Self-love sounds simple enough, but it can be surprisingly difficult to remind yourself that you’re special and worthy of love, just the way you are. Oftentimes we put all of our energy into caring for and loving the people around us, that we can neglect ourselves completely. This is especially true for mothers.
That’s why self-love practice is so important, and such a worthy addition to your daily routine. But how do we get started and make it a lasting part of our lifestyle?
1. Be at peace with yourself
Something you may not know, is that self-love is actually an ancient practice! When the Dalai Lama was interviewed in the west, they asked him how he copes with self-doubt and self-sabotage. He didn’t understand the question, because in order to be as at peace with the world as he was, you also have to be at peace with yourself. This suggests that once you’re truly accepting of yourself, self-doubt simply isn’t a factor.
To reach this level of self acceptance, it’s important to remind yourself daily that you’re good enough the way you are, and that you’re perfect, flaws and all. Try repeating an affirmation daily, e.g. “I am good enough”, or “I love myself just the way I am”.
2. Commit to at least one minute a day of self-love practice
Nothing grows without nurturing. Self-love practice doesn’t have to get in the way of your daily routine. Try adding just a minute each day. Once you begin to see a difference, you’ll realise its importance and be able to commit to it. Then if you feel like spending even more time on it, go for it!
Tip: Meditate for one minute. Stroke each arm for 30 seconds while you pay attention to the feeling on your skin. Give yourself a hug and hold it for a minute, feel the love entering your body.
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3. Stop self-doubt and allow yourself to make mistakes
It’s far too easy to feel insecure about ourselves and think we’re not good enough, should have reacted differently in certain situations, or take something someone says personally. In reality, however, we’re our own harshest critics. Your internal monologue isn’t always telling the truth.
It’s also important to learn to acknowledge that we may make mistakes from time to time. We all do, because we’re all human. It’s so much easier to forgive a friend, family member, partner or a child, than to stop beating yourself up over tiny mistakes. Once you realise this and learn to forgive yourself, you’ll live a much more fulfilling life.
4. Don’t hold a grudge
Holding grudges prevents your relationships from strengthening, and worst of all, brings your energy levels and strength down. When you’re a child, it’s common to be angry and disappointed when someone does something bad to you. It can be a hard habit to shake, but try to forgive others as this only hurts yourself in the long run. Let go and set yourself free.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others
Another detrimental habit is that we always compare ourselves with a sibling, a group of friends, our peers at work, etc. You are you, in your unique way. When you catch yourself doing this, think about the following quote: “Life is the most difficult exam. Many people fail because they try to copy others. Not realizing that everyone has a different question paper.” There is no way you can compare yourself to someone else, we are all unique with our own traits.
6. Let go of toxic people
If you find someone brings you down more often than not, you’re allowed to make the conscious decision to let them go, even if you have a lot of history with them. Toxic people aren’t good for your mental or physical wellbeing.
7. Surround yourself with loving people
While you let go of the people that drag you down, invite people in that lift you up. People that want the best for you, who support you and accept you for who you are.
8. Meditate on self-love
Meditation is a great way to connect to yourself, thus it will help you a lot with acceptance towards yourself and others. There are many ways to meditate. To grow self-love we love the Silatha Self-love Meditation Series on the Silatha app. There are more than 50 meditations that specifically guide you in growing your self-love.
9. Set yourself positive affirmations
Like meditation, affirmations can support you in growing self-love and in building up a muscle of self-acceptance and self-care. Don’t think about them too long, as you can change them as you go. Think about short lines that are easy to remember, like: “I am made of love, I was born to be loved, I love myself no matter what, I am good just the way I am.” And repeat these daily.
10. Set boundaries
Being aware of what you’re okay with and what you’re not okay with is important. Spend some time learning to understand what your boundaries are. This allows you to know when to say yes and when to say no.
The most important thing is for you to be true to yourself. Even though this ‘no’ may not be liked by others, remember that you are not responsible for others’ reactions or feelings.
Same applies to you: only YOU are responsible for your own reactions. Remember that you are in charge of your response.
Remember that building more self-love doesn’t come overnight. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Notice when you act ‘not in line with the core of your self-love’. By becoming more aware, you increase your chances of doing it differently next time. Acknowledging it is a great step on your journey. For more information on Silatha, check out their website and socials. To download the Silatha app and explore how the self-love meditations can enhance in your life, click here.