15 Pieces of Healing Advice for Women from Real Women - International Women's Day
International Women’s Day is a global celebration of women – a chance to reflect on the collective achievements that have been made.
It is also an opportunity to acknowledge one’s own individual journey, and share and gain wisdom from other women who have been there or are going through it.
To celebrate IWD, we asked a group of women to give healing advice to other women currently experiencing a difficult time.
Here are 15 pieces of powerful healing advice – filled with sisterhood, love, kindness and compassion – for women from women.
1. “Always be your true self – you are you” – Rebecca Coulter
2. “I’m on my breast cancer journey at the moment. It’s totally doable if you use my motto – take one day at a time and listen to your body. Rest when you need to” – Marcia Davey
3. “Don’t change for anyone” – April Place
4. “Take a good look at who you follow on social media and the content you are digesting elsewhere on the web. I’ve deleted all accounts that were making me feel inadequate and not good enough. Instead I’ve started following more inspiring people and quote pages, and listening to motivational speakers on YouTube. It has helped me feel a lot better about myself” – Lisa Rhodes
5. “True love is really learning to love yourself” – Lesley Stonier
6. “If you have no idea what to say when asked about your female role models, become that person for future young women to have someone they can admire.” – Nicole Russin-McFarland
7. “Be your own hero” – Becky Hawkes
8. “No matter what – always go with your gut” – Jo Spears
9. “Stay true to yourself and believe that you can do all things through Christ” – Stephanie Ware
10. “Put yourself first, never ever lose yourself and remember: you’re your own best friend so be kind to yourself” – Sukaina Benzakour
11. “You are a survivor” – Tina Russell
12. “Take time to be fully present. You have the power to make your life magical” – Leah Breaks
13. “If it is meant to be it will happen, just stay true to yourself, and don’t worry about what others think” – Suzie Newbold
14. “Love yourself first and everything will fall into place as it should” – Kuulei Lokilani
15. “I admire women who have taken, or are taking, the journey to heal. It’s uncomfortable, painful and very messy at times. But what I’ve found is that delving into the deepest aspects of your being awakens something raw and beautiful in you that was always itching to be released” – Stephanie Dunleavy
The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health
Social media is still in its infancy when it comes to understanding the extent to which it is affecting the mental health of its users.
While there have been many studies over the 15 years since Facebook, and then the proceeding big three – Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat – launched, there is still a lot to learn. This is partly due to the fact that the social media landscape is rapidly changing.
Soul Analyse carried out a survey in July 2019. The purpose of the poll was to uncover how social media was affecting the mental health of its users, particularly when it came to body image and self-confidence.
The survey was conducted among 2,004 adults in the UK – 937 men and 1,067 women.
Mental Health in a Social Media World
The rise of social media means that we are more connected than ever; platforms like Facebook and Instagram have become a normal way for people to showcase their lives. Whether it’s a baby being born, getting married, or just what someone had for lunch, billions of users are drawn to these networks to share their most precious and mundane moments.
While it may appear harmless, the content that is posted online each day runs much deeper in the minds and emotions of its users.
Soul Analyse’s study reveals that one in five (20%) UK adults feel anxious and depressed because of social media.
In our modern world, technology has provided new triggers of anxiety and depression for today’s social media user. Some of these might be: the exposure to gloomy news, cyber bullying and feeling inadequate when comparing lives with others online.
What began as social platforms to connect with others, have become more of competition where the fight for likes and popularity overrides the initial purpose, and users are suffering. Ultimately social media is not real life but the issues experienced as a result of it are very much real.
Age Matters, and So Does Time
The study demonstrates that the younger age groups are more at risk: 31% of 18-24 year-olds and 31% of 25-34 year-olds report feeling depressed and anxious as a result of social media.
As age increases, the figure drops significantly: 27% of 35-44 year-olds report feeling depressed and anxious, whereas just 13% of 45-54 year-olds state they do, and only 10% of 55+ year-olds.
It’s no surprise that age is a determining factor of whether someone is more likely to feel depressed and anxious when using social media. Younger people are naturally more impressionable and because of this, are more likely to judge their own lives based on the lives of others, and fall victim to online bullying.
Time is also a considerable factor. It seems the more time people spend on social networks, the higher the chance of them experiencing mental health issues.
53% of users who spend 21-25 hours on social media per week report being depressed and anxious, whereas only 20% of users who spend 1-5 hours a week cite feeling depressed and anxious.
Body Image Issues
While it may seem harmless browsing feeds and looking at other people’s bodies, we must question – how is this making social media users feel about their own bodies?
On Instagram alone 95 million pictures are posted every day. But which social media platform is the biggest culprit for making people feel conscious about the way they look?
50% of Snapchat users admitted they notice flaws more as a result of using the platform. 39% of Instagram users notice flaws more, compared to 33% of Twitter users and 28% of Facebook users.
Celebs and Influencers
Today, the most popular networks are less social, more media, which has drastically changed the nature of the content posted online. As more and more advertisers scout for leads from within these platforms, the race for engagement has never been more pressing, and the role of a social media influencer has become serious. Some of the most popular influencers can earn in excess of $250,000 for one post. But the question remains, this new world we live in – what impact is it having on the way the everyday social media user feels about themselves?
The survey looked at patterns between mental health issues and comparing lives to others online. Of those who admitted to comparing themselves to celebrities and influencers, 45% said they feel anxious and depressed. 72% said they notice their flaws more, and a huge 81% said they feel pressure to improve their appearance.
Prior to social media, the average person was not able to share their content alongside celebrities. It’s a new concept, and one that has raised the bar as far as standards are concerned. With the everyday social media user feeling pressure to keep up with the beauty standards of celebrities posting professional, and quite often retouched, images, it’s no wonder they are left feeling inadequate.
It is not only everyday social media users that experience body image issues. In her recent documentary Odd One Out, Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson shone a light on the dark side of social media. Speaking candidly about her experiences with cyberbullying, Nelson told how she developed serious body image and mental health issues after being subjected to continuous abuse by online trolls.
After receiving a barrage of insults, Nelson began to hate the way she looked and, following a suicide attempt, went through a transformational journey to change her appearance.
Unfortunately Nelson’s story is not unique. Whether down to cyberbullying or feeling pressure due to increasing beauty standards, body image issues are becoming the norm.
The younger generation have a lot more to deal with now that social media has become a normal part of their everyday lives. It is important that stories like Nelson’s are not only heard but create a ripple effect of change so we can protect vulnerable people.
The survey results provide a snapshot view of how harmful social media can be. We have to acknowledge the fact that these hugely popular platforms are potentially very damaging to people’s mental health.
The pictures posted online are not representative of reality and it can be difficult to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not. This is no doubt causing body image issues, especially among young people.
Instead of turning to filters to change the way they look in hope of fixing the perceived problem, which is just going to give them more unrealistic standards to live up to, the answer lies in helping social media users realise that they can change the way they feel about themselves through self-acceptance, rather than changing the way their body looks.
Social media is an ever-evolving space, it can be difficult to predict how things will change in the near future, but one thing is sure: image-altering tools are becoming more sophisticated and beauty standards are forever increasing.
The body positive movement has created a wave of awareness around being more real on social media. Activists like Megan Crabbe, who has amassed 1.2 million followers on her Instagram, has created a huge active community of people who support her powerful and emotive posts surrounding body image issues, and how to tackle them. Accounts like Crabbe’s remind people of what’s real, and what’s not, and help social media to become a positive place where users can visit for a boost in confidence, rather than leaving feeling inadequate.
Being mindful of time spent online and aiming to connect more with people in person would also certainly help. It’s important to be reminded that social media is not real; it’s an online platform where people can make up personas and post pictures that look nothing like they would in person. True meaningful connections are better off made in the real world, in person, where there is no competition for likes, no filters and no risk of trolling.
Seven Signs You've met your Soulmate
Meeting your soulmate is one of life’s true treasures, there is no feeling quite like it. A soulmate is someone you can have a deep connection with; soulmates can communicate without words and once two souls join, they rarely part.
There can often be confusion between a soulmate and romantic partner, so we’ve put together signs that will help indicate if you have met your soulmate.
Here are seven signs you’ve met your soulmate.
1. They Enter Your Life In Perfect Timing
Your soulmate will enter your life at just the right moment; it is likely that you will be experiencing huge life changes and their presence brings you great calmness and peace.
It is also probable that you crossed paths with your soulmate before you became a couple, you might have lived in the same neighbourhood, or known mutual people but for some reason or another, it just wasn’t the right time. Soulmates always enter one another’s lives at the perfect time.
2. Immediate Connection
Soulmates usually experience an immediate connection; you will feel like you have known them a lifetime. Just looking into their eyes feels familiar and you immediately feel at home with them.
