The centerpiece of many of our thoughts as humans is to find our bliss, happiness, comfort, etc. At first, it may seem like clothes, makeup, food, hairstyles, and possessions will make us happy. Changing our ideas and purchasing things are an easy task to take on; however, as we grow older, we can see that inward peace of mind is equally important. When the outward, instant-gratification no longer works for us, and we want to start looking deeper for long-term comfort, where should we begin? How can we begin to feel comfortable in our skin?
Find Your Version of Yoga
While millions of people find yoga validating, not everyone will enjoy it. Understand that yoga is a practice where you will begin to listen to your mind, thoughts, and body in a way that you never have before. Yoga has healing properties for those who have PTSD or have lived through some form of trauma. There is also evidence that shows yoga teaches us how to slow down.
If yoga is not for you, find something that you can be equally passionate about. Being present in the moment gives you a power that so many long to possess but cannot. If you can find something to slow your brain down and let the role of your thoughts take over you while you are taking in the scenery—more power to you. If you aren’t sure where to start, yoga it up until you can find something that suits you best.
Talk It Out
Therapy isn’t just for people who have problems. Treatment is for those of us who want to be more self-actualizing. Talking through your issues and getting the ideas out of your head makes room for other, healthier thoughts.
If you don’t want to talk it out with a therapist, find a group of people like friends or a support group that will help you grow. The benefit of going to speak with a support group is that they don’t know you well enough so you don’t have to be afraid to say something and may be able to shake up your thoughts more than friends would. However, friends know you best, and if you trust your friends, planning a girls/boys night once a month can help you, and them, become more in touch with what you are feeling and why you are feeling it.
Let People In
It is true that not every person deserves to be in your world, but cutting yourself off from everyone because of some unknown fear is just as hurtful. If someone does something that is against your grain, and it is something unagreeable—make sure to address it and then move on. Don’t think that people will change; know that people will treat you the same. If you don’t like how they treat you, find people who do treat you right. It’s the best move for you.
Create Your Success Story
Success, like perspective, can be defined in many ways. Find what method works best for you. Think about how you want your success story to go and then make it happen.
Your path to success will be fraught with difficulties, doubts, and errors. Accept them as they come, keep a positive mindset when you can, and feel the disappointment when it shows up. But don’t stay down. If you keep going through the tough times, you’ll find that your version of success will come to you quicker than you realize.
Listen to Your Gut
Instinctually, we know what is right and what is wrong for our life. Listen to that voice or feeling (however your gut speaks to you). If it is right for you, you will know. If you listen to yourself, you are validating that your point of view is essential, and over time you will begin to find confidence and comfort in your choices.
Healthy Mind, Healthy Life
Building a healthy mind is an integral part of finding comfort in your skin. When you find that your thoughts are beating you up, you may begin to believe them. The cool thing is that you can tell your ideas that they are wrong too.
If your mind tells you that you don’t look good for a party, you can rebuttal it and say that you like the dress you are wearing.
While positive self-talk feels uncomfortable at first, after time, positive self-talk begins to form as a habit, just like the negative-talk did.
Just as equally, when you realize you’ve said something negative about yourself to a friend, stop yourself and think about what you would say to your friend if s/he said the same thing out loud about themselves. If you find that you would tell them how wrong they are, do the same for yourself.
Treat yourself precisely the same way you would treat your friends. Find kindness in your self-talk, and you’ll find kindness in your mind too.
Enjoy Personal Time
Having a healthy mind also means taking care of your body when you are stressed out emotionally, mentally, and physically. Treating yourself to a massage, meditation, a spa day, or an acupuncturist are few ideas to help you relax physically when the stress seems to cause so much anxiety that you are staying awake at night or just not able to concentrate throughout your work-day.
When you spend some time with yourself in pampering mode, it’s important to not put pressure on yourself to “relax” and just take your feelings as you may. Take the time after a shower in the evening to apply a hydrating lotion or cream with a calming scent to put you into a relaxed state or make yourself some herbal tea. Care for the body you have and take the time to pamper yourself every now and then. Some days it will be easier to relax than others, and the point of learning how to enjoy personal time is really just giving you an opportunity to check in with yourself. If you make it a regular part of your schedule, the maintenance will be easier to hack.
Mistakes are Life Lessons and Human
The cliché is that everyone makes mistakes. While you are reading that line, you may have even rolled your eyes because it is said way too many times. The truth is that mistakes are part of being human. As a human, you have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes you make, whether it be getting a wrong answer on a test, paying a bill late, or treating a person in a way you usually wouldn’t handle them.
Every time you do something that makes you feel as though you’ve made a mistake, you have the opportunity to look at yourself and see if it was a mistake. If it wasn’t, be kind to yourself. If it was, still be kind to yourself.
Think about how you could have done something differently—and when it comes up again, implement your lessons.
Find Compassion for Everyone
In truth, you will find more people that rub you the wrong way than you will those that fit inside your comfortable mold. That’s okay. Just because someone doesn’t fit with your idea of a friend, acquaintance, or partner, doesn’t mean that they still don’t deserve compassion.
Giving people compassion doesn’t mean letting them into your lives or finding the good in everyone—if they have treated you badly, they have a reason. If there is a reason, you can empathize with them and have compassion. If you have compassion for those who have done something out of the ordinary, or even hurt you in an unthinkable way, you can find compassion for yourself in the worst of times.
As a bonus, the people you have compassion for can’t have power over you, which means they won’t be able to make you feel uncomfortable in your skin very often. And, if they do, you’ll have the tools to help yourself get over it quickly.