There are many different routes to happiness, and on our journey we are presented with many road blocks. It’s through these obstacles that we can learn more about ourselves and our bodies. While it’s important to know what our destination is, it’s also important to not fixate on it. We also must allow for the possibility that the destination may change as we evolve. It’s also important to focus on the small steps along the way.

1. Look in the Mirror Optimistically

The other day, I decided I wanted to look at myself in the mirror without clothes. As I approached the mirror, I had a startling realization that I was going to judge my body. I wasn’t planning to look at myself in a positive way; I simply wanted to remind myself about what I wanted to change.

After this moment, I decided every time I looked at myself in the mirror I had to say three positive things about myselfI wasn’t going to avoid looking in mirrors, but rather encourage a positive reinforcement toward my reflection.

2. Cleanse Your Feed

Recently, I decided to filter my social media accounts in an effort to ensure I’m only seeing content that will benefit me intellectually, emotionally and psychologically. I use Facebook strictly for information, such as articles, news, etc., and Instagram for inspiration and keeping up with friends.

I started by unfollowing as many people or pages that offered me little to no substance. You can do this by clicking on the arrow in the top right corner of any post and selecting “unfollow.” I also went through my Facebook pages and changed the setting on whichever ones I gain the most knowledge from by clicking “Liked” and then “See First.”

3. Comparing Doesn’t Benefit Anyone

Even though Instagram is fairly effective at making sure you only see the pages and people you want to follow, it also presents some content you didn’t choose. This can obviously be great in helping you to discover new things and people, but it can also throw you into a never-ending hole of self doubt, presenting fitness page after fitness page.

Sometimes this can be motivating, to see other women and men attaining their fitness goals, but most of the time it makes me wish I wasn’t so lazy or undisciplined. The one thing I always remind myself is that there is no sense in comparing. We have all led different lives that have brought us to certain points in our life. It makes no sense to compare yourself to a 25 year-old fitness model when you are not at the same stage in your fitness journey – not to mention all the other factors, such as time, money, health, genetics, etc. It’s their job to look that way – not yours.

4. Read a Book

One terrible habit I’m in the midst of kicking is how much time I spend on my phone right before bed. Aside from it inhibiting my sleep, it also takes away time I could be spending learning more about myself and the world. Now, an hour or more before bed, I turn off my WiFi and data, turn airplane mode on, and I lie in bed reading a book. I have already felt a significant difference with my eyes. They don’t get as dry or feel as strained, and I have a much easier time waking in the morning.

5. Ditch the Guilt

No one has control over the way we feel except ourselves. Far too often, we give ourselves daily beatings over decisions we’ve made or didn’t make. You have to be your own best friend! For whatever reason, we are made to feel that we are not worthy of nice things or to experience a moment of zen.

Spend time with yourself often. The next time you want to buy yourself something you want or want to try something new, do it. Consciously make a decision that what you are about to purchase for yourself is a gift.

Every week, treat yourself. Whether that be by taking a bath, eating a dessert, buying an outfit, going for a walk, or watching a play, set a day, night, or even hour for you and yourself to go on a date. Treat yourself how you want to be treated.

There are so many ways we can feel good about our bodies and our minds, but the best way to truly know what makes you feel good is by tuning in to how your body feels. Oftentimes we do something because we think it will feel good.

The next time you have an idea of something you want to do, or perhaps you’ve done something you expected would make you feel good, sit in the moment for a while and really listen to your body. Monitor the way it feels and whether or not you’ve created an expectation or if what you’re experiencing is authentic. Trust me, you’ll know.

5 Ways You Can Start Feeling Better About Yourself Right Now”  by Amanda Monteiro was originally published on Collective Evolution.

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