Although soulmates have an immediate connection, that’s not to say there is an instant attraction. Sometimes when soulmates meet there is no physical attraction at all but there is a force that pushes them towards one another. Even if the early attraction is slight and your soulmate doesn’t match your ‘usual type’, you will just know that this is the person you are supposed to be with – it will feel right.
3. Unspoken Understanding
A soulmate bond is one like no other; one where understanding is at its highest peak.
Soulmates can often communicate without speaking; knowing how the other is feeling without having to say a single word. Spending time with your soulmate never gets tiring; you can sit together for hours on end, talking about your deepest thoughts and feelings, and discussing theirs.
4. Deeper Connection
Soulmates often go through many similar experiences before meeting and this makes them even closer. There is no-one on this planet that knows you better than your soulmate. You find that you are able to open up about your innermost secrets, without shame or fear. Along with every detail about your past, they know what makes you happy, what makes you sad and what makes you tick. You even share a secret humour that no-one else understands, and nobody makes you laugh like they do.
5. You Bring Out the Best In Each Other
Your soulmate always wants the best for you – they see potential in you that you haven’t even seen in yourself, and they push you beyond your comfort zone. This is a perfect love match and you proactively work together to improve one another’s lives; they inspire you to do better and you have the same impact on them.
You also share the same views on life and want to get to the same place, even if you have different ways of getting there.
6. Your Life Is Unimaginable Without Them
Your life is simply unimaginable without your soulmate; being in their company is like something you have never experienced before and the thought of being without them is painful. There is nothing that could break the bond between soulmates; you accept each other’s flaws and imperfections, even learning to love them.
7. You Just Know
Beyond everything else, you will know if they are your soulmate. Your intuition never lies; simply look within and you’ll be given the answers.
Have you met your soulmate yet? How many of these signs reflect your relationship? Comment in the box below.
Buddhist Principles That Are Still Relevant Today
Buddhist principles are built on gratitude, selflessness and the ability to see the best in any given situation – something we can take great inspiration from.
Buddhism is a way of life – that is led mainly by spiritual practices and honest principles, which are attributed to ‘The Buddha’.
When practiced, these principles are said to lead to inner peace, calmness in the mind and a deeper sense of connectedness with the Universe. In addition, at the very core of Buddhism lies gratitude.
Formed over two thousand years ago, Buddhism is still very relevant today. Whether you want to experience more happiness, live with more purpose, or feel grateful for the world you live in, Buddhism encourages positive change in all facets of life.
Here are four principles that will help you to live a Buddhist-inspired life.
1. You already have Everything
According to Buddhism, the desire to have more – whether in material or emotional terms – results in discontentment. Buddha believed that the only way to end suffering was to end desire.
Desire is not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it motivates us to do better, but if wanting more makes us feel unhappy with what we already have, it’s counterintuitive. Not forgetting the disruption it causes to our inner peace.
If you choose to feel content with your life exactly as it is, that empty feeling of ‘lack’ will cease to exist.
2. Maximise Your Potential As A Human Being
Some say that as human beings we have an extraordinary ability to live in harmony with ourselves and others, along with the world and all of its inhabitants. Buddhism promotes such a way of life; it teaches us to maximise our potential through the use of the mind, the body, and of course the soul.
Buddha believed that humans were a rare form of life. All species are unique in their own right and when you consider the size of the human race (7.4 billion) compared with other species, such as chicken, insects and rodents, (which each amount to tens of billions upwards), you realise that human life is a rarity.
That’s not to say any species is less important, but as human beings, we have a choice to experience inner peace, compassion, kindness, empathy, for ourselves and everything else on this planet.
3. Suffering Can Be Good
Negative experiences that we encounter can serve as powerful lessons, should we allow them to. Looking inward during times of difficulty is not something we tend to do naturally, we often look outside for blame, for answers and for healing. And yet, if we looked inside and searched for ways to grow off of the back of a difficult situation, we would find many.
Even when things aren’t going well, Buddhism teaches us to look at what’s going right – it encourages us to find good in every situation and learn from all experiences. Suffering teaches us to be more compassionate, it strips us back to our true self, and we feel greater empathy toward other people as a result of our own pain.
4. There’s Only One Moment
Buddhism teaches us the importance of living in the moment and living with purpose. It says that the past has been and gone, and the future doesn’t exist. There is only ever one moment that is real, and that moment is the present.
Living in the present moment not only offers peace of mind, it also helps us to be more appreciative of life and in-tune with our surroundings, and as a result, we get greater enjoyment out of life!
These seven quotes will help you to love and accept yourself just as you are.
1. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” –Brene Brown
2. “You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” –Wayne Dyer
3. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
4. “Our first and last love is self-love.” –Christian Nestell Bovee
5. “The supreme act of forgiveness is when you can forgive yourself for all the wounds you’ve created in your own life. Forgiveness is an act of self-love. When you forgive yourself, self-acceptance begins and self-love grows.” –Miguel Angel Ruiz
6. “Remember, you have been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” –Louise Hay
7. “The first step toward being loved is learning to love what you see when you look in the mirror.” –Tadahiko Nagao
Seven Beautifully-Uplifting Quotes
Here are seven beautiful quotes that will lift your spirits.
1. “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” –Denis Waitley
2. “The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen.” –Rumi
3. “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” –Carl Jung
4. “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” –Maya Angelou
5. “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” –Dalai Lama
6. “Fear only exists when you do not understand that you have the power to project thought and that the Universe will respond.” –Abraham Hicks
7. “As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul.” –Dr. Wayne Dyer
Tip: Repeat your favourite quote each day for 30 days to reprogram your subconsciousness.
Stand Alone And Show The Rest of The World How It's Done
There may be moments in your life where it will feel like you are alone. On a journey that no one else understands. A path that others don’t agree with. A trip that others don’t often take.
But just because you’re going off the beaten track, it doesn’t mean you are going in the wrong direction. It just means that others before you haven’t been brave enough, or had enough determination to go that route.
And what’s really beautiful, is that you get a chance to stand alone and show everyone how it’s done.
Realise How Powerful You Are
Whatever it is that you want to do… No matter how out-of-the-ordinary… Even if it hasn’t been done before… You can do it!
Many people tend to believe there is power in numbers but not always. Anything new and remarkable, every invention that has ever been made, every groundbreaking idea, was started by one person, or a very small group of people.
The creation of anything requires only one mind. Only one person’s faith and determination. Only one person’s bravery. And that can be you. You can be the one who makes a different kind of change in the world. A lasting impact.
You can single-handedly achieve anything. You have it in you; you just have to believe in yourself and believe in what you know.
Your mind is the only thing that can stop you, so it’s important that you create a robust mindset – one that cannot be shaken, no matter what comes your way. And use your thoughts to empower you, not crush you; pump your mind with all the encouragement you need.
Don’t be afraid to stand alone. If what you are planning on doing is easy, everybody would be doing it, and it wouldn’t be so extraordinary. There will be times you’ll need to be exceptionally brave and fearless.
There will be times where you’ll have to stand tall in the face of naysayers. And they will come – they will disrupt you, they will attempt to divert you, they will most certainly test you and, at times, they will sow seeds of doubt in your mind.
This is all down to the fact that people are frightened of what they don’t understand. If you’re doing something different, you will be faced with disbelievers and people who are wary and insecure about what you are doing.
When you feel doubt rising within you because of something someone said, remember why you are doing it. Don’t let it bother you; feel sorry for them that they don’t have the capacity in their mind to achieve the unexpected. Remember how powerful you are – and remember that you are brave for going against the grain.
Also, don’t spend time trying to get others to come round to your way. It’s a waste of energy and you will be met with resistance. Instead, show them. Demonstrate how it’s done. That’s when they’ll believe you, and by then, their acceptance won’t be needed.
Faith Will Get You Through
Lastly, and most importantly, hold onto faith like a precious piece of treasure. Don’t dare let it slip through your fingers because when everything else has fled – your hope, strength and courage – faith will help you get it all back.
Faith is your safety net that will stop you from falling. Even if you allow doubt to momentarily seep through and get in your head, faith will help you regain confidence. Even if logic tells you that you won’t get through it, faith will allow you to override the logic.
No matter what happens, if you’ve got faith, you’ll make it happen because faith is filled with trust. It’s a knowing. It’s certainty. All the time you have faith in your heart, nothing can stop you from getting where you need to go; even if you take a few steps back.
Let faith carry you through your darkest moments and lead you back into the light. And when you’ve reverted back to your position of strength, thank yourself for your bravery, thank yourself for your strength and feel grateful that you have the courage to try something different.
Get out there and do whatever it is you want to achieve. We believe in you – now it’s over to you!
Seven Quotes to Remind You that You're Beautiful Just the Way You Are
Here are seven body positive quotes to remind you that you are beautiful just the way you are. Yes you!
1. “As for the rest of you, remember this: YOU ARE WANTED. Big, small, tall, short, pretty, plain, friendly, shy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, not even yourself. Especially yourself.” – Jennifer Niven
2. “Even the models we see in magazines wish they could look like their own images.” – Cheri K. Erdman
3. “By choosing healthy over skinny you are choosing self-love over self-judgment. You are beautiful!” – Steve Maraboli
4. “You are worthy. You are capable. You are beautiful. – Book the ticket. Write the book. Create the dream. Celebrate yourself. Rule your queendom” – Elyse Santilli
5. “And I said to my body. Softly. ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath. And replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’” – Nayyirah Waheed
6. “When you do talk about yourself, or talk to yourself try to picture you talking to your own daughter, or your younger sister. Because you would tell your younger sister or your daughter that she is beautiful, and you wouldn’t be lying. Because she is. And so are you.” – Amy Poehler
7. “One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl.” – Gabourey Sidibe
Here are seven quotes to help you embrace your uniqueness.
1. “Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.” –Richard Bach
2. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” –Oscar Wilde
3. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
4. “By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.” –Edwin Elliot
5. “Wearing a mask wears you out. Faking it is fatiguing. The most exhausting activity is pretending to be what you know you aren’t.” –Rick Warren
6. “You were born an original, don’t die a copy.” –John Mason
7. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
Share your thoughts below!
Your Body is Beautiful. Your Soul is Beautiful. Your Thoughts? Not So
You think the problem is with your body. You think the problem is with your personality. You think the problem is with your flaws. When what you aren’t picking up on, is that the problem is only in your mind.
You are beautiful on every level – so what if you aren’t the perfect weight and so what if you don’t have silky long hair, or big luscious lips. So what if you’ve made mistakes, who hasn’t? So what if you don’t fit into society’s tiny little ridiculous box of what it means to be beautiful or perfect.
Who said society’s right anyway? Truth is, no one can ever match up to the definition of perfect, so trying to be perfect is a losing game.
It’s worth remembering that the idea of perfect has been created for money, for consumerism – more on this here, don’t fall into the trap. Don’t let yourself be made to feel inferior by anyone’s standards because you are EVERYTHING, just as you are.
The ‘Not Good Enough’ Mentality
The mind has a very relentless way of looking for flaws.
We don’t naturally tend to think, “I’m doing my best” or “I look great” – both of which can come from a very loving place and not a place of ego. Instead, the mind tends to pinpoint – it gets out a magnifying glass and examines every tiny piece of ourselves, always coming up with the same answer of “not good enough”.
This ‘not good enough’ mentality is profusely damaging to our confidence, our self-esteem, our motivation, our standards, our boundaries, our drive, our decisions.
If you don’t think you are good enough, you won’t believe in yourself, which means you won’t reach your potential. If you don’t think you’re good enough, you’ll feel that others are better than you, which will create comparison, jealousy and dampen your own worth. If you don’t think you’re good enough, you will enter into destructive relationships with family members, friends and romantic partners because your lapsed boundaries and lack of self-esteem will create rifts among everyone around you.
We could talk all day about the negative impacts of not feeling good enough, but how about we turn our attention to how we can begin to believe that we are good enough?
Fix Your Thoughts, Fix Everything
You don’t need to change, you just need to change your thoughts. The mind is the issue here. Fix your thoughts, and you fix everything that you think is wrong with you.
There are three steps to this.
Step 1. Notice the Criticism
You know one of those moments where nothing particularly bad is happening but you suddenly feel really sh*t about yourself? If you were aware of your thoughts leading up to that point, you’d probably see a negative trail happening.
The most simplest of things can spark self-criticism – a TV ad, a social media post, something someone says, something someone does, something we ourselves do. But if we live our lives allowing any silly little thing to alter our own perception of ourselves, we live our lives forever feeling bad about who we are, which is just tragic.
Thoughts are very, very powerful. Left to their own devices, they will take control and overrun the mind with negativity. The only way to take back control over your thoughts is to begin being aware of what you are thinking. The thoughts only control you when you don’t consciously see what’s being said. When you are able to catch yourself in a moment of criticism, you have power over what to do next.
Step 2. Challenge Those Thoughts
The mind is like a muscle – the more you work with it, the more it will work with you. Begin to challenge critical thoughts – stop yourself in your tracks when you notice the self-depleting thoughts happening, and gently tell yourself, “that’s not true”. The thoughts only have power if you believe them.
You will eventually be able to train your mind so that negative thoughts leave as quickly as they show up, with little influence over the way you feel.
Step 3. Exchange them for Something Empowering
Here’s the fun bit! You can choose to give yourself empowerment, drive, motivation, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude – simply by exchanging your negative thoughts for something empowering.
You don’t have to wait until you catch yourself thinking self-loathing thoughts. You can have a choice over how you talk to yourself anytime; you can make it a daily practice to fill your mind with empowering ideas and thoughts.
Here are 20 really powerful affirmations you can start saying:
I AM BEAUTIFUL
I AM STRONG
I AM ENOUGH
I AM BLESSED
I AM WORTHY
I AM VALUABLE
I AM DESERVING
I AM LEARNING
I AM POWERFUL
I AM BRAVE
I AM GROWING
I AM CONFIDENT
I AM WISE
I AM GRATEFUL
I AM LIMITLESS
I AM HAPPY
I AM MORE
I AM FEARLESS
I AM UNIQUE
I AM ME
Affirmations work best when they are said with repetition over a long period. Try using the same affirmation several times a day for at least 30 days to experience the benefits.
Begin to see that you are so much more than you give yourself credit for. Start giving yourself the credit you deserve. Start looking for reasons to feel good about yourself, and stop looking for flaws and reasons to put yourself down.
This is called self-love – are you ready to commit?
The Power of Gratitude
Do you choose to think in a way that enriches your life and encourages positivity? Or do you choose to think thoughts that starve you of happiness? The answer lies in whether you are grateful.
Ungratefulness is a gateway to unhappiness; you can never be satisfied if you don’t appreciate what you already have. Thankfulness on the other hand, is the polar opposite – here’s why.
Showing Gratitude to the People in Your Life
Many relationships suffer for the sheer reason that they lack gratitude; a relationship without appreciation is one that breeds hate and conflict.
How many times have you felt that someone didn’t serve you as well as you expected them to? This kind of mindset not only places your satisfaction in the hands of others; it also starves you of happiness.
The more you look at what people “should” do for you, instead of acknowledging how much they already do for you, the less-satisfied with them you become.
When we feel genuinely thankful for the things others do for us, it changes the whole dimensions of our relationships, and forms the basis for very fruitful and healthy connections.
How often do you demonstrate your gratefulness to others? Do your friends, family and co-workers, really know how much you appreciate them? If you take into account how much they do for you, in terms of showing kindness and support, you might find many reasons to be grateful.
When you reach a point where you appreciate everyone in your life, you will feel uplifted and fulfilled.
Those two Little Words That Mean so Much
The words ‘thank you’ have tremendous power to shape your entire life.
Attract Abundance Into Your Life explains that the universe is like a mirror; whatever you show it, will be reflected back into your life. When you show gratitude, you are telling the universe that you appreciate what you already have, and in exchange you will be given more to feel grateful about.
Appreciation also helps us to connect deeper with the present moment because our minds become content, rather than swamped with negative thoughts, and in turn this allows us to cherish each moment.
What are you Grateful For?
Along with the people in our lives, there are many things we can say thank you for, but it is only when we take time to reflect on the positive things in our lives that they are noticed.
Gratitude really has nothing to do with how much you have, or monetary value. You can be grateful for the smallest and greatest of things, such as simple and kind gestures, and nature. Simply being alive is a huge reason to be thankful.
To help you become more appreciative of all the things in your life, we suggest keeping a gratitude journal, which you write in every evening to list all of the reasons you are grateful for that day.
Making it an everyday practice to be thankful will significantly improve your life. If we adopt this kind of attitude, and also begin each day by saying “thank you”, our lives are more enjoyable and deeply satisfying.
When you say thank you, you also need to feel it. We attract into our lives that which we think and feel, so if you are truly grateful, your reasons to feel grateful will inevitably increase.
You deserve to acknowledge your own efforts, and feel thankful to yourself too, and we talk more about this here
How to Escape the Prison of the Mind
The mind, at times, can be worse than a physical prison; worry and fear can take us into a dark state of panic and the world can feel like a very scary place.
But it doesn’t have to be like this; you can escape the prison of the mind, and live a happy and care-free life. Read this post to find out how.
