Top Ten Ways to Love Yourself
Here are my top ten ways to love yourself:
1. Do exercise that you love
Boot camps used to be all the rage, but I was never into them. Because I never saw the point of pushing myself to the point of collapse. If the exercise you do makes you want to cry, there is not much incentive to keep to it. It makes more sense to do exercise you love, such as dancing to your favourite music. Find whatever you really enjoy, and that way you will feel inclined to do it regularly. Remember exercise is not meant to be a chore. It is taking good care of yourself. It is empowering yourself.
If you have never tried meditation, why not give it a go today? It may seem like you are doing nothing, but the benefits from spending time are in meditation are innumerable. The spiritual benefits are perhaps the most obvious, especially if your meditation takes the form of prayer. But we also feel less frantic in our emotions and more ordered in our thinking. Meditation is known to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. There are even many benefits to our physical health as well, such as better sleep and lower blood pressure.
Journaling really does help us sort through our emotions. Sometimes you might start with the intention of writing about one subject, but end up with something completely different. As soon as your pen hits the paper, keep it moving. Don’t worry about whether it is good writing. Just write it all out. Once you have vented, you can go back and give yourself your best advice. Write with the same compassion you would use if you were writing to someone else.
It might feel awkward at first, but speaking affirmations into a mirror really does make a difference. They are especially helpful in turning around our limiting beliefs. Take a negative, self-sabotaging belief that you have about yourself, and contradict it with a positive statement. Choose words that are encouraging and loving. Keep repeating it to yourself, until you truly believe it. Affirmations help us grow in confidence and as we get better at using them, they are even more effective.
5. Clear up your physical environment
Just spending a few minutes tidying your environment will give you a sense of achievement. They say that our working and living environments reflect who we are. But we are also affected by our environments. If there is a lot of clutter, it can feel quite oppressive. Being surrounded by order will help us to feel calmer and think more clearly as a result. This can include buying yourself gifts or putting flowers in a vase for yourself. Physical environments can also include listening to soothing music to help you relax.
6. Spending time in nature
We were made for being outdoors. If you are like most people, you spend so many hours in front of a screen during the day. But how often do you get outside? Just a few minutes in the fresh air and natural light will work wonders to your mental, emotional and physical health. Spending time in nature reduces stress and is good for the immune system. It increases happiness, and is often the door to a deeper spiritual life as well.
7. Taking yourself on a date
You get to decide where you go and what you do. Take yourself out for a drink, dinner or to see a play or movie. Spend as much time and money as you like. The point is to do something that you will enjoy. You may feel a little self conscious, but treating yourself to a special time out reinforces the idea that you are worthy of love. When you love yourself more, you will feel happier in your own presence. Then you will notice that others want to spend more time in your presence too.
8. Surround yourself with positive people
Positivity really is contagious. The more we surround ourselves with genuinely positive people, the better we will feel. We can choose to get to know more of these happy people. Their positivity rubs off on us, and we feel inspired to be more like them. Positive people are healthier and live longer. You may notice that positive, happy people are grateful for everything. Try to nurture a sense gratitude as it will make you happier and attract people to spend time with you.
9. Work on your relationships
Relationships can continue for years being unhealthy if we let them. But when you start to work on them, you will see results almost immediately. It really is worth swallowing your pride and making the effort to forgive people. Don’t waste any more time stuck in anger and resentments. They are hurtful to you. Allow yourself the luxury of freedom from these difficult emotions. For help on how to work on a relationship see How to fix a Damaged Relationship.
10. Learn to respect yourself
When you learn to respect yourself, others will begin to respect you. You cannot force another person to respect you. In fact the harder you try, the less respect they will have for you. But on the other hand, the more you respect yourself, the more you will see that others are treating you with respect. Respecting yourself includes setting boundaries, and knowing when to say ‘no.’ It includes asking for your needs in a healthy way and being kind to yourself.