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How Being Your Own Best Friend Can Change Your Life

Gabriela's story is one of perseverance, transformation, and hope. She started working in the casinos 25 years ago and quickly rose to a management position in Egypt, making her one of the first women to do so. Her unhappy marriage led her to leave with very few possessions and no money, which left her feeling depressed and unworthy.

 
Executive Contributor Gabriela Barclay

Have you ever considered the incredible impact of treating yourself as your best friend? In a world filled with constant pressure to be the best version of yourself, it's easy to forget one simple truth: sometimes, the most important relationship you can have is the one you have with yourself. 


Photo of Gabriela standing under a tree

Being your own best friend is not only empowering, but it can also lead to increased self-confidence, happiness, and overall well-being. 


It's time to shift the focus inward and start being your best friend. 

 

Friendship vs. self-friendship

Friendship is a divine blessing and gift of unconditional love and support. It is a beautiful and sacred connection that uplifts our souls and connects our hearts.


Self-friendship is the profound act of cultivating a deep and loving relationship with oneself. It involves embracing one's essence and inner light and treating oneself with kindness, compassion, love, and understanding.


Both friendship and self-friendship are essential for our emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical well-being and happiness, leading to a profound and soulful connection.

 

Importance of being your own best friend

Every day, we see images and messages that tell us we must be perfect, successful, and loved by others to be happy. 


As a result, we often neglect the most essential relationship in our lives—the one with ourselves. We forget to practice self-love and become our own best friend.


But what does it mean to be your own best friend? 

It means treating yourself with the same love, compassion, and support you would give a close friend or loved one. 


It means understanding your worth and prioritising your well-being above everything else.


Why is this so important?

Being your best friend profoundly impacts all aspects of your life, from your mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being to your relationships, career, and overall happiness.

 

Cultivating a strong relationship with yourself can be a profound journey of self-discovery and growth.


Self-friendship goes beyond surface-level interactions; it delves into the depths of your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. 


By nurturing this bond with yourself, you create a solid foundation for navigating life's challenges with grace and resilience. 


This connection is a guiding light through smooth waters and stormy seas.


When prioritising self-friendship, you open the door to a world of self-acceptance and love. 

Embracing all facets of oneself—strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and imperfections—leads to greater inner peace and authenticity. 


So, embark on this journey with an open heart and mind, ready to cultivate a friendship that will last a lifetime.

 

When we cultivate self-friendship, our brains release various neurochemicals that positively impact our well-being.


In our journey of self-discovery and personal growth, one of the most empowering and transformative relationships we can cultivate is one with ourselves. 


Understanding the chemistry produced in our brains through self-friendship can unlock a wellspring of empowerment, resilience and insight that propels us towards a more fulfilling and authentic life.

 

5 facts on brain chemistry when we embrace self-friendship

 

1. Oxytocin and self-friendship 

Oxytocin, often called the "love hormone, " promotes trust, connection, and bonding with ourselves and others. 


Nurturing self-friendship increases oxytocin levels, fostering a sense of self-compassion, emotional resilience, and overall happiness.


2. Dopamine and self-validation

Self-friendship also triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. 


We activate the brain's dopamine system by validating ourselves and acknowledging our accomplishments, ambitions, and strengths. 


This leads to motivation, satisfaction, and self-empowerment, empowering us to pursue our goals and dreams with enthusiasm and determination.


3. Serotonin and self-acceptance

Practising self-friendship promotes the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of well-being and happiness. 


By accepting ourselves unconditionally, embracing our flaws, and practising self-compassion, we enhance serotonin levels in the brain. 


This improves our mood and enhances our overall sense of self-worth, fostering a positive self-image and healthy self-esteem.


4. Endorphins and self-care

Engaging in self-care activities as part of self-friendship triggers the release of endorphins, natural painkillers, and mood enhancers. Endorphins create euphoria, reduce stress, and promote a positive outlook. 


By prioritising our well-being and engaging in activities that bring us joy, such as exercising, pursuing hobbies, or spending time in nature, we stimulate the release of endorphins, leading to improved mental and emotional health.


5. Neuroplasticity and self-friendship 

When we practice self-friendship, we engage in positive self-talk, self-reflection, and self-encouragement. 


These activities stimulate neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to reorganise and form new neural connections.

 

By consistently nurturing self-friendship, we strengthen neural pathways associated with self-compassion, self-acceptance, and self-confidence, leading to long-lasting positive changes in our mindset and behaviour.


The impact of self-friendship on brain chemistry is profound.


As you embark on the journey of self-friendship, remember that you possess the power to transform your life from within. 

 


16 ways to tap the power of self-friendship

 

1. Cultivating self-compassion

Being your own best friend begins with practising self-compassion. 


It involves treating yourself with kindness, unconditional love, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. 


Self-compassion allows you to acknowledge your mistakes and shortcomings without harsh self-judgment. 


Embracing self-compassion creates a nurturing environment for personal growth and resilience.


2. Trusting yur intuition

When you become your best friend, you learn to trust yourself and your intuition. 


You develop a deeper understanding of your needs, desires, and values. 


Trusting your instincts enables you to make decisions that align with your authentic self, leading to a more fulfilling and purposeful life.


