A Trick to Treating Yourself Better

In light of all the pumpkins, haunted houses, candy-coated confections and parades of “spook-tacular trick-or-treaters”…I have a little Halloween surprise for you!

It’s a trick, that when successfully implemented into your daily life will turn into an absolute treat for you and quite possibly everyone you know:

Be Mindful of Your Inner Dialogue

How do you talk to yourself? Are you kind and patient? Do you treat yourself with respect, the same way you would treat a treasured friend or loved-one?

Did you know the conversations we have with ourselves have a direct effect on our self-esteem, self-love and the depth in which we connect with others?

Also, if we foster the habit of being kind to ourselves, we are more likely compassionate with others and are less apt to say things we may later regret.
Several years ago, I completed a graduate program in spiritual psychology. As part of the curri-culum, I was required to keep a daily journal of my thought patterns. One pattern I quickly rec-ognized was one of being extremely hard on myself. I immediately noticed a deeply ingrained habit of “negative self-talk” and realized that I was rather cruel to myself.
It wasn’t until I stopped to consciously listen that I discovered actual verbal abuse going on in my head.

Try it for yourself. Slow down and observe the conversations going on in your mind. Stay neutral and just watch. Please refrain from judging yourself. Remember this is simply a lesson in the practice of learning to treat yourself better, not in developing more ways to put yourself down.
Notice what you say to yourself when you make a mistake? What are the words going through your mind as you look into a mirror?

As you look closer, you may notice yourself repeating phrases you learned from others. Perhaps you heard things at home while growing up or in school from your teachers and friends or later from bosses and co-workers.

Many of us have adopted unfavorable beliefs and thought patterns from people we may have admired or looked up to. Most likely, the majority of these people meant well as they shared their own “negative self-talk” with us.

You may recognize that some of what you’ve been taught is no longer in alignment with the life you now want to live. You may determine that it’s simply time for a little software update.

Few are aware of the magnitude and power that the words we choose have on the quality of our daily existence.

Did you know that scientific studies have shown that our language (the words we choose to ex-press ourselves) actually paves pathways in our brains? And both our thoughts and words inter-changeably effect one other?

What this means is that if you are consistently speaking negatively, you will in turn have negative thoughts and visa versa. What’s more, you will be carving “negative” thought pathways in your brain and therefore cultivate an overall negative view of your world.

Have you ever met someone who is constantly complaining? They continually point out how hard life is and how everything basically sucks? They seem to hate their job, their spouse and even themselves. What do you think a day in their head would be like?

Well, the great news is, you don’t have to spend a day in their head. However, you do have to spend everyday in yours! So how about it? Are you ready to treat yourself to a loving little soft-ware update?

Many of us have adopted unfavorable beliefs and thought patterns from people we may have admired or looked up to. Most likely, the majority of these people meant well as they shared their own “negative self-talk” with us.

You may recognize that some of what you’ve been taught is no longer in alignment with the life you now want to live. You may determine that it’s simply time for a little software update.

Few are aware of the magnitude and power that the words we choose have on the quality of our daily existence.

Did you know that scientific studies have shown that our language (the words we choose to ex-press ourselves) actually paves pathways in our brains? And both our thoughts and words inter-changeably effect one other?

What this means is that if you are consistently speaking negatively, you will in turn have negative thoughts and visa versa. What’s more, you will be carving “negative” thought pathways in your brain and therefore cultivate an overall negative view of your world.

Have you ever met someone who is constantly complaining? They continually point out how hard life is and how everything basically sucks? They seem to hate their job, their spouse and even themselves. What do you think a day in their head would be like?

Well, the great news is, you don’t have to spend a day in their head. However, you do have to spend everyday in yours! So how about it? Are you ready to treat yourself to a loving little soft-ware update?

If so, here are some ways to help you in the process:

1. Slow down and become conscious of your inner dialogue.

2. Make a note of what you notice at the end of each day in a journal. Refrain from self-judgement.

3. Take what’s negative and turn it around. Use gratitude to reframe your pessimistic thoughts and become aware of all the gifts of love and support that have always been in your life.

4. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Understand that this is new and it may take time to change these deeply engrained patterns. Remember, they took years to learn and they may take years to unlearn.

5. Stick with it. Honor yourself. You deserve to be happy and with a committed practice you can turn that bully in your head into your very best friend. Keep in mind that you are more likely to expand and thrive in a loving, supportive environment than you are with judgement and criticism.

6. Pay attention to the word “try” and consider removing it from your vocabulary – it’s quite em-powering! Also phrases like “need to”, “have to” or “should have”… as they tend to carry stressful and shameful energies.

7. Develop ways to be gentle, compassionate and patient with yourself. When you notice a sharp tone coming from within, stop and take a deep breath. Exhale and start again with love.

Treat yourself to loving words and just like a magic trick, your world will transform!

Happy Halloween!