So how do you actually practice self-love?
Luckily I’ve compiled a list of a few things you can actually do to start practicing self-love.
One of the most loving things you can do for yourself is appreciated the present moment. If you don’t know what mindfulness is, it’s directing your attention to the current thing that you are actually doing. If you’re doing laundry, stop thinking about when you’re going to go to the grocery store. Start focusing on actually doing the laundry.
If you’re hanging out with friends stop thinking about what you said ten minutes ago and trying to figure out if it was weird or not, instead actually focus on hanging with your friends.
2. What If Someone Else Felt Like You Did?
Imagine how you might feel if someone else was feeling the way that you are?
So refer to our thought experiment above, take one of your friends and then put them in the exact situation that you are in now.
How would they feel?
Would they feel down, excited, upset, and if so what would you do about it?
Would you help them out or celebrate with them? Find a way to cheer them up?
Do the same behaviors for yourself.
3. Challenge Your Negative Beliefs
A lot of times our thoughts become belief cycles that then dictate our behavior.
To give you an example, of how this might work. Let’s say you score badly on your very first skeeball game which then causes you to believe that you’re not good at skeeball.
This then causes you to never play skeeball again and that causes you to miss out on the great fun of an addicting carnival game.
Instead, look deep down into why you might have that belief, I mean, all in all, everyone is bad at something when they first try right? Challenging old beliefs about yourself can be difficult but it’s very helpful in understanding who you really are and having a more realistic understanding of why you are.
4. Think long term in your behaviors
You’re not really loving yourself when you just lay on the couch and binge Netflix, even though you have goals that you want to achieve. This comes down to also loving your future self.
I suggest trying to reward your future self by putting in the work now.
However, also don’t exhaust your current self by working too hard. Keep a good balance of living for your current self and your future self while also creating a good and noble version of your past to self.
5. Protect yourself
Let’s say that you love someone like a lot, you’re head over heels for them.
However, let’s say that you also know this person has some bad qualities that they aren’t willing to work out.
In fact, whenever you call them out on it they get very upset and irritated.
This means that they are not mature enough to look at their behaviors objectively and actually want to work on themselves which means they won’t want to work on the two of you together.
Instead don’t date this person no matter how bad you want to, because you will be protecting yourself from the damage that they would be doing if they were with you.
Imagine if you let your friend date a horrible a clingy self-righteous politically ignorant person, who never let you see your friend again if you were a good friend you’d call them out on it. When you love yourself you need to call yourself out on it.
6. Stop complaining
The goal here is to stop complaining and fix the problem. For example, I could complain about me needing to go to the coffee shop every morning to get my coffee, or I could just buy a coffee maker and make it at home.
Whenever you complain you are screaming: I’m a person who doesn’t better myself I just live however life happens and I put up with it. If your friend complained to you about the clothes that you wear every day, you wouldn’t put up with their complaining, so don’t put up with your complaining either.
7. Eat healthily and exercise
Taking care of your body is taking care of yourself, taking care of yourself is literally loving yourself. It’s as simple as that just going to the gym for ten minutes of cardio and skipping sugary vending machine foods is a great start.
Seriously, I wasn’t really gonna rant about this but, imagine if you fed your child what you eat every day they would not be healthy. Vending machine pop-tarts, carb-loaded drinks, greasy burgers and never letting them get out of the playpen to run around and have fun.
Love yourself like you would love your toddler, feed them healthy food so that they can grow, and give them plenty of exercises and do the same for yourself.
8. Decay toxic relationships
When I finished that sentence you probably thought of someone in your life who is toxic but, you love them, so you keep them in your life.
Instead, love yourself enough to slowly let them fade away, notice I didn’t say confront them and yell at their face.
The best course of action is usually just to let them fade out of your life very slowly. If you live with them try to find a way to move out and if you work with them try to request a different department.
9. Celebrate your wins even if they’re small
We all have won but rarely do we celebrate them. When your friend does something exciting you congratulate them, so do the same for yourself, go buy some books, go to a theme park, get your nails done, treat yourself to a nice dinner, even watch a movie do something that you enjoy and be a little selfish for a bit.
You’re rewarding yourself for your behavior, it’s okay to do every now and then.
Imagine, if you ran a business, and you never paid your employees, if you don’t reward your own wins that is basically what you’re doing.
10. Live your life for yourself not anybody else
If you live your life predicated on what others won’t, you were doing yourself a big disservice.
Imagine if your friend was a painter, however, their parents wanted them to be in the insurance business, just like they are.
You saw your friend painstakingly walk into their office every day, until one day they almost did the unthinkable, if you loved them you tell them that they don’t have to live a life for their parents. That they could be a painter and do what they loved.
Well, treat yourself the same way. If you want to do something, even if you’re scared go ahead and do it. This doesn’t mean to not care for others or to not heed other’s advice but, don’t do something just because it’s not normal or you feel that it’s expected of you.
11. Use a three-step process
- Find someone that you really like, it’s best if you love them.
- Find out the reason that you love them, what specific personality trait or behavior is it that makes you love them.
- Incorporate that trait into your life, until that trait becomes your past and then you have that trait too.
In conclusion, to love yourself you need to start treating yourself like someone that you actually love.