Friday, January 22, 2021

Unleash Kindness in Your Life: Open Yourself to Happiness

Kindness, used mindfully, is a practical tool to feel good about yourself, even in the most trying situations.

You live in a society that runs on selling product to consumers. That means all communication channels are loaded with expertly created words, pictures, stories and films designed to sell you something. It’s important for you to know that all around you are messages designed to make you feel bad about yourself so you can believe you will feel good when you buy the product. See: Beauty and Body Image in the Media.

Nowhere is this message more intense that the messages sent to make girls and women feel inadequate about their bodies. If you don’t like the way you look you will buy diet food, diet programs, clothes to make you look the way you want to look, make-up and hair products designed to shape you into how you want to appear to others. You might even go so far as to be tempted by easy to get surgeries where beauty is promised and the down side of life long physical consequences and even death are downplayed.

If you are feeling bad about your body shape or size, be careful you do not get pulled into the beckoning arms of false promises. These are designed to charm you into thinking you can buy something or many things to give you the body you want and therefore feel better about yourself.

You have more choices than this to achieve real confidence as you live within your skin in the unique body that is yours.

The fundamental principle to keep in mind is that health and happiness are the best beauty treatments you can give yourself, no matter what your age. Both give you energy, a vibrant glow, an alert mind and freedom to be comfortable in your own skin. When you are healthy and happy you are at ease with who you are.

Other people notice this and don’t even know why they are attracted to you. Your own naturalness defies the constraints of the cultural sales pitch.

Bringing up this awareness may be possible in clarity moments. Maintaining this awareness and remaining clear is your challenge.

Learning the practical applications of kindness can be a powerful support in your being who you are and being relaxed in the skin you are in.

If the persuasive messages surround you, then you have two angles of approach to care for yourself.

1. Reduce the amount of good body defining messages you see. So you do what you can do eliminate pictures, ads, shows that make you feel bad about yourself and encourage you to want to buy something to look different.

2. Build an ever present surround of kindness around you. When you do this you learn what is kind. You will recognize what is unkind and turn away.

You begin by mindfully looking within your mind, heart and soul for what you genuinely care about. You then make a plan where you bring what you care about into your life.

You might bring these things into your life by writing about them. That’s a start. Then you make time to write about them on a regular basis. Then you schedule your day or week to give time to what you care about.

In future posts I’ll write more about how to do this and what it can mean in your life.

In the meantime, notice how much of what you want is coming from outside pressure designed to make you dissatisfied and eager to buy. Give yourself some quiet mindful time to discover what you might really want that might be quite different from the persuasive voices around you.

Please write back in the comments and let me know what you discover.

Joanna Poppink, MFT; Los Angeles psychotherapist, author and speaker

author: Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder




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