Navigating life isn't always a breeze. I can recall a time about 14 years ago when I was caught in a personal storm. Juggling my roles as a father, husband, and individual seemed like an insurmountable task.
Amid this struggle, I found a lifeline: meditation. Kneeling or sitting cross-legged on the floor, regulating my breath, and allowing thoughts to come and go brought me tranquility. This act of grounding my body and mind before sleep became my sanctuary. But, I faced a problem: physical discomfort after only a few minutes. This drove me to create Ungloo, a business dedicated to making meditation comfortable and accessible.
The Challenges and Rewards of Relationships
Navigating relationships can feel just as challenging. People might move away, become unreliable, or occasionally say the wrong things. And yet we know they’re just human, full of complexities and fallibility, much like ourselves.
So, what does friendship truly mean? It's a support system, a comforting presence in our lives born out of shared experiences and values. However, the truth is, friends, being human, can be unreliable, self-absorbed, and occasionally, neglectful.
The Relief of Self-Friendship
Here's a novel thought: what if you could cultivate a great relationship with yourself? The beauty of this concept is that you are always there for yourself, offering approval, protection, and consolation when needed. This is the essence of being your own best friend. And for some, a connection to a higher power of some kind that can make that relationship with yourself feel even more expansive.
Self-compassion and mindfulness, components of this self-friendship, have been linked to a reduction in anxiety, depression, and stress, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
The Benefits of Being Your Own Best Friend
Now, imagine this: you're practicing self-friendship. You offer yourself kind words, lend an understanding ear to your thoughts, and most importantly, you never let harsh judgment cloud your mind. You are there to navigate life's challenges, such as when friends move away or situations change unexpectedly. You recognize your emotions, validate them, and show yourself the kindness you deserve.
This isn't just self-love; it's self-friendship.
The magic of being your own best friend is that it allows you to bring more love into the world. It enables you to create a better, brighter place, starting with yourself.
Five Practices for Self-Friendship
Here are seven ways you can cultivate self-friendship:
- Remember, there is only one you in the whole universe!
- Speak kindly to yourself, understanding. Never let meanness enter your self-talk.
- Don't hesitate to say, "I love you" to the reflection in the mirror. It might feel really awkward but maybe that feeling of awkwardness could be helpful.
- Plan some quality time with yourself doing something you just really enjoy doing. Watch a Movie, Go for A Walk, Read a Book, whatever you like to do…do it!
- Embrace practices that connect you with your body, mind, and emotions, such as meditation, to tap into your inner wisdom.
A Practice to Cultivate Self-Friendliness
To deepen your practice of self-friendliness, try this:
- Find a quiet place.
- Place your hand over your heart or on your cheek, whatever feels most comforting.
- Close your eyes, take a deep breath in for five counts, and release for seven counts, three times.
- Offer these words of affirmation to yourself: "I feel happy. I feel healthy. I can be my own best friend."
If you're looking for a companion to aid you in this journey of self-friendship and mindfulness, explore our products at Ungloo. Our meditation seats, designed for every body, are ready to support your journey towards a larger capacity for self-love and a calmer mind.