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Loving Yourself: Share the Love - What's Been Working For You?

Friday, March 22, 2013

“Positive thinking has become the major buzzword for people looking to make changes to their lives by reprogramming their negative thoughts. But how well are women doing at accepting themselves as they are and learning to love themselves? Not that well according to a recent study in which one hundred women carried a clicker and measured how many times they felt anxious about their appearance.

In the study conducted over a seven day period, women aged 35 to 69 had to use the clicker every time they had a negative thought about their face, body, hair or overall image. The study showed that woman have an average of 36 negative thoughts about their appearance everyday.

One of the women in the experiment, Loose Women presenter Sherrie Hewson, 59, told the Daily Mail, “It brought to the fore how many women have issues.” Sherrie, who had a facelift ten years ago, clicked 1,400 times over seven days, experiencing a negative thought about herself approximately every three minutes.

“When I look in the mirror, my overriding thought is: “I don’t know this person.” I wake up to this face, and I feel as though it’s someone else’s. All I see in the mirror is age creeping up on me. The worst time for me in terms of clicking was the morning. Just getting up, I’d look in the mirror at my face and hair and think: “Oh dear, now that’s a worry.” I’d click as I put my make-up on, but the more make-up I applied, the less I clicked, and by the time my “face” was complete I’d have stopped clicking.”

It has been several weeks now that we have been working on getting rid of those negative thought patterns and the things that are holding us back so that we can begin to feel comfortable in our skin. We have been given a “tool kit” of techniques.

As we continue to work through this, it’s important to remember that everything you ask for is okay because that is what your very being is desiring and needing to help you grow in the moment, and that includes your negative thoughts. It is just the imaginary interpretation in your subconscious or consciousness that something about it isn’t okay and that causes you to think negatively about it and be confused about it. This is what we are working toward – the truth in the matter. That is what the suggested techniques are designed to help you to do. To help you actually sit down with a variety of tools to rationally and realistically evaluate the thought, and the validity of it in your belief system. I think that is what is meant by the saying, “the truth will set you free.” Only then do you truly become free to make the right choices that help you move closer to the finish line, knowing the truth without any confusion, and finally being able to let go of the thought and its attending feelings and emotions.

In the following weeks, we are going to be moving on now through the other declarations of the Body Pledge. Don’t believe for a moment that you will have “once and for all” conquered this aspect of yourself – it’s part of our human nature. But you can feel some satisfaction and accomplishment in the fact that you will now be more conscious of those new thoughts that might crop up, and be able to “nip them in the bud”. At the same time, you will be allowing more positive feeling and emotions in your life to move you toward a state of wellness and well-being.

On behalf of all of us that have been working through this process by reading these blogs, I‘d like to make a small request. In the comments section I’d like you to briefly write about and answer the following:

• What have you been doing?
• Which of the suggested techniques has worked for you?
• How do you measure your improvement in this process so far?
• What have you noticed that has been different in you or your life since you began to read these blogs?

I’m thinking and hoping a pattern might emerge from all of our answers as to what things are working best for the group as a whole, and that might help others to move themselves forward.

Thank you for taking the time to share what has been working for you with the rest of us!
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    Thanks for stopping by my sparkpage!!
    1789 days ago
  • SAMI199
    Here goes~

    What have you been doing?
    I have been actively & literally throwing out the negative thoughts & most importantly replacing them with positives.

    Which of the suggested techniques has worked for you?

    I am sure they all are working together-each builds upon the other & each one is becoming more of a habit with each passing day.

    How do you measure your improvement in this process so far?

    I am happy to report that by doing the exercises & focusing on your blogs I have made noticeable progress-This past weekend someone remarked that they noticed that I had stopped making "put-down" remarks about myself & seemed happier.

    What have you noticed that has been different in you or your life since you began to read these blogs?

    The biggest difference is that your blogs have dealt with the whole process in a very real way.Each day spent releasing the negative "automatic" responses & actually recognizing & understanding where they are coming from,along with the practical exercises, have provided an road map to get from there to here-here being a place of acceptance & appreciation for the person I am-that may sound a little strange,but I am happier being me-a work in progress,of course-but enjoying the journey in a new way.

    Thanks so much for all the time & effort you have devoted to this series.


    1792 days ago
    Sharon, I think that this blog is awesome! You did an excellent job with it and I couldn't agree with you more. emoticon
    1795 days ago
    1795 days ago
    I am working so hard on this LOVING MYSELF HEALTHY plan of action. I have been working on the "facing the mirror" project lately. It seems to be working. Thanks again for posting all this excellent information. It is definitely helping me.
    1796 days ago
    Your blogs have helped me to love myself enough to be able to come to terms that I can no longer eat gluten or dairy and do it with a smile on my face. When a little sad thought of how it is going to effect holidays and going to eat at other house comes in my brain I do your STOP!! Then I pitch that negative stuff right out. I'm staying focused. emoticon
    1796 days ago
    Sharon, your blog came at the perfect time! I've been shopping for something to wear to a wedding tomorrow, and all the negative thoughts came bursting forth. I just wrote down the general gist of them and then shredded the paper into lots of little powerless pieces emoticon Now to remind myself of those who love me for who I really am. emoticon Thanks again! emoticon emoticon
    1796 days ago
    I haven't been reading them as faithfully as I would like and will catch up on all of them, but the one that comes to mind imediately is the throwing the negative thoughts away in the trash. It really hit home with me and I know it is going to help me congquer this grief over losing my mom. Thanks once again for sharing.
    1796 days ago

    I've been using the trash can idea, except I've been shredding them! Love it when I hear that noise. I did two today actually. I had a negative thought pop into my head, wrote it down,and shredded it. As I was shredding it I was thinking about it being pulled out of my thoughts for good so it will be GONE!

