Self-Affirmations & Feeling Silly

We have all probably heard at some point in our life that we should think positively, especially about ourselves.  Browse around on Pinterest and you will see thousands of pins that have sayings like “BeYOUtiful” and “You are your harshest critic” and “Hey, stop being mean to yourself”.  Ok, maybe not the last one but you get the idea.Self Affirmations & Feeling Silly | Life Healthfully Lived

The thing is we know we should be kind to ourselves, we just have a really hard time doing it.  It’s easy to critique our own body’s, habits, and personalities.  We’re used to being kind to others but don’t really know what to do when it comes to us.

That’s why self-affirmations were made.

Ok, that’s also probably not true but someone along the way that in order to be kinder to ourselves we should actually talk positively to ourselves.  Like actually out loud say nice things about us.  Stand in front of the mirror in the bathroom and say things like, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”  By doing this every day, you’ll learn to love yourself and be kinder to your body.  Those of you rolling your eyes at me right now, don’t worry I’m with you.Self Affirmations & Feeling Silly | Life Healthfully Lived

Or, at least, I was.

Self-affirmations sounded like a load of self-help hogwash.  Something that sounds good on paper and in books but doesn’t really work.  How is standing in front of the mirror every day (something I already don’t like doing) and talking out loud like a lunatic going to really help me like myself more?  But I also thought what have I got to lose?  If it doesn’t work no skin off my nose.  It’s not like I had to make these affirmations out loud in front of a crowd so I started talking nice to myself.Self Affirmations & Feeling Silly | Life Healthfully Lived

I didn’t choose hokey phrases that meant nothing to me, but rather I would look at myself and make a conscious effort to say something I truly liked about my body/life/personality.

“Good morning Katie, your eyes look really green and bright today.  Lots of people would really like to have your green eyes.”

“Hey there Kate, you just squatted more weight than you have before and I can tell your legs are stronger than ever. Nice work!”

“That dinner you made from scratch last night really hit the spot and it’s awesome that you can come up with flavor combinations like that all on your own now.  Keep up the good work!”

Sure, I felt silly at first but then a funny thing started happening.  I started to believe my affirmations.  I was getting stronger, my recipes were coming to me easier, there are certain features of my face and body that are absolutely beautiful.  And these feelings started to flow into other parts of my life.  I felt more confident and believed I could do anything I wanted.  I started complimenting other people because I knew just like me they were awesome.Self Affirmations & Feeling Silly | Life Healthfully Lived

Moral of the story?  Sometimes things that sound silly and hokey can really help you out.  If you’ve never tried self-affirmations, give it a go.  Will it feel awkward and weird?  You bet.  Especially if your husband knocks on the bathroom door and asks if you’re talking to one of the cats and you tell him no, just yourself…. but as time goes on it will fell less and less weird and more natural.  It will start to show that you think highly of yourself and you should always think highly of yourself.

Because you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!


Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

So often when we make the decision to change our lifestyles, we tend to zero in on the bad habits.  This is very true when it comes to changing our health for the better.  We decide that we want to eat better, exercise more, and just be healthier in general.  Then we start listing all the unhealthy habits we have.  We snack too much, we count walking from the refrigerator to the couch as exercise, the only cooking we do is pressing the start button on the microwave, etc. etc…. In order to be healthy we have to get rid of all those habits, and the sooner the better.  Right?

Not so much.  When I first decided to be healthier, I had the same mindset.  I took a look at my life and immediately saw all the “bad” things that I did.  I was discouraged and felt the urgent need to change everything as fast as possible.  I got rid of all the junk food in my kitchen, bought new exercise DVD’s, and completely overhauled my lifestyle.  All of this sounds really good and is necessary when trying to be healthier, but it shouldn’t all happen at once.  Sure I had gotten rid of all the “bad” stuff, but I had no idea what to do next.  I had essentially changed my whole world over night and that led to more than a few slip-ups and feeling like being healthier was impossible.

Luckily I learned from my mistakes and found a much better approach to changing my lifestyle.  I slowly began to change things.  I started adding healthier recipes to my weekly rotation.  I experimented with a few new exercise routines to see what I liked best and I could stick with.  This gradual change made it much easier to stick with a healthier lifestyle.  The other thing that really helped me was to focus on the good habits that I already had before I decided to live healthier.  Once I saw that I had already had some good habits, it made it feel like I could actually change for good.

If you have recently made the choice to change your lifestyle, try this approach.  Instead of immediately changing every single bad habit in your life, take a look and find the good things.  Maybe you’re really good at drinking a lot of water, or you have a fairly solid workout routine.  Once you find your good habits, find ways to build on them.  If you’re a really good cook, start incorporating healthier ingredients and recipe into your repertoire.  Soon you’ll have a healthy menu and you’ll feel really accomplished and motivated to keep going.  The important thing to remember is to take it slow.  This increases your chances of sticking to your goal of living a healthier lifestyle.  Once you see all the good things you already do and find ways to expand upon them, being healthy won’t seem like such a daunting and unattainable task.  Each positive thing you do will be another step towards living and feeling great!