It started with a need to be in control and strive for perfection. I wanted to be healthy, fit, and toned, and I was running on negative anxious thoughts. I “needed” to try clean eating and plan every meal, and workout. Overtime, I gained a negative relationship with myself, my body, and food. I thought that by planning, obsessing, and restricting I could find and fix myself. That was far from the truth. But, I discovered I can create and love myself for who I am and you can too.
So what exactly is balancing life?
Balancing life is knowing no matter how busy and stressful life gets, or when you experience setbacks, it is important to prioritize ourselves and put our energy into what we are passionate about and what we enjoy. This helps us overcome and cope with obstacles to live our best life. When the voice in your head gets loud and overwhelming, breathe deep and do something that brings you joy. Maybe listen to your favorite music or artist (right now I am in love with Glass Animals and Kacey Musgraves).
In this present moment I can listen to my body and mind and be mindful. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life. It is by seeing the beauty in the small things and accepting what is. But, it wasn’t always easy and it is still a long journey full of ups, downs, and continuous growth.
I believe that I was able to create myself by putting my energy into the following stages, despite times of doubt and anxiety. How does a few years of self-love and focus on healing and creating balance have so much impact on your life?
The 8 stages of my healing + tips:
Mind Dump: Be honest with yourself.
The first stage is reflecting on your life and thinking of rules you live by that you would like to reframe. Letting all your thoughts out on paper is so helpful because the more we keep things in the farther we get from ourselves. After writing out your thoughts it can be overwhelming. Something that helps is accepting that it is okay to have these feelings and it was just a part of your conditioning —you are an amazing person who just wants to live a life full of joy and happiness! That’s what it’s all about: being intentional and prioritizing your mental health.
Reframe Thoughts: When a negative thought arises, replace it with a positive one.
The more we overthink and stay in our feelings with negative thoughts and actions, we may start to feel sad and not in tune with who we are and our values. Your mind will continue having these thoughts until you begin to rewire your mind to stay in the present and positive moments. As we grow and develop we learn from people and in the world around, there are certain core beliefs that consume our minds and begin to form as the truth. These thoughts can just be known as a belief that we are learning about and a way to begin to discover what we actually believe ourselves. So think of something that you believe to be true. Is this a genuine belief or something that has been ingrained in you from other people or media? It will provide you with so much insight on the way that you live your life. It is okay to rest and reset, but it’s all about the way you come back from the negative situation, think with a positive mindset, and recommitment to your intention in life!
Intuitive Eating: Create a food journal and trust yourself.
The idea of intuitive eating is to become more in tune with your body and your food choices while understanding your feelings and enjoying the process. In the beginning of this practice, you may have certain “fear foods,” and it can feel very stressful eating some foods and having a core belief get in the way of the experience. What I learned about reframing beliefs is that you can see the fear of food in a positive way. Like keeping track of the way foods make you feel such as, “Oh this sounds so good, my body is satisfied, my body will thank me, and I will gain a positive experience of enjoyment.” All these ideas could be compiled into a food journal where you reflect on how meals made you feel. This morning I had blueberry pie oatmeal which was so delicious and as it was baking I smelled scents of cinnamon and vanilla. It provided me with energy because it has great sources of carbs, protein, and fat and I was fueling my body!
Body Image + Confidence: What do you love about yourself?
Begin to admire yourself as you are and not the “ideal, perfect body” or person that society has promoted. Our bodies are all so unique and beautiful in their own ways. So embrace that! A few ideas to gain confidence are wearing outfits that make you feel good, or writing positive affirmations on your mirror. Remember: You are so much more than a body.
Anxiety + Mental Health: What if things work out?
When uncertain or anxious thoughts arise, accept them and then try to move on. Instead of controlling, try meditation, or write down your feelings. Uncertainty, anxiety, and control all come together because we’re going to be uncertain about the future and that can cause anxiety which brings the need to want to control our lives and everything around us. In the midst of a healing journey dealing with obsessions and negative thoughts, it is easy to be pulled back in. The choice to choose this healing journey is hard, but also so powerful. It will benefit you for the rest of your life. Make your mental health the priority. A few tips I have for when you feel out of control and anxious are to practice meditation, create a worry jar, listen to how you are feeling and any physical sensations such as taste, smell, sounds around you, and allow yourself to become grounded. Your fears and anxieties do not control you.
Journaling: Practice staying present and reflecting.
An amazing part of journaling is finding joy and gratitude from things in your day and continuing to look for the positive. It is seeing the negative but appreciating the process to continue to stay present and create balance through highs and lows. You’re still progressing no matter if it feels like you are living in slow motion right now. Embrace every part of the journey, even the parts where you are waiting, listening, and learning. Start living for yourself. Imagine the way you live your life so beautifully, the way you paint, turn the pages in a book, laugh like nobody’s watching, and sing in the car with friends. Do more of what you love.
Self Love: Do what makes you happy and focus on yourself.
I knew there would be challenges and obstacles along the way, but I tried my best to believe in myself and trust the process. I realized sometimes you just need to get out of your comfort zone, try new things, and listen to your body. A few self-care practices I implemented in my routine were journaling, doing face masks, getting my nails done, eating nourishing foods, and allowing myself time to relax and just watch a show or read. Also, putting your energy into what matters to you such as, family and friends, sunbathing, nature, and whatever makes you feel good.
Inner Peace: Connect to your intention/vision and practice mindfulness.
Being mindful is something that takes practice It allows us to become aware and notice thoughts as they come and let them go. By focusing energy inwards and doing some introspection, it promotes inner peace and calmness. Listen to your guide that leads you through the day with an intention, vision, and gratitude. A few ways you can practice this is by doing yoga most days of the week, journaling in the morning or before bed, and reflecting and reframing beliefs! Yoga and journaling were essential for me because I was constantly in flight or fight mode. When you are constantly stressing over food, your body, and not being present it can make you feel out of control and stressed.
“Balance is not something you find, it is something you create.”
By listening to your intuition, it helps guide you with so much appreciation and gratitude for everything around you. Everyone’s journey is so different and that is okay. Do what works for you. It is with the power of consistency and prioritizing your mental health where you see the most self-growth. Lastly, I allowed myself to accept uncertainty + live life by doing things that make me happy and experience joy! Balance is about trying your best to stay at the center and ask yourself what you think about now and in the present. When you start to feel like there are 50 pound dumbbells on your shoulders, rest in the moment and take a deep breath. Come back to the present and check in on life around you. How are you feeling? If things are changing in your life, remember everything that’s going to happen in the next few months will all happen for a reason, and you are truly amazing for everything that you do by just being yourself.