Self-love is such a broad topic and frankly, it’s sort of abused these days. So, I’m not going to go ‘all guru’ on you and tell you to abandon your loved ones or go to Bali to find yourself.
Instead, I’m going to help you point the focus inwards because I believe you have all the answers to all the questions you could possibly ask. And that’s exactly what we, coaches do: ask you the right questions and wait for you to find the answers on your own.
So, what can you do every day that will help you accept yourself and practice self-love?
If you want to listen to the audio version of this blog post, here it is:
1. Find a Practice That Allows You to Turn Inwards and Tune into Yourself
One of these practices is meditation, which is essentially focusing on your breath for 5-10 minutes to slow down your mind and tune into your feelings. I’ve made 3 free guided meditations that you can listen to right away.
But, don’t worry if you’ve given meditating a shot and it still doesn’t work for you. I’ve discovered that some of my clients don’t like meditating and that’s okay. There are many ways to tune into yourself and practice self-acceptance and self-love.
One of the other practices you can try is mindfulness. When you’re being mindful, you immerse yourself into the present moment, without judging it, without trying to change your surroundings, just listening and observing.
You can start by focusing each one of your senses on what’s happening into the current moment: What are you seeing? What are you smelling? If you’re holding an object, what is its texture? And so on, and so on.
Another practice that will help you to turn inwards is to take a walk in nature by yourself. Leave your cellphone at home or at least turn it off so you won’t be tempted to look at it. The purpose of this daily practice is to reconnect with yourself without all the distractions.
Moving your body and filling your brain with oxygen will help you ‘get out of your own head’ a lot quicker. As a result, you’ll feel more energized and your overall mood will improve significantly.
2. Take Care of Your Needs
Focusing your attention inwards will help you understand what’s going on inside you. There may be unpleasant feelings or triggers from the past but that’s okay. Once you let yourself experience whatever you’re feeling, you’ll become even more connected with yourself. Pay attention to what your body is telling you: if you feel sad, cry; if you’re angry, scream or hit a pillow; if you feel exhausted, take a nap.
We often think about things that are beyond our control and that can lead to so much frustration if we don’t know what to put our focus on. You can change that by focusing on the things that you can control, like taking care of your needs.
How do you know what you need, though? If you’re too invested into your own little negative thought patterns, it can be hard to identify what you really need. One of the best ways I’ve found is to actually… ask yourself!
I know this sounds pretty silly, but hear me out: you always KNOW what you need, you’re just ignoring it. So, go ahead and ask yourself: What do I need right now?
Make sure to tune into yourself and ask this question at least 5 times a day. You can set a reminder on your phone, or a recurring email, or a calendar event. Just do it. It will change your life, I can promise you that.
Once you get into the habit of acknowledging your needs and taking the time to fulfill them, you’ll not only become less dependent on other people but also develop a higher level of self-acceptance.
3. Do the Right Thing
What do I mean by that? Every day you make hundreds or thousands of choices. In fact, your brain is so preoccupied with making decisions that you probably experience decision fatigue at some point!
Every choice you make will get you either closer to loving yourself or closer to harming yourself. There are shades in-between but the directions are always two and they are on the opposite spectrum.
So, how do you choose the right thing? By asking yourself one simple question: Is this what a person who loves themselves would do or not?
If the answer is ‘No’, then you’re making the conscious decision to experience the possible bad consequences and you’re aware that the choice you’re making probably won’t give you a great outcome.
Of course, eating a bag of chips on the weekend while binge-watching your favorite tv show with your partner won’t be the end of the world! And it doesn’t mean that you don’t love yourself. But if you do it every night and you do it unconsciously, then you may be struggling with addiction.
Doing the right thing means choosing the best possible outcome for yourself and making the decision to pursue the action that will give you the most satisfaction and happiness as a result. Because at the end of the day, we are the choices we make, whether we like it or not.
If you want to practice self-love and acceptance, you have to start with figuring out what behavior brings you down and substitute it with healthier alternatives. If you want my help with that, book a free session and we’ll come up with a plan together.
Please, let me know in the comments below which one of these self-love practices are you going to try or share something that has already worked for you! I’m sure you will help someone out.