By Ben Schmidt
In my experience with myself and others in my life, we are all our own worst enemies and worst critics. I personally am blessed to have a lot of support from friends and family in my daily life who are all rooting for me, and I root for them. I find at times however that I beat myself up and do not give myself credit for just doing my best or being a good person to those in my life. I will seek out something to criticize myself about or find something I didn't do as well as I think I should of. Whatever the case may be, all the beating up we can do to ourselves can really take a toll. What every human being really needs in life, is to practice self-love. Here are some simple actions that can take you a long way.
Look Out for Negative Talk
If you wrote out what you said to yourself throughout the day in your mind, what would it look like? How ugly would it be? If I put the things I said to myself on paper and showed it to somebody they would think I hated who ever I was talking about. The way I talk to myself throughout the day sometimes is completely brutal and irrational. The scary thing is that it is also feels like something that happens on auto-pilot. Bring some awareness to your negative chatter in your head. When it does come to you, acknowledge it and find somewhere to write some positive affirmations about yourself. I always feel writing stuff down is more impactful, just doing it in my head does not have the same type of magic to it. Start your day with writing down things you are grateful for or things you love about yourself. I know this sounds trivial, but it can be a game changer.
Take Care of Yourself
It is very easy to fall into the monotony of life when it comes to your daily responsibilities. It can become very draining and boring to the point where we forget to do things for ourselves. Our mind, body, and soul should be tended to regularly. Maybe there is a hobby you are passionate about that you haven't dived into recently, or maybe you could start eating better and exercising. We as humans inherently know what is good for us and what makes us feel better, although it is on an individual basis. Bring attention to what truly makes you happy and make a point in the week to do it!
Believe in YOU
We can find ourselves in very low points in life. I’ll never forget my first day in rehab. I was completely hopeless and thought I was a waste of time to even try to help. The ebbs and flows of living a life just naturally have trying times where it feels like we are stuck in a bad place forever. Wherever you are in life, you have made it this far and should acknowledge everything good you have done in life. Ultimately, no matter what you want to do or what you want in life, you must believe in yourself to achieve it. If you are unhappy about an area of life, write out some small goals, post them up somewhere and tell yourself every day you can do it because you rule! I'm serious, tell yourself how great you think you are and that you can overcome anything, and you will.
Loving your self is not something you accomplish and graduate from, it will take different forms as you evolve and grow. As obstacles come up to us we may stumble over them and make some bad and brash decisions but we must acknowledge this is simply a human condition and it happens to everyone. I have prevailed through some of my toughest times by reminding myself of what I like about myself and about how I can get through anything. Simple mantras like those can work miracles. Even if you don't believe it when you tell yourself those things at first, there will be a time and place where you realize you finally love who you are and would not trade your life for anyone else's in the world.
Ben Schmidt is from Jacksonville, FL and is a writer in recovery who has been sober for 7 years. He likes to advocate for self-love and positive influences in life in order to not only survive, but thrive!