7 Ways to Better Living by Kate Rizzo, Founder of The Kindness Effect.
We don’t mean champagne bubble baths on a retreat weekend, but hey if you have the time and money go for it. We mean on a daily basis, maybe you get up 15 minutes earlier while the rest of the house is still asleep and you make yourself a cup of tea in silence. Maybe you go for a walk on your lunch break and leave your phone at your desk. Maybe you have a bath or read a book or play an instrument, whatever it is taking time for you is so important. Find what makes you feel calm and spend 10 minutes a day doing it, we recommend practicing meditation and mindfulness; the world is already noisy and busy enough, take time to be still and silence and peaceful. We have worked with many parents who express a deep guilt over wanting time to themselves, to that we say watch this kick-arse Mother break down all the myths about being a selfish parent - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQK9Ufr4yrY
1. Forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
Now this one may seem like it’s not about you or self-love, but trust us it is. When we hold onto hurt or anger often the only one that suffers is ourselves. Forgiveness is more about you, your life and moving forward than it is about the person or situation you are forgiving. Forgiveness holds so much power, let it in and let it change you. Practice saying “I choose forgiveness”, every day
2. Exercise your mind, just like you exercise your body
You know that little voice in your mind that can be pretty damn mean sometimes? Oh come on you know, the one that says “you look like shit today” when you walk past a mirror, or “damn, you can’t do anything right” when you make a little mistake. Well you can exercise your mind to stop thinking like this. Think about 10 things you love about yourself and 10 things you are good at. They could include: being good friend, making people laugh, having nice eyes, and being good at your job. Every time that little mean voice starts talking, take a moment to say “thank you, but no thank you, not today” and follow up with one positive statement. When you feel like crap, remind yourself you are beautiful. When you make a mistake, remind yourself it doesn’t define you. But remember, exercising your mind is just like exercising your body. When you haven’t done it for a while it can feel uncomfortable and hard, but the more you work and the more consistent you are the better you become at it. It never becomes easy, but you become stronger. Make your mind strong, through daily exercise.
3. Make a habit of making good habits
We spend so much of our life on auto-pilot; ask yourself this: have you ever driven somewhere, arrived and then realised you didn’t even remember how you got to your destination, OR how many times you can’t recall if you ate lunch or had a glass of water during your work day. But we have the power to change all the little things we do that have a big impact on our lives. Have a good long think about all your habits, be honest, no matter how ugly they may be, because once we acknowledge our reality we have the power to change it. Do you look at your phone in bed before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up? Why not try something different; put your phone down, talk to your partner, read a book, have a cup of tea in bed and reflect upon your day. How about getting to bed on time, getting enough sleep and creating a peaceful bedroom environment. Try for a month the ‘ no technology rule’ in the bedroom, only books, cuddles, tea and candles. After a month see how your mind and body feels.
4. Find your Tribe
Having people that you trust and can talk to is vital to your own mental health and self-care. Humans were not created to live in isolation or to suffer alone; as our Founder, Kate always says, “we are more alike than we are different”. Having friends or family or even just one person that you can talk to, share with, bounce ideas off and have fun with is number one on the list of how to live a happy life. Have a good look at the people with whom you surround yourself. Do they inspire you to be a better person? Do they make you laugh? Do you trust them? Do you feel supported by them? Also ask yourself, would you do anything for them? Do they feel supported by you? It may sound harsh but sometimes taking care of yourself means having to say goodbye to people who drain your energy and distract you from what’s important in life. We aren’t suggesting you abandon anyone, but try talking to them first about how you feel when you are around them and if nothing changes, maybe you need to make the adult decision of who do I allow into my inner circle and into my life.
But also remember if you want people to inspire you and be there to support you, you have to be there for them and make them laugh and inspire them. Look in the mirror; what you put out into the world is often what you get back. Be the kind of person you want to be friends with and then you’ll truly find your tribe.
5. Connect to your Values through Food
Now we aren’t doctors, but we know enough to say that what goes in your bodies has a huge effect on your health both physically and emotionally. We challenge you to look at what you eat, what you fuel your body with and how it makes you feel. Do you feel bloated after you eat dairy? Or greasy and yuk after you eat take-away? We also challenge you to think about your values and what you believe in? Do your values align with your choices? Are you supporting an industry of death and cruelty by eating meat and dairy? Or do you care about the ripple effect your actions have on others? Many people often don’t know why they feel uneasy or dissatisfied, and part of that can be that they aren’t living a life that fully represents their values and beliefs. Ask yourself how does what I eat affect my life and the life of others? Plus vegan food is the bomb; visit here for delicious recipes - http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/healthy/g807/vegan-recipes/
6. You are a student of life, you are a teacher of life
If we can go through life taking everything as a lesson and accepting our ‘failures’ as teachers, then we make life a whole lot easier for ourselves. Remember that you too have wisdom and to share that can do such good in the world. Think about how you could share what you know to be true in an open way that helps the world. Often when we give to others we are also giving to ourselves, and this makes us feel good… and who doesn’t want to feel good?
7.Love yourself honey!
Seem realistic? Hell yes! Why can’t we live a life that involves self-love and self-care? Because the world has told us that to love yourself is almost a sin, be humble, don’t be arrogant, stay in your place, don’t be loud. To that we say, sure be humble, but also be loud and take up as much space in this world as you want. Dismiss the messages you get sent from social media or sub-cultures, and create your own messaging. It takes guts, and self-compassion, it takes looking at yourself in the mirror and saying I am already perfect. It takes courage and vulnerability, but it’s doable. It won’t happen over night, it might not even happen in the next decade, but isn’t life about the journey? Take every day as an opportunity to love yourself a little more, and to take up a little more room. The world is waiting for you, what are you waiting for?
Thanks so much Kate x