What happens when a baby cries?
We pick it up. We pay attention. We coddle. And…usually… we feed it.
What happens when a child falls down?
Needs comfort? …Maybe a sucker?
How about on birthdays or special occasions? …A bazillion calorie dinner PLUS yummy dessert!
Food is social. Food is fun. Food is soothing!!
Because eating is so often psychologically attached to comfort or love, the desire to put something in your mouth can be triggered when you’re feeling stressed, bored, lonely, helpless or depressed. Additionally, researchers are now suggesting that when you’re under stress, your willpower flies out the window and you’re less able to resist temptation. When feeling under siege, the need to feel better trumps everything else! So, unless we find a better way, we fall into a cycle of
discomfort = comfort food.
It’s fairly predictable, but *not* inevitable.
How do we fix it?
Replace the old cycle with new, tailored and effective comfort-supports to create healthier habits!
Step one of doing this can begin with taking the 5 Love Languages Quiz, available for free online. Taking the test will help you identify *your* best approach to self-love. It’s all well and good to suggest candles, spa days or bubble baths, but if those ideas don’t do anything for you… they’re not going to work. That’s where the quiz comes in because the results help you understand your own language of love, comfort and support. Once you see what you *really* crave, it’s easier to give it to yourself. And believe it or not, what you’re craving is NOT Doritos!
The quiz was originally designed by Dr. Gary Chapman as a couple’s aide, to demonstrate how one partner might demonstrate love by working hard to provide money and gifts, but the other partner might yearn for quality time alone. Each partner believes they’re doing all they can, but they become increasingly confused and frustrated with one another because they’re literally speaking different love languages. Interesting idea, no? Over time, the concept has been adapted for uses, like self-care models.
No one else knows quite how you want or need to be loved the way that you do! And expecting someone else to provide for all of your needs is not only unrealistic, but going that route is a sure fire road to disappointment! Knowing your love language, and then using individualized self-care models allows you to self-soothe in meaningful, helpful ways so you’re not reaching for a Twinkie after a hard day (which never works in the long run anyway and only leads to self-loathing and maybe a little nausea).
The result of actually giving yourself what you need?
Feeling confident. More in control. And… liking yourself!
Add hypnosis, to align your focus with your goals, and magic things begin to happen.
5 Love Languages: Self Love Edition
If your Love Language is: Words of Affirmation,
Your thoughts create your security!
· Practice daily affirmations. Our thoughts precede our emotions and behaviors.
· Recite mantras that encourage self-compassion. Bring your attention to being good to yourself.
· Journal your strengths and everything about you for which you are grateful. Document everything you accomplish, feel good about, do right, like about yourself, etc.
· Keep your self-talk positive. Turn down the volume of your inner critic and choose to be your best coach or cheerleader.
· Write a love letter to yourself
· List out your positive qualities
· List your favorite physical qualities (challenge yourself)
· Write a gratitude list
· Listen to a positive podcast
· Avoid toxic people and people who make you feel bad about yourself, even relations.
· Write a goal list
· Keep a compliment list (or file folder), and look through it when you’re feeling down.
· Read some inspirational quotes
· Forgive someone (it’s not about them at all. It’s a weight released from *you*.)
If you Love Language is: Acts of Service,
Be kind to yourself!
· Prepare healthy meals for yourself. Put thought and effort into grocery shopping and meal preparation.
· Create an organized, clean and aesthetically pleasing home environment. Love where you live, even if on a budget.
· Detox from social media. Unfriend, unfollow, block, or mute any old friends or acquaintances that cause stress. You don’t need any unnecessary (exhausting) drama!
· Schedule regular physical, dental and mental health check-ups. Address any health concerns in a timely manner as they arise. Without your health, you have nothing.
· Take care of yourself with love and attention. Shower, dress, manicure, walk like the beautiful person that you are.
· Make a budget to reduce or alleviate financial stress.
· Delegate errands
· Book a therapy appointment, a hair appointment, a chiropractor appointment, a gym appointment… and GO!
· Garden or bake or craft or anything else that gives you pleasure or feels rewarding.
· Change your scenery or redecorate / rearrange furniture. YouTube has a bazillion videos on how to do different things or ideas for inspiration.
· Take care of yourself as well as you’d take care of a cherished loved one!
If your Love Language is: Receiving Gifts,
Bestow Self-Love on Yourself!
· Allow things in your home and closet that bring you joy. (Then, purge the rest.)
· Gift yourself with an experience from your bucket list.
o Sky dive
o Try white water rafting
o Hike The Great Trail
· Budget for it, plan it, enlist help where necessary… and GO!
· Invest in yourself!
o Get that degree!
o Take a cooking class!
o Learn how to be a yoga instructor! How to paint! How to do voice acting!
· There are so many courses available for free online, including some from Harvard!
· Do the research, apply for grants and scholarships, or volunteer to learn new skills.
· Invest in knowledge.
· Treat yourself to the wisdom and perspective gained from travel.
· Limited funds?
If your Love Language is: Quality Time,
Be Present with Yourself!
· Set aside time for meditation, deep breathing or self-hypnosis. Doing so will help you reconnect and center yourself when you begin feeling frazzled.
· Make time for you! What do you enjoy doing? Make a commitment to yourself and the thinks that give you joy. Set aside time for them and make sure they happen! Play is a gift, and you deserve it!
· Exercise. Dance. Swim. Ride. Watch the stars. Be one with yourself and your body!
· Under-schedule and under-commit. You’re not a gerbil on a wheel… and you won’t *win* if you do more.
· Allow yourself a mental health/rest day.
· Take a nap (with or without an alarm clock)
· Schedule a lunch date with a friend
· Disengage from social media
· Commit random acts of kindness
· Sleep in
· Netflix binge
· Give yourself permission to just *be* for a weekend. Rest. Play. Order in. Revitalize.
· Go to bed early
· Wake early
· Set boundaries
If your Love Language is: Physical Touch,
· Stretch your muscles and give yourself a foot massage with a wooden roller. Relax your body. Try a scalp massager, a percussion massager, or a good finger massager. It’s amazing how much tension you hold in your hands!
· Release toxins and relax your muscles by soaking in a warm bath with epsom salts. Not only is the magnesium good for your body, but it releases stress. To create a lovely ambience, add candles. And for an added bonus, make them beeswax candles, which are natural air purifiers.
· Moisturize. Create a skincare routine. Think: pampering!
· Give yourself a spa treatment: manicure, pedicure, facial, deep conditioning, etc. Accept that you are worthy of care.
· Get a professional massage.
· PJs all day!
· Cuddle with a pet
· Cut out sugar or junk food.
· Enjoy candles or aromatherapy at dinnertime.
· Take a walk outside. Check out your local hiking trails.
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha