Here are some techniques I have tried and tested which really work for me. I cant guarantee they will work for you, but there is no harm in trying!
Take a look into the mirror every day and say “I love you“. This may seem strange or uncomfortable at first and it may feel insincere, since you may not even really mean what you are saying, but gradually, day by day, this gets a little easier, and every time you say it, try to infuse it with a little more sincerity and really feel that you do love yourself. Eventually, this will feel more natural, and you can then try accompanying the phrase with a smile and it may even start to feel good, and this is when you know you are getting somewhere, when it stops feeling uncomfortable and starts feeling good.
Whenever you are feeling down and there is nobody around to give you a lovely hug, close your eyes and imagine hugging yourself. This is one of the best hugs you can imagine! Just like you can give someone a hug when they are feeling down, you can also give yourself that same big hug.
Often, the types of worries we have are “I’m not pretty enough” or “I’m not funny enough” or “I’m not interesting enough“. This focuses on what we feel is lacking, but by changing the focus to what we can be grateful for, we can soon realise that we really are blessed!
Once again, take a good look in the mirror and look at how perfect you are… I’m guessing you have two arms and two legs which work perfectly? I’m also guessing you have two eyes, two ears, a mouth and nose, which all help you to see, hear. smell and taste the world and all its gloriousness every single day? Well, this is something to be really grateful for!! So take a moment to focus on all the things you can be thankful for, and say THANK YOU! Whether its to God or the Universe or to your mum. We can also then say thank you for our homes, our jobs, our family, for nature, for the food we eat… the list is endless!
An easy way to practice gratitude is to SET A REMINDER on your phone, or on your Outlook calendar at the same time every day, it could be as you wake up, to say thank you for a new day, or it could be before you go to bed to say thank you for all the good things that happened that day.
This doesn’t mean go out and spend inordinate amounts of money on material objects. What it does mean is doing something lovely for yourself, whether its cooking yourself a gorgeous healthy meal, running a hot bath with essential oils and candles and listening to some soothing music, or giving yourself a loving massage with sweet oils (I prefer plain old coconut oil from the supermarket – but you can go crazy and get some nice smelling stuff). If you choose to massage yourself, try and remember every part of your body, so you don’t leave any part neglected, from your toes, to your elbows, massage yourself gently and thoroughly. Whilst you are massaging yourself, you can project love from your heart onto every part that you touch.
Meditation & Solitude
If you have never meditated before, meditation feels a little bit like coming home to a big, cosy, warm fire or a bit like giving yourself a lovely bear hug. Its about finding a peaceful place inside you and resting there for a while, away from your worries.
There are so many ways to meditate, you can definitely find one which fits into your lifestyle and works for you, whether its 5 minutes whilst sitting on the loo or waiting in a traffic jam (you don’t have to close your eyes to meditate!), or a meditative walk in the park, or sitting and drawing, these are all types of meditation. When you meditate, you bring awareness to your breath, to your body and to the present moment (rather than losing yourself in past or future thoughts).
To help you get into the swing of it, try a guided meditation on youtube, there are so many to try, pick one that resonates with you, where you enjoy the combination of music and words.
To set the mood, you can light some candles, burn some incense and hold some crystals (rose quartz and green jade are closely connected to the heart and are good for starting off with).
Just like with meditation, exercise comes in so many forms and you are bound to find something to suit you. I find the best types of exercise are ones that use your whole body, and do not compartmentalise (i.e. they do not focus on just one area but on the whole, even if its only one part of your body that you have an issue with, working on the whole will help you to stop focusing on that one part). Great forms of exercise also connect you with nature and the elements, so swimming, hiking, walking or running through the woods, cycling, yoga, etc, If you find you have a bad temper, you may want to try something like boxing which is a good way of channeling that energy. If you would like to make new friends, join a dance class or play a team sport like football or netball. Climbing and martial arts are powerful activities for building self-confidence.
What you eat and how regularly you eat can have a massive effect on your wellbeing. The key is to eat a wide variety of foods and not too much of any one thing. Make sure what you eat is colourful! Including oranges, greens, purples, blues, reds, yes every colour under the rainbow! And dont forget to eat a little of what you love, like chocolate – enjoyment of food is part of the nutritional value.
Reiki is something I came across quite by accident. I had initially booked in for a session of reflexology, but at the time I was experiencing regular panic attacks, and during the session, a panic attack started. The therapist said she had never had such a reaction to reflexology and that I would benefit better from a session of reiki (which I had never heard of and had no idea what it was). I was fairly desperate for an end to the panic attacks and so agreed for her to start immediately. As soon as she placed her hands near my head, the shaking subsided and I felt calmer and more at peace than I had felt in a very long time. I went back for some further sessions and experienced changes in energy I have never experienced before. I felt elevated and light as a feather. Of course, not all therapists are the same, and I can only recommend the one I went to. Her name is Linda Pierre.
Tapping, or Emotional Freedom Technique, is a powerful method for releasing emotional pain. The below page explains to you how to use this very simple technique, that only takes a few minutes a day and costs nothing! All you need to do is identify an issue you would like to work on. You can work on various issues, but start with one first. You might find that once you have dealt with one issue, a deeper one will arise, and you can then tackle that one.