One of the ideas behind the term “Buff Yourself” is to create in us a data bank filled with ways to make ourselves feel good.
On my days when I’m not feeling it, all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a bottle of wine and the Fellowship of the Rings. While there were days where I have done that, it’s not really a progressive way to get to my upswing. These are a few ways to keep yourself present and give yourself a needed Buff.
Show Yourself Compassion.
You mean a lot to yourself.
There’s a difference between feeling sorry for yourself and showing yourself compassion. Feeling sorry for yourself is a constant whereas showing yourself compassion is in the moment. If my good friend was stuck on the side of the freeway in the pouring rain waiting for a tow truck I would feel bad for her and I would use my words to comfort her, “Awe Vick, This really sucks. I’m so sorry that this is happening to you”. By saying this it validates her feelings of frustration and anger. By saying words of comfort to ourselves we are validating and allowing ourselves to feel in the moment. The next time you have a screaming kid throwing a tantrum in a public place, instead of beating yourself up for not hiring a babysitter, say to yourself “Awe you must be so tired and frustrated. You are being so patient and holding up really well.” You are worthy of compassion.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation.” – Audre Lorde
What do you have now?
Finding something to be grateful for when you’re feeling really low is not easy, but just the act of calmly and consciously looking around can add comfort. Around me, I have a picture of my healthy kids, an air conditioner that is working great, my computer which is an awesome gaming machine and my water bottle full of clean drinking water. These are things that ground me and bring me to what’s really important the present moment.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ― Eckhart Tolle
Like a friggin’ elf
The dictionary definition of grace is “elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action.” Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our emotions that we lose a grip on reality. Slow down, stand up straight, compose yourself and find your wisdom. If you were thousands of years old how trivial would all this be? Certain things would almost be laughable compared to what you have seen and done. If it’s not laughable then with the wisdom of years you would be able to distance yourself emotionally and still be compassionate and caring. Hold your emotions high. By consciously practicing grace we slow down. You ever realize you’re at high speed and you don’t know why? Often for me, it’s carried over from a single moment when I was in a rush and it’s only when my heart is pounding, my skin is sweaty and my head is in a fog that I realize I’m still running at high speed. It’s when I’m running like this I make mistakes one after the other. Taking a moment to compose myself, sit up straight and take a deep breath, I then move at a comfortable speed, fully aware, and save myself accidents and unnecessary stress.
Buff Someone Else.
It feels good to make others feel good.
There’s a debate on whether it’s selfish to show kindness and do good things for others to make ourselves feel good. Life is about making ourselves feel good and if more people gave for that reason and not out of obligation maybe more people would give. It makes me feel good to give a smile, a pepperoni stick, and a bottle of water to the man holding an “anything will help” sign outside Safeway. In fact, it makes me feel so good that I always make sure I have bottles of water in the car so that I have something to give and a reason to interact. Sometimes just giving a warm smile, a hand on the shoulder and a “have a good day” is sufficient to fill me up and bring me joy. The desire to help other people is why we become doctors and teachers. We are meant to feel good when we help others, it releases endorphins that boosts the serotonin in your body, relieving stress and anxiety.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
― Charles Dickens
Smells, Feels, Tastes, Sounds, Looks SOOOO Good.
My husband recently told me he wants us to live a Sensual Life. We take our senses for granted and don’t think twice to use them when we need to feel good. When we are stressed we will listen to music. When we are sick we will put on our fuzzy pajamas. When we are planning a vacation we look at pictures for ideas. When I’m feeling frazzled I have a stash of rich, dark chocolate. The feeling I get when the taste hits my pallet seems to put everything on hold and I breathe a sigh of relief. Unconsciously we are already living the Sensual Life, but by consciously doing things to stimulate the senses we can reap additional benefits and use them to their full potential. Living a Sensual Life makes us aware of the present and brings us into the moment. Allowing ourselves to experience the joy of our senses can lead to a much more “feel good” kind of life.
“You must learn to heed your senses. Humans use but a tiny percentage of theirs. They barely look, they rarely listen, they never smell, and they think that they can only experience feelings through their skin. But they talk, oh, do they talk.”
― Michael Scott, The Alchemyst