IN THIS INSTAGRAM frontier of manicured images and quick twitter hits, the expectation is that the busiest lives win! Yet, studies show our overall mental health suffers when we elude the rest that nourishes and recuperates us.
When we keep a frenetic pace for too long, our adrenal glands pump out cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones, causing anxious thoughts to override reason. There begins the cycle of losing our private inner balance by ignoring it. The temptation to pit self-worth up against that of our friends and frenemies further illustrates that the chase is on. We are fast becoming a new society of runners, coursing away from our need for occasional stillness and contemplation. Anxieties speak lies that our exhausted minds invest in, but we don’t have to.
We can choose a pace of working and resting that better honors the important calming of our chemistry. Doctors Forsyth and Eifert explain that when we “cultivate a softer response to our mind, body and world, we can learn to sit with the urge to act on worries without needing to change them or do what they say.” That is self-love.
The practice of self-love is in choosing the thoughts to believe in that best serve our peace, not our worries. Being kind to ourselves in our kitchen without pining for someone else’s weekend in Destin positions us away from “I am not enough” to “I am enough–here, now.” Self-compassion is not a hasty drive-thru, it’s an intentional sit-down-six-course meal and a way f life that restores the mind, body and spirit to its most beautiful and balanced state.