30 ways to practice self-love
Self-Love is the ability to appreciate oneself whilst focusing on feelings of compassion, support and forgiveness. There are many ways one can go about this. It is a key aspect of human nature that can sometimes turn into an afterthought. However, what most people are not aware of is, how self-love can transform our own lives. Simply, by showing yourself the love you crave externally we can feel fulfilled, driven and at peace. This article goes through 30 different ways someone can promote self-love within themselves. Some of these methods are naturally going to be preferred over others, it is about finding which ones suit you best.
1) Being honest with yourself
Being honest with yourself is timeless wisdom. It requires you to tell yourself the true intention behind each decision, behaviour and emotion. It is often easier to give yourself an excuse for why you have done something rather than facing the true reason behind it. This will allow you to examine your true intentions and whether they serve you.
2) Be vulnerable with yourself and others
Being vulnerable with yourself results in allowing yourself to feel your truest emotions. It is an extension of being honest with yourself and forces you to embrace your emotion rather than put on a brave face. Being vulnerable with others just means sharing how you’re feeling with others. This results in self-love as you do not need to hide how truly feeling at that moment.
3) Create a routine that suits your lifestyle and stick to it
This involves understanding what you’d like to accomplish in the day; be it, exercise, socialising, work etc. Followed by putting into an orderly plan based on timing. It should be ideally put in an order that suits how you like to do it. Finally, you rinse & repeat. This prevents decision fatigue and helps alleviate anxiety thus promoting self-love.
4) Sharing your thoughts and emotions in a journal
On any given day, you supposedly have 66,000 thoughts. These thoughts are then linked to a range of emotions. Sharing some of the more recurrent thoughts and emotions (not all 66,000 obviously) allows you to process them. This in turn allows you to deal with any specific overwhelming issues at hand.
5) Work on your relationships so they can remain a healthy source of love
All relationships have certain issues, even if we’d like to turn a blind eye to them. By taking initiative and understanding the issues in our closest relationships we can begin to work on the issues before they ever have a chance to boil over. Therefore, they can remain a healthy source of love for you.
6) Use affirmations to help create healthy behaviours
Affirmations are phrases or mantras that can be repeated at different points of the day. “I am a being of love and one that loves all” etc. Affirmations help induce the behaviour within the phrase. Therefore, by using them we can create or enhance desirable behaviours that promote self-love and self-care.
7) Understand areas within yourself you need to work on
We are all human beings; by definition, that means we cannot be perfect. Understanding our own limitations highlights areas, we need to work on within ourselves. This allows us to take accountability when we are given constructive criticism rather than be defensive. This is a form of self-love as you are aware of your flaws and in turn, can accept them.
8) Create a plan to work on those areas at a pace that suits you
Extending the point above. Once you have figured out which areas you need to work on, you can begin to create a plan on how to deal with these limiting factors. This shows you are willing to understand your weaknesses and work on them, so they can eventually not limit you in the same way. The key here is to do it at a pace that you’re comfortable with.
9) Forgive yourself for mistakes you have made
Healing is a key component of self-love. Throughout any individual life, some areas have resulted in inner trauma. In some of those traumas, you may find yourselves to blame for some actions. A key component to healing is forgiving yourself for those mistakes. This will transpire into love and healing.
10) Sharing your thoughts and emotions via a voice-note
This point is similar to sharing your thoughts in a journal. Journaling is not for everyone, especially if you’re not keen on writing and you prefer talking. Through the benefit of technology, you can record your thoughts, emotions and reflections on the day via a voice note. That way you can are able similarly to process these feelings.
11) Talking to your support network about uncomfortable and unpleasant feelings
With emotions, there are often positive ones and negative ones. It is obvious that as humans we prefer to feel positive however feeling negative is part of the human experience. It is vital that when you are feeling low you speak to your support network about how you’re feeling. No one should suffer in silence.
12) Embracing emotions and feelings that you would like to ignore
Similarly, to the point above, there are feelings and emotions that we would prefer to ignore. Often with these feelings, we must acknowledge them and embrace them. By doing this, we are preventing our difficult emotions from being suppressed and then affecting us in other ways.
13) Spending some time to reflect on your day
Reflection is an extremely useful tool. It allows you to introspect on parts of your life once the emotion has settled. This can be used to understand your interactions, behaviours, thoughts and emotions. Giving yourself some time each day, allows you to build self-love within yourself by altering a negative narrative.
14) Taking time to listen to your body
Our bodies are complex organisms. This is already seen in how much our bodies can do without our conscious awareness. The body can give us signals, on what it wants to stay in prime condition. It is our job to listen to our bodies, so we can benefit from the alignment between body, mind and soul.