Get Back to Reality
The mind will come up with plenty of exaggerated and unrealistic ideas that are unlikely to ever materialise but when we are locked in a prison of thought, these ideas seem so real and they tend to cause great suffering. Negative thoughts can create anxiety and a whole load of mental pain because we live our thoughts in the mind as though they are really happening in reality.
If, for example, we are having a worrying thought about the future or we are feeling frightened by the past, it is likely we will envision ourselves experiencing whatever traumatic event we are thinking about, which causes anxiety and suffering.
If we suddenly snapped out of the negative trail of thought, and brought our attention back to the present moment, we would probably view our thoughts for what they are – just thoughts. But it can be difficult to distinguish the difference between a thought and reality when the mind goes into overdrive.
Become familiar of the process that takes place when your mind runs away with itself; being aware of warning signs, such as worry and fear, will give you more control over what to do with the thoughts before they escalate into a myriad of worry.
Be mindful of your thoughts, and take notice of when you enter into the prison of negative thought. Once you learn how to keep an eye on your thoughts – it does take practice – you will then have a choice over what to do when negative thoughts arise.
The trick is to not give the thoughts much attention – it is only when we focus on them that they become all-consuming. Simply allow negative thoughts to pass through your mind as quickly as they entered. This will help bring your attention back to the here and now, and away from the mind, and will help put things back into perspective.
Focus on the Good, Not the Bad
Our thoughts don’t only impact us while we are thinking them; they have a huge impact on every facet of our being, even affecting our physical lives.
The thoughts we think most are the ones that trickle their way into all areas of our lives, which is why it’s important to train ourselves to think in a way that is positive and uplifting. The more we think positive thoughts, the more positivity we experience – and vice versa with negative thoughts.
Allow positive thoughts to populate your mind; think enriching thoughts as often as possible, whilst letting negative thoughts leave with ease. Any positive thoughts will eventually make their way into your physical world and benefit your life in tremendous ways.
You can get into the flow of thinking in a way that is more positive and rewarding by introducing affirmations to your mental vocabulary. If you are new to affirmations, you might like to try The One-Month Affirmation Challenge.
Get Out of Your Mind
It is important to highlight that it is not possible to control the mind, as doing so would involve thought, but we can shift our focus away from thought.
In reality, the only way to take a break from the mind is to divert our attention from the mind and onto the present moment. When we are truly aware of our surroundings, thoughts take a back seat and our attention is placed on whatever is happening right now, which provides some often-much-needed relief from thought – even if only for a brief moment.
There are several ways to create present moment awareness, some of which are mentioned here, but it really comes down to calming the voice in the mind by concentrating on your surroundings, whether it is a physical object, your breathing or sounds.
How do you escape the prison of your mind? Let us know below!
Six Inspiring Quotes Filled With Hope to Pull You Through
These six inspiring quotes will provide you with encouragement, hope and strength when needed.
Affirmations are phrases, such as, “I AM ENOUGH,” which can be repeated to cause a positive change in one’s mental attitude. We already use affirmations every day but perhaps not in a meaningful way.
The words and feelings we aim towards ourselves go a long way to shaping our self-image. If we regularly put ourselves down and use words such as, “stupid” or “ugly” we begin to believe these ideas and they become part of our belief system.
Positive affirmations are a powerful tool for reversing those beliefs and creating new, empowering ideas about ourselves.
How They Are Used
An affirmation is a personal statement; they work best when they are said in the first person, containing the words, “I” or “my” for example.
It’s also important that the same affirmation is said repetitively. A month using the same affirmation is a good amount of time to begin seeing results. Do bear in mind that some negative beliefs are deeply ingrained and will take longer to alter – but persistence is key here.
Although there is no correct time or place to say affirmations, you could try saying them in the morning to get your day off to a positive start, or before bed, which will help you go to sleep with a positive mindset – find out what works for you.
To experience their fullest effect, you can try saying them whilst looking in the mirror (this is especially effective for self-love affirmations).
How the Challenge Works
The challenge is split into four different weeks and each week has a separate theme to focus on – self-love, forgiveness, abundance and gratitude.
You will say the same affirmation every day for seven days before moving onto the next, this will help you become familiar with using affirmations for various aspects of your life.
It is also suggested that you come up with your own affirmations, which can be tailored to your circumstances. You can work on these alongside the challenge if you like, or once it has finished.
The aim of the challenge is to teach you about the concept of using affirmations, which will hopefully encourage you to start using them regularly.
Week 1: Self-Love
Self-love is a crucial element of caring for ourselves – and is demonstrated through the words we speak, the actions we take and the way we think of ourselves.
If the way you currently feel about yourself is negative and self-critical, this week’s theme of self-love is a great one to start with.
Saying kind words to ourselves on a regular basis helps to reverse deep-rooted negative beliefs.
Repeat this affirmation several times each day for the next seven-days:
“I LOVE MYSELF EXACTLY AS I AM.”
Week 2: Forgiveness
When we hold onto things that happened in the past, we carry an emotional weight that bears heavy on our shoulders. When we forgive ourselves and others for past mistakes, we are released from negative repetitive thoughts and can create a healthy mindset for the future.
Repeating affirmations related to forgiveness leads to peace and acceptance over any negative situations.
Repeat this affirmation several times each day for the next seven-days:
“I FORGIVE EVERYONE FROM THE PAST, INCLUDING MYSELF.”
Week 3: Abundance
Living in abundance means experiencing a plentiful of love, happiness, success and prosperity. Using affirmations, you can attract abundance into your life and you can begin to believe that you are deserving of living a rewarding life.
Repeat this affirmation several times each day for the next seven-days:
“PROSPERITY FLOWS INTO MY LIFE IN ABUNDANCE.”
Week 4: Gratitude
The words ‘thank you’ have the power to enhance your entire life. When we are grateful, we are telling the universe that we appreciate what we already have, which paves the way for more goodness to enter our lives.
Give recognition to, and become more appreciative of, everything in your life with this affirmation.
Repeat this affirmation several times each day for the next seven-days:
Keep us updated on how you are finding the challenge!
Optimism Creates Opportunity - Five MotivatingTips
Why should your life be anything less than fulfilling? You weren’t put on this planet to endure pain and countless trying times. Soul Analyse’s five motivating tips teach you how to dream big and live an extremely gratifying life.
1. Change your Thoughts
If you are not happy with life right now then change is essential; your life can’t become more fulfilling without it!
It’s important to acknowledge that change starts from within, within the mind to be precise. Your thoughts shape your reality, so if your thoughts are very negative, it’s unrealistic to expect your life to be any different. When you change your thoughts, your life also changes.
Much of our thinking is uncontrolled. We don’t choose what to think, the thoughts choose us, and oftentimes our thoughts are not new. We tend to repeat the same thoughts for days, weeks, sometimes years, which can have either a positive or negative impact on our lives depending on the nature of our thoughts.
Begin to introduce positivity to the way you think. As explained in How to Use the Mind to Create the Life You Want, you can use your mind to transform your entire life – affirmations, positive thinking and aligning with your goals are powerful ideas to get you started.
2. Create Opportunities
Prosperity will be scarce if you don’t make it happen. It’s your responsibility to create opportunities in your life, and you have to start believing they are out there. Wherever it is in the world that you live and whatever your background, there are always opportunities available to you, and everyone else for that matter.
You simply have to show up; believe that the right opportunities will present themselves to you at exactly the right time, and they will. You have to be paying attention of course, to notice opportunities, so stay alert to any potential new and positive changes that come your way, and when you find them, ensure you do everything within your power to expand them and create further opportunities for growth.
Affirmations are also key for creating the right kind of opportunities because they can help transform any negative self-beliefs, which may be preventing you from growing. If you are new to affirmations, you might like to try the One Month Affirmation Challenge.
3. Follow your Instincts
Your instincts can lead you to many positive experiences, if you rely on them to do so. Ultimately, that’s their role, but all too often we are led by our thoughts and that which we have been conditioned to believe.
When it comes to following signs, intuition is our best friend; it always takes us in the right direction. Intuition comes from within; it has no logic and it is not something you decide but rather it is given to you, often with no explanation whatsoever. Intuition can hit you from nowhere, consider it a sudden emergence of knowledge, and it is then your choice whether to follow or ignore it.
Read this post for more on following your instincts.
Appreciate every moment you live; you are lucky to be alive and you can choose to make each moment a positive one. When you begin to appreciate life, you will see the true beauty in everything around you.
The universe, also, is very rewarding of appreciation – those who are grateful are given more to be grateful for. It’s that simple. The alternative is that you spend your life feeling victimised and as though life isn’t good enough for you, and that mindset will only bring unhappiness.
As explained in, The Power of Gratitude, ungratefulness is a gateway to unhappiness; you can never be satisfied if you don’t appreciate what you already have. Thankfulness, on the other hand, is the polar opposite.