3. Providing emotional support

Being your own best friend means providing yourself with emotional support. 


You become attuned to your emotions and learn to validate and comfort yourself during difficult times. 


This self-soothing ability allows you to navigate challenges and setbacks with greater inner stability and emotional resilience.


4. Setting healthy boundaries

As your own best friend, you become proficient in setting healthy boundaries. 


You recognise the importance of protecting your time, energy, and emotional well-being.

 

Setting boundaries allows you to prioritise self-care, say no when necessary, and create a balanced and fulfilling life.


5. Self-discovery and personal growth

Being your own best friend opens the door to self-discovery and personal growth. 


You can explore your interests, passions, and aspirations without external pressures or expectations. 


This self-exploration leads to a deeper understanding of one's true self and allows one to cultivate one's unique strengths and talents.


6. Celebrating your accomplishments

Being your own best friend means celebrating your accomplishments, no matter how small. 


You become your cheerleader and acknowledge your successes, boosting your self-confidence and motivation. 


Celebrating your achievements reinforces a positive self-image and encourages continued personal growth and progress.


7. Adaptability and resilience

When you are your own best friend, you develop adaptability and resilience. 


Life is full of ups and downs, and having a solid friendship with yourself can help you navigate uncertain times. 


You learn to embrace change, bounce back from setbacks, and find the strength to persevere.


8. Building self-confidence

Being your own best friend boosts your self-confidence. 


When you have a strong friendship with yourself, you develop a belief in your abilities and worth. 


This self-assurance allows you to step outside your comfort zone, take risks, and confidently pursue your goals. 


As your best friend, you become your biggest supporter, encouraging yourself to reach new heights and overcome self-doubt.


9. Embracing self-care

Being your own best friend means prioritising self-care. 


You recognise the importance of nourishing your mind, body, and soul. You take the time to engage in activities that bring joy, relaxation, and rejuvenation. 


Practising self-care replenishes your energy reserves and cultivates inner peace and well-being.


10. Cultivating positive self-talk

Being your own best friend involves cultivating positive self-talk. 


You become mindful of your inner dialogue and consciously replace self-criticism with self-encouragement. 


Positive self-talk fosters a supportive and empowering mindset, allowing you to overcome challenges, overcome self-limiting beliefs, and achieve personal growth.


11. Honouring authenticity

Being your own best friend means honouring your authenticity. 


You embrace your true self, including your strengths, quirks, and imperfections. 


By accepting and embracing who you are, you attract authentic connections and create a life that aligns with your values and desires.


12. Finding joy in self-discovery

When you are your own best friend, self-discovery becomes an exciting journey. 


You explore new interests, engage in hobbies that bring you joy, and uncover hidden talents. 

This process of self-discovery not only enriches your life but also deepens your connection with yourself. 


It allows you to learn, grow, and evolve as an individual continuously.


13. Practising self-compassion

Being your own best friend begins with practising self-compassion. 


It involves treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and forgiveness, which helps you navigate through difficult times with grace and resilience. 


It allows you to acknowledge your mistakes and shortcomings without judgment and offer yourself love and compassion.


14. Embracing imperfections

Being your own best friend means embracing your imperfections.

 

You understand that perfection is not attainable and that it is through embracing your flaws and embracing your uniqueness that you truly shine. 


15. Nurturing inner dialogue

Being your own best friend involves nurturing a positive and supportive inner dialogue. 

You become aware of your self-talk and consciously choose words and thoughts that uplift and encourage you. 


Nurturing your inner dialogue creates a nurturing and empowering mindset that helps you overcome challenges and cultivate a strong belief in yourself.


16. Prioritizing self-reflection

Being your own best friend means prioritising self-reflection.

 

You take the time to pause, reflect, and evaluate your thoughts, feelings, and actions. 


Self-reflection allows you to gain clarity, learn from your experiences, and make conscious choices that align with your values and aspirations. 


It is through self-reflection that you foster personal growth and self-awareness.

 

Personal growth through self-friendship

Cultivating a strong relationship with yourself through self-friendship is a transformative journey towards personal growth. 


By understanding the concept, recognising its benefits, and implementing practical tips in your daily life, you can experience profound changes in your overall well-being, tap into the power of self-love and create a fulfilling relationship with yourself that will positively impact all areas of your life. 

The most important person in your life is you! 


Being your best friend means being there for yourself through thick and thin. 


Remember, the most important friendship you will ever have is with yourself. 


Cherish it, nurture it, and watch yourself blossom into the best version of yourself.


 

Gabriela Barclay, Holistic Coach

Gabriela's story is one of perseverance, transformation, and hope. She started working in the casinos 25 years ago and quickly rose to a management position in Egypt, making her one of the first women to do so. Her unhappy marriage led her to leave with very few possessions and no money, which left her feeling depressed and unworthy. She survived her story, learned to transform herself and be in her power. Now, as a mother, holistic coach, and casino manager, Gabriela is passionate about empowering women to heal, thrive, stand in their power, see their awesomeness, embrace their authenticity and reclaim their magnificence, embodying her values of kindness, integrity, respect, love, trust, and spirituality.

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