When you think of self-love, what images conjure in your mind? Treating yourself to massages and pedicures? Buying yourself gifts? Taking yourself on dates? Self-love can be whatever you make it, but the true depth of learning to love yourself runs deeper than superficial attempts at feeling better in the moment—and it’s a process. For those seeking genuine spiritual healing to guide them on the road to self-love and authenticity, keep reading.
How to Begin Your Journey to Self-Love
First, determine your “why.” Having a solid understanding of why you’re working on self-love will help you feel empowered to stay consistent and will send your positive intentions out into the world. Is it to stop the negative self-talk that is hindering your chance at a job promotion? Is it to build stronger relationships with others? Identify one or two main reasons to guide your transformation.
Next, understand that self-love is a journey that is constantly evolving and cannot be defined by one grand gesture. There is no quick fix or cure, but rather a compilation of smaller habits that feed your soul with the unconditional acceptance to feel loved. That’s why we’re supplying ten unique ways to fuel you along your self-love journey. Choose a handful of methods that you believe will work for you or try them all until you see/feel changes!
10 Ways to Love Yourself Now and Always
Learn to Be Selfish: True self-love begins with understanding and accepting that it’s okay to focus your time and energy on yourself. It’s okay to say no to things you don’t want to do. It’s okay to create boundaries. You may want to give everything you have to others (like your family, especially!), but that’ll only leave you worn thin. Get comfortable with the fact that you’ll need to be a little bit selfish in order to recharge, so you can radiate positivity to those around you. It’s a win-win in the end!
Accept Your True Feelings: From bouts of anger to tears on the pillow, it’s important to decompress and allow yourself to feel the “ugly” emotions (which are completely normal, by the way!). Don’t try to suppress the feelings that aren’t all rainbows and butterflies, especially as they come up during your journey to self-acceptance. Acknowledge them, let them pass, and move on. Life can be a rollercoaster sometimes and that’s okay.
Practice Non-Appearance Related Compliments: It’s all too easy to equate “self-love” as “learning to love your body.” Between social media, magazines, and constant messages about how you should look, it’s easy to focus on your physical appearance as a gateway to feeling better. And while loving your body is vital, it’s important to compliment yourself beyond your looks.
Nailed a presentation at work? Celebrate your public speaking skills. Made a great joke at lunch? Compliment your quick wit. Read a chapter of a book? Recognize your dedication to good habits.
Don’t believe it? Try this tip on someone else and see how their face lights up hearing a compliment beyond “nice shirt!”
Protect Your Energy: On a normal day, you’re bound to run into energies that clash with yours, zapping your positivity straight from you. And while on a transformational journey that involves positivity, peace, and love, you may find you need extra protection than normal. Don’t be shy: invest in a protective stone or delicate jewelry piece to strengthen your mindset and vibrations for a robust resilience.
Connect with Nature: Whether you head to the beach, perform a meditative hike, or take a weekend escape beneath the stars, returning to nature can connect you to truths that are bigger than yourself. Seek spiritual fulfillment in the most ancient of places (our earth) to help you feel small in a positive way. Soon you’ll understand that you have a higher purpose and are perfect just as you are.
Take Care of Your Body: Fueling your body with the nourishment it needs is one of the most important acts of self-love you can perform every day. Exercise is key, too, and its simpler than you think. Just a quick 10-minute workout is good for your health, according to a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Plus, exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good hormone, which is fuel to your self-love journey.
Choose a Self-Love Mantra: Send your intentions out into the world with a daily mantra centered around loving yourself for who you are. Here are 10 mantra examples for self-love:
- I love myself. I am unique. There is no one quite like me.
- I am deserving of love, friendship, and all good things. My heart is open.
- I am capable, healthy, and strong. I thank my body for carrying me.
- I have everything in my power to achieve my dreams.
- I choose to focus on happiness. I choose to radiate positivity. I do not accept that which does not serve me.
- I am enough just as I am. I am whole.
- My mistakes and failures make me stronger and wiser.
- I am becoming the person I am supposed to be. I am working toward finding my authentic self.
Ditch the Negative Talk: A confidence tip worthy of any psychologist’s approval is the act of changing the way you think. Not as hard as it sounds, start by spending a day with your thoughts. If an insidious negative thought arises, (e.g., “I’m such a klutz,” “I never do anything right,” “I look terrible”), write it down. By the end of the day, you’ll see just how critical you are of yourself. Then, prepare a counter-argument (e.g., “Life is a balancing act and I’m doing great,” “I’m trying my best,” “I’m beautiful and worthy,”) and use it every time your repeating negative self-talk occurs. You’ll kick those nasty thoughts to the curb before they sink in and ruin your mood.
Smile More: A glance in the mirror, crossing paths with a stranger, taking an epic selfie, smiling creates a chemical reaction in your brain that that lifts your mood in an instant—and there are numerous opportunities to take advantage of that throughout the day. Smile more and watch how the world smiles back.
Don’t Compare Your Journey to Others: A silent killer of even the best of moods, comparing your journey to those around you--or even worse, to someone’s perfectly curated journey on social media--is a recipe for disaster. Remember: Thousands of likes on a photo don’t equate to success and photoshopped selfies don’t equate to confidence. You don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. Focus on improving yourself for yourself—not for an image or to be better than someone—and let the results do the talking.