When I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Social Work I had no idea how grateful I would become that my program specialized in empowerment. My goal is to empower every human I come into contact with to improve their lives and achieve their goals. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of empower is to make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights. I can’t be the only person who, as I read that definition, feels it to the very fiber of my soul… right? We live in a society where disempowering ourselves and others has become common place. I could spend days talking about the mechanics behind becoming dis-empowered. I could even dedicate an entire blog to what it looks like if you have been dis-empowered. However, I don’t want to do that today. As I previously stated my goal is to empower every being I come into contact with. Therefore, I want to provide each and every one of you who reads this with a list of ways to empower yourself.
- Take time for yourself each and every day: Whether its ten minutes or ten hours is irrelevant. The goals is to become mindful of how you feel physically in your body. Notice the areas of discomfort as well as the areas of joy and peace.
- Laugh: When is the last time you deliberately laughed? I’m not talking the kind of laugh that you do to be socially acceptable. I’m talking deep…deep….belly laughed? Laughing does more than just distracts your mind. It raises your vibrational level and creates positive chemicals in your body.
- Find your voice: I will be doing another blog soon about the steps to take to reclaim your voice. But I would like to encourage you to spend some time everyday asking yourself the following questions: What do I want? Why do I want that? What brings me joy? How can I incorporate more joy into my life? What’s stopping me from living up to my true potential today?
- Affirmations: One of the most powerful things in my life today is affirmations. I consciously focus on reinforcing what I want, not what I don’t want. I leave post it notes and visual cues in my life everywhere, about what I’m focused on. Do me a favor, right now…. Write down three things that you want in your life. Here’s the catch though, I want you to write them as though they’ve already occurred.
- Visualization: Because I specialize in treating the subconscious mind, one of the techniques that I typically teach my clients in the beginning of working together is the power of visualization. Whatever your goal is (no matter how extravagant it feels) spend a few minutes every night as you go to sleep visualizing it having come true. I tell my clients that I want them to imagine this in as much detail as they can, using as many of their senses as they can engage. This programs your subconscious mind to allow this goal to occur.
- Prune your support system: There’s an old adage that you become what you surround yourself with. In my life this has proven to be very accurate. When I stopped surrounding myself with people who want to manipulate, control, or oppress me I noticed an increase in positive opportunities surrounding me. I am way too protective of my energy to engage with people who want to deplete it. That’s not meant to say that I don’t engage with them. I just ensure if or when I do that I’m protected. Sometimes I call them when I only have ten minutes to spare.
- Replace the tapes: I have worked with people who have struggled to not continue to replay the tapes of negative things that they have been told throughout their life. When you are struggling to change the tapes in your brain, I encourage people to do this literally. Many of my clients will create a long list of affirmations and record them in their voice. As they are lying in bed at night, they play this tape on repeat.
- De-Clutter: I’ve been going through my entire world and working on actively de-cluttering recently. This is everything from my thoughts, my wallet, my office and my home. This is one of the most empowering and freeing activities a person can engage in. I would encourage you to spend 15 minutes every day just removing clutter from your environment.
- Spend time in nature: This can be a very grounding experience for you. Whether it’s: mowing the yard, pulling weeds, noticing the wonders or planting flowers. This is an all-inclusive activity, you can do it anywhere, to any extent, at any time. Even if it’s just looking out the window at the clouds.
- Meditation/Self-hypnosis: This doesn’t need to be anything extraordinary or complicated. If you are a beginner at meditation simply do some deep breathing while reminding yourself of your affirmations. That’s a great place to start.
Jenn Bovee, LCSW is a therapist located in Central Illinois. Learn more about her at www.Inspiringenterprisesllc.com