Why is it that we can exhibit so much love to other people, but not to ourselves? If this is you, then self-love may feel elusive, but there are some things you can do to start the process.
First, is having self-compassion. If you can’t be kind to yourself, how can you love yourself? Stop judging, criticizing, and berating yourself for how you are or for things you believe you did wrong. How you would speak to the person you love the most is how you should speak to yourself. Having self-compassion can increase health and well-being, improve relationships, increase happiness, and increase resiliency to stress; just to name a few.
Here are some ways to have more self compassion:
- Speak kindly to yourself.
- Forgive yourself.
- Celebrate your accomplishments.
- Be imperfect.
- Let yourself feel uncomfortable emotions.
- Support your body with rest and relaxation.
Second is having self-forgiveness. You are human and you are going to mistakes. It’s not supportive to beat yourself up and to keep bringing up what you perceive are your failures. When something didn’t go the way you wanted, you didn’t behave a certain way, or achieve something, it is not a failure it is learning something new. Now you have new information about what you want to do the next time. Practicing self-forgiveness can improve well-being, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
Third is self-acceptance. Without self-acceptance you can’t have self-love. What does it mean to have self-acceptance? It means fully accepting all parts of you without reservation, fully, completely, and unconditionally; with no exceptions. You get to decide what you want to do with your life. How you want to be, what you want to do, what you want to think, how you want to dress, how you want to speak, how you want to act, etc. Practicing self-acceptance can support you to realize you are enough exactly as you are, live your life only to please yourself, increase happiness, expect others to accept you, know yourself fully, and feel worthy.
All three of the above, are, in and of themselves, acts of self-love. Self-love is about loving yourself for your positive and quirky qualities, for you physical characteristics, for your differences, and your imperfections. When you have self-love you value yourself and have respect for your happiness and well-being. You take care of yourself, put your needs first, and don’t sacrifice your well-being to please others. When you have self-love you make better decisions, set and maintain healthy boundaries, and choose healthy relationships. Self-love is about nurturing, nourishing and fulfilling yourself.
Here are some ways to express self-love:
- Speak positively about yourself.
- Accept yourself fully.
- Live with purpose.
- Put yourself first.
- Meditate or pray daily.
- Spend time in nature.
I hope you find ways to increase self-love in your life! The world needs you to shine brightly!
Find out more about self-compassion, self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, and self-love in the multi-award-winning book Embodied: How to Connect to Your Body, Ignite Your Intuition, and Harness Universal Energy for Healing.