3 Easy Steps to Practice Self-Love And Create A Happy Life
I have been on the self-love journey for about 20 years now.
There are times when I love myself dearly and look after myself extremely well.
There are times when I fall off the waggon and slack.
And these times when I become lazy or don’t prioritise self-love makes me realise how badly I need to be self-loving again.
For many years I battled with self-love and what it really meant to me.
Once I had discovered my definition of self-love, my life completely changed in many ways.
The relationship with myself became my priority. You can only create healthy and happy relationships with others when you have a happy and healthy relationship with yourself.
So, I made some drastic changes. First, I gave up my toxic job in a corporation, changed my career and took a brave step to become self-employed. Secondly, I moved out of London after 15 years to enjoy a slower and more peaceful lifestyle.
Next, I met the love of my life. We now have a wonderful son together. Prior to that, I spent a decade chasing love and failing at every relationship. I became a serial dater. I lost my faith in love entirely. I didn’t believe I would even find the right man and have a family.
The positive changes made me start to believe in myself more. I felt secure within, confident and assertive.
I became happier, balanced and at one with life. I stopped chasing happiness.
There are lots of other examples. But the above should be enough to convince you to start loving yourself more.
So, what is self-love?
I believed for a long time that self-love was merely a feeling towards myself.
Now I know better. It is deeper than just a feeling, being kind and compassionate with yourself.
For me, self-love is a practice. It is a practice of choosing myself, putting myself first when I can, making myself important.
Also, self-love is about choosing things, people or situations which are good for me, feel right and serve me in some way. It’s an ongoing conscious choice.
You need to learn to keep on choosing yourself and your well-being. Moment by moment, day by day.
And, how do we practice self-love?
You make a decision that you are important to you. And, that you want to honour your own needs, desires and well-being. Simple.
What requires a bit more discipline, though, is to actually stay on the path and coming back to loving yourself, when you get lost or stop practising. Self-commitment is crucial on this path. Like with everything else, if you stop practising you won’t see the results and nothing will change.
Here are 3 easy ways in which you can practice self-love:
Nothing is more loving than looking after yourself physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
Look at your life and be honest with yourself. Which areas of your life do you need more love?
Is it the diet, exercising or sleeping patterns you need to improve?
Is it something you do with your mind – like reading or studying you would like to focus on?
Do you need to start or deepen your spiritual practice?
Is there anything you need to let go off, forgive or be more compassionate about?
When you start looking after yourself in the four areas above, you’ll become in charge of your own life and feel much happier.
- Spend more quality time with yourself
When I suggest that, I mean focus on ‘being’ with yourself rather than ‘doing’.
Embrace silence and solitude for a few moments each day. This will help you connect with yourself on a deeper level, become grounded and secure within.
Start your day strong. Preferably, with a short meditation. I don’t know a better tool for reconnecting with yourself than meditation. I always recommend it to my clients. You can also add some mindset work to stay positive.
Just 5-10 minutes daily can make a big difference in your life. You want to increase the time to 20 minutes a day to get optimum benefits. But even a few minutes of meditation will help you connect with life and yourself.
The benefits of meditations are endless. Some are increased happiness, better sleep, optimism, inner peace, fights depression, and emotional resilience.
- Give up self-criticism and negative self-talk
These two things joined can seriously affect your well-being and day-to-day life. I believe they can hugely contribute to depression.
There is a strong connection between our thoughts and feelings. And the thoughts and feelings we have, influence our behaviour and the actions we take in life.
To stay happy you need to change your thoughts. The best tool for that is repeating affirmations regularly.
You can also journal about how you want to feel and live your life. This process will help you connect with happy emotions.
Self-criticism, on the other hand, is very sneaky. It comes in many forms like being harsh with yourself, being judgmental, beating yourself up, referring to yourself in a disrespectful way (I am an idiot, I am so stupid) or blaming yourself.
Initially, start with raising awareness of these critical activities. Observe yourself for a few weeks and notice how often and when you are being critical, harsh or judgmental with yourself. Once you have established this you can start to avoid them, cut them and replace them with loving behaviours like kindness, compassion and understanding.
Self-love is a path to happiness, happy relationships and happy life.
It was the biggest game changer in my life straight after meditation. I vouch for both and I am eternally grateful for finding the path.
I want to deeply encourage you to start taking small loving steps every day.
Start implementing little things at first. Keep adding more things to your life which makes you happy, radiant and strong.
This is a guest post by Aska Kolton, a Dating Detox Specialist and the Get Ready For Love founder. Read her bio below to find out more…