5. Always Choose Kindness
Let kindness be the overriding factor in every situation that presents itself to you. Always be happy to help others and take the focus off yourself. Such selfless behaviour can only be impacted with positive results.
Like attracts like and if you’re kind, kindness will flow into your life too. Be kind with your words, be kind with your actions and be kind with your thoughts. If you have the choice to be ‘right’ or ‘kind’, choose kindness every time.
These are Soul Analyse’s tips for dreaming big and living a gratifying life, do you have any of your own to share?
Powerful Self-Improvement Techniques You Can Try Right Now
If you are not happy with how things are in your life right now, then it is inevitable that change needs to take place, and fortunately for you and me, there has never been a better time to be engaged in self-improvement.
The core purpose of personal development – in whichever form – is to recondition the mind. For it is the mind that influences how we feel and whether we are happy, unhappy, motivated, de-motivated, confident or shy, etc.
Indeed the mind holds a lot of power; therefore transforming the way in which we think takes time, commitment and some decent techniques but with the overflow of resources available it can be difficult to know where to start, so we’ve narrowed down a list of 11 top self-improvement tools that we find most effective, all of which are free of charge and can be tried instantly.
Grab a soothing drink, take a seat and get ready to learn about some of the best ways to transform your life.
Change the Way You View Yourself
Affirmations are perhaps the most effective self-improvement tool. If you’re not up to speed on what they are, check out this post, but to put it briefly, affirmations are short, powerful sentences aimed to change our mental attitude and the way we view ourselves.
When they are said with repetition and an air of certainty, affirmations recondition the conscious and sub-conscious mind, which is why it is advisable that you set reminders to prompt you to say your affirmations regularly.
You could, for example, write your affirmations on post-it notes and place them in prominent places around your home, car or workplace.
Quotes are not only a beautiful combination of words, they also carry a lot of meaning; a good quote will stop you in your tracks, cause you to evaluate a certain situation and result in positive action.
There are plenty of websites on the internet that are dedicated to providing quotes on almost any topic and for a variety of purposes, such as motivation, reflection and guidance, and can be helpful during the most difficult times. Social media sites are also brilliant for sourcing quotes – try searching for relevant hashtags and you’ll be able to discover limitless positive quotes that offer inspiration.
Journaling is a timeless self-awareness tool that can help you learn more about yourself and your desires, and gain clarity by exploring your innermost thoughts and feelings.
Now one of the more popular personal growth tools, journaling can be practised as frequently or seldom as you like. Personally, I like to write in my journal regularly as it creates a feeling that I have off-loaded any problems onto the page and away from my mind – helping me to feel clear again.
Meditate – Anywhere and Everywhere
Meditation can be used to reduce stress, improve concentration and increase self-awareness – and is great for replenishing the mind, body and soul.
There’s a big misconception surrounding meditation; many people seem to believe that it must be carried out while sitting in lotus position with two fingers touching on each hand, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Meditation techniques can be carried out pretty much anywhere, find out how-to use meditation to create a sense of peace and harmony in your life.
Read a Life-Changing Book
The age-old practice of reading is still one of the finest forms of self-education. There are many places to access books – the local library, book stores, friends, family and even the web; eBooks are everywhere on the internet nowadays and there are many authors offering eBooks for free that can be read via your mobile, tablet or laptop.
Soul Analyse, for example, has created a free e-book for readers – it’s very short, albeit powerful, and contains 28 affirmations that will help you feel more self love.
The past is a burden that will weigh heavily on your shoulders unless you choose to forgive. Clinging onto something that someone said or did to upset you can only create further negativity; feelings of bitterness and resentment are all-consuming, highly damaging and can only cause misery.
Forgiveness is a route to freedom, and I’d advise everyone to take it. Thankfully we can forgive anyone who has hurt us, no matter how badly we suffered, and it will help us to heal. Find out how to forgive by reading this post.
Zone into the Now
There is no moment more satisfying and authentic than the present moment.
When we are engrossed in thoughts of a fearful and worrying nature they are usually related to the past or future, and are rarely as realistic as they may seem. Living in the here and now, on the other hand, is rewarding as it allows us to fully engage in whatever is happening right now and stops us from becoming distracted by troublesome thoughts.
People who live in the moment are reportedly happier and get better enjoyment out of life. Read this post to find out how you can live in the present moment.
Life is so much more rewarding when we feel thankful for everything in it. It’s easy to find gratitude in any situation, and it’s something we discuss often on the blog because gratitude alone has the power to make us feel extremely satisfied – and isn’t that what we are all aiming for, satisfaction?
When we are grateful, our lives are enriched and we gain a greater sense of happiness. One of our guest contributors Stacie Chevrier wrote an incredibly honest and inspiring post about why gratitude is so important to her and how it has helped shape her life for the better. Read it here.
Incorporate Ancient Philosophy into Modern Life
Although it is desirable to leave the past behind, we can always take advantage of ancient wisdom and use it to positively influence our lives today. Buddhism, for example, teaches us to live in the moment, forgive and find solace in nature. Then there’s Taoism, which is a way of life that guides to be flexible and flow with life naturally, rather than resist it – both are equally rewarding and interesting to learn about.
There are of course many other ancient philosophies, so do find our what is out there but the beautiful teachings of Taoism and the purity of Buddhism are great places to start.
Go to Sleep Tonight Listening to a Positive Video Tape
What we think about as we fall asleep at night can cause great discomfort or comfort to our everyday lives. Going to sleep in a positive mood will help you get a good night’s sleep and wake feeling replenished, whereas negative thoughts before bed might cause you to have a bad night’s sleep and wake up feeling groggy and run-down.
It has been said that we learn more while we sleep, which is why I advise that you go to sleep tonight listening to a positive video tape as you drift off. A quick search on YouTube will bring up many different videos – Jason Stephenson is our go-to sleep meditation guy and he shared one of his popular videos with Soul Analyse readers earlier this year; listen to it here.
Learn How-To Care for Your Temple
We’re all guilty of over-indulging sometimes and even if we do consciously try to eat healthy, there are always more ways we can help ourselves when it comes to nutrition. What we eat defies how we feel, our mood, state of mind and even how we perform mentally and physically.
You can learn more about nutrition through books, films and articles on the web and become enlightened on the multitude of ways to care for your body and your health.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, for example, is a brilliant documentary movie that highlights the benefits of juicing; it has become a very popular movie and I can personally vouch for it as I know several people whose lives have improved directly as a result of watching the film, including mine!
Which self-improvement tools will you try?
Share your thoughts below!
Affirmation: I AM REAL
Affirmation: I AM BEAUTIFUL
Affirmation: I AM FEARLESS
Four Inner Ways to Cope when Times Are Hard
We all go through difficult times; situations may be presented to us that are out of our power and suddenly we are faced with no option but to deal with them, however challenging it may be.
During these times, the mind can become overrun with repetitive negative thoughts, which create anxiety, further stress and can even send you into meltdown.
Although you may currently feel powerless to whatever is happening, you have inner power that you can access, and use to your advantage, whenever you choose.
Here are four inner ways to cope when times get hard.
1. Align with Happiness
Happiness is waiting to enter your life; it’s just a case of aligning with it internally first. You see, everything on the exterior of your life, takes place inside before it comes to physical existence; we must align with happiness internally in order to experience it.
Aligning with happiness when times are tough may seem impossible but it’s merely a case of staying present in the moment and not letting the mind do overtime with negative thoughts.
Ultimately, happiness comes down to how we use our mind. Some people have everything they could ever ask for – financial stability, a loving family, good people around them, good life experiences, but if they experience a lot of negative thinking, their world won’t seem so great from their point-of-view.
In a similar vein, some people have little, but if they use their mind in a positive way, and experience thoughts of an uplifting nature, they will likely live in peace, harmony and happiness.
Always remember that happiness is not an external destination; it’s a state of being, an inner alignment with positivity, rather than negativity.
2. Focus on what You Have Got, and Not on what You Haven’t
“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see. ” ~ Dr. Robert Holden
The power of gratitude is incredible – thankfulness can singlehandedly change your situation in an instant. Even though times might be hard right now, there is still plenty to feel grateful for, and it’s crucial you make this your focus.
When we pay our attention to what we haven’t got, we create a starvation mindset where nothing is ever enough and we are constantly being stripped of more. But when we notice all of the things we do have to feel grateful about, and we notice them every day, our lives are enriching and satisfying, and we have lots of reasons to feel happy.
If you have been living with a starvation mindset, where you have been focusing on what you don’t have, rather than what you do, it’s time to make a list. Get out a bit of paper and a pen, or grab your phone if you prefer, and make a list of at least ten things you have in your life today that you are grateful for. You can do this regularly to create an enriching mindset.
