“Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, you owe me. Look what happens with a love like that, It lights the whole sky.” ~Hafiz
This is part-2 of the 2-part series on practices to deeply love and appreciate yourself. Here is Part 1.
If you would like to just see and go through the visual SlideShare presentation, please scroll to the end of the post!
6. Take Some Time to Deeply Appreciate What You Have
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ― Voltaire
Take a moment today to make a list of all the people, pets and things in your life that you deeply appreciate. Thank them from the bottom of your heart and radiate love and appreciation towards them. Become aware that everything surrounding you is the labor of love of thousands of people you will never get to meet. Stay in the feeling of appreciation of that humbling thought.
When you appreciate what you have, you open the doors for more amazing experiences to come into your life. You give yourself the gift of feeling the warm joy of appreciation to touch your heart.
A true abundance mindset is not about receiving more material things but about being content and at peace with what you already have.
For a long time, I had it backwards. I thought that if I had more, it would make me happy and I would feel and experience more abundance.
Now I realize that being happy and feeling the great abundance in this moment opens up the doors of prosperity.
Deeply appreciating what you have right now is a wonderfully self-nourishing practice.
Scientific studies have confirmed that people who are happy in the current moment and feel lucky and expect the best usually manage life better and have more favorable outcomes.
Deeply appreciate the people and things that are gracing your life in this current moment.
Choose to be, feel, think and act from a position of true abundance by feeling happy and appreciative of what you have in your life.
7. Embrace Difficult Situations, Choose Acceptance and Courage
“Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”― St. Francis of Assisi
The above quote from St. Francis is a wonderful reminder of choosing to be all right with the things that are outside your realm of influence and control.
Even though your life may not be happy in some areas, how you choose to respond to those situations is within your immediate control.
Pema Chödrön, Buddhist nun and amazing teacher describes that a difficult situation is like a revered teacher or a Rinpoche in disguise with a special mission of life instruction.
I think that looking at difficulties as teachers is a great practice!
I have made a practice of asking myself- “what is a difficult situation trying to teach me or how can I learn from that experience?”
When you accept the things that you cannot change and work courageously towards the things that you can make a difference towards, you immediately become highly empowered.
You feel like your life is back in your own control and you feel like an active participant instead of a disempowered bystander.
Change the perspective that you view a difficult situation with.
Instead of asking “why me,” ask “what can I learn from this to transform my life?”
Remind yourself that your attitude in the face of adversity makes all the difference in your life.
Accept the things that you cannot change and move courageously in the your realm of influence.
8. Dissolve Anger and Difficult Emotions by Laughter and Lightening your Response
“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.” ― Mark Twain
Do you have a hard time with anger and other emotions that are difficult to manage? Do you sometimes get caught up in the stories of anger, blame and envy?
The problem with those emotions is that they are not inherently good or bad but they are very “sticky” or often we find it difficult to get rid of them.
By increasing the incidence of lighter moods and laughter in our lives, we have a better chance to deal with the difficult emotions.
When is the last time you laughed with abandon? Laughter that does not belittle yourself or others is a wonderful opportunity of self-care.
Laughter has the power to instantly lighten and even dissolve situations of anger and envy.
Laughter has the magical ability to instantly transform your mood and make you feel a lot better.
If you look at children at play, you may see that there is much infectious laughter floating all around. Children are naturally light hearted and can laugh very easily.
We lose some of the power of being able to be light hearted and laugh at will when we “grow up.”
We believe that we need to be more serious to be taken more seriously. We decrease the light heartedness and replace it with heaviness and seriousness.
Of course, the medical and health benefits of hearty laughter have been documented numerous times including this article from the Mayo Clinic. Laughter relieves stress and releases feel good endorphins.
Laughter and light heartedness are great states of mind and are highly contagious!
Dissolve some of the more difficult emotions by consciously lightening up and laughing more.
If you think that no one smiles at you, try smiling and see how quickly the energy of the other person changes.
9. Get off the Feedback Loop of Stress, Overwhelm and lack of Relaxation
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” ― Alan Cohen
Become aware of the impossible cycle or feedback loop of tension and stress, lack of sleep and overwhelm. Allow yourself to disconnect from the cycle of tension.
This cycle feeds off itself. The less sleep and rest we get, the more overwhelm, tension and frazzled we feel. The more tension we feel, the less we are inclined to rest and feel deeply rested.
The result is a feedback loop that fuels itself. The only way to avoid the cycle is to become aware of it and get off it consciously.
Rest and relaxation are wonderful ways of honoring yourself deeply. Sometime you get caught up in the busy life and the first thing to suffer may be your sleep and relaxation. You feel hectic and distraught.
