In our fast-paced culture, dominated by technology and electronic communication, it’s easy to understand why we’ve lost so much human interaction, and left behind the small gestures that can make people feel loved. We’ve abandoned feelings and emotions for convenience and speed, barely ever leaving thoughtful notes for someone we care about, because texting is so much faster.
A recent AskReddit thread is giving everyone the warm fuzzies, posing the question, “What small gesture makes you feel enormously loved?” The answers span a wide range, from forehead kisses and backrubs, to two strangers exchanging a smile, to addressing someone by their name when you’re talking to them. Some appear seemingly casual, while others signify a momentous shift in someone’s life. It was a slap in the face in the best way possible, reminding me just how important the “little” things are — and how maybe they aren’t so little after all.
This thread reminds me of the times my boyfriend has walked in the apartment with flowers, for no reason at all; or the time he bought me expensive coconut ice cream because I couldn’t have any diary. Then I ate all the coconut ice cream and he was like, “Megan, WTF.” Still, though — worth it.
What small gestures made you feel loved? Here’s what some people had to say.
1. Handwritten Love Letters
Knowing that someone took the time to write you a letter — when they could’ve texted or emailed — is truly heartwarming. Handwritten letters are good for the giver, too! The activity has been shown to increase motivation, decrease stress, and improve your overall mood and well-being.
2. Really Caring About Your Day
What makes this so fascinating is how little we’re actually communicating with words. When someone asks about your day, remember that only seven percent of your answer is delivered to them verbally. The other 93, they get from tuning in to your tone and facial expressions.
3. Totally Relaxing Physical Affection
Not only does it feel incredible, but there is actual research that explains the mental and physical health benefits of physical touch. For example, it has been correlated with decreased violence, increased trust, a stronger immune system, greater learning engagement, and stronger bonds between people.
4. Remembering The Details
Science says that on any given day, the average person hears somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 words — and of that, they only remember 17 to 25 percent! So when someone remembers something specific about you, you can know that they really do care.
5. Random Surprises
You can really brighten someone’s day with an out-of-the-blue gift or kind act. Additionally, it’s good for you! Research has found that doing random acts of kindness can improve your mood and relationship satisfaction, while decreasing anxiety and social avoidance.
6. Feeling Included, Because You’re Important
Some statistics have the divorce rate at 50 percent, with a whopping 75 percent later remarrying. Additionally, well over 1,000 new stepfamilies are forming every single day. With so many people coming together, it’s touching to know that it’s not just blood that makes you family.
7. Expressing Concern For Someone’s Safety
It’s a true friend who wants to make sure you’re safe and sound; and science has found that solid friendships encourage healthy behavior, boost self-esteem, and help fight off depression.
We’re often told to practice self-love and self-care, but it’s rare that we’re given practical advice on how to actually do it.
I’ve shared the following 13 tools with hundreds of my clients who are looking to transform their relationship with themselves. If you’re open and willing, they really work.
Take what you like and leave what you don’t. See what works for you. I’ve watched all of these tips shift people’s energy and help them shape healthy practices of self-love and self-care.
1. Set an intention for the day.
When you wake up in the morning, write your intention down or say it to yourself first thing. For example, “My intention for today is to do my best for where I am now because I know I’ll feel good about it later.” This will set your day’s tone. (Here are a few more examples of positive intentions to drive your day.)
2. Meditate, just for two minutes.
Spend just two or 10 minutes a day in a calm space, quiet your mind, and notice your breath. The practice of meditation allows you to focus on your present so you can be more mindful in the moment and make the best choices for you.
3. Use mantras and affirmations.
You can recenter yourself with mantras and affirmations during any moment of the day when you start to feel “off,” or like you want to treat yourself unkindly. Make sure that what you’re saying feels true to you — telling yourself a lie in hopes it will make you feel better never works. A few of my favorite mantras are:
“I am open to possibility.”
“I am grateful for my struggles for they have shown me strength.”
“I choose to let love in and fear out,” and “I’m choosing to grow with grace.”
