We know the importance of caring for our physical body, but how much time and care do we devote to our mental and emotional well-being, and how we're doing on the inside? Someone may look great on the outside to everyone else, while feeling stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed, or unfulfilled on the inside – all of which is very likely to impact their physical health sooner or later.
Small changes, when practiced consistently, can lead to a noticeable improvement in your inner state and overall sense of peace and stability. You might be surprised at how a few simple steps can leave you feeling calmer, clearer, and more focused.
Here are some tips and strategies to help you nurture your inner wellness.
Ruminating Over the Past: Sort Out Your Thoughts With Journal Writing
Is there something nagging at you from the past that you just can't let go of? Feelings that still feel as raw and as fresh today as they did when the event first took place?
There's no going back and undoing the past, but we can reframe a situation and process it anew via writing. There's enormous power in putting pen to paper and writing things out. It allows us to review the past and see it with a fresh eye. We can essentially unload some of the emotions tied to a past event, while at the same time bringing new insights and awareness to it. We can simultaneously relive the situation while also standing back from it, allowing us to bring a new perspective and understanding to the picture.
Beating Yourself Up: How Would You Support Someone Else?
If you find yourself spiraling downwards in a negative thought loop as you beat yourself up over something, consider how you would respond to a friend who was in the same place. You wouldn’t want your friend to waste precious energy letting negative thoughts bring them down, especially around something that they can't go back and undo. It may be that there are actions that can be taken to make amends; or perhaps there's something to be learned. But ultimately, you wouldn't want to see your friend unnecessarily stuck and held down.
Instead of being so hard on yourself for your shortcomings and missteps, offer yourself the same loving attitude that you would offer to a friend. Treat yourself with that same measure of compassion and forgiveness – you deserve it.
People-Pleasing: Take Responsibility and Commit to Change
It's easy to fall into the trap of being a people-pleaser, even though we're not really on board with whatever is taking place or what we're being asked to do. do you have a pattern of:
In the short term, the above behaviours can actually seem beneficial and rewarding. You become the go-to person that everyone can rely on, and you genuinely enjoy taking care of others. Plus, it's reassuring to feel needed and valued. The thing is, you're not really giving people a chance to value the real you, because you never reveal the real you! Instead, you're presenting this ever-accommodating persona, always with a smile, even when things don't match up on the inside. In the long term, this can actually hurt your relationships, as it can leave you feeling resentful and taken for granted.
If this is your pattern, there's good news – you can change it! But this requires that you take responsibility and truly commit to changing it. If this seems like a daunting task, simply begin with the aim of pausing before rushing to agree to everything.
For instance, instead of immediately saying "Yes" when you're asked to do something, an alternative approach might be to respond with "I really don't want to let you down, so let me check my schedule first to make absolutely certain that I'm able to help." This allows you to take some time to assess whether or not you're truly in a position to offer your assistance. An added bonus is that the person you're dealing with will appreciate that you're taking their request seriously, and that you're committed to following through on whatever you say you'll do.
Small Changes With Big Impact
Over time, these small changes can have a big impact in your life. In fact, you're likely to feel the positive effects as soon as you start implementing these strategies. At the same time, change of any kind can be hard, and we often feel awkward or uncomfortable when we start breaking old patterns and adopting new behaviours. As you push through the discomfort, remember: attending to your inner wellness isn't just a gift you give to yourself; it's a gift you give to the people around you as well.
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