Gratitude is the key component when it comes to pulling through any difficult situation. When we are grateful, we are telling the universe that we appreciate what we already have, which paves the way for better things to enter our lives.
3. Don’t Give Up
Don’t lose that fighting spirit that you know is somewhere inside, even through the toughest moments. You’ve made it this far, and you’re not going to give up now.
If we choose to take the negative option when things get tough, and we give up all hope and faith, we then lose our fight and succumb to further negativity. But you are made of stronger stuff than that, and even when your patience and strength are given the biggest tests, you can be strong and you can remain optimistic. For deep down, you know that you, and only you, already possess the power to pull yourself through what is happening.
4. Always Believe Something Wonderful is About to Happen
Some of our most joyous moments may happen after the most difficult times in our lives, and that’s a good notion to hang onto – always believe that something great is about to happen, and it likely will.
I can’t speak for your individual situation but I can say this; life throws you curveballs, everything can change in an instant leaving you with unfamiliar anxiety and worries about what will be. But it’s important to remember that this is just a passing moment, and no matter what you are going through – these times will change.
There are wondrous times ahead for you; you just have to start believing it!
Six Affirmations for Building Self Confidence
Here are six affirmations for improving self-esteem and building confidence.
1. “I AM beautiful.”
2. “I AM accepting of myself exactly as I am.”
3. “I AM aware of my strong qualities.”
4. “I AM confident in my own ability and I know I can do it.”
5. “I AM a unique individual and I appreciate every aspect of who I am.”
Seven Inspiring Quotes to Unearth Your Inner Strength
Here are seven inspiring quotes that will unearth your inner strength.
1. “Sometimes you don’t realise your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.” –Susan Gale
2. “It is the cheerful mind that is persevering. It is the strong mind that hews its way through a thousand difficulties.” –Swami Vivekananda
3. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” –Helen Keller
4. “Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.” –Dalai Lama
5. “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” –Rikki Rogers
6. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” –Nelson Mandela
7. “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” –Tony Robbins
Enjoy these quotes? Share them with your friends!
Seven Quotes That Will Inspire You to be Fearless
Here are seven quotes that will help you overcome fears.
1. “Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” –Jim Morrison
2. “If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgement of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgement now.” -Marcus Aurelius
3. “Fearlessness is the first requisite of spirituality. Cowards can never be moral.” -Mahatma Gandhi
4. “Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.” -Marilyn Ferguson
5. “F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.” -Zig Ziglar
6. “Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
7. “There is no illusion greater than fear.” -Lao Tzu
Which quote has inspired you the most? Let us know!
Self-Love - It's Not Selfish - It's Essential
Self-love is an act of loving yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s essential.
Unfortunately many of us, while able to help others, aren’t so good at taking care of ourselves.
Here at Soul Analyse, everything we do is based around helping you love yourself more.
We understand the pitfalls of not giving yourself enough love, and we are equally aware of the incredible benefits of self-love – here we share all, and also offer tips that you can put straight into action.
What Happens If You Don’t Show Yourself Much Love?
Self-love is something we all need and desire, even if we don’t know it.
When we fail to give ourselves the right level of love, our lives are limited in many different ways.
Here are some typical traits of someone who has little self-love:
•Low Confidence (they don’t believe in themselves)
•Unhappy with their appearance (they are always criticising the way they look)
•Lapsed boundaries (they find it difficult saying no, and often do things just to please others)
•Little self-worth (they don’t believe they are worthy)
•Comparison (they compare their life to the lives of others, and oftentimes feel that they don’t match up)
•Try to be like others (they try to be like other people because they don’t feel they’re good enough)
It can be really hard to get through even one day without beating ourselves up and participating in things that make us miserable if we don’t love ourselves. Not to mention the pain that comes when we compare ourselves to others.
The opposite of self-love is not to be underestimated, it’s self-hatred. It is potent, and can spread like a disease, creating deep unhappiness in so many areas of our lives.
A life filled with self-hatred, is not a life well-lived. In fact, it’s miserable. You have to live with yourself every day, and to spend that time criticising and putting yourself down, is nothing short of tragic.
Benefits of Loving Yourself
Now loving yourself, on the other hand, means taking responsibility for your life. It means saying, “I deserve happiness” and in turn, doing what it takes to make it happen.
Here are just some of the benefits of self-love:
•You realise your own importance, and set comfortable boundaries
•You look for the good within yourself, instead of seeking the bad
•You’re happy with the way you look and you feel comfortable giving and receiving compliments
•You feel genuine gratitude for everything in your life, all things big and small
How Can You Love Yourself More?
It’s called “self” love for a reason – it has to come from you. It has absolutely nothing to do with others – although it will certainly impact and improve your relationships – you are the only person who can give you self-love.
The wonderful thing about it being in your hands, is that it’s in your hands! Make sense?
If you have identified that you’re lacking when it comes to loving yourself, you have the power to change things!
Here are some self-love tips:
1) Know Your Worth
Begin to believe that you are worthy of being happy.
When we know our own worth, looking after ourselves becomes a necessity rather than a choice.
This can have a massively positive impact on the way we treat ourselves and also the way we allow others to treat us.
2) Learn to Love Every Bit of You
Learn to love every bit of yourself, including your flaws.
If there are areas of your body that you dislike, focus on finding beauty in those areas, begin to love them!
Rather than tear yourself down with critical thoughts, try giving yourself compliments; notice when you do something well and praise yourself.
See your imperfections as unique assets, your differences as intriguing and focus on getting to know yourself on the inside.
Love every little bit of you!
3) Believe That You Are Enough
This is the most important tip on the list, so take note!
Too often in life, we waste our years believing that the way we are, the way we look, our personality, and everything else that forms who we are, is not enough.
When we compare our life to someone else’s, it only affirms our belief that we aren’t enough and everyone else is better.
This mentality is highly, highly self-destructive! If you don’t believe you are enough, no one else will either – it has to start with you.
Begin to use the affirmation “I Am Enough” every single day, until it becomes part of your belief system.
They say you become like the people you spend most of your time with; if you’re spending time with Negative Nellies that have nothing positive to do or say, don’t expect to be any different.
Surround yourself with people who are more in-line with who you are on the inside. Be with people who bring out the best in you, and make a positive impression on you, just with their presence alone.
It’ll make your life more rewarding if you do!
Which tips will you try?
Why YOU Are Already Enough
We spend our lives trying to improve ourselves, trying to create a better version of ourselves, always trying to change who we are. It’s perfectly fine to want to make your life better but what isn’t okay, and isn’t helpful, is when you feel like who you are isn’t enough.
Here’s how you can start to believe that YOU are enough just as you are.
If You’re Chasing Perfection, Good Luck Finding It
The idea of perfection is very much stuffed in our face at every opportunity; the sheer volume of edited photos that we come across in the news and on social media give us a very skewed idea of how we should look and how our lives should be. It’s no wonder that we sometimes feel we aren’t good enough.
Being realistic, perfection doesn’t exist and with the constant need to change, we waste our lives trying to get to a point where we finally feel satisfied with ourselves. It’s unlikely we will ever reach a stage where we say “okay, I’m perfect now.” There will always be more changes to make and more flaws we notice.
We must, if we want to feel self-satisfaction, accept ourselves as we are right now in this very moment. Unless we do that, we’ll always be chasing perfection – and we’ll never catch it.
Comparison Casts a Negative Spell
If we observe others’ lives and feel like we want to be more like them, or we want more of what they’ve got, we cast a negative light on our own lives. It also screams a lack of gratitude because in a way we are saying, “what I have isn’t good enough, I want what you’ve got.”
Instead of looking at what is wrong with your life, try looking at what is right with it. Look at what you have that other people don’t. We all have uniqueness; our physical features differ but also it is our inner identity that sets us apart and ultimately defines who we are. Instead of looking at your exterior self, look at who you are on the inside and really start to appreciate your inner qualities.
You Can’t Love Until You Love Yourself
If we lack self-love, it really affects every aspect of our entire being, including our relationships. It’s hard for us to be loving to others to the extent that we perhaps might want when we don’t feel that great about ourselves.
As people, we are happier when we are operating from a higher frequency, helping others and being kind but it’s difficult to get to that higher frequency when we aren’t being kind to ourselves, and giving ourselves the love that we so need and deserve. If we don’t love ourselves we can’t serve other people to the best of our ability.
When we really feel like we are enough, and we give ourselves a lot of self-love, we can offer so much more to others.
Love Breeds Love
Feeling not good enough brings a lot of negative feelings, such as insecurity, jealousy, anger and sadness.
When we are negative, our thoughts will go off on a tangent to other negative thoughts, so if we’re thinking about something we don’t like about ourselves, we’ll then start to think about other things we don’t like and the thoughts will escalate.
