Today is Day 29 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jumpstarting your own self-love.
I’m happy to have Sheila Viers as my guest today. She’s a Life Coach and Co-founder of Live Well 360, whose mission is to inspire you to see health and fitness as something you get to do, rather than something you have to do. Best known for her uplifting perspective on healthy living, Sheila and many of her articles have been featured on health and fitness publications including Yahoo! Shine, Glo MSN, FITNESS Magazine, LiveStrong, FitSugar, Under30CEO, and FigureAthlete. Here’s what she had to say about self-love:
9 Tips for Finding Joy from Within
by Sheila Viers
“You will find your joy when you stop looking for it outside yourself and instead look within.”
It’s so tempting to give people or circumstances credit for how you feel, isn’t it? It seems logical—things happen, you think about them, and then you feel a certain way because of them, right? That’s the way human beings work. But maybe that’s not true. Imagine what it would feel like to take total responsibility for the way you feel… for the thoughts you choose to think and the emotions you choose to hold your focus on.
What would it be like to always know that no matter what, you have the power to choose to feel joy?
This is what it means to “find joy from within.” In other words, it’s no one else’s responsibility to make you happy. It means that even in what might seem to be the toughest of circumstances, you can look for things to focus on that will help you to feel better. Here are 9 tips to help you find joy from within:
1. Make lists daily of the things in your life that you appreciate. And make the list because you truly want to make it and because you really do appreciate these things. This isn’t something that you can just go through the motions and get the benefit from it. You’ve got to hit pause on everything else, clear your mind, take a deep breath and think about what you really appreciate right now today.
2. Tell everyone you know: “My happiness depends on me, so you’re off the hook.” And then demonstrate it. Make a commitment to yourself to stop looking for reasons, blaming, or making mental lists of excuses as to why you aren’t happy. Take your power back.
3. Look at challenges through the lens of: “what does this help me to clarify about what I want for my life?” Keep your focus on the answer. Every challenge is an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself and what you really want. Give your challenges an imaginary hug and thank them for the chance to gain more clarity about yourself and your preferences for your life.
4. Adopt the affirmation: “things are always working out for me—whether I see the path right now or not.” It feels good just to say that doesn’t it? You can’t help but have amazing things happen when you adopt this attitude.
5. Let go of worrying about the “what ifs” and trying to control. Worrying, what-iffing, and trying to control from a forceful stance is silly. Just let go, go with the flow, and allow things to unfold. Take one step at a time, on a moment-by-moment basis toward what feels best based on the information you have right now. You might be surprised how well things can work out on their own when you let them.
6. Take care of yourself first, then others. It sounds like a selfish thing to say, but when you are well taken care of, you have more to offer others.
7. Evaluate, measure, compare less… a lot less. Let your intuition guide you toward the things that fit you best rather than what you think you should do and/or what everybody else is doing.
8. Find positive things about yourself and celebrate them—be satisfied with who you are right now. You are amazing right here and now in this moment. Own it. Flaunt it. BE IT. Not because you are trying to impress anyone, but because you deserve to experience what it feels like to completely love yourself. You don’t need to change one thing in order to be perfect and worthy of happiness.
9. Embrace the journey. When you look back at the end of your life, many of the things you thought were huge struggles could actually be seen as adventures on the ride of life.
It might seem odd to think of it that way, especially for those of us that want to achieve, prove, create results, make change for a better world… but it really does get you thinking—what’s the point of it all anyway? It’s not really to lose 5 pounds or fit into your favorite pair of jeans, is it? Or in more general terms, we aren’t here to prove.
Give yourself a break and enjoy the ride. Expand, learn, grow, interact, love, and experience life.
To learn more about how Sheila Viers transformed her life and her relationship with food, visit www.eatwell360.com. To check out the Live Well 360 line of premium fitness and yoga bags at www.livewell360.com.
Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge–a pledge to do something loving for yourself for the next 31 days–and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts from 2011 HERE.
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