Make a conscious choice to prioritize yourself and reconnect to your practices of deep rest and relaxation.
Choose to get off the rat race or the hamster wheel of stress, overwhelm and lack of relaxation.
Say no to the feedback loop of stress, overwhelm and lack of rest. Break the cycle by injecting rest and relaxation whenever possible. Begin taking power naps.
Work is important but you need to recharge your batteries. Even a few minutes of practices such as disconnecting from stress and deep breathing and taking a walk are highly beneficial.
Schedule a lot of rest and down time and you will see that your productivity and creativity will soar.
10. Think Big and Empowering Thoughts
“Your real self moves with inconceivable rapidity as your thought moves.”- Prentice Mulford, Thoughts are things.
Thoughts are very powerful. Become aware of negative and self-defeating mental chatter.
If your habitual thinking makes you feel enervated and discouraged, it is time to transform it. Replace those thoughts with empowering thoughts that respect and support your self-image.
Whenever I am invaded with thoughts of tension and worry, I say: “not so” to them. I learnt this deceptively simple but effective method from the teachings of the awesome teacher, Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith.
Become aware of self-defeating mental chatter.
Replace it with powerful, self-affirming and empowering thoughts.
If you think powerful thoughts, you are more inclined to push through difficult situations in life that are inevitable.
11. Do Less and say “No” More Often
“It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.”― Nathan W. Morris
One of the main reasons you get overwhelmed is because you take on too much and feel obligated to say yes to every project and task that comes your way.
It is much better to under-promise and over-deliver rather than over-promising and getting overwhelmed.
In my opinion, overwhelm is a big reason why people fail to follow through with plans and projects.
Before you accept every task that comes your way, look at it through the mirror of realism if you are taking on too much.
Always remember that over-delivering and under-promising is better than over-promising.
Release the idea that more is better. Consider the possibility that less and higher quality is better.
12. Believe in Yourself, Feel Confident and Take Action
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”― Henry David Thoreau.
By choosing to courageously and confidently advance in the direction of your dreams instead of beating yourself up on the things that cannot do anything about, you reclaim your personal power.
If you do not believe in yourself and your work, chances are that no one else will. Give yourself the incredible gift of self-belief.
Feel the confidence generated from the self-belief and allow yourself to take consistent action on your most cherished goals and desires.
Develop an unshakable core of Super self-confidence and belief in yourself and your work.
Realize that there will always be detractors to your work and there will always be haters.
The key is to keep moving on in the face of criticism, doubt, blame and other hindering influences.
Allow yourself to be powered by a deep sense of intrinsic motivation.
13. Live Your Authentic Story by Allowing Your Creativity and Imagination to Fly
“You will be your best self when you take time to understand what you really need, feel and want.” ― Deborah Day
Give yourself the gift of being able to create and sing your unique song and live your authentic story. Make some time everyday to express your creative talents.
The greatest service you can do for yourself and to others is to allow the true expression of who you are and your unique talents.
Recognize that you are a creative individual and your talents are waiting to bloom. All you have to say is a resounding “yes” and live your own creative adventure.
Live your authentic story by prioritizing and making some time for your creative ventures.
Allow the creative expression of your imagination and step into the role of a creative person.
How do you take the time to deeply love and appreciate yourself? Please leave your valuable comments below! Your comment do matter and I would love to hear from you!
Photo Credit: Aurelio Asiain via Compfight
Thank you for these great tips, Harish. Along the lines of No. 11, I recently wrote a letter to my future self while I was in the middle of feeling overwhelmed and expressed my feelings about taking on too much, feeling worn down and stressed out. I vowed to remember what it feels like to be overwhelmed and my commitment to being less “busy.” Now, I read the letter whenever I’m approached about taking on a new task or responsibility. Reading my own words helps me get through the temptation to take on “just one more” thing and makes it easier to say no (something I’ve always struggled with).
Harish Kumar says
Thanks a lot for your comment! And you are most welcome.
I really like your idea of writing a letter to your future self about being stressed out and taking on too much. I think that this is a great way to bring the overwhelm into sharp focus of our awareness. When we are busy, we tend to forget how the overwhelm and stress felt like in the past until we take on too much and then it is already too late. The letter opens up a middle ground where you can assess if you want to take on any more things. I also think that the effectiveness of this wonderful tip comes from associating it with the feelings of being worn down and stressed out. Even if we forget the details of the event, we often remember the core feelings associated with it and remembering that through a letter is simply awesome!
Thanks a lot for posting. I enjoyed reading your technique.