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Thursday, March 06, 2014

A happiness trick

As long-time readers may have noticed, I'm a big worrier, so I’m always looking for ways to relax and turn my brain off. So I was intrigued when I read this tip about how to chill out and be kinder to yourself:

"Say I love you. Speak it to yourself every morning; look in a mirror and say "I love you" in a loud voice. We automatically critique, blame, and fault ourselves for nearly everything, rarely acknowledging the things we do well or those we ought to be proud of. Show yourself daily doses of well-deserved appreciation."

It sounded really awkward, but it stuck in my mind and I figured it wouldn't hurt to experiment. So I did it this morning and while it felt a little nuts, it did feel good (and still does). What do you think? Insane? Awesome? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

P.S. Mindy Kaling's friendship tip, and how to look confident.

(Illustration by Gemma Correll. Thanks for the article tip, Devin!)

60 comments:

Jen Collins said...

I have this posted under my bathroom mirror! Always gives me a boost :)

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/60047513/you-look-beautiful-today-friendship-love?ref=related-0

Tатьяна said...

If it makes us a little happier it can't be insane! Its awesome!)

brooklynash said...

oh girl, you are so not alone on the worrying thing. i'm grateful you are open about it. makes the rest of us (or at least myself) feel a bit more normal...

Mindy Lee said...

I don't think you can really go wrong saying this to yourself. I also like the idea of telling yourself that you are loveable. I think I am a worrier and don't really know it, is that possible??

Anitra Sweet said...

I love this! I've never said I love you but I do look in the mirror and tell myself to let go of the things I can't control. I am a huge worrier and I found that for me, the root was control. Reminding myself that I can't control most things in life and that trying to is not a fun way to live is helpful for me.

Alane said...

Try reading Louise Hay's book - You Can Heal Your Life! Really helped me get over negative thoughts about myself, my past and move forward. It was cheesy at first.

Sara said...

My mom taught me to do that (also to hug myself?), and it does have an effect! I also like to calm my mind down (it likes to race) with this guided meditation from the Brahma Kumari spiritual group: http://www.brahmakumaris.org/interactive/audiovideo/MultimediaItem.html?site=iwebsite&fileRef=workspace://SpacesStore/f22b5163-9c0f-4f00-9b94-052b33bc408c&type=All&qry=silence .. it takes an hour, but it's worth the investment!

Jesse said...

i always need a little pick me up first thing in the morning, i'll give this a try!

http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2014/03/weekend-outfit-3.html

Alaina said...

I think it's a great idea to give youself some love...I a going to try it out.

Beautifulosophy said...

"Self-love" is the word de jour for personal development, and it really does work. Although I too feel a bit awkward in the beginning but in the end it all comes down to knowing yourself, accepting yourself, and yes, loving yourself. It´s great to be 41! You get to be wise...
xo Caroline

Mackenzie said...

I love this - definitely going to try it this week! I also find that if I force myself to smile, even when I don't feel like it, I actually do start to feel more positive. It's funny how those little things work.

Anilia Hornsby said...

I'm just writing a set of posts about self care and the next one has to do with this. We all need to give ourselves a little more love!!

lessthanperfectmama.com said...

One of the tips you posted that stuck with me was the one about imagining you toss your seemingly huge problem into the grand canyon and then you can see how small that issue really is. I think of that one often and it helps! I may even try this I Love You idea, too.

Maria Dabboussy said...

I think it is a great idea! Another way I try to treat myself better, is to pretend that I am talking to one of my best friends. I would never be as mean or hard on my friends as I am on myself so it helps me keep things in perspective!

Kimberly Merritt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yuko Jones said...

I actually do that every day, which helps me with my mood tremendously. (I struggle with a bad case of mood swing after my second baby). Another trick that works for me is to look myself in a mirror and smile. Every time I walk by a mirror, I stop for a moment and smile :)
Yuko @ northfield gate

Joanna Goddard said...

sara, i LOVE the idea of hugging yourself!

Joanna Goddard said...

mackenzie, TOTALLY. i really agree with that.

Joanna Goddard said...

yuku, that's the sweetest.

Laura Glass said...

I love the advice to "talk to yourself like you talk to a friend." Therefore you're kind and level-headed.

Kerikins said...

Jo, I hear this! Since college I have been saying, "looking good, feelin better!" and while it started out as a joke to my friends, I say this before leaving the house no matter where I'm going!

jm said...

I am heading to my mirror right now!

Erin Maliszewski said...

I like it! We can be our own biggest fans or worst enemies. I've heard of people putting post-its on their mirrors as well.

kbitner2@gmail.com said...

