Do You Love Yourself?
Let’s talk about self-love.
It’s usually a concept that people feel uncomfortable with or think that is selfish and egotistical.
I am here to tell you this could not be further from the truth. The more you can learn how to love yourself, be kind and compassionate to yourself and treat yourself like you would do a good friend, the more you will find yourself feeling these qualities towards others. Research has even shown that self-compassion leads to lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
So how can you increase your levels of self-love, kindness and self-compassion?
Here are just a few suggestions:
- Become aware of your self-talk
What sort of things do you say to yourself? Do you speak to yourself in a kind manner like you would to a friend? If not, this is one of the first things to try and work on. We don’t realise what damage we do through unhelpful self-talk and how much it affects how we feel and behave. If you were constantly hearing from a friend how you weren’t good enough and you should have done better – how would it make you feel? You wouldn’t want a friend like that. So, why treat yourself in this way? I can guarantee if you are talking to yourself negatively on a daily basis it will be dragging you down and draining your energy.
The first step is to be aware of it and notice what stories you are telling yourself.
2. Change that inner voice
How can you change your voice so it is more kind and loving? What would you tell a good friend in your situation?
Sometimes it’s as simple as saying to yourself, ‘ I’m doing my best and that’s ok’. The other day when I was swimming, I felt super lethargic and found my inner voice starting to be unhelpful about the speed I was going, how tired I felt and not feeling like I could reach my normal target and how disappointed and frustrated I felt about it. I caught myself and instead changed the narrative and ended up telling myself to be kind to myself, I’ve just got over chicken pox (!), it’s okay if I go slower and don’t hit my target today. Just enjoy it and know I am doing something good for my body and mind. After that I felt a lot better, started to enjoy it, took more breaks than usual and ended up hitting my target without trying too hard.
This may be a very simple example but it still shows how unhelpful thoughts can creep up during anything, however small and how much better and more energised I felt when being kind and loving to myself.
3. Practice, practice, practice!
Aside from becoming aware and changing your inner dialogue in the moment, there are other things you can do to enhance the process.
Affirmations – pick up to 3 affirmations (you can do as many as you like however I find less is more with this) around self-love and self-compassion. It can be as general as ‘I love and accept myself’ or ‘I love myself just as I am today’. Or you can make it more specific to you or something you feel you are struggling with. For me, I like ‘My best is always good enough’. I find post it notes on the bathroom mirror is a good way to remember to do affirmations, plus it’s very powerful when you look at yourself when saying the statements. If you find resistance, acknowledge it and if you would like, journal more in depth about it and what you think it means/where it comes from.
Complimenting yourself and others is also a nice one for self-love. Each morning look in the mirror and compliment yourself on something, it can be anything – clothes, skin, eyes, personality traits etc.
I hope this has been helpful and as always would love to hear how you get along!
Happy self-love and kindness!
Much love x