We must start focusing on everything that is right with us, instead of what is wrong. It’s okay to want to improve our lives, there is nothing wrong with that, but the problem stems when we analyse everything that is wrong with it, and look for the bad instead of the good.
When we are positive, more positive thoughts will enter the mind; if we look for the good, we will continue to see good. We can choose to look at ourselves through a new set of eyes, not a pair of eyes that looks for things to criticise but a pair that looks for things to celebrate and appreciate.
You Won’t Gain Acceptance Until You Accept Yourself
The worst thing you can do is live in the hope that other people will accept you before you will accept yourself. You will never accept yourself if you are always waiting for the acceptance of others because other people can always find fault and they may not necessarily see all of your qualities, which is why you have to do that for yourself.
Sometimes we may yearn for reassurance from others, but what we might not realise is that we don’t have to wait for others to compliment us, we can do that ourselves.
Want to be told you look good? Sure, say it to yourself. Want someone to say you are enough? Go ahead and say it. We can tell ourselves anything and get great satisfaction out of it, in fact, even more satisfaction because if we keep saying these things, they will eventually become part of our belief system.
Use Affirmations Daily
We can give ourselves all of the assurance needed by saying affirmations each day, which can be used to recreate self beliefs and get rid of old negative beliefs. Saying something as simple as “I am beautiful” each day will help you to look for the beauty within yourself. Just as “I am enough” is a strong affirmation for self-love.
You can say “I am enough” 200 times a day and you can be certain that after a month your beliefs will change; you will start to see changes in your life and you will start to see changes in the way that your mind works and the way that you feel about yourself, and the way you treat yourself.
We talk about affirmations a lot on the site and as we always explain, they need to be done with repetition; you can’t say an affirmation once a day and expect to see change, that’s not going to happen. The same affirmation needs to be said persistently over a period of at least 30 days.
Forgiveness is a crucial element when it comes to self-love as it can be really difficult to love ourselves when there are things playing on our minds about something we might have done or said in the past that dampens our self-image.
You must learn to forgive yourself for anything you did in the past and welcome yourself as you are right now. Focus on who you are in this moment. Don’t allow something you did in the past to shape how you treat yourself in the present.
It’s also important that we forgive other people for the things they may have done to hurt us because that can also impact how we feel about ourselves. When we forgive someone we gain freedom from whatever it is they have done, they don’t even have to say sorry to us, we can make a choice to forgive them and we are able to move on. Forgiveness is key to accepting ourselves.
Affirmation: I AM Doing the Best That I Can Do
“I AM doing the best that I can do.”
Shift your Focus off Money and onto Prosperity
Money is something that many people think leads to happiness. That’s not the case, however, and this belief is the reason for a lot of negativity in the world; money creates greed, which creates harm and unjust.
Money Doesn’t Equal Wealth
To see wealth as money is a materialistic view, and not a healthy one. There are plenty of things that come higher on the list of wealth than money. If you care so much about material items and social status, you are completely missing out on all of the real treats that life has to offer; such as love, kindness, gratitude and self-growth. These are what create true happiness.
More, More, More
The problem with money is its relation to greed, we call it the ‘more more more’ mindset. Wanting more can only mean one thing – you are not satisfied with what you already have. As we have explained in ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’, you have to believe that you already have everything you could possibly need in order to receive more. Like attracts like and if you tell the universe you are happy with what you have, you’ll have more to feel happy about.
You Deserve It
If you are not currently experiencing prosperity, it could be due to your beliefs about yourself. If you don’t have much self-worth, you are preventing good things from happening in your life. You deserve to live a life full of prosperity, just like every other single person on this earth and it’s time you started to realize it.
It’s ok to want prosperity and we fully promote this. Prosperity certainly includes wealth but it goes a lot further than that; encompassing love, happiness and health. To attract abundance you must change the way you think. Drop the negative thoughts that focus on how little you have, and shift your attention to good thoughts that promote prosperity.
It’s also very beneficial to reduce the excess in your life, the surplus of material items, that is. When you are stripped back from material objects, your life has more meaning and you are not overly focused on the things that don’t matter. Giving the items you don’t need to charity is beautiful way to give back, which brings us onto…
To receive prosperity, it’s important that you are willing to give. Instead of asking: “What can I have?”, ask, “How can I help you?” Being kind, and giving back, is a key part of your journey of growth. When an opportunity arises to help someone in need, grab it with both hands; help that person. When you do this, you are contributing to the kindness chain and at some point you will receive kindness in return.
Drop the Ego
As explained here, the ego causes immense worry, disappointment and lack of self-love. It tells you what you have isn’t good enough and that you aren’t good enough; you must look better, act better and do better in your career. But what it doesn’t tell you is that you are already perfect and you already have everything that you could possibly need, you just don’t know it yet. When you lose the ego, you will find that happiness, love and success, flow naturally into your life.
What does prosperity mean to you? Comment in the box below.
Affirmation: I AM Everything That I Believe I Am
“I AM everything that I believe I am.”
Affirmation: Life Is Good To Me
“Life is good to me.”
Affirmation: I AM A SURVIVOR
I AM A SURVIVOR
Five Ways to Grow and Flourish
Human life was intended to experience growth; we can learn from mistakes, from sorrow, from joy, from failure, from good times, from love. Growing means learning and digesting knowledge from every experience that life throws at us.
If we aren’t growing, we’re shrinking, drying up, going backwards.
Here are five ways you can grow and flourish.
1: Overcome Your Fears
The fear of loneliness will keep you lonely, just as the fear of failing will stop you from succeeding. Fear is extremely counterproductive; it gives you more of what you don’t want.
The only way to overcome fear, is to face it head-on. Only then will you have the opportunity to dispel it.
Find out what you’re really scared of, find out what fears are limiting your life in some way. When you know the answer to these questions, learn to accept that your fears are just exaggerated ideas in the mind. Ideas that can be changed.
Ultimately, our fears come from old thought patterns, which eventually become ingrained in our beliefs. However, they are not unalterable, beliefs can be changed through the use of affirmations, which are a powerful way to reverse negative beliefs and overcome fears.
2: Spend Time Alone
Self-growth works at its best when we have moments to ourselves when no one else is around. This helps us discover who we are and what we want, without any interruptions or influences.
Begin to value solitude; see it as a sacred practice that you participate in regularly. Begin to love spending time alone, begin to love who you are alone with. As the great Wayne Dyer said, “You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”
When you are alone, you can get to know yourself by asking questions, such as – “what is next for me?”, “am I happy with how things are?”, “do I need to make changes?”. These are questions that lead to answers, which can result in self-growth.
3: Lift Yourself Up
While many of us are often quick to point out our own flaws, rarely do we focus on what we are doing well. Self-criticism is extremely limiting to one’s life. You cannot grow and flourish, if you are always being held back by negative thoughts about yourself.
Learn to be your biggest supporter. Learn to rely on yourself. There will be times in your life when you feel like no one is there for you, and it is during these moments that you need yourself most. Instead of instantly jumping into a victim role, learn to lift yourself up, and out, of negative situations.
If you can rely on yourself, like really rely on yourself to the point where you know that you are never alone because you have always got you, you needn’t worry about anything in life because you are always being taken care of.
4: Document Your Life
It is said that journaling is one of the most effective ways to build an intimate relationship with yourself and grow.
While our thoughts are usually rehearsed in the mind repeatedly, what we jot down on paper is quite often spontaneous and can reveal a great deal about ourselves. A journal can help us connect with our inner self and force us to discover our truths, while also resulting in a sense of relief .
You don’t have to be a writer or have perfect grammar to write a journal; only you will see it. Try writing a few sentences a day; don’t think about what you’re going to write, just allow your pen to glide through the paper effortlessly with no preparation.
Forgiveness is an essential component of self-growth; holding onto anger and upset related to something that has already happened, will keep you trapped in the past.
We are able to forgive when we accept something that has happened and allow ourselves to move past it. It might be a person, yourself, or even a situation that is waiting for your acceptance but until doing so, you will not be able to move forward.
Forgiveness of others, and of course ourselves, releases us from the haunt of the past; it is a gift we can give to ourselves. Here’s some more info on how you can choose to forgive and set yourself free.
Never Stop Trying To Grow
Life is for growing, evolving, and moving. Growing means living with purpose and being aware of the steps we are taking along the way. And if we are flexible, we will find that life guides us in the most incredible directions.
Seven Inspirational Quotes for Maintaining a Positive Attitude
Here are seven inspirational quotes to help you maintain a positive attitude.
1. “In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” -Dalai Lama
2. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” -Henry Ford
3. “If one asks for success and prepares for failure, he will get the situation he has prepared for.” -Florence Scovel Shinn
4. “I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.” -Louise Hay
5. “Difficulties do come in life, but to overcome difficulties, one needs to be strong and strength comes only through spiritual knowledge.” -Sri Sri
6. “Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” -Rumi
7. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” -George Eliot
Be inspired to make positive change with these seven soulful quotes.