I do this! Except I do it in yoga class. There is a pose at the end of class where you curl up in a ball and hug yourself. I take this time to remind myself that I am awesome and I love myself and I smile! It's so cheesy and feels weird at first but it seriously works! I think how I would tell someone that I really loved how I felt in that moment and I tell it to myself instead!

MaxxSilly said...

I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And dog gone it, people like me.

Amanda said...

This is excellent! I was just reflecting how in many ways blogs can be a chance to be friends to ourselves when we read them back. Does that make sense? This would be a good one to revisit.

I wrote a post after a trip to NYC last month and it has been a great reminder already.

http://amandamagee.com/2014/02/10-pick-me-ups-that-cost-nothing/

dakotabee said...

I think it's very sweet. I often feel semi guilty for saying I love myself (and find it's really rare to find people who feel the same about themselves..or at least who are willing to admit it) but I really do! Happy thursday.... WE love you!
xo, Dakota
http://dakotabee.wordpress.com/

Joanna Goddard said...

haha, maxx, you're so right.

Annie Citrine said...

A woman at church on Sunday said she has a Ta-Da! List instead of a To Do list. That way you can check things off and say Ta Da! Look how awesome I am! Then give yourself a pat on the back. I'm in love with the idea and have replaced all "To dos" with "Ta das!" It also makes telling the hubs about my day more fun. :)

Michelle Chang said...

I totally do this in addition to other crazy fun and empowering poses in front of mirrors ;)

Also, I recently found this article titled "Why Chinese parents don't say I love you" and thought it might be an interesting read after your previous post: http://www.dailylife.com.au/life-and-love/real-life/why-chinese-parents-dont-say-i-love-you-20140304-341ws.html

Jane Doe said...

GREAT idea! It does sound odd, but I think you should do whatever works. I just wrote about having an attitude of gratitude on my blog. I write (or think of) 10 things I'm grateful for on a daily basis. That never fails to get my mind on track. It has vastly improved my life. Sometimes the little things make the biggest difference.

Life+1
New Post: An Attitude of Gratitude

SaraHolland said...

Recently came across this reddit thread, and I have found this comment so inspiring for days when I'm feeling not so in love with myself :) http://www.reddit.com/r/getdisciplined/comments/1q96b5/i_just_dont_care_about_myself/cdah4af

rebbe said...

I second the suggestion of Louise Hay's book. She has a documentary of the same name...

She also talks about being careful saying negative figures of speech like "I'm dying for this new necklace!" For me it feels a lot different saying that versus something like "I'm overjoyed seeing this new necklace!"

Back Row Girl said...

I feel like telling myself "I love you" is a bit too hockey, but that's probably because I like being "positively critical" of myself, where I do a mental check list of everything, and if something is not up to par (like I'm being cranky to my kids) I adjust it and then pat myself on the back for catching a problem without judging the problem.

However, my secret to happiness is to smile. I remember reading somewhere when I was a teen that there was a study that found that people who smiled (and held the smile for something like 15 seconds) reported improvement in their mood regardless of how they felt before. I thought, "How weird!" and tried it. And it totally worked! You feel like a dork for the first few seconds, and then you just really feel cheerier and more buoyant.

joke said...

The mirrors in Sketch in London read "You look beautiful. And remember, I can't lie, I'm just a mirror" or "looking good. feeling good". I loved that.
sketch.co.uk

Analog Girl said...

I think it might be a good thing to try out! Once, a while ago, I was feeling awful about myself and started to compliment myself, remembered that I have good qualities, that I'm pretty and capable to do whatever I want and it did turn my day around, so why not? Tomorrow morning I'll try it! :)

Samantha Heather said...

This totally worked for me. A little awkward I must admit, but extremely rewarding.

Thank you

Amanda said...

This year, besides finding balance, I'm focusing on self-love, so this is awesome! I would feel weird doing it too, but I want to try it!

Joanna Goddard said...

i love these comments! so many great tips. :)

Nina McCammon said...

I love this tip. My mom would always tell us to smile, even when we were in a bad mood. It's counter-intuitive, but the very act of turning up the corners of your mouth and crinkling your eyes has a positive effect. It really does work!

onesilentwinter said...

I often think about " the i love you" you mentioned when in the middle of and argument with your spouse. Both my husband and i have put it to practice.

The last year, i became the biggest worrier full of anxiousness and although i had reason for it i did not like the feeling and it can go from mild to deep worrying pretty quickly so i made a One Two Three plan to get myself out of it. usually just doing the first calms me down

one. go outside for fresh air even if it is for five minutes or do twenty jumping jacks, or pretend to start morning again by washing face and brushing teeth and applying mild scented face cream.

two quickly sound out loud all that is good and wonderful "My husband loves me, i love him, my baby is healthy, i am healthy, i am going on vacation" " your work for that magazine was so well done"

three call mom. no one can remind me about all that is good in my life than my mom she is amazing at getting me out of it, just with the sound of her voice.

