Nurturing The Inner Self
By Deb Dorchak
When most of us hear the term inner self, thoughts of self-help books, spirituality or psychology come to mind. The inner self is about the subconscious or Higher Self within each of us, also known as or our true self. When we look in the mirror and say, “I want to get to know the real me” we are talking about our inner self. Healing the inner self is learning how to be happy and comfortable in your own skin. It is a process of regaining harmony of mind, body and spirit.
Our minds are a powerful tool, so powerful in fact that we sometimes create our own problems. The stress we feel because of our problems eventually begins to affect our bodies and the way we function. This in turn leads to feelings of demoralization and sunken spirits. Remember where the problems originated though and you will be able to trace many of your present illnesses back to your own mind. Some people feel it is possible to think yourself sick. Can you imagine what would happen if you reversed that negative thinking in a more positive direction? When you begin the process of nurturing the inner self, you begin to change your outlook on life and improve your overall situation.
Some people refer to the power of positive thinking as faith healing. We have all heard of people who overcame the odds and defeated a life-threatening disease, owing it all to a positive attitude and a will to survive.
A great example of this is Lance Armstrong. Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer but decided he would accomplish the one thing he had always wanted to do: win the Tour de France. Lance overcame the odds and won the Tour de France seven consecutive times. He could have given up at any time, but instead he persisted and did what made him happy. Cycling lifted his spirits, kept his mind occupied and helped his body recover.
It is easy to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As we focus on taking care of our families, working hard in our careers and trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. We may not even notice the level of neglect until it is too late and we become burnt out.
It is important to recognize when you have crossed the line of working hard to feeling burnt out. Before this happens, it is a good idea to nurture you inner self. One good way to do this is to make time each day to do an activity you used to enjoy but no longer have time for. Perhaps you used to read every night before bed, went for a jog in the morning, or kept a journal in the afternoon; but once you got busy, these activities fell by the wayside. It is time to start enjoying these activities again.
Even if you start with one activity, it is better then none at all. You can always incorporate the others later. When we feel happy, our outlook on life completely changes. Our self-esteem lifts and we feel like we can conquer the world.
Having a negative outlook seems to be the easier choice for some people because it is much easier to complain and give up than to be optimistic and persist against all odds. Perhaps you will feel an immediate release of pressure, but because you have not handled the situation appropriately, it will most likely haunt you. Choosing the positive route is more difficult, but the rewards usually present themselves in life changing, long term results.
When trying to nurture your inner self, it is important to be aware of the types of people you keep in your inner circle. Take a good look at your friends and family; are any of them chronic naysayers? Are they always putting you down? Alternatively, do they support you and try to build your self-esteem?
Once you are aware of negativity, you will find that being around negative people can be draining. Whether you realize it or not, you are constantly on the defense in this crowd trying to protect yourself. Perhaps you have learned to deal with your mother’s criticizing words or your friend’s constant negativity towards others, but your inner self is cringing and feeling hopeless in their company.
It might not affect you right away, but over time, the negativity will have an affect on you.
You have to remember that your inner self is your subconscious and things that creep into the subconscious stay there, eating away at your defenses. Those seemingly harmless comments will come back to haunt you when you least expect it. Surround yourself with people who are positive and you will notice that their positive attitude will give you a boost. A simple compliment, a kind word or a nice gesture can change someone's entire day.
Imagine that you are having one of those days where the cat broke one of your glass collectibles, the electricity was turned off and you received a bill from the IRS saying you owe them $3,000. You feel like throwing in the towel, but then you begin to think of this situation as a challenge you can overcome. A friend calls with a word of encouragement and suddenly you feel invigorated. It is time to get in gear and manage.
Nurturing your inner self is easy and can be fun. Do things that make you feel good. Here is a short list of ideas to get you started.
- Get creative. Write a book, start a journal, take up painting, redesign your room or landscape your yard. Creating something gives us a deep sense of satisfaction. It does not matter if you are good at it.
What does matter is that you have fun while you are doing it. Who knows, perhaps you will find a new hobby along the way.
- Pamper yourself. Treat yourself to a massage or go splurge at the bookstore. Meet a friend for lunch at a restaurant or sit in an outdoor café and have coffee.
- Get physical. Go to the gym and have a good work out, do some gardening, take the dogs for a walk or play with your kids or pets.
- Join a club. Meeting other people and socializing feels good.
- Volunteer. Nothing feels better than knowing you are helping someone less fortunate.
- Laugh. Laughter truly is the best medicine and it is contagious, so include a friend.
The inner self reminds us to enjoy life. When we are caught up in the daily grind, we can wear ourselves out without even realizing it. Take some time to have a little fun and be proud of what you have accomplished. Your inner self will thank you.
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