The list of reasons why we must learn to love and accept ourselves is virtually endless.
Though many of us would like to think that we take great care of ourselves by taking “mental health days,” spa retreats, and vacations, the truth is, self-love is something that needs to be practiced on a daily basis.
Self-love is both a state of being and an action. It is the ability to appreciate oneself, and the appreciation that grows from actions that support our physical, mental, and spiritual growth.
Self-love is constantly changing, it is dynamic, it grows by actions that mature is.
When we don’t actively practice loving ourselves, we can get to a very dark place, that could lead to destructive and dangerous behavior.
It could also lead to anxiety, depression, and just overall stop us from reaching our full potential. It is absolutely essential to learn to love ourselves.
When we practice self-love, we begin to accept our weaknesses as well as our strengths, we find less need to explain our shortcomings to others and to ourselves, we have more compassion for ourselves and for others, we find more meaning in life, and we feel the interconnectedness of the universe.
In my personal experience, self-love has pulled me out of some dark times. I realized that when I prioritized myself and just basically loved myself, other people prioritized me and loved me also.
With self-love, we show people how to treat us, and how we expect to be treated. Taking actual steps and PRACTICING loving myself has allowed me to find my voice, go after my dreams, and make things HAPPEN.
Whatever you want to do in life will be a little harder if you don’t like yourself, so doing this is the first step to starting just about anything.
6 Steps to Self-love
1. Self-love Journal – Get yourself a nice journal. This journal will be dedicated to your self-love journey.
The first part of the work you do in this notebook will be the hardest.
But once you get past it, you will have taken several steps in healing yourself and you will be much closer to self-love. I’m going to explain briefly, and you will find a more detailed exercise on the blog (link in description.)
I want you to write out your harsh judgments of yourself, of the world, and others. Write them in sentences with spaces in between for notes.
For example, you could write any of your most insecure thoughts, like, “My friends don’t like me,” “I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough.” The way you’ll know what to write down, is you will keep a mental note of any thought you think that makes you feel negative.
Then you will write it down. Now, look through the sentences that you wrote, and ask yourself whether any of them are FACTS. Are they true? Are you SURE they’re true? Now, ask yourself – who would you be if you didn’t have these thoughts? Imagine who that person is. That’s who your true self is.
Through self-love, you will learn to detach from these thoughts. Thoughts are like clouds – they are fleeting, they are harmless, they float in and out.
Thoughts are like clouds – they are fleeting, they are harmless, they float in and out.
But, unlike clouds, we can make them extremely destructive to ourselves. We give our thoughts the power to hurt us. It is not actually what is happening, or what happened that hurts you, or what even really is – it is your actual thought hurting you.
Learning to detach from them and to stop judging yourself and others will heal you.
Now that you have emptied yourself of judgment, you will fill the notebook with as many things as you can think of that you are grateful for, just write full pages.
This could be anything from your job, to your dog, to ben & jerrys ice cream. You just want a list of things that make you happy and make you smile, so that you can refer to it in times when you forget that they exist.
Next, you will fill the journal with affirmations.
Look some up on google or here on youtube affirmations for whatever you need most, in this case maybe self-confidence, and write at least 20 of them down neatly so you can refer back to them when you need them. I’ll leave a link to some affirmations i like in the Description.
Next, you’re going to write a list of everything you love about yourself, and everything you get complimented for. Put the focus on the positive aspects of who you are, and that part of you will grow.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others in real life and on social media. I can’t stress this enough, people’s lives on social media are NOT REAL.
No one shows you when they’re crying in bed and eating ice cream. We pick the best parts of ourselves and our lives, edit them, then broadcast them to the world.
My favorite quote as you guys know is don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to other people’s highlight reel.
Comparing yourself to others all the time sucks the joy out of your soul.
Though it might hard to stop completely, my best advice is to become more aware that you are doing it, and stop doing it when you notice it.
Instead, realize that you are comparing yourself to someone in a negative way, don’t judge yourself, just appreciate the quality in that person and then appreciate yourself.
3. Allow yourself to rest. Treat yourself like a small child when you need to.
That means, take naps when you need, spend time outdoors just playing, go to bed early, don’t put yourself in danger, sometimes, you just need to be delicate and baby yourself.
4. Surround yourself with good people. When you love yourself in a healthy way, everyone else will want to also.
You will get to a vibrational point where you are on the right path, you’re feeling good, looking good, and feeling happy. At that point, you are going to attract like-minded people.
Choose those people. Choose to be surrounded by people that make you feel like you’re a boss, that make you feel like you’re legit.
5. Take care of your body like a temple: eat well, work out, sleep, care for your health. Eastern medicine believes that our health begins in our gut, so you have to make sure to eat clean.
Loving yourself means eating high quality, healthy foods. That will make your gut happy, and in turn, the rest of your body.
Put yourself together, even when it’s the last thing in the world you want to do. We have moments when we want to be left alone and be in sweats and in bed, but put on some nice clothes, put on a nice outfit even if you have to force it on.
Fix yourself up. If you do, that’s like 30% of the job right there. You’ll feel better about yourself, you’ll hold your head higher, and people will feel that and treat you better as well.
6. Don’t take life too seriously. Stay light, laugh, detach emotionally from heavy situations, be quick to forgive and learn to forgive yourself.