A Mirror Gazing Ritual: Saying Nice Things to Yourself about Yourself
If you believed one positive thing about yourself, how would your life be different? What’s that positive thing you wish was easier to believe? With a little practice, it WILL be easier to say nice things to yourself about yourself. And no, it’s not weird to look in the mirror while you do that.
Mirror gazing is simple in concept (it’s what it sounds like), but not all that easy to practice... at first. It means looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself the things you most need to hear. The “I love you’s,” the “I’m sorry’s,” the “please forgive me’s.”
That can be hard… really, really hard.
This ritual can make it easier.
For the record…
- It’s not weird to say nice things to yourself.
- It’s not weird to look at yourself in the mirror and be nice to what you see.
The way you talk to yourself can hurt you or help you heal.
It makes a difference not only for your mental health but your physical health too. There’s research to back up that the way you talk to yourself affects inflammation and your immune system.
That means you can create change in your body and in your health with your thoughts. Think about that. Some of the fuel and raw materials your body needs to heal are helpful thoughts.
That’s incredible stuff.
And you don’t need to be in love with who you are to test out that theory on yourself.
All you need is a mirror and an open mind.
I say mirror gazing is perfect for nighttime (which is why it’s in my book, Sleep Rituals) but you can practice whenever you want or need more support.
Support yourself more often, and you’ll come to rely less on what other people think of you and your life. You’ll feel better about your decisions. You’ll be so much more resilient.
A Mirror Gazing Ritual for Self-Kindness & Healing
Tonight (or whenever), look at yourself in the mirror a little longer than you usually would.
Spend some time here. One minute, five minutes, ten seconds.
Play music in the background if it helps, or keep this ritual a silent one. Light a candle or plug in fairy lights or burn incense, if that relaxes you.
You can sit or stand here, making eye contact, without thinking or saying a word, if you’d rather not. Just doing that can get the compassion flowing.
It might feel silly to do this. (Most likely, it will!) But it works. After a while, it helps. You get to know yourself better somehow. You break down walls, peel off layers, get past old hurts.
If you’re not sure what to think/say or where to start, here are some ideas:
- Imagine you’re speaking to a friend who’s feeling what you’re feeling. What would you say? Perhaps: “I am here for you. What do you need? How can I help?”
- Greet your soul. In Sanskrit, namaste (nah-mah-stay): “I honor your light.” In Zulu, sawubona (sow-boh-nah): “I see you.” In Hawaiian, ho’oponopono (ho-o-pono-pono): “I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”
- Speak an affirmation that feels better and true enough to repeat. If “I love and accept you” feels like too much, try something like “I’m learning to see you with compassion” or “You might actually be enough.”
- Refer to yourself in the third person as if your challenges are someone else’s challenges. This creates psychological distance from what’s bothering you, making space for solutions.
Find more ideas in my books, Sleep Affirmations and Morning Affirmations.
Or think about these things like they’re the truth:
- Your body has enabled you to experience life consciously (pain and everything). You’re Life, embodied. Look at yourself like maybe you’re here as you are because you’re supposed to be here as you are.
- Every circumstance is specifically designed to bring to the surface what most needs your love.
- You’ve made it through every single thing you thought you couldn’t. Wow.
When you feel like you’re finished, move on with your night knowing you’ve supported yourself… even if you had a hard time doing it. Even the smallest shows of kindness can make a difference. (You might even sleep better because of it.)
Supportive self-talk is essential because you’re always listening to and processing the stories you tell yourself.
. . .
What’s one positive thing you believe (or would like to believe) about yourself?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I’d love to know!
P.S. For 99 more rituals like this one, including snack recipes (snacks!) and meditations, pick up a copy of my book, Sleep Rituals: 100 Practices for a Deep and Peaceful Sleep. You’ll love how it makes you feel.
Comments on this post (1)
I do a great deal of mirror-gazing which I find marvellously therapeutic. I have written an autobiographical story about this which may be of interest to you
— David Russell