ALL ABOUT LOVE
There has been a lot of talk about ‘self-love’ recently. The dictionary states that self-love is ‘the instinct by which one's actions are directed to the promotion of one's own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one's own advantage.’ But it also mentions that self-love is associated with vanity and narcissism.
Today, self-love is a basic human need where in the busy, demanding world we live, is essential to avoid burnout and is the key to well being and mental health.
Self-love is a practice about genuinely accepting ourselves for who we are. It involves putting yourself first, setting healthy boundaries, knowing how and when to say no and loving yourself regardless especially when going through tough times.
Why is Self-Love Important?
Loving yourself provides an incredible foundation for living your best life.
Most of us are searching for love, wanting to feel loved and/or are looking for confirmation that what we are doing in life is the right thing.
How great would it feel to realise that all of this is within you?
Loving yourself affects everything you do. It affects the type of relationships you attract romantically and the relationships you have with family and friends. It gives you confidence to live your dreams and believe that you deserve the absolute best. It allows you to be honest with yourself and to only do the things that are the best for you.
How to practice Self-Love?
While it is easy to talk about self-love, how do we start to incorporate this into our life? It can sometimes be challenging to practice due to limiting beliefs that we have grown up with. It is a practice that takes time, effort and patience.
Start slowly and notice how it makes you feel. Here are some ways to start incorporating it into your life and begin to love yourself again:
One of the most important things when setting off on your self-love journey is to be aware of your inner voice. How do you talk to yourself in good times and bad? Do you celebrate your wins no matter how small they are? How do you treat yourself when something goes wrong? Once you bring awareness into this, realise that these are only thoughts, they are not real. Take control of it and don’t believe everything you think.
Start incorporating positive self-talk and positive affirmations. Your mind believes what you tell it. Tell yourself something positive about yourself every day. Put a reminder in your phone or write it in lipstick on your mirror.
What do you do when you love someone? Do that for you. Buy yourself some flowers, take yourself out for a nice meal or sit under a tree at the beach and read.
End all toxic relationships that are not serving you. Be aware of the people that you spend time with and how they affect you.
Look after your body. Move your body, give it nourishing and healthy food and drink. And when you feel tired, be gentle with yourself, allow yourself to rest and look after you.
Make a list of all the things that bring you joy. If this is difficult, think about things you used to love doing as a child. Art, going for a bike ride, reading? Do more of that.
Allow yourself to let go of past trauma. Seek professional guidance if you feel this will help.
Be aware of your inner child. Talk to him/her as you would have wanted to when you were a child.
Practice gratitude daily. Be grateful for all the amazing things you are and the things that surround you.
Respect yourself. Say no to things you don’t want to go to and do the best for you.
Finally, allow yourself to have fun!
Start slowly, create awareness and check in with yourself often.
You deserve to be loved and most of all by yourself.
This article was written for The Inspired Guide - Issue #8
Published on Jan 31, 2020