This day, I vow to myself to love myself, to treat myself as someone I love truly and deeply – in my thoughts, my actions, the choices I make, the experiences I have, each moment I am conscious, I make the decision I LOVE MYSELF. — Kamal Ravikant
In It All Starts with You! Why Loving Yourself First Is Essential we understood why self-love is so important. It allows us to express our full potential and it is the root of authentic relationships. What actions can we take to foster it? This post collects some ideas that you can integrate into your daily routine 🙂
The general rule is, whatever you do, think or feel, treat yourself kindly. Sometimes being gentle to ourselves can be very challenging, especially if we have the tendency to focus our attention externally, on other people. Do you also struggle with it? If so, try the following. Pause and bring to mind the person or animal you love the most. How do you relate to them? Do you treat them gently and care about their feelings? Are you always there for them, if they need your support? Feel for a moment this unconditional love… Would you say something mean to them when they make a mistake? If they are sad and need your attention, would you tell them that you have something more important to do? If they are tired and really need to rest, would you tell them to shut up and force them to do something? Most probably not, right? Hence, start asking yourself often How would I relate to them, if they were in my shoes now? Then treat yourself the same way 🙂
Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love. — Brené Brown
While you are learning, it is important to avoid using self-love as another tool to perfect yourself. In fact, it has nothing to do with fixing your faults. Self-love is all about accepting completely how you are. Therefore, if suddenly you realize that you are relating harshly to yourself, do not beat yourself up. Just accept the situation, forgive yourself and learn from it. Next time you are going to do better 🙂
Never forget to forgive yourself; always remember to love yourself. ―
How do we let self-love flow naturally into our lives? We need to make it a practice. In fact, any new habit is established by repeating an action over and over again. What actions can we take daily to care for all the aspects of our being: body, mind, heart and soul? Read on to find some ideas 🙂
Love Your Body
The most important thing you can do for your body is to accept and love it exactly as it is. Unfortunately, most of us are so caught up in our thoughts that we completely disconnect from it. We only remember that we have a body when we feel some sort of discomfort or pain, or when we think that it is not how it should be and we judge it harshly. To reconnect with your body, start by paying attention to its messages and always treat it gently. For example, rest when you feel the need, get enough sleep, eat healthy food, drink enough water, exercise with moderation, avoid overeating or starving yourself, schedule time for yourself to relax, do routine check-ups, use precautions to avoid contracting diseases and avoid or at least limit bad habits, like smoking, using drugs or drinking a lot of alcohol or caffeine. These are just some ideas to show your body that you care. In general, the key is to find balance in what you do. Another hint is setting aside some time every day to do small things for yourself that make you feel good. For example, I like to cook for myself 🙂
What can you do today to show your body that you love it? 🙂
Today I asked my body what she needed,
Which is a big deal
Considering my journey of
Not Really Asking That Much.
I thought she might need more water.
But as I stood in the shower
Reflecting on her stretch marks,
Her roundness where I would like flatness,
Her softness where I would like firmness,
All those conditioned wishes
That form a bundle of
She whispered very gently:
Could you just love me like this? — Hollie Holden
Love Your Mind
Everyone of us has an inner critic that constantly reminds us how flawed we are. Sometimes it speaks straightforwardly, as harsh self-judgment, other times sneakily, as self-doubt. Its purpose is to protect us, keeping us stuck in our comfort zone. Loving ourselves means recognizing this voice and not believing it.
How can we deal with our inner critic? A strategy consists in pausing and reframing it as a compassionate voice. For example, if something you tried to achieve did not work out as you wished, instead of believing the thought I am a failure! I will never succeed! you can say to yourself I did the best I could, unfortunately it did not work out this time… What can I learn from this experience? I will try again another time.
Another strategy is using self-soothing techniques, like placing our hands on our heart, or on our cheeks or hugging ourselves. In fact, when the inner critic attacks us, our body reacts releasing cortisol in the blood, which causes a stress response. A kind gesture calms us down, because it facilitates the release of oxytocin, an hormone that counteracts the stress response.
You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be. ― Marianne Williamson
What can you say gently to yourself today? 🙂
Love Your Heart
Loving yourself means also accepting all your feelings, even the unpleasant ones. When an uncomfortable emotion arises, we often either numb it, or get lost in the stories we tell ourselves, blaming ourselves and others for how we are feeling. I should not feel this way, there is something wrong… or I/He/She should not have behaved this way! All this mental chatter only makes the emotion chronic, with the result that we feel it over and over again. A healthier way to handle unpleasant feelings is to observe them in the body. For example, when you are angry, how does it feel in the body? Pay attention to all the sensations without getting lost in your thoughts. Are the muscles of your shoulders and jaw tight? And when you are anxious? Is your breath getting shallow? When you are ashamed, do you feel a knot in your stomach? Spend some time to notice how your body responds to an emotion. In How to Deal with Difficult Emotions? Say Yes to What Is you can find more details about how to handle uncomfortable feelings.
This is absolutely important to remember: If an emotion arises and feels too much for you to handle, reach out! Do not hesitate: Asking for help, whether to a friend or a professional, is an act of self-care.
What are you feeling right now? Can you accept it and relate gently to it? 🙂
Just like children, emotions heal when they are heard and validated. ― Jill Bolte Taylor
Another important aspect of self-love is setting boundaries. Do you say yes even when you want to say no? Do you systematically put other’s needs first? Do you let people treat you disrespectfully? Remember that you are responsible for what you tolerate in your life. Every time you say no to something or someone hurtful or toxic, you are actually saying yes to yourself. If you struggle with setting boundaries, you can find more information in Say Yes to Yourself! Set Boundaries.
In general, it is extremely important to choose carefully who you surround yourself with. If possible, limit the time you spend with people who are judgmental or negative, those who pull you into their drama. Prefer encouraging people, who lift you up. If you struggle finding this kind of support around you, look for a community online.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. — Jim Rohn
Are you willing to set boundaries to limit negativity and drama in your life? 🙂
Love Your Soul
This is so important: Establish a daily practice to reconnect to the deepest part of your being, the place where love resides. Daily meditation is a wonderful tool to get there. If it feels too much for you right now, start doing something creative, or expressing gratitude. In How to Establish a Daily Practice and Change Your Life for the Better you can find all the details 🙂
Are you willing to invest some time every day to reconnect to yourself? 🙂
You don’t go to the gym once and consider yourself done. Same here. Meditation is a practice. Working out is a practice. Loving yourself, perhaps the most important of all, is a practice. — Kamal Ravikant
Reading this post, what ideas resonated with you the most? Why don’t you start building your own self-love practice around them? 🙂
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