One of the biggest lessons you should learn in life is the practice of self-love. Self-love is not something you can buy in a store, nor is something that someone, like your significant other, can give it to you. Even though there are thousands of articles, books and motivational speakers all around the globe that promise to make you gain self-respect and fall in love with yourself, the truth is they can only make you feel good about yourself on a temporary basis.
Sure, they can help you achieve this goal by teaching you many lessons about self-acceptance and personal growth, but the rest is on you. You should understand that the state of feeling good from time to time does not equal practicing self-love. This is a lifelong process of respecting yourself by carefully choosing your actions and attitudes in order to embrace your whole self.
Acknowledge that you are beautiful and special human being and there isn’t any other person like yourself in this world. No, this is not an article about narcissism, it’s about learning to get in touch with your true self, health, and happiness.
You do deserve to be loved by the people in your life but more importantly, is that you deserve to be loved by YOU. However, every single person is sometimes faced with serious life challenges that can result in low self-esteem and lack of self-awareness.
We are grown in societies that constantly teach us how to NOT be happy with who we are. We are always trying to look better, work harder, choose better love partners and earn more money in order to be more appealing to the people around us. The sad truth is that many people spend their whole life working hard on the outside image, completely ignoring the things that really matter in life like self-love, compassion, acceptance and growth.
The thing is, the more we like and appreciate ourselves the more we can offer to this world. The decision to love yourself will positively affect everything else in your life, like your health, career, bank balance, love life, relationship with other people and the way you spend your free time. You will also feel more centered in life, will find your true life purposes and will value every little success you achieve each day.
If practicing self-love is something you want to give a try, take a deep breath, put a smile on your face and start following these amazing techniques that have really improved my well-being:
Treat Your Body with Love
Give yourself at least 20 technology-free minutes each day to pamper yourself so you can rejuvenate your soul and get centered. You can massage your face, neck or feet with intention, moisturize your skin with your favorite scented lotion, or have a nice hot shower.
While doing any of these (or other) activities, be sure to stop taking your life for granted. Remember to thank your body that helps you do many things in life and to feel grateful for everything you have in your life like food, home, and love from many people.
Take Care of Your Basic Needs
Practicing good self-care is the right road to loving yourself more every single day. People who treat themselves nicely are engaged in healthy activities on a daily basis like feeding your body with food that is high in nutrients, regular exercise, good night’s sleep and living healthy love and social life.
Include these healthy activities in your daily routine not only to look good but to feel good as well. Learn to appreciate and love your body. You only get one body in a lifetime, so be sure to treat it with respect.
Stop doing activities that harm you physically or emotionally. Start saying no to work duties you are unable to do and stop thinking about the bills that need to be paid this week. Instead, sit quietly, find your happy place and embrace the present moment. Understand what you really want, need and feel and act on that, not on other’s people needs. Connecting with your spirit is the best way to stay strong, healthy, centered and to move forward in every aspect of your life.
Remove yourself from automatic behavior patterns that keep you stuck in bad places and decrease your self-love. Always start your day by telling yourself how good you look today or how amazing you handled a situation with your partner/boss/friend yesterday. Really, say anything positive that will make you feel happy with who you are and will put a smile on your face (and soul).
Write down Your Thoughts
Start changing every negative thought with a positive one. First things first, stop believing in every single thought in your brain. Most people tend to criticize themselves that leads to feeling small and unworthy. To stop these from happening in the future try writing down all your negative thoughts on a piece of paper no matter how crazy or terrifying they are.
Then tear up or burn down the paper so you can let go of negative thinking patterns and move on with your day (and life). I’ve tried this and it really helped me get that negativity off my chest. It will also help you to worry less about being part of some common life situations that you usually find it very stressful because of your lack of self-care.
If this method does not work for you, then you can try writing a “what’s working for me” list which has been a real self-confidence booster for me in the past few months. Taking notes at the end of each day will remind you of the positive aspects of your life that keep you motivated and promote your self-love behavior.
Build a Supportive Community
You can’t do anything by yourself. Surround yourself with people who love you, support and encourage you. Building a great network of people you truly value who spread positive vibes will motivate you to keep on going in the right direction and will remind you just how amazing you are. This also means that you should end the contact with all toxic people in your life who don’t believe and support your abilities and who don’t support your dreams and goals. Trust me, I’ve been in these sort of situations so many times before so I decided to either change the topic or stay away from these “friends”. People who take away your shine and who don’t want to see you as a happy and successful person do not deserve a place in your life. Love everyone, but be careful about who takes an important role in your life.
Indulge in Fun Hobbies
Doing something you are good at and you like is an instant self-confidence booster. If you like writing, start doing it more often, if you have a passion for cooking, start making interesting meals for the people you love and if you want to ride a bicycle, grab your bike and start riding it as part of your after work relaxing hobbies. Travel to new places, learn a new language, or sing like a rock star.
Really, do anything that lights your fire. Break out of your comfort zone and try something you haven’t tried before and see how amazing that feels. Who knows, you may learn some new amazing stuff about yourself once you start exploring your creativity. You deserve the right to live an awesome life, so start creating one for yourself.
If you are like most people you probably still blame yourself for some of your past actions that made you feel bad and embarrassed. Well, now it is time to let that go and stop being so hard on yourself. You need to accept the fact that you are just an imperfect human being like everyone else and you will make few mistakes now and then. We are all feeling a little bit lost, insecure and critical at times.
When you will let off your past trauma and the fear of what future holds for you, you will stop carrying that weight on your shoulders. Instead, try looking at your failures as crucial part of your personal experience, learning process and personal growth. This way you can learn to control your future actions. Also never compare yourself to others and give up your need for approval. The only person you need approval from is YOU!
Don’t Call Yourself Names
Never tell yourself things like “I’m not good enough”, “I am stupid”, “Nobody will ever love me” and so on. These statements are so harsh, untrue and unfair to you. If you find yourself always complaining how much your life sucks, try some reserve psychology on yourself by finding evidence about everything that is good in your life.
Instead say some positive sentences like “I will use this experience to make better decisions in the future and improve at anything I do”, or “I’ll meet the right person for me any day now”. Never expect validation from other people because this will set you aside from your own needs in order to gain support and permission from other people. Ditch the self-blame because that will lead you to lack of self-worth and that is the complete opposite of self-love.
Do you feel better already? I know I do after writing this article! Now you are probably wondering “where should I start?”. For starters, remind yourself how worthy and amazing creature you are every morning before getting out of bed. You can start your morning by meditating 10-20 minutes and end the day by journaling some positive affirmations which will celebrate your small success each day.
Think about your biggest dreams and about all the wonderful things that are happening in your life right now. Speak to yourself respectfully, in the same way you would speak to your close family member or best friend. And last but not least, have realistic expectations about life. Nobody is happy every single moment of their life. Allow yourself to be a human who feels bad and good emotions and makes bad decisions from time to time. This is perfectly normal!
This article is just an outline of the healthy habits that have worked wonders for my personal growth in every aspect of my life. If you have anything to add I’d love to read it in the comment section below.
This was a guest post kindly submitted by Krista;
Journalist. Creative nutcase. Blogger (Fashion Corner). Philosopher. Passionate singer. Language learner. Yogi. Bicycle rider. Cardio lover. Travel enthusiast. Health freak. TV shows addict. Astrology believer.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.