that yes, some part of you believes that you really COULD live that dream. (Speak on that stage. Write that book. Start that business. Become that confident version of yourself.)

What I want to recommend to you today is: Listen. Listen to that stubborn, hopeful, relentless part of you.

And then: Take a step in the direction you most long to go. Put feet to your prayers.

That’s what I was doing, back in the day when I threw pennies in the fountain. I wished, yes, and then I took massive action.

I hoped, and then I fought like hell.

I work with women who are brave enough to do that. As a coach, I help them on their journey to become who they’ve always wanted to be.

See, I believe that the part of you that hopes and wishes is actually Future You, calling Present You forward.

Future You wants to exist, so she calls out to Present You in the form of longing.

At the end of Eat Pray Love, Liz writes about this idea:

“The younger me was the acorn full of potential, but it was the older me, the already-existent oak, who was saying the whole time- ‘Yes – grow! Change! Evolve! Come and meet me here, where I already exist in wholeness and maturity! I need you to grow into me!’”

To you and your becoming,

Caroline


Caroline Garnet McGraw is the author of You Don’t Owe Anyone: Free Yourself from the Weight of Expectations (Broadleaf Books, 2021). Read the first chapter for free and start living your life without apology.

Image courtesy of Matheus Henrin.

What Is Mental Calmness and Why You Need It

What Is Mental Calmness

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Let me first start by saying that mental calmness has nothing to do with passivity and abstaining from taking action.

It also has nothing to with a dull and uneventful life.

Let’s define what does mental calmness mean.

What Is Mental Calmness?

What does mental calmness mean?

Mental calmness is a state of mental and emotional tranquility and poise.

With this state of mind, you do not take things personally and do not get offended by what people say or do.

This state of mind fosters patience, self-discipline, serenity, contentment and peace of mind.

  • A mentally calm person does not act impulsively and rashly, and does not react with anger or restlessness.
  • A mentally calm person is not agitated easily, and does not allow worries and doubts to affect his or her thinking, behavior and actions.

Mental calmness resembles a calm and quiet lake, with no waves, unlike an agitated mind, which resembles an ocean with high and dangerous waves.

Mental calmness enables you to handle your work, relationships and your life, calmly, effectively and confidently. It will also improve the quality of your inner and outer life.

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Mental Calmness Examples

1. You are in the company of a stressful person. You can either get stressed and anxious too, or you can remember to stay calm, relaxed and poised, if you possess mental calmness.

2. Your boss yells at you. It does not matter whether it is because you did not finish a project on time, because you did a mistake, or because your boss is in a bad mood today. Instead of getting stressed and uptight, mental calmness would help you keep your poise and avoid the stress.

3. You make a plan, but it does not work out. If you lack mental calmness, you would probably get stressed, angry, frustrated. With a calm mind you will review your actions in an unbiased manner and decide on a different approach.

4. Do you react with anger and frustration when something breaks down, when you lose something, or when someone says nasty words about you? With a relaxed mindset you would stay calm and not affected mentally and emotionally.

5. Do you overthink? Do you keep repeating stressful thoughts in your mind, unable to let them go? Do you keep analyzing, thinking and worrying about unimportant matters? Mental calmness will set your mind free.

How to Gain Mental Calmness?

What to do to make your mind peaceful? How to bring peace into your mind?

Well, there are various ways to gain inner peace and calm mind.

Meditation

Any meditation technique you practice will go a long way to calm your mind and give you mastery over your mind. You can find several meditation techniques, here at this website.

A regular practice of meditation will give you tranquility, a serene mind and more control over your thoughts.

Mindfulness

This practice is very similar to meditation. For more information read the article Mindfulness – Focusing on the Present Moment and Living in the Now.

Emotional detachment

This practice teaches you not to take things personally, and stop being mentally and emotionally stirred and agitated
by what people say and do.

With emotional attachment you will learn to avoid being attached to thoughts, feeling and beliefs that limit you and cause you stress and discomfort.

This practice will also help you let go of your emotional burdens, so you can enjoy inner peace and happiness.

For more information, read about Emotional Detachment for Happier Life.

Focus and concentration

improving your focus and concentration would give you greater control over your thoughts, and this would lead to a tranquil mind, free from meaningless and unnecessary thoughts.

How to improve your focus and concentration? You can take the first steps by practicing a few concentration exercises.

Our mind is constantly busy, every hour of the day. All kind of thoughts enter the mind, stay a little while, and then make room for other thoughts. Thoughts, ideas, worries and fears constantly capture the attention and occupy the mind.

This nonstop activity does not allow the mind to think clearly, to be sharp and focused, and to be calm.

When nonstop chatter and constant thinking do not occupy your mind, it becomes sharper, more focused, and therefore, more resourceful and more productive.

Calming down the nonstop chatter of your mind is one of the best ways to arrive to a state of mental calmness and mental peace, free from stress and worries.

This might seem as an unattainable goal, but it is attainable. Of course, this requires inner work and some effort on your part, but the rewards are great.

In my book, Calm Down the Nonstop Chatter of Your Mind, I offer a step-by-step program for stopping the restlessness of the mind and enjoying inner peace.

Benefits of Being Mentally Calm

Here are a few of the benefits:

  • You learn to live in the present moment, not in the past, nor in the future.
  • Your common sense, perception and efficiency increase.
  • You stay calm and in control of yourself in difficult and stressful conditions.
  • You act calmly and confidently, with no anger or restlessness.
  • Your patience and inner strength increase.
  • You progress faster if you are on the path of self-improvement or spiritual growth.

Words to Remember

The mind is like a room that is always full with a lot of stuff. There is no free space there. When you empty your mind of this stuff, you make room for peace of mind.

Tranquility and inner peace stop the restlessness of the mind and silence futile and meaningless thoughts.

The wind creates waves in the ocean. Restless thoughts, like the wind, create waves and storms in the mind. As the ocean calms down when there is no wind, so the mind calms down when there are fewer thoughts.

“When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us. When our community is in a state of peace, it can share that peace with neighboring communities.”
– The Dalai Lama

“When the mind is left without anything to cling to, it becomes still.”
– Sri Ramana Maharshi

“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.”
– James Allen

“First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.”
– Thomas a Kempis

“Learn to be calm and you will always be happy.”
– Paramahansa Yogananda

“Without peace of mind, life is just a shadow of its possibilities.”
– Jean Borysenko

“Anxiety is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.”
– Jodi Picoult

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Calm Down the Restlessness and Nonstop Chatter of Your Mind

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