Self-love is not a destination but an everyday practice.
Self-love is not to be confused with self-care, and it isn’t just about feeling good about yourself mentally and physically.
- An internal shift in how you feel about yourself.
- Loving those parts of yourself that you believe are unlovable.
- The willingness to act on your true heart desires.
- Respecting your own feelings and needs.
- Setting boundaries.
It doesn’t mean that you think you’re better than others. Instead, when you love yourself you accept your weaknesses and appreciate the shortcomings that make you who you are.
When you love yourself, you have compassion for yourself.
5 Self Love Techniques:
1. Mind your inner voice – become aware and conscious of how you treat yourself in your own mind. Pay attention to your self-talk and how it makes you feel. Discard those demeaning thoughts and direct your mind and actions to positive behaviours.
For example; You catch yourself in the mirror and a degrading thought comes into your mind. Instead of believing that thought, apologise to yourself for saying it. Would you ever say what you thought to someone else? More than likely not, so why is it acceptable to say it to yourself?
2. Clear your mind – to clear your mind is essentially to take a look at your current beliefs and values. Observe and understand them. Are they truly yours or are they projections of other people’s beliefs and values that you have taken on? Do you truly believe in them? If not, let them go. With so much going on in the world at the moment, it’s easy to get caught up on what others are thinking and feeling and the projection they’re giving out. We absorb it all and then convince ourselves that it’s the ‘right’ way to feel, even if it doesn’t align with what we truly believe.
It’s ok to have differing beliefs and values to friends and family, the same as it’s ok to have differing opinions. So why not take a moment to truly think about your beliefs and values. What do you truly believe in? What causes do you truly support? What values and morals reflect the life you have (or want). Clear your mind of anything that is not your own!
3. Invest time in good self-care – nourish yourself daily with healthy activities; good nutrition, exercise, proper sleep and healthy social interactions. When you fuel and take care of your body properly, you’ll have optimum energy and vitality which builds upon our self-esteem – which goes hand in hand with self-love. Participating in things you’re good at will boost endorphins and bring out the best version of yourself.
For example: Eat well. Aim for 30 mins of exercise a day, even if it’s just a walk. Have a good bedtime routine. Journal.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”– Oscar Wilde
4. Set boundaries and protect yourself – don’t ever tolerate being treated like a doormat. Identify what is and isn’t good for you and gain the clarity you need to understand what you will and will not accept in your life. It’s about more than just saying no. It’s about having the right people in your life who reflect your own values and beliefs. It’s about your own self-respect and living intentionally with purpose.
They say that you are a combination of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most – so make sure those people are truly who you want to be around. Do they inspire and empower you? Do they motivate and uplift you?
5. Explore your spirituality – regardless of what religion or belief system you believe in, faith is the foundation for self-love. Spirituality is more about the essence of humanity – your soul and inner life. When you explore spirituality, it takes you on a journey of learning things about yourself. You experience new thoughts, feelings, passions, and raw emotions that will make you appreciate yourself for being authentically you. This, in turn, enhances your intuition and helps make those ‘gut instinct’ decisions.
Meditation is a good example of spirituality. It can calm the mind and if you do it at night, it can reset the balance for good night sleep. Also look at setting your intentions for the day, for the week etc, in both work and personal life.