In a life that is so filled with chaotic energy, turmoil, materialism and uncertainty, it’s detrimental to our mental health to find avenues to de stress, bring our bodies and minds into a state of calm, upgrade our breathing and emotional patterns, and feel completely safe within ourselves. Societal norms often brainwash us with feelings that we are not good enough, or we must be like this or that, to be beautiful or successful. There is an enormous amount of pressure to fit in. We often end up having misguided attempts to fit ourselves into perfect little boxes. Part of the problem, I think, is not embracing our own authenticity, our inner truth, regardless of what we are made to idealize.
There is nothing more beautiful than true self love, loving and accepting our own being, and all that comes along with that. I have come to realize the importance of being who you are no matter what environment you are in. Authenticity also involves some vulnerability, which is a great measure of courage. It means taking risks, showing up, even with the possibility of rejection or failure. When we show up and be ourselves, even with all our beautiful imperfections, we don’t just change our lives for the better, we can change the world.
Easy tips for connecting with your inner self:
1. Elicit the relaxation response
Developed in the 1970’s by Dr. Herbert Benson. It is designed to instil a deep sense of relaxation and mindfulness. It lowers blood pressure, enhances mood, relieves everyday stress, and centers us.
Find a quiet place and sit or lay with your eyes closed. Bring your awareness to your body, and breath. Breathe deeply through your nose in a rhythmical slow steady way. Choose a word, sound, or mantra that has meaning to you. Repeat it over and over, focusing on your word, sound or phrase. Allow outside noises or distractions to become unimportant. Consciously relax all your muscles, like a wave of relaxation starting at the top of your head, all the way down to the tips of your toes. Continue your chant and steady breathing, feeling soothed and grounded.
2. Dedicate time each day to develop your self-confidence
Spend 10 min a day demanding of yourself the development of self confidence, self assuredness, and self love. This may mean stepping out of your comfort zone, and pushing yourself to do something that is a bit fearful, or perhaps, using affirmations and auto-suggestion. Confidence comes from demonstrated ability. Do something that positively builds on your skill set or character, no matter how small of an action it is.
Tell yourself “ I love and accept the being that I am” repetitively. Or, use positive self talk and your own affirmations, every single day. It may seem silly at first, or you may not believe what you are saying, but stick with it, the new repetitive affirmations will gradually become locked into your internal belief system.
Start writing. There is something very powerful and therapeutic about getting thoughts and feelings on out on paper. Use a few minutes of uninterrupted time each day to write random thoughts, doing a stream of consciousness writing or just writing about the day can combat stress and anxiety, and let you feel more connected to yourself and your inner thoughts.
4. Yoga and Breath-work
Yoga is not only amazingly good for your body, but it s also great for grounding yourself and being able to be in tune with the body. It can increase our somatic awareness, and gives us the opportunity to step back, observe our bodily sensations, and listen to what our body needs. Full embodiment in the present can be a truly blissful experience. Take a hot yoga class, an infrared yoga class, or a breath-work class, feel the sensations in each part of your body, take in deep full breaths, and free yourself from your mind chatter. It is also common to release traumas and energy blocks through breath, and various types of bodywork practices. You may feel a lot lighter and liberated.