4. Hone a 10-second breathing routine.
Instantly calm, re-center, and ground yourself by breathing in for 10 full seconds, holding your breath for the next 10 seconds, and slowly exhaling for 10 seconds after that. Repeat three to five times.
Always remember: you’re never given more than you can handle.
5. Start gratitude journaling.
Every morning or evening, take the time to simply write down one to five things you’re grateful for that day. A journaling practice will shift your perspective and help you find the good in your routine. (Want some more info on how to make gratitude journaling work for you? Read this.)
6. Write down one thing you love about you.
Once you finish your gratitude post, record a few things you appreciate about yourself and your body that day. Keep this practice simple so you actually do it! It doesn’t require more than a bullet point or two.
7. Set an intention for your meal.
How do you want to show up for your meal? With grace? With the intention to honor your hunger and fullness? With the ability to simply taste your food and stop worrying about calories? Whatever comes up for you, set an intention for it. I promise that when you do, you’ll show up to your food in a newly mindful way that serves you and your health. (Mindful eating is important. Here’s how to make it work for you.)
8. Find ways to move your body that you actually enjoy.
If you’re having a hard time with this, think about what you used to do as a child and brainstorm how you can bring those moves into your life now. When you move your body out of love, you’ll connect with yourself in a more meaningful way and you won’t dread exercise nearly as much. (Here are a few kid-approved exercises that you can try.)
9. Tune into the way you talk to yourself.
If you wouldn’t talk to a friend to speak like that to you, don’t speak like that to yourself. Try and remind yourself to reframe your self-talk so it contains more positive mantras and affirmations. (These mantras will help you soften up your self-talk.)
When you feel like you’ve failed, it’s easy to label yourself a failure.
10. Close your eyes and see yourself living your best life.
Once you do, think about how you feel when you’re there. Let that feeling fill you up with light and warmth, and keep moving forward in a way that serves that ultimate ideal. (Another way to bring your dreams to life? Vision boards.)
11. Change your space.
Whether you’re completing a difficult task, feeling tired and bored with your surroundings, or just need to change your energy, change your space. Go for a walk, call a friend, check your email, read a book, do something that makes you feel good. Only return once you’re in a better state of mine.
12. Practice forgiveness.
Are you directing anger at someone or beating yourself up? Let it go, forgive and move on. Struggle is the only way to learn, so use it as an opportunity for self-love and growth. Choosing to forgive others doesn’t mean you need to agree with their actions, but it means you’re cutting negative cords so you can move on with your own life. Tell yourself that you are forgiving so that you can open up space to travel forward in your own journey.
13. Recall the positive.
When you feel like you’ve failed, it’s easy to label yourself a failure. Recognize that this is just a feeling and it’ll pass. And recall all the amazing things you’ve accomplished and contributed to. Quiet that inner voice, and remember that you’ve felt like this before and you’ll get past it again. Always remember: you’re never given more than you can handle.
This eye-opening video teaches you a simple shortcut to connect with the Universe so you can build a passionate new reality for yourself (without struggle or “hard work”).
It will also debunk the same myth we talked about here starting around the 7 minute mark, so watch it now while it’s fresh in your mind.
Plus it’s got one of the most fascinating and powerful tools for turbo-charing your spiritual gifts and manifesting your desires that I’ve ever seen.
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This article was originally posted on chopra.com.
1. Listen to Your Body’s Wisdom
Our body expresses itself through signals of comfort and discomfort. When choosing a certain behavior, ask your body, “How do you feel about this?” If your body sends a signal of physical or emotional distress, watch out. If your body sends a signal of comfort and eagerness, proceed.
2. Live in the Present
The present is the only moment you have. Keep your attention on what is here and now; look for the fullness in every moment. Accept what comes to you totally and completely so that you can appreciate it, learn from it, and then let it go. The present is as it should be. It reflects infinite laws of Nature that have brought you this exact thought, this exact physical response. This moment is as it is because the universe is as it is. Don’t struggle against the infinite scheme of things; instead, be at one with it.
