My temporary absence from PCPW can be explained by the looming presence of Mercury Retrograde between the middle of January and February. Communication always goes astray!
Still, you’ll be pleased to know Mercury is now direct again, enabling you the power of articulation and starting anew. The stars are directing us to move forward optimistically into Spring and as we’re all made of stardust, the process starts within you!
The laws of nature require us to take life day by day so here’s 5 simple actions you can do to improve your mood and self-image. Best of all, none of the steps take longer than 5 minutes so you’ll definitely have time to do them!
Here is my abridged Guide to Self-love, AKA a few life-hacks for obtaining happiness and attracting better luck in life.
Fun fact: our actions determine how we perceive ourselves and thus smiling tricks the brain into releasing happy hormones. It assumes there must be a reason for the smile on your face and your brain will look for proof of this fact. Everybody wants to be around people who gratify them and simply smiling more in conversation engenders this result! It makes people feel important and in turn they’ll give the same warmth back to you. Smile whenever you can, even if you’re only briefly meeting eyes with strangers on the street. We’ve all experienced the flash of a friendly smile before and it makes us feel great on an ordinary day. Learning to smile more will impact your self-esteem in a small yet significant way.
It works as a quick-fix for a better mood when you’re alone as well. If the idea makes you feel uncomfortable, I actively encourage you to accept yourself in all your individuality and relax your facial muscles into a grin while you read. You don’t need to judge yourself and you’ll instantly feel more peaceful.
Whatever the reason, smile more.
Affirmations are statements some people use to manifest their desires and re-affirm how much they value themselves. It’s like receiving a pep-talk from someone you trust – only that person is your inner voice. Often, affirmations use the power of words to foster self-belief. A basic example:
“I am capable and confident.”
The more personal you make the affirmation, the more you’ll feel the effects of your words. It’s crucial you understand that your perception affects everything.
Practically speaking, write down a few things you want to truly believe about yourself and don’t be afraid to take inspiration from others. Louise Hay is affirmation royalty so maybe take a look at her webpage. You can play editor before you play creator if that helps to stimulate your mind.
Read them out loud, slowly and confidently.
It’s especially useful to have a mirror in front of you so you connect with the words emotionally.
If you’re too shy to start off with that, simply take the time to tell yourself “I can do it, I am strong and blessed” etc. in your head every morning. Our lives are so demanding that we unconsciously allow our troubles to dominate our thinking landscape, thereby generating a whirlpool of stress.To say affirmations is to remind yourself that everything is okay and you are constantly being brilliant.
I am surrounded by love. All is well.
Thoughts become things
. This is the explanation for the colloquially named Law of Attraction: a popular theory that our minds need to focus on our desires in order to obtain them. When your teacher told you to concentrate on your subject or else you won’t excel in it, you understood their logic and acted accordingly. Positive thinking works on the same principle of realising our thoughts determine our actions, so
constructive thoughts = positive results.
I’m not asking you to create a moodboard (although you can if you want to – they’re fun!) but if you choose to say ‘no’ mid-way through each negative thought that enters your mind and replace it with a more cheery perspective, you’ll feel more motivated overall. Keep it up and worries will stop niggling at you since you’ve trained your brain to think proactively instead.
Your thoughts control how you act so think positively.
I can confidently say you do this step all the time, although I’m referring to a mindful practice. Awareness of your breathing enables you to focus on the present moment. If you’re stressed or angry at any point during the day, inhale while counting to 5 and a second later, exhale slowly. It will have a calming effect, can prevent arguments and if you maintain the theme of repetition, you’ll feel more ‘zen’ than all the folks in California.
Plus it can only benefit your bodily health – an integral part of self-care!
Take some time out to just breathe.
Like any self-respecting blogger post-2010, I often write ‘gratitude lists’. They aren’t addressed to anybody and I often discard the document because reading back your words once is enough. Sometimes you need proof that everything is okay and ingesting life’s blessings in word form is an effective way of coming to a calm realisation.
The idea first became apparent to me via Gala Darling’s blog. A self-love guru, she constructs ‘Things I Love Thursday’ lists to facilitate a sense of gratitude for all the good things around her. Sometimes we feel frustrated with our circumstances and lack the material resources to improve our situation. This is where our minds act as a powerful tool for allowing us to change our perspective on the situation. In our privileged society, this can often be enough.
Get creative and list everything that would make an Instagram star feel #blessed, from the mundane to the extra-ordinary. It puts your awesome life into perspective because the proof is written in front of you!
Love yourself first and everything else will fall into place.