5 Ways a Simple Mirror Can Teach You About Self Love
There are many ways to connect with yourself in this world. But did you know that your bedroom mirror was one of them?
Gazing at your own reflection can bring up a myriad of different emotions and thoughts, not all of which will be comfortable. In fact, many people feel distinctly uncomfortable when looking at their reflection for too long. This is often because prolonged observation makes us feel vulnerable and exposed.
Very few people can tolerate being hyper-scrutinized, especially when you are playing the role of both subject and observer at the same time.
Anyone with a penchant for self-criticism will struggle to see past the imperfections, flaws, and blunders that they may see reflected back at them in the mirror.
However, this mental health practice can serve as an opportunity to push past those harsh, destructive self-judgements and enter into a more compassionate internal dialogue.
In this article, we’ll dive into the topic of mirror meditation and discuss the different ways that it can teach you about the mysteries of self-love. After all, if you’re working towards a fitter, healthier you should enjoy looking at the results!
Understanding Mirror Meditation
Mirror meditation (also known as mirror gazing) is the mindfulness practice of making extended eye contact with your own reflection.
While many people associate mirrors with narcissism, the practice of mirror meditation aims to turn this negative association on its head.
Instead of looking at your reflection for the purpose of measuring worth, mirror gazing invites you to inwardly observe the emotional responses or thoughts that arise. And to sit with them for a deeper understanding of the self.
It is a simple, intimate practice that can benefit several different aspects of life. Through the power of observation, you can learn to find peace and acceptance in your discomfort, no matter how loud it may be.
Here are five ways a mirror can teach you about self-love:
1. Overcome Insecurities
Everyone has insecurities. It’s considered pretty normal for a person to feel uncomfortable when looking at their reflection because it sheds light on their weaknesses or imperfections.
However, mirror meditation can help people to see themselves in a more loving, forgiving, and realistic way. Sure, there are things about yourself that you don’t like. But who doesn’t? Nobody is perfect, and your imperfections don’t make you any less worthy of love or respect.
2. See Yourself Through The Lens Of Love
Often, we become fixated on the parts of ourselves that we don’t like, completely bypassing the many shapes, characteristics, and quirks that make us so beautifully unique.
Mirror meditation can be used as a technique for perceiving yourself through the nourishing lens of love. The more time you spend observing yourself with the intention of embracing your flaws rather than criticizing them, the more natural self-love can feel.
3. Deepen Your Connection To Self
Because mirror meditation forces you to see past the façade of your physical form, it can allow for a deeper connection with yourself to develop. Maintaining a strong relationship with yourself is one of the first steps you can take towards deeper self-love.
Deepening your connection to self can facilitate the development of many other healthy traits and practices. It boosts self-esteem, encourages peace of mind, and increases self-awareness.
4. Explore Undiscovered Parts Of Yourself
Each person is like a unique landscape—vast, expansive, and full of mystery. You could argue that we will never understand ourselves completely, and others could spend an eternity trying.
Mirror meditation puts you in a position to explore yourself, in both a literal and metaphorical way. You can trace your fingers over your skin, familiarize yourself with your features, and observe yourself with renewed curiosity and kindness.
5. Become More Confident
Becoming more confident is a natural byproduct of practicing self-love. Mirror meditation can amplify confidence and self-assurance, aiding you in your journey towards fully loving yourself.
Much of the time, people may want to look away from their reflection when insecurities start to rise. Making the choice to sit with those uncomfortable feelings instead of suppressing them is often what is needed for a self-love breakthrough.
How To Experience Mirror Meditation
You might be curious about mirror meditation, but unsure about how to actually practice it. Well, let’s shed some light on the subject. All you need is a mirror, a quiet, comfortable space, and some privacy.
Although an exercise like this can feel strange and possibly even unsettling at first, the process of pushing through those feelings can deliver an extremely rewarding result.
- Create a safe, intentional space. To make the experience more special, you can set an intention beforehand for what you’d like to focus on. Some intention examples are embracing insecurities, connecting with the inner child, or deeper self-love.
- Do some breathing exercises. After allowing your breath to calibrate for a few minutes, you can start doing some deep breathing exercises to facilitate increased awareness. The overall experience should not feel tense or forced, relaxation is key.
- Make eye contact with yourself. Maintaining a soft gaze with your reflection will create a sense of intimacy that you can use to bond with yourself on an emotional level. It might feel uncomfortable at first. But aim to maintain eye contact for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, with small increments If you desire.
- Observe and accept. Observation and acceptance are two of the main emotional themes of mirror meditation. To simply sit, observe, and resist judgement is the aim of this practice. Don’t rush the process of acceptance, allow it to arrive naturally. In time, it will become a habit.
The important thing to remember while doing this practice is that whatever comes up for you, it’s okay.
The ultimate purpose of a mirror meditation is reflection. What thoughts come to mind? How do you feel? What exactly is it that unsettles you about your own eye contact?
Asking yourself these kinds of questions can open up your understanding of self and create a healthier, more balanced internal dialogue. Gazing into a mirror will not instantly remove your insecurities, but over time, it may help to counter self-criticism with wonder and love. Appreciating your body and all it can do is important, both mentally and physically!
This blog post was written by Tracy Renning.