When it comes to the mind, one thought begets another of the same. So, get in front of your self-doubt’s attempt to wage war on your self-worth by celebrating your imperfections (Look how human I am!) and bringing awareness to the gifts you have. I’m too sensitive, for instance, becomes My capacity for empathy helps me understand others. Try further silencing that negative voice with a little internal role play, and act as though you are speaking to your five-year-old self. Doing so will help you show yourself more kindness and understanding. “That version of you is still there,” says Acosta. “Nurture him or her, speak to him or her lovingly. Use kind, loving words only.”
Meditation provides distance from emotional attachment and allows you the space to address self-doubt with the same love and grace you might show a friend. “When we’re able to just sit in silence—without seeking external validation, without external distractions—we can actually get still and connect to our highest self,” says Acosta. Observe your thoughts with compassion, non-attachment, and without judging yourself for them. Watch them float by without getting mired down in emotion. It’s the difference between witnessing the power of a thunderstorm from afar and being stuck in the middle of it. Acosta suggests adding a mantra to create both a new pathway in your brain and an association to whatever you’d like to make more concrete. “I love using I amstatements to empower myself and to help crowd out the negative talk,” she says. A few simple ones to start with are: I am confident, I am powerful, and I am free.
When you meditate …
Practice Sukhasana (Easy Pose), to open your hips, relieve stress, and calm the mind.
4. Write it down
“Write down all the reasons you’re notthe negative things you’re thinking about yourself,” says Acosta. Think about your goals, and write down all the ways you’re already on the path to achieving them. This muzzles your inner critic and helps you take back your voice by reaffirming all that makes you wonderful and the choices you’ve made to get where you are. If you’re feeling stuck, Acosta suggests starting with one of the prompts below, and then sitting down with your journal or laptop and just letting it flow:
What are you most proud of?
Detail a moment where you were inspired by awe (or simply inspired).
How do you feel radically loved?
What do you radically love?
There’s power in physically putting positivity down on paper as your hand produces each word and eventually completes each affirmation. Journaling in conjunction with meditation can rewire your thought process, making self-love and compassion much easier over time. “This allows us to tune into our highest Selves and put thoughts on paper,” says Acosta. “It’s extremely cathartic.”
Before you sit down to write …
Practice Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose), to release stress and stimulate digestion.
by Hannah Lott-Schwartz