Top- Banana Republic | boyfriend jeans- Zara | sandals- Rebecca Minkoff | sunnies- Ray Ban c/o Shopbop | bag- A.P.C. | bracelet- Chloe
I wanted to write a post on positivity and how to hold on to it when life throws you a curve ball — but then I realized that I'm probably the least qualified person to do so right now. I'd like the think that I'm generally pretty positive, but I've come to realize that it's not enough to be positive when times are good; the key is to find a way to hold on to those happy vibes when things go wrong, when you feel bad about yourself, or when people let you down. Those are the moments that really matter, and that's what I want to cultivate within myself. I recently read an eye-opening book called Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, and the timing for doing so couldn't have been better. It equipped me for a pretty tough time I'm working through now, so while I can't exactly speak to 'positivity' at this time, here's what I've learned about self-compassion. To all my ladies who talk down to themselves, think they're not worthy of great things and generally lost the ability to love themselves along the way, this one's for you.
1. POSITIVE SELF-TALK
I don't know about you guys, but the way I used to talk to myself was just appalling — sentiments would oscillate between gems like "You stupid b**ch" when I made a mistake, and "You're a fat f**k" when I looked in the mirror... not exactly a healthy way to live or thrive. But the sad thing is many of us are less than kind to ourselves. Once I became aware of this pattern, I made a conscious effort to stop being so cruel to myself and my mental state is all the better for it. Now that's not to say you need to blow smoke up your own you-know-what, just be kind and accept yourself as you are. You're awesome and don't let anyone (especially yourself) tell you otherwise.
2. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Here's the thing with negative thinking — once it starts, it's easy to snowball into something far bigger and darker than it needs to be. When we ruminate over whatever thoughts we find triggering, we lose sight of reality and cause ourselves unnecessary pain and hardship... believe me. When you start to be mindful of such thoughts, they lose their power and you can suddenly think more rationally. For instance, if I get triggered by a jealous thought, instead of letting myself spiral and get lost in it, I can simply recognize it for what it is — just a thought. It's not rooted in reality and it doesn't need to be given any further attention. Honestly, it's as simple as that. When you call your thoughts out in this way, they lose their hold over you, and that was the most liberating realization for me. If you're a worrier or someone who spirals in whatever insecurities plague you, give this a try.
3. KNOW THAT YOU AREN'T ALONE
The last piece of the self-compassion puzzle I learned from the book is that you need to recognize that you aren't alone; suffering and hardships are just part of life, and everyone experiences pain at some point or another. If you don't recognize this universal truth, you risk feeling isolated by your pain, shame or whatever the case may be, and your thoughts and self-talk will take a turn for the worse. They're all interconnected, so when you can identify whatever pains you (mindfulness), just know that you're not the only person who has had this experience before, and self-soothe by speaking kindly to yourself — that's self-compassion. The best part? Apparently when you master these skills, you won't need to rely on anyone else to make you feel better, and that's a pretty powerful realization that I'm working towards actualizing for myself... who's with me?!
Photos by Anton Atienza