Pura Botanica Blog
Become Your Own Best Friend
With all the stress of holiday shopping, prepping for in laws and planning get-togethers, this is the time of year when we are often too hard on ourselves, as we feel as though we are being pulled in several different directions. However, constantly feeling guilty about not doing enough can take a huge toll on our bodies. In fact, experts say that most of our inner guilt comes from within. “Most of the time, we manufacture guilt in our minds simply because of the ridiculous expectations we set for ourselves.” With 2016 coming to a close and the new year right around the corner, there’s no better time than now to start becoming your own best friend. To ring in the new year, here is a simple three week plan to help you let go of your guilt and start the new year off on the right foot.
During the first week, it is imperative that you identify exactly what is triggering your guilt. If you can recognize the cause and stop it before it hits, you are already halfway there. During your first week, get to the bottom of what makes you feel the worst. Here are some ways you can do that:
Pay attention to your body and notice what makes you feel negative
Check the frequency of how often specific instances are leaving you with regret
At the end of the week, pinpoint the issues that insinuated guilt more strongly than others and put those at the top of your mental ‘to conquer’ list
The second week is the time for you to change your perspective. Rather than just accepting the guilt and saying “whatever”, recognize it and come up with an alternative interpretation. Some ways to do that are:
Envision a redo and think about what you would do differently when approached with that task again.
Pick a different emotion. When we are stressed it is easy to become self-critical. It is important to start asking yourself questions that will help recognize whether or not you are adding to your stress.
Perfectionism can often be a huge factor when it comes to guilt. Throughout this process you have to accept your limitations and understand that nobody is perfect.
The final week is when you want to teach yourself to shake off the small stuff. To tell yourself that you will never feel guilt again is unrealistic, however, it is important to recognize the next time you may be blowing things out of proportion.
Rather than telling yourself, “I shouldn’t have left the office early today with the amount of work I have to do”, tell yourself, “I needed to cut out early in order to give myself time to make my long overdue doctor’s appointment.”
Surprisingly, one of the greatest medicines of all is laughter. Learn to make fun of yourself. So what if you ran out of time to bake for your New Year’s party and brought a store bought cake? Sometimes you need to stop sweating the small things in life and let yourself live in the moment.
Always try to find the silver lining. Even if you aren’t the best at wrapping gifts, you should be proud of yourself that you spent the time and effort into personalizing the gift rather than letting the store gift wrap it for you. There is always a positive side to every negative, you just need to learn to look for it.
More often than not we are our own worst critics. With all the craziness that takes place this time of year, there is no more room for guilt and stress. Rather than beating yourself up about the negatives, try giving yourself a compliment every morning that will help you start your day off right. Follow this three week plan to help yourself reexamine the way in which you talk to yourself. If you want to become your own best friends and work toward a more stress free life, it’s time to start treating yourself the way you’d treat your closest friends and confidants: with love and compassion.