We all have techniques we depend on to lift our spirits when we’re feeling down about ourselves or our lives.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise L. Hay
A while back I realized something about my spirit lifting practices that I’d found most effective – some were outward facing and others inward facing.
Now, outward facing or external validation is when you lift your mood through appreciation or approval from other people. Whereas inward facing or internal validation is when you accept your own feelings in a non-judgmental and loving way and then let them go.
It’s not about ‘getting OVER things’ rather moving through them, which involves acceptance, processing and integrating. It can be tough but always worth it! I call it the breakdown before the breakthrough.
My aha moment was that internal validation is a core foundation of self love and self care.
How do you lift your spirits? Is it outward facing or inward facing or a mix of both?
Getting help from others is only one part of the equation. We also need to be able to validate, support, and help ourselves.
As a healer, you create a space for healing but the person has to walk the journey.
With this in mind, I’ve come up with a few ideas to create a little more balance in my support system, making myself a more central part of it.
If you’re also looking to increase your capacity to lift your spirits so you can depend less on validation from others, you may find these ideas helpful:
1. Get in the habit of asking yourself, “What do I need right now?”
I’ve got better at this through practice. It can feel clunky at first.
I schedule in practice “what do I need right now?” time every night between 9pm and 10pm. And I so look forward to it! It builds an internal validation muscle that’s strong so you can apply it in your life any time.
If you’re feeling down, or down on yourself, ask yourself: “What does my body need? What does my mind need? What does my spirit need?” Or otherwise expressed: What will make you feel better, more stable, healthier, and more balanced?
You may find that you need to nurture yourself with a relaxing mineral salt bath, practice deep breathing or meditation to clear your head, journal to express and process your feelings or drink a relaxing herbal tea.
This is what the act of validating yourself looks like. Whenever you address your needs, you reinforce to yourself that they are important, regardless of whatever you did or didn’t do previously.
It is a sign of strength and what you are willing to do for yourself.
2. Make a “you” section in your daily gratitude journal.
Gratitude journals help you recognise and celebrate all the good things in your day. Take 5-10 minutes each evening to appreciate and give yourself some credit.
Note down the things you’ve done well, the choices you’ve made that you’re proud of, the progress you’ve made, and even the things that required no action at all—for example, the time you gave yourself to simply be.
When you regularly praise yourself, self-validation becomes a habit you can depend on when you need it the most.
3. Before seeking external validation, ask yourself, “What do I hope that person tells me?” Then tell it to yourself.
Odds are, you aren’t always looking for someone’s advice or opinion when you come to them with a painful story. You’re looking for them to confirm you didn’t do anything wrong—or if you did, that you’re not a bad person for it.
Essentially, you’re looking for someone else to see the best in you and believe in you. Give yourself what you’re seeking from them before making that call. Then by all means, make it if you want to.
The goal isn’t to stop reaching out to others. It’s to be there for yourself.
The words you want to hear from someone else will be far more powerful if you fully believe what they’re saying.
4. Recognize when you’re judging your feelings.
If you’re in the habit of feeling bad about feeling down or insecure, or generally having emotional reactions to emotions, you will inevitably end up feeling stuck and helpless.
Get in the habit of telling yourself, “I have a right to feel how I feel.” This will help you understand your feelings and work through them much more easily, because you won’t be so deeply embedded in negativity about yourself.
Once you’ve accepted your feelings, you’ll then be free to seek support for the actual problem—not you self-judgment about having to deal with it.
5. Let the adult version of you talk to your inner child.
Many of us didn’t receive the type of love, support, and kindness we needed growing up, and this may have taught us to treat ourselves harshly and critically.
When you’re looking for that warm, fuzzy feeling that emerges when someone you trust tells you, “Everything is going to be okay,” imagine yourself saying it to your younger self.
Picture that little kid who tried so hard, meant no harm, and just wanted to be loved and cherished. This will likely help in deflating your self-criticism and fill you a genuine sense of compassion for yourself.
Once again, this doesn’t need to be an alternative to seeking compassion from others; it just provides a secure foundation from which you’ll be better able to receive that.
Do you have any techniques for lifting your spirits that validate yourself?
Now, it’s time to convert words into action and set you up for success!
Let’s start with Step 1: “What do I need right now?”
To turn on the self care juices I asked Crystal at Ecology Skincare to put together a self-care package for YOU.
So, here we have it….
Replenishing Mineral Salts (packed with magnesium and trace elements) to relax, detox, calm and soothe your beautiful body while you’re having a bath or foot bath.
As a BONUS, you’ll also receive –
- Guided relaxation audio – That you can use while you’re soaking in your bath or footbath to help you relax and unwind …even further. It’s like a super boost to your self-care timeout
- Guided 3 minute breathing space audio
- Stick notes pack – Put them on your bathroom mirror,your fridge, computer …or anywhere as a physical reminder to take time out for yourself
If there’s someone you know, who might need a little help to lift their spirits, please share to spread the love.
May your spirit soar, love Julie xo