If you find time for everyone else’s needs other than your own, or you feel a distinct lack of inner peace, this is the perfect time to learn some new skills – in particular, how to be happier with expert advice from psychotherapist, mindfulness practitioner and author Abby Wynne.
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Every year it’s the same thing – we set ourselves up with unrealistic expectations of diets and daily gym trips, and then we end up feeling disheartened and annoyed at ourselves for not following through.
If we’re being totally honest, a lot of the time we just want to kick back, put our feet up and watch TV with our favourite snacks. And guess what? I think that if it gives you peace, then go for it – because inner peace is essential, and you certainly don’t find it when you’re rushing around, putting everyone’s needs ahead of your own.
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Be Nice To Yourself
Here’s my take on it: to get inner peace you have to give yourself inner peace. Be peaceful on the inside. To achieve that, you need to be nicer to yourself.
To learn how to be nice to yourself you have to realise what it is you’re saying in your mind. It’s difficult to do this because our thoughts are so busy with ‘background noise’. Just as tuning into a radio station which plays sad music all day would make you sad, the tone of your thoughts can affect your emotions. I call this your subconscious thought stream, thoughts that are going on in the background that you’re not really aware of, but they have an influence over you.
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How Can You Start?
Know that you are not your thoughts, and you get to choose consciously if you believe them or not. For example, if we keep telling ourselves how lazy or how stupid we are, we believe it. When we create these thoughts, we hand our power over to them.
Know that the tone of your subconscious thoughts is set by your life experiences, the people around you, and what you put into your awareness. When you’ve been playing the same music in your head all your life, it’s what you’re used to.
Being nicer to yourself may sound simple, but it actually can be tricky to start. I have three ways you can learn how to be nicer to yourself without having to go too far out of your comfort zone, or use up energy that you just don’t seem to have right now.
The Three Steps to Happiness
#1. Tune In – and Really Listen
You have the power to soften the music and make it much more uplifting. You’ve got to learn what the words are that you’re using, learn what the most common thoughts are and write them down using the language that you are using in your mind. Put it all into a notebook – have no judgement, no engagement, just get the facts.
#2. Make Time For Yourself
Make an appointment to sit down with yourself for some contemplative time. It doesn’t have to be longer than 10 minutes, but you do need to make time and space for this.
Choose one of the thoughts that you documented in your notebook and pick it apart. Look at your achievements, and remind yourself that you are capable. Tell yourself that it would be much easier for you if you could have a gentle reminder, instead of a screaming banshee in your head.
#3. Replace Your Most Damaging Thoughts
Once you’ve gently picked the thought apart, and realised that it is no longer valid, create a thought that’s an antidote. For example, replace “I’m lazy and stupid and I should have had all of those things done ages ago” with “I’m doing as much as I am able to do today, and it will get done when it’s done”.
This task is something you may need to do consciously, with pen and paper in hand. But once you have your healing thought, you’re more than half way there. You just have to plant it into your subconscious thought stream, by thinking it consciously every time your mind throws the equivalent damaging thought up at you. By doing this your tone changes, becomes softer, lighter and friendlier – and you slowly obtain that inner peace that was inside of you all along.
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Take It One Day At A Time
This may seem a bit like work to begin with. However, over time it becomes easier, and when the tone of that inner music shifts it becomes more peaceful and hopeful.
I find that people need some help to sustain the work, as it will take time to really stick. My new One Day at a Time Diary 2018 is a tool for you to sustain this over a whole year (enter now to win your own copy here). Each month has a theme which lifts the tone of that inner music, almost like a wave on the sea, rising you up gently, helping you let go of the things that are keeping you down, and bringing you to a softer, nicer place.
I’ve created affirmations, visualisations and meditations that help you recalibrate, and act as healing thoughts that you can repeat in your mind to change the tone of your subconscious thought stream. They are all available to download free from my website. Listen each month to help your conscious brain and your subconscious thoughts tune into healing energies and shift towards inner peace.
It’s all here for you, all you’ve got to do is say yes to yourself.
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Do you want to learn how to be happier? How can you be kinder to yourself? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!