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With all the distractions, behaviors we’ve adopted, and stories we’ve told ourselves, it can become easy to lose that ever-present connection we have to love.
Even if we regularly say “I love you” to a loved one—human or furry—we are most likely not stopping to feel that love. Allowing ourselves to sink into the love that has always been deep within our soul serves several purposes.
Firstly, it sends the message that we are present, appreciative, and there is good in our lives and in the world.
Secondly, connecting with love is healing. It activates cells, brain activity, and physical reactions that can make us feel better and dissolve stress and worry within a few minutes.
Here are a few ways to activate the love we always have available to us:
1. Recall a beautiful memory
Most people have no trouble reliving their worst memories on an endless loop. When was the last time you allowed yourself to truly sink into a happy memory?
Set a timer for three minutes, turn off all distractions, close your eyes, and recall a happy moment.
Whether this is a huge life occurrence or a fleeting moment of a beautiful sunrise or of being in nature, bring in every sense as you recall this memory and allow a smile to graze your lips.
How did it feel? What did it look like? What emotions did that moment bring up?
Allow those emotions to surface. Did you feel joy? Peace? Connection?
Allow yourself to sink deeply into this beautiful memory and the emotions it evoked. You are reawakening a deep sense of peace, love, and well-being by doing so.
2. Gratitude for self
Boy, I know this one can feel uncomfortable, but it works wonders for resetting your mood. Sit with your hands on your heart, remove all distractions, and slow your breath.
Think of one thing about yourself that you are grateful for. Maybe you are a good friend, you make an amazing omelet, you love to dance, you took a class, you are funny, you love spending time in nature, you have made a meal for yourself or a loved one, or you are great on the computer.
There are countless reasons to be grateful for yourself, but I would bet it is not a common practice for you to stop and give yourself some credit.
Sit for three minutes and visualize a few qualities or aspects of yourself that you do love. Breathe that into your heart and as you exhale, let go of anything that is stopping you from being present to that love that is there inside you at all times waiting for you.
Thank yourself for this time and give yourself an inner hug. You deserve this love!
3. Breathing in love
Remove all distractions, set a timer for five minutes, and ask your body to slow your breath.
Put one hand on your heart and one hand on your stomach. Feel your breath going in and out without judgement—just observe and tune into how you are breathing.
After you do this and feel comfortable, pay close attention to the breath, and as you breathe in and fill your whole chest and belly with air, think of the word “love.” And, if you like, you can even bring to mind something you love.
As you exhale, let go of any stress or nagging thought that has been with you—give it permission to leave.
Repeat this and notice that your breaths will most likely become slower and longer as you continue to breathe in love and let go of any resistance to nurturing yourself and being present. Thank yourself for taking this time for yourself.
4. Energy for your body
Take one minute to rub your palms together—rub them together quickly if this is comfortable for you.
This is awakening your energy body and makes energy easier for you to feel. After one minute, put your hands on a part of your body that has ached or hurt at some point in your life…or perhaps today.
If you are just not feeling great emotionally, please place your hands on your heart. Feel the energy coursing through your hands and intend to send love to that part of your body.
So often, it feels natural to send worrying or even negative thoughts to the parts of you that hurt. However, that part of you is simply out of balance and can use some extra love. Please give that part of your body some love and tell it you are grateful for all the ways it has shown up for you in your life thus far.
You breathe and your body runs many other processes without you ever having to think about it. Lean into that gratitude as you feel that love. Thank yourself for taking this time.
You deserve to take this time for yourself every single day. In five minutes you can reawaken the love you’ve always had within. You can feel more centered, more inspired, and more empowered to go about your day.
Enjoy and please share these exercises with others. We all deserve happiness and love.