Mirror Work Works – How to Improve Your Self Love!
Self love is an essential key to living a happy life. One of the most effective tools for increasing your self love is mirror work. Mirror work is a very simple concept – it involves looking at yourself in the mirror and saying/thinking nice things about yourself. Although it’s a simple concept, it’s not always an easy practice. I highly recommend doing these exercises if you want to improve your self love and acceptance.
How Does It Work?
When you look in the mirror, your emotions about yourself are reflected back at you. Whatever you are saying to yourself in your head is visible in the emotions on your face. If what you are saying to yourself is not very nice, this can be a challenging exercise at first. Thankfully it clearly shows you what thoughts you will need to shift if you want to improve your self love and live a joy filled life. And that’s the beauty of mirror work, it helps you become much more aware of those background thoughts you are saying to yourself, which is the first step at increasing your self love and the first step at shifting your mindset! The great news is that once you get into the habit of doing this regularly, it starts to become fun and you’ll learn to really enjoy this exercise!
Mirror Work Exercises
I recommend trying these exercises everyday for 21-30 days to dramatically improve your self love!
- Start off by smiling: this is one of the easiest places to start with mirror work. Stand in the mirror and close your eyes. Think about something (anything) that makes you really happy. Feel those happy feelings in your body and allow yourself to have a big smile from these feelings of happiness. Now open your eyes and keep smiling at yourself in the mirror for 1 minute. Notice how beautiful you are when you are smiling.
- Compliment and love yourself: this is the next step in building onto your mirror practice and can be added on after doing the smiling exercise. It’s very simple – look in the mirror and give yourself compliments out loud or in your head. They can be any kind of compliment (about your physical appearance, your personality, etc). Just spend 2-3 minutes complimenting yourself and saying “I love you” to yourself. Look at yourself as you would your best friend and simply be kind to yourself with your thoughts and your words. If you notice yourself having a not so nice thought about some part of you, be sure to find ways to compliment that part of yourself. The trick to this one is to look yourself in the eyes and say I love you to yourself so much that you actually believe it and the reflection of you says “I love you” back.
- Gratitude for your whole self: this is the most advanced type of mirror work. I strongly recommend working through the first two exercises before even attempting this last one. Again, the idea is simple – look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself compliments and be grateful to yourself for how amazing you are for 5 whole minutes. The catch? This exercise is to be done while you are standing in front of the mirror naked. Looking at every part of yourself in the mirror means that you can’t hide your negative thoughts about your body from yourself, they’ll be reflected back at you. Each time you notice yourself saying something negative, find a way to compliment that part of yourself. Although this may be the most difficult exercise, it’s definitely the most powerful and transformative.
Show Yourself Grace
Mirror work can be very tough in the beginning but the rewards make this exercise worth doing. Remember that like anything else, this is a process and it’ll get much easier with time. Even practiced people like myself can have negative reactions to looking at yourself in the mirror. Heck, I’m a mindset coach and I still catch myself occasionally saying negative things about myself when I look in the mirror. But I know firsthand how much this works! Fifteen years ago, I noticed that I never looked in the mirror. I would go days, weeks, even months without so much as glancing in the mirror and when I did I would grimace and say terrible things to myself in my head. After doing mirror work, not only do I now look at myself in the mirror, the vast majority of the time my first response is to say something nice to myself in my head. This exercise has helped me learn to love myself inside and out!
Benefits Of Mirror Work
The way you do one thing is the way you do everything. So if you’re saying negative things about yourself, you’re probably saying negative things about others and the world around you. So the benefit of loving yourself more will show up in every area of your life! Practicing self love daily will help reduce your overall stress and anxiety, boost your confidence and self esteem, increase your happiness and satisfaction with life, allow you to start living your full potential and so much more.