15) Spending time on things you truly enjoy
In life, you begin to enjoy certain things over others. These could be seen as hobbies, certain people or even events. Although, stepping outside your comfort zone is important; it is vital to make time for the things you truly enjoy as it brings a sense of joy and love to your life.
This method of self-love may seem like an obvious one. However, that does not detract from its importance of it. Exercising is key for your body, it helps our body feel better and contributes to our overall health. Exercise also helps produce endorphins which help create a sense of general wellbeing.
17) Understand your sleep cycle and ensure you’re getting 7-9 hours a night
Every individual has a sleep cycle that is unique to them. Respecting your unique sleeping time is a great way to build self-love for your body and rest. Having around 7-9 hours of sleep is seen as a general benchmark, and you’ll find your happy medium in there. Focus on getting to bed at the same time, to build that sleep routine.
18) Take time to spend in nature
There is no doubt that nature affects us. Taking some time to spend in nature is beneficial for our self-esteem and mode. Nature has many more benefits that directly influence our self-love. Try and schedule a time and spend it in a park, forest or even by a lake.
19) Taking time to plan things you’d like to accomplish
Human beings have always been ambitious, and ambition is healthy. It gives us drive, purpose and meaning. To ensure your goals don’t start to overwhelm you, it is important to take time to plan tasks around the goals you want to accomplish. This helps break down indigestible information.
20) Working on having realistic expectations
Ambition is healthy and can be as lofty as you would like to make it. However, your expectations should be realistic. This promotes self-love as you are building towards your goals, and not expecting them to be accomplished too soon. This also helps with your self-esteem and your expectations of others.
21) Learning breathing techniques
Breathwork techniques are variations of breathing that alter the rhythm and breathing patterns. These are extremely useful. Breathing is often what changes when facing different emotions, by applying breathing techniques we can process our emotions without taking them out on others. Thus promoting love in general as we are not taking out emotions on others as frequently.
22) Finding new ways to express yourself that don’t involve using substances
Substances can show us sides of ourselves that are different and new. They are just sides of ourselves that are suppressed. Finding different ways to express ourselves can bring these same parts of ourselves out, but without the dependency on substances.
23) Start seeing a counsellor or coach, to help you with overwhelming emotions
A counsellor or coach is there to help individuals process trauma and overcome obstacles in their life. By seeing either, you have access to an individual who has experience in processing emotions. This could help you in self-love as you can process emotions that overwhelm you.
24) Monitor and replace negative mental chatter with encouraging dialogue
Often our inner dialogue can be playing in our heads as we do our day-to-day activities. Sometimes this very chatter can be negative and critical of our behaviours. When you begin to monitor this chatter, you can then begin to replace it with encouraging dialogue. Which promotes self-love.
25) Try and keep the area you work and sleep in tidy
There is a saying that the area you work and sleep in is a reflection of your mind. Therefore, by taking time to tidy the area you sleep and work in, you are encouraging your mind to break through the chaos and reflect on the tidiness within. It also is a way of mental discipline, that will spread throughout your life.
26) Try and plan a day where you switch off all electronics
Electronics are linked to dopamine. Every time you get a notification or alert, your dopamine levels rise. By taking a day where you switch off from all electronics you are essentially doing a dopamine detox. This will help restore focus and help you feel the love within without looking externally.
27) Spend time to appreciate all efforts you have made in a day or week
In a week it is safe to say that we do a range of activities, tasks etc. Taking some time with yourself at the end of every week to appreciate your efforts will allow you to appreciate yourself and allow yourself to feel loved. Thus promoting self-love.
28) Appreciate those around you, to show you value them
Like the point above, appreciation is something everyone values. Just as you like to be appreciated, those around you also do. Take some time, now and again, to express your appreciation for your support network. This helps them feel valued and helps them feel loved.
29) Join a community you feel strongly about and take an active part
Communities are an age-old thing and it is a network of individuals that have something in common. Communities help combat loneliness which helps us live longer. Try and join a community in an area you are passionate about, and try to take an active part. This will help you in a variety of ways.
30) Remember to tell yourself you are loved – every day!
Human beings are made from love, it is our very fabric and to deny us of this is to deny us our spark. Before waiting to hear this from anyone make sure you tell yourself that you are loved. This is something that should ideally be said every day, and in turn, it naturally promotes self-love.
Self-love is something we all need, crave and simply cannot live without. As we go around the busy circuit of life, it is clear that our ego can be stuck in a cycle of searching for love externally. In doing so, it misses the trick. We have love in abundance within us! It is something that can go under the radar when we are trying to fit into society but when we find it, we never lose it. The power of love that comes within is a never-ending source. By trying the methods above, you may find a few that work extremely well in promoting self-love.
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