    This may be a little long, but I wanted to share a story with you as I think these posts have made an impact:

    I'm not always calm cool and collected when things go wrong. It doesn't get too bad, but I react and then think it through instead of the other way around, causing me to go through stress and potentially causing others stress too. Yesterday, when I left work, I went to my car in the parking garage and the window was broken out. I saw it...saw a card from the building security and opened the door. In the past I might have gotten really upset, turned red in the face, thought about how crummy it was and all the things I'd have to do to fix it, the time involved, and on and on. Well, I looked in and saw that nothing was taken or even moved and I was thankful and relieved. I thought about how they could have tried to take the stereo and wrecked the dash board. Or cut the seats if they were in a vandalizing mode. I even joked with myself and thought, "at least they didn't take my dirty gym clothes in the bag in the back". They must have gotten spooked and run off because everything was untouched, thank goodness. Then, I left the parking garage and knew it was going to be a tricky commute home. I live 22 miles away and it was cold (about 38) and BIG rain squalls had been coming and going all day. Not good with no window in the back. So, I get on the busy, packed freeway and start to tootle down the road. Everything was drenched and I could tell the clouds to the east had just come through and had opened up. I looked to the west (where the next ones would be coming from) and there were really dark black clouds coming. I looked above and there was a strip of blue sky with a few puffy white clouds. Almost like a pathway. Traffic was a bit slow, but I'm happy to say that I just had a tiny bit of rain before I got to my boyfriends house. Talked to the insurance company on the way and arranged for a mobile unit to meet me at my parking garage the next morning. Got there and vacuumed the glass and then he helped tarp up the window so I could drive in the next morning. Made it in today and the glass guy arrived a half hour after I got in. He was done in 30 minutes and cleaned all of my other windows (which needed it) and was on his way. I did have to pay a deductible which was crummy but I was happy I didn't get riled up like I normally would have and found that there was no reason to. I just kept thinking that I was so lucky! Lucky that they didn't take anything or wreck the car.

    Anyway, long story, but I think these blogs and some other challenges I'm doing are having a positive effect as I did handle it differently than I normally would and it felt great. I actually told myself that I was proud of how I handled it and, not just handled it outwardly, but inwardly too (and I rarely compliment myself). I saved myself a gray hair or two :)

    1796 days ago
    1796 days ago
    Keeping a positive attitude is so important, in so many ways.
    1796 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    emoticon emoticon
    1796 days ago
  • ROSES17
    I really enjoy your blogs. Keep them coming.
    1796 days ago
  • KATHRYN1955
    I really like the trash can idea and the saying Stop to negative thoughts about my body and appearance. As my awareness increases about how often I do that, I have realized how damaging that is. As soon as I find myself doing that, I say STOP, and change it into a positive statement. I am finding that not only am I thinking more kindly about myself, I am also less judgmental of others. Just yesterday, I was thinking, I am never going to lose this weight, all this exercise and healthier food choices are just too much effort. Then I thought, forget about the actual weight, are these not good things to do for myself regardless of how much physical space I take up on this planet?! Of course they are, so there!!! So I have been to the gym this morning after a very healthy breakfast, (even hemp hearts, for heaven's sake!) and now am going to make homemade vegetable soup.
    Bottom line, I realize I am worth the effort, no matter what. I am so glad to see more blogs that are focusing on the importance of a healthy self-esteem.
    Take care, everyone,

    1796 days ago
    My favorite is visualizing the negative thought as rubbish and throwing it in the trash can! I also will mentally (or sometimes even verbally!) just say the words STOP IT. That automatically puts the brain on another path for me!

    I have also consciously made the choice to surround myself with positive things. That means not watching the news very often. Of course, it is important to keep up on current events, but enough for me is enough!

    The negative thoughts and self-doubt have occured less often to be sure. I think, as you say, it is a part of our human nature, so will be always worked on, but it gets easier with practice. Anxiety . . . well it has lessened, but I can't say it's gone. I think that's how life is! Just have to remember that situations cannot be controlled, but my reactions can. **I** am evolving and moving forward!

    I am happier! I FEEL happier.

    1796 days ago
  • KITT52
    I use the term positive self the spark coach said to write down a good pep talk, look in the mirror and tell yourself how good you are doing....
    this works....I use to write down 3 things each day I did right or was proud of, that helps get your brain in a better place....

    Kitt you are a strong and beautiful person inside and out....thats what I tell myself each time I look in a mirror....hey it works for me...
    1796 days ago
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