8 Ways To Start Loving Yourself | Self Love Practices
When we are children we are dependent on our parents and other people for our survival. And being dependent for survival somehow becomes being dependent on their opinions and approval. When we are kids we don’t have a clear idea about who we are or what our purpose in this world is. And we seek those answers from the people around us, our parents, teachers, friends. But if they make us feel that we are unworthy, unloved, or incapable of achieving our dreams, we start to believe them. That belief is imprinted into our hearts like a tattoo and unless we start to take conscious steps to loving ourselves and believing we are worthy, the tattoo might stay there forever, holding us back at every step of our lives.
I’ve spent a huge portion of my life believing that I wouldn’t amount to anything. I believed I was unintelligent and I lacked creativity, even though looking back at my past I see an opinionated and creative little girl. My journey towards self-love started three years ago when I decided that if I was going to stay on this earth for a long time, I’m not just going to survive. I’m going to live. So, today I’m going to share 8 realizations and practices that helped me on this journey and I truly, truly hope that they will impact you too.
Realize That You Are Already Worthy
When a star dies, the dust from its remains gathers to form planets and everything on the planet, including living creatures.
You were once a part of a star that reigned the sky.
I told this story so that you understand this simple truth: no matter how ordinary we think we are, we are special. We were born out of a star, something so stubborn and strong that even after it died it refused to be gone, and it continued to live through you.
You were born worthy.
The idea that you haven’t accomplished anything in your life yet, or the people you love don’t believe that you are worthy doesn’t change that.
You were worthy all along.
Trace Back the Wounds of Your Past And Let Them Go
There isn’t a single person on earth who hasn’t lived through some kind of trauma, something that hasn’t scarred them. You have to understand the root of the cause behind your lack of self-love or your feeling of unworthiness. Maybe you grew up in a home where love was conditional and being successful meant being worthy, maybe you were bullied; maybe you were constantly compared to others. Whatever it is, recognize that this happened to you, but it no longer holds power over you.
If someone else was responsible for your current state, don’t allow yourself to become hateful towards them. This will not affect the person responsible, but it will take away your mental peace, which is not worth it.
Replace the Negative Voice in Your Head With a Positive One
If we say half of the negative things we say to ourselves to other people, we would have most likely been murdered by now. So why? Why do we feel it’s okay to say things to ourselves that would have been unacceptable by others?
So every time you catch yourself saying something negative replace it with something you love about yourself. For example, ‘I hate my stretchmarks’ becomes ‘I love my curls’. ‘I am not creative’ becomes ‘I am very good with analytics and logic’.
Stop the Comparison Game from Luring You in
It’s easy to say stop comparing yourself to others. But it can be very difficult to stop demanding so much of ourselves when we are constantly bombarded with images of an unattainable lifestyle or perfect bodies whenever we log into social media.
So tune your social media setting and follow lists to stop showing images that you think would lure you into the comparison game. Before you follow a person, ask yourself is this person exhibiting a life that would make me feel dissatisfied about my own?
But even if we can filter our social media, we can’t filter our real lives. No matter how much you have, you are bound to face a person who has more, in some way. So a more effective way to stop yourself from comparing is when you see someone who makes you feel insecure or jealous, replace the feeling with admiration. So, instead of saying ‘I wish I had a body like her’ say ‘I love that she worked so hard to achieve that body’. You will be surprised at the impact this simple change of language can have.
Savor Your Mornings
Reserve some time in the morning to focus on the most important thing of them all, which is you above all else. Include one or two tasks in your morning routine that you genuinely love doing, things that make you feel refreshed, positive, and motivated. For example, doing your skincare routine, drinking your coffee as you watch the sunrise, reading motivational quotes on your Pinterest vision board, whatever it is start your day with a touch of self-care.
Here are some ideas to help you create your very own self-care routine for the perfect start to you day.
Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Write your accomplishments down on paper or a vision board, somewhere where you can see them. Take a moment in your day or whenever you feel the self-doubts and insecurities nudging you to sift through the list. Remind yourself of all you have overcome in your life, all the times when you thought you would break but managed to stay strong. You are capable of more than you know.
Pretend That You Already Love Yourself
If you want to become a certain kind of person, you have to behave like you already are no matter what your current state is. So, ask yourself, what would a person who believes in themselves do? What kind of choices would they be making?
They would likely take the time to take care of their mind and bodies, eat healthy, practice mindfulness, keep away from indulging in negative self-talk. They would prevent their mind from participating in the comparison game and make other healthy and positive choices.
Soon enough, you’ll find that you no longer have to pretend.
Become a positive force in the world
Donate to a homeless shelter, send gifts to a stranger with a sweet note, or tell a random person in the street that she is beautiful (be careful with the last one if you are a guy). Or if you are in quarantine, do your part to stop the spread. Engage in at least one act of selfless positivity each week. The sheer realization that you are a positive force in this world is going to contribute so much to your self-love and self-acceptance.
Remember self-love is a journey. It will take time and there are days when you will find yourself back at square one. But you have to believe that if you could do it once, you can do it again.
You can print them out and write on them or you can edit them on your computer or phone if you want. But I feel that that the habits are most effective when you write them down on hand.
So, I’m curious, what are some of the self-care rituals or habits that you practice at the end of the day? Leave them in the comments below 🙂
About The Author
I’m Zarnaz. I’m a self help junkie, caffeine addict, writer, engineer and I’m extremely passionate about the science of people. I want to know what inspires you, motivates you, drives you to make better choices and ultimately, how to help you reach your full potential. This is a blog dedicated to that cause.