Thursday, January 4, 2018

5 Ways to Love Yourself (Part 5) ~ Accept Your Thoughts

This is #5 and the final post in the series "5 Ways to Love Yourself."

Accept your thoughts, and work on the faulty ones.

Don’t be afraid of your thoughts. I know they can sometimes be strange or scary, or annoying and out of control. But it’ll be okay.

Listen to this simple song from Steven Universe (trust me on this), as it teaches the basics of Mindfulness.

P.S. I love Steven Universe.

Positive Response
A method I've tried in combating negative thoughts is to respond to each of them with a positive one. I'll admit I struggle to keep this up, and it’s easy to lost track of my thoughts due to OCD. But if I can catch them the moment I am aware of them, I can replace them with a positive affirmation (provided I have the energy to).

For example: a common negative though I have is “I’m too slow to keep up with anything” (or something like that, anyway). A positive response might be “I’m not slow, I’m detail-oriented.” It’s true, so I wouldn’t be lying to myself.

Similar to positive responses, mantras are another great tool for rewiring the brain to think more positively. They don’t necessarily have to be tied to Yoga or religion, either. I recommend Google searching “mantras for ___” followed by whatever you want to re-enforce in your mind. For instance, I want to be successful in life, so I might search “mantras for success.”

Here are some mantras below, as an example. You can try any of these or find more by clicking here.

"Today, you are perfect."
“I deserve to be loved no matter what happens”
“Nothing can stop me today—I can only stop myself.”
"Commit. Succeed.”
"You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather."
"I am beautiful. I am strong. I am enough."
"I am grateful for all that is unfolding in my life and all that is yet to come."
"I am fulfilled. I am fearless."
"Less is more."
"What is my path to happiness?"

(I found these mantras in various places on the Internet)

Meditation and other types of therapy can be helpful, too. Relaxing activities such as Yoga or Qi Gong can increase your mind-body awareness, which in turn makes it easier to calm down when you find yourself tense or overthinking.

I personally love Qi Gong; I've attended a few class sessions and felt super tranquil afterwards.
My favorite moves are the arm movements at the beginning of this video, and "scooping the moon" or "Buddha holding up the earth."

Now that I've shared my thoughts in this series, I have something to admit.

I don't love myself.

I mean, I do, but I don't.

Constantly, I am battling negative thought patterns. I have OCD on top of Asperger's, which complicates everything. It's likely that I have a hormonal imbalance as well. Wherever the thoughts are coming from (I don't always like pinning it to one specific cause or disorder), they're always there. Of course, I do have some good days when I feel in control of it--but I know I will never be fully rid of them.

I've heard it said that OCD is like having a bully in your head. I couldn't agree more. In addition to OCD, I would apply that comparison to negative thought patterns as a whole. This "bully" tells me I'm too sensitive, overdramatic, inconsistent, unreliable, and useless.

Sometimes I'm tempted to shut down this blog. Sometimes I want to delete my Facebook, Twitter, and everything I have online. I think about disappearing virtually and physically (suicide ideation is common for me) because I perceive that I am only a nuisance, too hard to understand, and my efforts to earn my place in this world are fruitless.

The bully in my head screams often these louder than anything outside my own head, louder than the words of my loved ones, louder than a hug, and louder than the kindness others show me. But if I've learned anything, it's that truth can be found in silence and quiet voices. Today, that is what I choose to listen to. That is what I choose to re-enforce. They're telling me to stay, so I'm not going anywhere.

Grab a copy of "Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger's" (Special Edition 50 min version) for only $10! Discount expires soon (1/15/18)

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