Self-love is essential not only for a happy relationship but also for overcoming challenges in your life. Today, as my Valentine Day’s present, I will show you how to practise self-love.
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
– Mark Twain
How to Practise Self-Love
There are some proven ways which you can use to increase self-love. I will describe you seven of them: mindfulness, accept your limits, practise good self-care, set healthy boundaries, communicate effectively, protect yourself and forgive.
1. Practise Mindfulness
According to aware.ie “Mindfulness is the practice of ‘being fully present in the moment’. It’s a different sort of awareness to the ‘automatic pilot’ that we are so often immersed in – like when we’re driving or walking and don’t notice the details of the journey because we’re lost in thought.”
Sit comfortably and quietly. Then close your eyes. Relax your muscles, starting from your feet through calves, and thighs, then by shrugging your shoulders and rolling your head and neck around. Having relaxed just sit quietly with your eyes closed for about a minute. Notice the coming thoughts simply and without any effort. After a minute start saying your mantra in the same simple, effortless way for 15-30 minutes.
Meditate every morning and every evening for 15-30 minutes, preferably before you eat. After meditating lay down and rest for 4-5 minutes. Unlike working with other goals, avoid looking for experiences or signs of progress or failure with your meditation because that hinders meditation.
You may start noticing these benefits soon.However, it may take up to six months of meditating regularly before you start to notice these benefits. Be patient with yourself – if you stop meditating for a day or two, just go back and start meditating again.
2. Accept Your Limits
Are you happy with yourself – your height, earnings, social skills, your health. many of us struggle with a long-term illness, among which mental illnesses, like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, general anxiety disorder or depression are especially annoying and uncomfortable for the the people affected with these illnesses.
Even if you are a healthy person, there might be things which you dislike in yourself. Think of the skills which are not your strongest point; e.g. social skills, languages or Maths. You might be slower than the most of your peers, not so physically fit. And the worst thing is that you compare to others, who are better, fitter, have more skills and connections.
However, self-love assumes self-compassion. Bear in mind that you will never be perfect. It is hard to reconcile that e.g. in you will not be able to drive a vehicle in the case of epilepsy, at least in some countries. But think of those who are visually impaired or have hearing loss, but were able to make the most of the skills which are their strong points.
3. Practice Good Self-Care
How well do you care about your body and mind? If you are not sure, answer the questions below. Every “no” is an alarm bell for you to start a better care of yourself. Think how you will treat someone loved, you would probably do your best to help him or her to grow and flourish. Self-love assumes that you apply the same attitude to yourself. Here are the questions:
- Do you exercise regularly?
- Do you sleep at least six hours every night?
- Do you eliminate all your negative thoughts, keeping the peace of mind?
- Do you apply a healthy diet – avoiding sugars, junk food?
4. Set Boundaries
I have already written some posts about this topic. However, it is important to remind you some points from them. Loving yourself assumes that you do not tolerate lack of respect from other people. They include your partner, family, children, friends and co-workers. If you haven’t set your boundaries in relationships with the people I mentioned, chances are that you do not love yourself enough. Time has come to apply assertiveness.
Assertiveness is a skill regularly referred to in social and communication skills training. Being assertive means being able to stand up for your own or other people’s rights in a calm and positive way, without being either aggressive or passively accepting ‘wrong’. Then you are able to get your point across without upsetting others, or becoming upset.
Every time someone treats you badly, have the courage to communicate your disapproval and demand explanation. Ask to change the inappropriate behaviour in a polite manner. If your words do not work, think of more persuasive methods. For example, refer to the people the aggressor or abuser respects or to the rules which need to be observed.
While communicating your message in the assertive way, remember to use “I” statements, telling about your disapproval and feelings, instead of attacking the person who breaches your boundaries with “you” labels. For example, if your partner calls you names, you might say: “I don’t tolerate name calling. This behaviour is a no-no and I expect you to treat me with respect.”
5. Communicate And Act According To Your Needs
Communication often determines the quality of relationships with other people. However, we often forget about out needs, trying to please other individuals. Time has come to change this harmful attitude. But you can ask “How?” Here is the answer:
Be aware of your needs. There are many types of grouping the needs, starting from the Maslov theory and ending on those presented by the economists (e.g. achievement, affiliation and power). Let me mention these needs which are important in a relationship. They are significance, variety, safety (stability), love and connection, and growth.
Once you have identified your needs, learn how to express them. The point is that you need to believe that your needs are important enough to be satisfied. never be afraid that expressing your needs will end the relationship or make other people angry. If such a case happens, it only means that the other person is not worth the relationship with you.
6. Protect Yourself
I have already mentioned setting boundaries in this post. However, self-love also means doing your best to preserve happiness and peace of mind. As your body is affected by various bacteria, viruses and harmful elements present in the environment, your mind is affected by negative thinking, beliefs and self-talk.
Some of the spiritual masters believe that people have seven energy centres, called chakras and are surrounded by the aura. They recommend many tools to protect and strenghten your aura, like meditation or bath in the salt, using crystals or breathing thorugh the chakras, imagining their colour (e.g. the root chakra is red and the heart one is green). You can try these techniwues and I might write a post about them in the future.
Now let me mention what mental protection you could use, apart from balancing your energy. Firstly, avoid negative people at all cost. I have already written about the victims – those who complain, blame and criticize negatively. Then watch your language – the kind of words you use for everyday basis. And the most important – thoughts. Even one negative thought may destroy your peace of mind. You can find some tips how to destroy negative thoughts in this post.
You might think why forgiveness is so important and manifests self-love. It happens because forgiving, you let the negativity go and cut off the other person’s energy. If you hold a grudge, you are controlled by the negative emotions which are no longer valid.
We also forget to forgive ourselves. This is a subtler kind of self-destruction. You will not change the past and be aware that your decisions were the best at the moment of making them. You are a human being who do not need to be perfect ans has the right to make mistakes.
How to forgive? write a letter – either to yourself or to the person who has hurt you. Release all the negative emotions you feel and then burn or shred the letter.
What do you do to practise self-love?
I’d like to hear from you so be so kind and leave your comment under this post. You can help many other people to become happier and help me to solve your problems. Thank you.