The final Secret to Happiness Tip #3 has arrived, Self Love. A word liberally used these days – “you need to love yourself more”, “you can’t love another person until you love yourself first”, “you can tell she doesn’t love herself”, “if you loved yourself better that wouldn’t have happened.”
Self love advice is given freely and copiously by friends, loved ones and well intentioned onlookers to steer us back to a happy, fulfilling life.
Self love is foundational to everything, it influences who you pick as a mate, how you cope with problems, how you look after yourself and the image you project out into the world. Self love is a secret to happiness.
What is self love? Firstly, I’ll tell what it isn’t….a beauty makeover, a new set of clothes, being inspired, falling in love. Sure they’ll make you feel good but you can’t grow your self love from here.
Self love stems from appreciating yourself, which grows from actions that support your physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Cultivating self love is a dynamic process that feeds off all the actions and events that mature us. You can tell it’s happening when you start accepting who you are warts and all and rarely feel the need to explain away your short-comings. You have compassion for yourself and others, seeing mankind collectively as on an adventurous journey to find personal meaning. When you’re getting close to real self love you’re more centered in your life purpose and values, and each day you intentionally choose to make the effort to live a full and meaningful life.
Here’s my Six Self Love Tips:
1. Own Yourself. Get clear on what you think, feel and want. Clarity allows you to be YOU regardless of the outside circumstances. You know this has happened when you’re stable, centered, grounded and can weather life’s storms in your stride.
2. Act on your needs rather than your want. You love yourself when you turn away from things that feel exciting and fun in the moment that may not be good for you, to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life. Metaphorically, it’s like junk food – it can taste good now but it’s bad for you long term. Automatic behavior patterns can keep you stuck in the past and erode self love until there is nothing left.
3. Practice self care. You love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. Like nourishing yourself daily through healthy activities, like eating good foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, engaging in healthy relationships and interactions.
4. Set boundaries. Self love shows up in setting limits or saying no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.
5. Protect yourself by bringing the right people into your life. Frenemies says it all, it’s the type of “friends” who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. Get rid of them, life’s too short.
6. Forgive yourself, accept you’re perfectly imperfect. Cease over punishment for mistakes when learning and growing. Ideally learn the lessons, accept your humanness and turn up the love and compassion dial and in the process master your self love.
Now ideally, pick one or two from the tips above and start cranking up your self love meter. It’s true that you can only love a person as much as you love yourself. The more self-love for yourself, the better prepared for healthy relating. And you’ll start attracting people and circumstances that support your well-being and being the best YOU.
Wishing you loads of happiness Julie xxx
Happiness is the latest buzz word. How’s your happiness barometer going? I’m back with Secrets To Happiness #2. Any burning questions from Secrets To Happiness #1? Didn’t see it? Click here. Next week is final secret in the series.
Secret To Happiness #2: “A happy life exists not in the absence but mastery of hardships.” – Helen Keller
We all have the right to be happy, we just have to go out and find it ourselves.
Happiness is a way rather than a destination. Helping you reach goals faster, enjoy better relationships, do better at work and be nicer to be around.
Our happiness set point is individual and keeps defaulting back regardless of our circumstances. 50% of our happiness set point is derived from your genes, 40% from intentional activity to feel happier and 10% from your circumstances, health and social status.
Variety is one of the secret spices to happiness, as is nature.
Did you know you lose your happiness and pleasure chemical, dopamine if you forget to seek out new experiences?
Don’t forget our brain is like a muscle. Being in flow is fantastic for brain health and happiness. That is being present, forgetting your problems and enjoying the journey of life. Studies have shown those in flow on a regular basis are happier.
Integrating and accepting all parts of your life, the good and the bad is healing. You become grounded, centred, connected and grateful for who you are.
Adversity is good. Your recovery muscles develop and you bounce back to baseline quicker.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
Interestingly, we are taught unconsciously in society that money solves our problems.
Did you know that once our basic needs are met, more money does not dramatically increase your happiness. There’s minimal difference between happiness levels of those earning $50K year to $5 million.
Happy people have things in common –
- Close supportive family and friends
- Value intrinsic goals such as personal growth, making their community a better place, close connective relationships, aligned values.
- Less emphasis on extrinsic goals, such as money, status, image.
- Foster interdependence with others and natural environment
- Practice laughter, compassion and gratitude often.
Did you know Denmark is the happiest country in the world? Free education and medical, co-housing communities where twenty families can live together, sharing cooking, meals. Children are surrounded by elders and there is a real sense of belonging.
Happy people function better, they’re more productive and live longer.
Research has found Islanders in Japan live the longest, where there are rituals of regular contact and gatherings between different villages and generations. Social bonding, interaction, collaboration, sense of community and belonging are highly valued. Did you know co-operation causes a huge release of dopamine (your happiness neurotransmitter)?
As Helen Keller says see with our hearts.
Joy also comes from connection with others.
Be authentic to you. Happiness is a skill and the formula is not the same for everyone.
Things you love to do are the building blocks of a happy life – new experiences, play, fun, friends and family, doing things that are meaningful, appreciating what we have.
So, go out there and blaze your path of happiness.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller
One of the most asked questions of late is what are the Secrets to Happiness. So thought I’d oblige and give you my take on the Secrets to Happiness. Here’s #1. Each week I’ll go down the list…..
Secret to Happiness #1 : “Love people and use things, because the opposite never works” – the Minimalists
Came across a fascinating doco ….Minimalism: A documentary about the important things on Netflix. Recommended by a friend. Worth a watch.
Great message and concept that I wanted to share as a Secret to Happiness – Quality over quantity.
In Western society we’ve got the best standard of living we’ve ever had, yet we have this auto-craving, longing for more. And yes it’s a great survival mechanism to keep us alive in harsh conditions but now it’s creating disconnect.
We’re filling the void with lots of stuff, which is keeping us in the earn/spend cycle, trying to buy our way to happiness. Mass media brain washes us into the need for more, the latest, the biggest, the dream life, you’ll be happy when you have…….
Wouldn’t it be great if you could live a life that is good for yourself and the people around you.
Decluttering is an important aspect of Secrets to Happiness – simplifying, focusing on what’s important. Surrounding yourself with things you use and have meaning.
If you did a heat map of how you used your house. What rooms do you use and which ones lay idle day after day?
Today, we have a throw away culture. Our fashion is now 52 seasons rather than four. If your clothes are over a week old, we’re made to feel you’re outdated. Children are constantly bombarded by ads for junk food, toys, games and latest crazes from corporations touting their wares.
You get indoctrinated into the rat wheel of earning more and spending more. Yet few of us consciously realize you have a choice to step off – spend less and increase the meaning of what we do.
Ideally honouring our material possessions rather than fueling mindless materialism that’s stripping our planet of all it’s resources. At the current rate of consumption, what will our planet look like in 50-100 years?
Time to think mindfully about the choices you make, rather than impulse buys? Time to focus on relationships, experiences and connections that have more meaning and leave less of a footprint.
A key element is surrounding yourself with people with the same values and being deliberate in your decisions. Knowing this life is yours and your one and only. Your mission being to get the most amount of good and value out of your life with exactly what you need, no more and no less.
An intentional life is a Secret to Happiness. It’s not perfect or easy, but a simple one.
Sitting down with clients each day I ask them, ‘what they would love to change?’
I often hear – “I want more energy”, “I want to lose weight”, “I want to feel good”…
It got me thinking, feeling well what does it really mean?
Is it the same for everybody? Or do we all have our own definition of feeling well?
What’s yours? (Love a comment below)