Do you have emotional blocks that hinder your self-esteem and self-confidence? If so, start practicing self-love to transform your life for the better. One such self-love technique is mirror work. It entails looking at your reflection in the mirror and practicing self-talk using positive affirmations. Here, you view your reflection as a dear friend and start opening up on your shadow emotions, to heal your inner self.
This article breaks down the steps to practice mirror work.
Understanding Mirror Work
Mirror work is a self-love practice that focuses on your face. Ideally, you stand or sit in front of a mirror with a full view of your face. Then, you start repeating self-love affirmations to your reflection. At first, you may doubt some of the words you utter and even want to give up the practice. Still, hold on to the end to build your self-love muscles.
Mirror work helps us love ourselves regardless of our shape, size, color, or flaws. More so, it aims at making us feel great in our skin, no matter what society deems to be normal.
The Origin of Mirror Work
Evidence of mirror work practices dates back to the 13th century when Persians would use the mirror to block evil spirits. Later in the 17th century, Hinduism and Jainism embraced mirror work, with most believers hanging shisha torans on their front doors to repel bad energies. Nowadays, Louise Hay, a self-love author, and transformational speaker revived the mirror work practice through self-help books and regular publications. Her notable works include the 1984 book release “You Can Heal Your Life” and her 1989 book release “A Garden of Thoughts: My Affirmation Journal.”
The Steps to Practice Mirror Work for Self-Love
Here is a typical mirror work technique you can use: –
Sit or stand in front of a mirror that shows the full reflection of your face.
Take several deep breaths to relax and keep your mind in the present moment.
Look at your reflection to scan the face without judging it.
Continue your deep breaths as you take note of: –
- The shape of your face
- The color of your skin
- How your eyebrows shape your face
- The shape of your lips
- How your nose looks like
- The color of your eyes
Now, return the gaze to your eyes.
Repeat the following affirmations, say them playfully and emotionally: –
- You are one of a kind
- You are loved
- You have a unique and fabulous face
- I love my eyebrows and the way they shape my eyes
- I love my face exactly as it is
- I love my nose exactly as it is
- I love the color of my eyes
- I love my skin exactly as it is
Keep breathing and smiling as you continue with the positive affirmations as follows: –
- I am appreciating my unique face
- I love you, face, exactly as you are
Get demonstrative by pointing at the mirror when repeating the affirmations.
5 Tips on Practicing Mirror Work
#1: Be Consistent
Mirror work is a gradual process of self-acceptance. It takes time to change your perception by replacing negative views with positive ones. Hence, commit at least two to three minutes of mirror work each day.
#2: Timing Matters
Pick a time of a day when you have no distractions. It could be early in the morning when you wake up, or when preparing to go to bed at night. Still, if you work at the mall, banking hall, or any other place with lots of mirrors, you may practice mirror work during your coffee or lunch breaks. Besides, most of us have smartphones that take selfies, allowing us to use the phones as mirrors.
#3: Customize Affirmations to Suit Your Circumstances
Affirmations are powerful tools to restore self-worth and more. They reprogram our thinking patterns to counteract our inclination towards negative thoughts. Still, you may quote an affirmation and find it not applicable to what you are going through at the moment. For example, replace the affirmation “I love my nose exactly as it is” with “I love my long, pointed nose”.
- Think of a lingering negative thought you have and come up with its positive opposite
- Come up with a short positive affirmation starting with such words as “I” and “My”
- Use the present tense and add some emotions to the positive statement
- Your custom positive affirmation should be realistic and achievable
#4: Repeat the Positive Affirmation as Many Times as Possible
Do you find your mind occupied by negative thoughts connected to anger, sadness, and loneliness? If so, tap into the power of repeated words by reciting your positive affirmations often. Here, you allow these positive words to linger in your mind for longer, gain strength, and affect your thought process. Eventually, these positive affirmations will alter your inner dialogue, replacing it with positive thoughts that provoke feelings of hope, contentment, and gratitude.
#5: Acknowledge Shadow Emotions
As mentioned, mirror work forces us to look at ourselves and accept our flaws. It is a long-term process that involves dealing with the shadow aspects of our lives. For example, you become aware of your resentment and anger towards a scar on your face. This scar could be from a childhood trauma that is still hurting you to date.
Embrace these shadow emotions through self-compassion. Start by forgiving yourself and anyone who hurt you. Take on a growth mindset, looking at your scars as a stepping stone to a better you. Then, maintain a gratitude journal to list the positives out of the trauma.
Practicing mirror work can help you deal with a low self-image and self-esteem issues. Yet, all it takes is a few minutes of looking at your face and repeating positive affirmations to your reflections each day. So, get creative, playful, and demonstrative to customize the self-talk to your unique circumstances.