3. Take Time to Be Silent …
… to meditate, to quiet the internal dialogue. In moments of silence, realize that you are re-contacting your source of pure awareness. Pay attention to your inner life so that you can be guided by intuition rather than externally imposed interpretations of what is or isn’t good for you.
4. Relinquish Your Need for External Approval
You alone are the judge of your worth, and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. There is great freedom in this realization. When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself. Putting up resistance is the response of defenses created by old hurts.
5. When You Find Yourself Reacting With Anger …
… or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself. Putting up resistance is the response of defenses created by old hurts. When you relinquish this anger, you will be healing yourself and cooperating with the flow of the universe.
6. Know That the World “Out There” Reflects Your Reality “in Here”
The people you react to most strongly, whether with love or hate, are projections of your inner world. What you most hate is what you most deny in yourself. What you most love is what you most wish for in yourself. Use the mirror of relationships to guide your evolution. The goal is total self-knowledge. When you achieve that, what you most want will automatically be there, and what you most dislike will disappear.
7. Shed the Burden of Judgment
You will feel much lighter. Judgment imposes right and wrong on situations that just are. Everything can be understood and forgiven, but when you judge, you cut off understanding and shut down the process of learning to love. In judging others, you reflect your lack of self-acceptance. Remember that every person you forgive adds to your self-love.
8. Don’t Contaminate Your Body With Toxins
Either through food, drink, or toxic emotions. Your body is more than a life-support system. It is the vehicle that will carry you on the journey of your evolution. The health of every cell directly contributes to your state of well being, because every cell is a point of awareness within the field of awareness that is you.
9. Replace Fear-Motivated Behavior With Love-Motivated Behavior
Fear is the product of memory, which dwells in the past. Remembering what hurt us before, we direct our energies toward making certain that an old hurt will not repeat itself. But trying to impose the past on the present will never wipe out the threat of being hurt. That happens only when you find the security of your own being, which is love. Motivated by the truth inside you, you can face any threat because your inner strength is invulnerable to fear.
10. Understand That the Physical World Is Just a Mirror of a Deeper Intelligence.
Intelligence is the invisible organizer of all matter and energy, and since a portion of this intelligence resides in you, you share in the organizing power of the cosmos. Because you are inseparably linked to everything, you cannot afford to foul the planet’s air and water. But at a deeper level, you cannot afford to live with a toxic mind, because every thought makes an impression on the whole field of intelligence. Living in balance and purity is the highest good for you and the Earth.
Sharing is caring. Can you share this and help us reach more hearts and minds. – Thousand thoughts
It’s always believed that You Must Change Your Beliefs to experience true happiness. Following are the beliefs that you must leave NOW if you really want to live a happy life.
1. “I deserve happiness.”
No one deserves anything. No one is truly entitled to anything. Happiness is something you earn.
2. “I don’t have what I need to be happy.”
Happiness doesn’t come from things you possess in materiality, but it can come from appreciating what you have. An act of appreciation and gratitude leads directly to happiness. Ask Yourself, What are you grateful for?
3. “I’m just not good enough.”
Everyone is different, so you are. Good in many aspects.
4. “I can never heal.”
People hurt us, it’s true. It’s completely on you for how you react to them. The good part is , you absolutely can heal, you just never will if you keep telling yourself that you can’t.
5. “I must be in control.”
I used to be this way. Badly. I always had to be in control of things. Heck, sometimes I can still be that way. But all it did was cause grief and worry. It’s not worth it to try to control everything. Take responsibility, but don’t fight to control.
6. “This is personal.”
Almost nothing is personal. These days it seems like everyone just aches to be offended, and if it doesn’t outrage you, it’s not worth the time. That’s a rough way to live. Realize that nothing is ever truly personal and you’ll be happier.
7. “I must be liked by everyone.”
This one is especially silly. Don’t let the opinion of others define you. Embrace what you are. Not everyone is going to like you and that is perfectly okay.
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