1. “Remember, you have been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” –Louise Hay
2. “We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” –Max Depree
3. “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” –Socrates
4. “Brain wave tests prove that when we use positive words, our “feel good” hormones flow. Positive self-talk releases endorphins and serotonin in our brain, which then flow throughout our body, making us feel good. These neurotransmitters stop flowing when we use negative words.” –Ruth Fishel
5. “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn
6. “Sometimes you have to move on without certain people. If they’re meant to be in your life, they’ll catch up.” –Mandy Hale
7. “The kindest thing you can do for yourself is to be the person you would most like to spend the rest of your life with.” –Heather K. O’Hara
Enjoy these quotes? Let us know below!
If You Don't Fit In You're Doing Something Right
We learn as young children that being unique is a bad thing, and is often coupled with unpopularity, loneliness and alienation, so we steer clear of being different, instead settling for a conditioned version of ourselves.
Society has expectations of how we should act, how we should behave, and there are norms in place for us to follow. Failure to do so often leads to a negative outcome, or so we’ve been taught.
Contrary to this belief, being true to yourself is extremely rewarding – here’s why.
“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”– Gandhi
It might look good on the outside but fitting in can be terribly unhealthy on the inside.
We are often presented with a challenge – be what someone else wants us to be, or be who we really are. When we choose the latter, and respond to our own needs, we align with our true self. But when we behave in a way just to please others, our inner peace is sacrificed.
It takes courage to defy expectations but it’s also very liberating. How to Find Inner Peace explains that no matter how perfect your life might look from the outside, if you are not at peace with yourself you will not be happy. When you pay attention to your inner needs, you will experience a deep sense of joy.
Less Ego, More Soul
The fear of not being accepted comes from an egoic state of mind; the ego has a willingness to be liked. Quite often, when we are led by ego, we are driven in ways that seem logical to us. For example, we might do something because it is considered acceptable, even though it is not good for our soul.
Being true to who we are, and acknowledging our own values and needs, is a fundamental part of caring for ourselves, and leads to greater happiness. Following our own path also means we’ll be less likely to allow other people’s fears or opinions to influence our decisions.
Accept yourself exactly as you are, without the need for anything else. Don’t wait until you’ve achieved your goals before you accept yourself and don’t wait for acceptance from others, it might never happen. Love and accept yourself right now, without needing to change a thing.
If you’d like some encouragement; we offer a free eBook containing 28 self love affirmations, which can transform the way you view yourself in just a month. Get it here.
Nothing on the exterior world has any power over you, unless you allow it to. If other people don’t accept you, it is merely a problem of theirs, and it has nothing to do with you.
Embrace Your Uniqueness
Individuality means breaking free from influence, shaking the status quo and thinking outside the box.
When we are confined to the limitations of other people’s beliefs, we don’t realise that there is a far greater world out there, we don’t realise the level of self-growth that is available to all of us, and we don’t challenge tried and tested methods.
Thinking outside the box allows us to stretch the boundaries; we are able to see everything in a different perspective, and reach our highest potential.
Mindfulness can often release the individuality within us. It causes us to become more aware of our inner needs through a journey of self-observation. As we learn more about who we are, we grow ever determined to align with our true self.
No matter what your background, education, or upbringing, you are an individual. Don’t get sucked into a world of conformity. Be unique, choose freedom and live life your way!
Share your comments in the box below!
VIDEO: J.K. Rowling's Inspirational Story - Be Inspired to Never Give Up
Regardless of her earlier hardship, JK Rowling was able to see the possibilities that lay before her. Had she been unable to see past her current situation, she wouldn’t be the best-selling author we know today. She had an idea and she believed in herself, and she saw the possibility.
Watch her story here and be inspired to never give up:
Seven Mindfulness Quotes for Present Moment Awareness
Create present moment awareness with these seven mindfulness quotes.
1. “Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are cause by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.” –Eckhart Tolle
2. “When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle.” –Osho
3. “Remember then: there is only one time that is important – Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.” –Leo Tolstoy
4. “Present-moment living, getting in touch with your now, is at the heart of effective living. When you think about it, there really is no other moment you can live. Now is all there is, and the future is just another present moment to live when it arrives.” –Wayne Dyer
5. “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” –Lao Tzu
6. “Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.” –Oprah Winfrey
7. “We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
Enjoy these quotes? Share them with your friends!
Affirmation: I AM MORE
Affirmations For Improving Relationships And Setting Healthy Boundaries
Here are seven affirmations for improving your relationships and setting healthy boundaries.
1. “I AM constantly experiencing improvements in my relationships.”
2. “I have loving and harmonious relationships with everybody in my life.”
3. “I AM appreciative of my loved ones and everything they do for me, and I am also appreciated in return.”
4. “I have healthy boundaries in place to protect me.”
5. “I AM a great communicator.”
6. “My relationships are meaningful and rewarding.”
Here are seven powerful zen quotes to relax your mind, body and soul.
1. “Melting our attachment to self is the most powerful medication for bringing mental and emotional imbalances in check.” –Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
2. “Be truthful, gentle and fearless.” –Ghandi
3. “Today, you can decide to walk in freedom. You can choose to walk differently. You can walk as a free person, enjoying every step.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
4. “The practice of Zen is forgetting the self in the act of uniting with something.” –Koun Yamada
5. “The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.” –Eckhart Tolle
6. “Be kind to all creatures; this is the true religion.” –Buddha
7. “This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that.” –Rumi
Enjoy these quotes? Share them with your friends.
Affirmation: I AM Strong
“I AM strong in mind, body and spirit.”
Affirmation: I Only Engage In Positive Thoughts, Words And Actions
“Today I choose only to engage in thoughts, words and actions of a positive nature.”
How to be Yourself in a World Full of Sheep
Individuality is something we see so rarely today; in fact, it is a lot more common to see people joining the crowd rather than going against the grain and being different.
The issue with following the crowd, however, is that it leads to other people’s happiness, not ours. So all the while we neglect our own individual needs, we are unable to find real happiness.
Find out how to be yourself in a world full of sheep, and fulfil your own desires.
It’s Not What You Have, It’s Who You Are
Fulfilment doesn’t come from things, accomplishments, or how much money we have; it comes from a determination to live life in way that reflects who we are.
Cultures, trends, ideas, people, the internet – these are all things that attempt to influence us. In reality, these are not the things that make us who we are, even if we are led to believe so. And yet, we might look to these things to define us, and to paint a picture to the outside world about ourselves. In actual fact, the way we dress, the way we behave and even the way that we think, bears no resemblance to our inner identity. It is our soul (the true essence of our being) that makes us who we are.
In order to stop following the crowd and to gain greater happiness, we must work towards fulfilling our inner needs, rather than paying our attention to the physical elements in our lives.
You Can’t Win With Comparison
If you’ve ever spent any time comparing yourself to someone else (who hasn’t?!) you’ll understand when I say it’s a slippery road to misery.
The biggest downside to comparing ourselves to others is that it pushes us further away from who we are. With each piece of somebody else we compare, we ridicule a part of ourselves. The very things that make us special become outshone by traits of another person.
It is only when we stop comparing ourselves to others, when we embrace every facet of what makes us who we are, and when we live life our way, that we become totally at ease in our own skin.
In order to stay true to ourselves, we have to stop believing that we aren’t good enough; we have to stop believing that other people are better than us, and we have to start celebrating what makes us unique.
We also have to be more selective about how we digest information on the internet. There’s no doubt that social media is a very influential platform, and not always for the right reasons. A lot of what is posted online is exaggerated or altered in some way, which sets an unrealistic standard that many people feel they must live up to. One might gain an idea of how they “should” look and how their lives “should” be based on a false pretence they have seen online. Of course this standard can never be reached, because it’s not achievable.
There’s no need to compare ourselves to others or feel that we must change to please others, when we stop looking to other people’s lives for comparison, and we recognise our own uniqueness. When we value our own traits and inner values, the concern to be like others ceases to exist.
Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out
Standing out in a world full of sheep is somewhat of a bold move. Seldom do we live by our own rules; probably too frightened to challenge the status quo.
While being different can defy the expectations of others, who might presume we will behave in a certain way, living with the aim to please others, will only displease ourselves. For there is an inherent need within each of us to allow our inner light to shine, and to be honest with ourselves, despite other people’s views or expectations.
Learn to be bold, to stand out amongst the crowd and to be comfortable with being you. Learn to love indifference and to admire yourself and others for going against the grain. But most importantly, learn to love yourself. True happiness happens when we stop caring what others think of us, and we choose to be exactly who we are.
“Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.” Susan Gale
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