Look at The Relationship with Yourself First
The most important relationship you have is with yourself, yet it is the one that often becomes neglected. Sometimes you give so much to other relationships that it leaves little energy and desire to nurture the relationship with yourself. What would it look like to invest more in yourself? After all, it’s the one relationship that will remain constant and forever. When you neglect looking at the relationship with yourself, you find yourself in unfulfilling relationships, choose careers that are unsatisfying, encounter unhappy circumstances, and self-care becomes the last priority. However, getting to know yourself will help you find what makes your heart happy, and will help you to live a more authentic life.
When you start to develop and learn more about the relationship with yourself, it can be challenging at first. It will take you to the most vulnerable parts of your self, it strips away the illusions that you have, and the fear can set in. This is part of the work. The challenge will be to acknowledge the fear, feel it, and make a choice to work through what you find. This is a process to begin to do this work. Below are powerful exercises and questions to begin to look at the relationship with yourself first. While doing any of these exercises it’s important to come from a mindset of patience, self-compassion, and curiosity. It’s about empowering yourself to recognize the things that you can control in your life, and putting more energy into yourself.
Again, this is a process, take your time with doing these exercises and questions, just slowly integrate these ideas, take breaks, and when you are ready to go onto the next exercise. These exercises can be deepened further with reflection through journaling. Just notice if these exercises are bringing up intense and overwhelming emotions. If they are, seeking out a therapist is recommended to help guide the process.
Solitude: This is a great way to get reacquainted with the self. Spending a few minutes daily to be on your own. The busyness of our lives can leave little time to be in solitude with ourselves. This is a great way to recharge and be with the self.
Meditation: Spending a few minutes meditating. This is a great way to detach from thoughts, gain clarity, and get connected to yourself.
Positive Qualities: Write down your positive qualities. Reminding yourself on a regular basis of your positive qualities.
Embrace Imperfections: We all have areas of imperfections, it’s what makes us human. This is a time to practice self-compassion towards yourself.
Learning: Daily encounters with other people, circumstances, etc give you an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Ask yourself, what am I learning about myself?
List your values: Finding out what is important to you in your life and how this reflected in your life. Ask yourself, is there a disconnect from what you value and what is showing up in your life?
Notice your self-talk: Notice the negative thought patterns that are harmful. Ask yourself, what negative self-talk that is not helpful to your mental wellbeing?
Change your perspective: Notice perspectives that you are coming to based on the inner dialogue that is going through my mind. Ask yourself, what messages are you feeding yourself that is harming your relationship with yourself?
Express your creativity: what are ways that I can have self-expression through creativity. Ask yourself, in what ways can I express creativity?
Appreciation: Notice what you appreciate about yourself. Ask yourself, what do you appreciate about your life?
Growth: Notice what areas in your life that you have grown and/or are stagnant. Ask yourself, are you learning from past mistakes and working to break ongoing patterns that aren’t nurturing you?
Embrace your emotions: Acknowledge your feelings and respect them. Just notice what you are feeling, you don’t have to feel all your emotions all at once. It’s important to ease into your feelings and respect what you feel. Ask yourself, what am I not allowing myself to feel?
Trust: Developing and continuing to trust your self and what is best for your life. Listen to what your authentic self is trying to share with you and trust it. Ask yourself how can I trust myself more?
Make changes: Reflecting on what changes that you want to make in your life. Ask yourself, what is preventing you from moving forward with making these changes?
Looking at relationship patterns. It can be beneficial to look at the patterns that are coming up in your relationships. Ask yourself, in what ways are you continuing to contribute to the relationship pattern?
Remember the relationship with yourself is worth getting to know; you will discover countless benefits when you look at the relationship with yourself first.
Crystal Hamill, MC, is experienced in the areas of mindfulness and interpersonal relationships, plus many more. For more information on Crystal and her work, click here to link to her full bio page. Living Well Counselling Services