“happy_woman_in_flower_field” by Imagine is licensed under CC by 3.0
Whether you are trying to clear acne, lose weight, or simply live a healthier lifestyle, learning to love and accept yourself is an essential part of the healing process. While increasing nutrition, reducing toxins, sleeping well, and exercising are all great ways to improve your physical wellbeing, these steps would be incomplete without also working on emotional wellbeing.
What is self-love? It can be difficult to define, and the meaning may vary depending on your individual needs. To me, self-love means being at peace with who you are, recognizing your strengths as well as your weaknesses, and appreciating yourself.
Here are some ways you can grow in self-love:
Pay attention to your thoughts
So many of us function as if we are on auto-pilot. We go through our days rushing from one moment to the next with many thoughts flooding through our minds. It’s important to slow down and pay attention to what we tell ourselves. Do you frequently have negative thoughts about yourself? Perhaps you are telling yourself, “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not worthy of love,” or “I’m ugly.” Perhaps you are putting off self-love by thinking, “I’ll feel better about myself when…” You may need to ask yourself if these thoughts are helping you or hurting you. Are your thoughts accurate? How would someone who loves themselves think about themselves? Empower yourself by taking control of your negative thought-patterns, and start engaging in more positive ways of viewing yourself. Recognize your strengths and tell yourself, “I am special…worthy, kind, helpful, etc.”
We can be so hard on ourselves. Learn to recognize that you are human, and therefore, imperfect. Punishing yourself for your mistakes will lead to low self-esteem and feeling like a failure. Instead focus on what lessons are to be learned from your mistakes. Ask yourself, how would I treat a friend facing a similar situation as my own? Be kind to yourself. When facing hardships, take some time to care for yourself. Relax with a good book, call a friend, get a massage – whatever helps you alleviate stress!
Set limits for yourself and learn to say no to activities or people that are harmful to you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. This may require making some lifestyle changes or letting go of relationships. Focus on surrounding yourself with people who are supportive of your success and happiness. Spend your time engaging in activities that are beneficial to your physical and emotional wellbeing. Some ideas might be taking a yoga class, spending time outdoors, learning a new hobby, going to church, cooking healthy meals, joining a book club, etc.
Live with intention
What is your purpose in life? What kind of a person do you strive to be? Set goals for yourself that support your values and beliefs. Establishing your intention will bring guidance to decisions you make in life. When you live your life with purpose and meaning, you will have more love and appreciation for yourself.
What are some ways you practice self-love? Please share!