Jaybird said...

Actually, I say it to myself before I go to sleep at night and then kiss my shoulder. It's a tender way for me to end my day and show myself some kindness. Also, When I need to calm down and de-stress I close my eyes and visualize giving myself a hug. We have to love ourselves first, that is the only way we will have the capability to love others.

jenny said...

I love this! I usually do take a moment to look at and appreciate myself - pushing down whatever self-criticism comes up when I get in front of a mirror - but I've never actually said anything out loud. I'm going to try it tomorrow and see how it goes!!

Gardenella said...

Louse hay helped me to love myself after cancer and a destructive relationship. #youcanheAltourlife

Trish E. said...

This is cool, but I am SUCH a worrier, that I worried when I read this if my husband would overhear me and think I was on a secret bathroom phone call with someone! Sheesh!!!

Kate from Clear the Way said...

Great tip! So important. =]

Joy Acoustics said...

This sounds weird but since I heard it before maybe it's time I tried it myself. Thanks for sharing and the illustration is so nice.

Your Romanian fan :)
http://joyacoustics.blogspot.ro/

Kimberly Merritt said...

All of these posts are inspiring. Thank you Joanna for being so open about your anxiety. Maybe you should start a group... :)

Harini Babu said...

it nice to see very interesting blog i like to read..keep it up
flower stage decoration in coimbatore

jennifer squires said...

I'm sure it will feel less crazy in time. I feel like I need to forgive myself more. As a one-woman studio I can take it quite personally when something doesn't work out (I mean, who doesn't?), when what I should really be thinking about is how much it has helped me grow.

Heather M said...

I appreciate your openness about your worrying - and subsequent posting of tips on the matter! I have rediscovered the "Grand Canyon visualization" trick you had previously posted and really respond to that one. I turned 26 in January and there's something about 2014 that has caused me to be more anxious than usual. Stress at work, desperate for summer and lighter evenings, failing on New Year resolutions (exactly why I hate New Years resolutions.) Also, while I don't *invent* medical symptoms, I make any issues I may have way worse in my mind than they are. Anyway - it's nice to know that it's not unusual to feel worries from time to time and that I'm not the only one!

Maggie said...

Thank you for sharing. I am a worrier too; this trick seems like a great, simple idea. I try exercising without music so I can repeat uplifting mantras to myself. It really works!

Sammi Egan said...

I think that's the type of thing I'd have to build up to.

I tell myself daily that if the boy loves me as much as he tells me then I'm doing okay- so I guess that's a start.

Georgia said...

Such intelligent words! http://mygenerouslife.blogspot.it/

lexi said...

Have you seen SAFE by Todd Haynes? You should watch the last scene, with Julianne Moore talking to the mirror. Best film of the 1990s.

Phoebe said...

Gee.. That would certainly feel a bit awkward (and here I thought I love myself). But hey, I am willing to give it a shot. Will try it tomorrow morning. ^^

mccart said...


my name is mccart i never believe in spell casting, until when i was was tempted to try it. i and my husband have been having a lot of problem living together, he will always not make me happy because he have fallen in love with another lady outside our relationship, i tried my best to make sure that my husband leave this woman but the more i talk to him the more he makes me fell sad, so my marriage is now leading to divorce because he no longer gives me attention. so with all this pain and agony, i decided to contact this spell caster to see if things can work out between me and my husband again. this spell caster who was a woman told me that my husband is really under a great spell that he have been charm by some magic, so she told me that she was going to make all things normal back. she did the spell on my husband and after 5 days my husband changed completely he even apologize with the way he treated me that he was not him self, i really thank this woman her name is Dr Aluta she have bring back my husband back to me i want you all to contact her who are having any problem related to marriage issue and relationship problem she will solve it for you. her
email is traditionalspellhospital@gmail.com, she is a woman and she is great. wish you good time.

wise man said...


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Bida Stacey said...

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Bida Stacey said...

Am Bida Stacey by name My ex-boyfriend dumped me 6 months ago after I accused him of seeing someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me.I was so confuse and don't know what to do,
a friend of mine introduce me to the Dr Harrison by giving me his email, i never believed until
I contact him and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me of 3 days that my ex will return
to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my ex came knocking on my door and beg for forgiveness. for more information contact me on bidastacey@gmail.com I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that,we got MARRIED.all thanks to Dr Harrison. (seeing is believing) just put him to test and see his mighty power. If you have a similar problem please contact him on SACREDSPELLTEMPLE@HOTMAIL.COM,

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