Why do I believe self-love is so important? Well, I know from both personal and professional experience that when we practice self-love, we do more to improve our lives, and in turn, the world around us. Most importantly, it’s self-love that helps us build a deeper connection with the authentic self within.
When we practice self-love, we can gradually let go of the defenses and facades we use for protection. Self-love is about accepting ourselves, including the parts we hide and avoid. It’s about realizing that even our darkest weaknesses are indeed lovable. Self-love is healing, and when we feel loved we begin to radiate love.
Self-love is not about letting ourselves off the hook. Rather, it’s about encouraging ourselves, and releasing the blocks that stand in our way. It’s about taking true responsibility for our lives, in a loving, compassionate way.
Here are 10 ways to express self-love. Use what works best for you.
Give yourself a hug each morning when you wake up. Hold yourself and tell yourself good morning! Welcome yourself into the day.
When you feel an uncomfortable feeling — pause. Send love and compassion to your feeling. When possible, ask yourself if the feeling has a message for you.
Spend quiet alone time with yourself, each day. Treasure this time with yourself. Pay loving, kind attention to yourself.
Do something loving for yourself. Ask yourself: What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?
Close your eyes, and breath in and out from the area of your heart. Imagine that your heart is radiating love. Allow this love to expand through your body, and radiate even further outside of your body. Allow yourself to rest in the field of love surrounding you.
Do something just for yourself. Something that will awaken your spirit, or nurture your soul. Do it for you, not for self-growth, or achievement, but just for your enjoyment.
Make a list of all the things you like and love about yourself. Keep this list handy so you can add to it. Refer to it often, especially when you’re feeling down about yourself.
Catch your inner critic in the act. Help this voice find encouraging phrases to use instead.
Accept your mistakes and imperfections. Be gentle with yourself, and remind yourself that you are human.
Write yourself a love letter. Tell yourself what you truly appreciate about yourself. Show compassion for what you are going through. Draw special attention to strengths and kindnesses that might go unnoticed. Write one of these letters once a week, once a month, or as needed.
When you practice self-love, little by little, you can fall in love with yourself. Each and every act of self-love is worth it, and so are you!