We've all heard and read about ways to be a good partner or a good friend but we rarely ever pay heed to ways to be good and kind to ourselves. As cliché as it may sound, if you don’t love yourself genuinely you will always feel neglected, overlooked, taken for granted or indulge in pleasing people and saying yes when you should actually be saying no. Self-love is no easy task and requires a lot of inner work to rewire and change old thinking patterns and habits. Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With that being said, here are some ways to start your journey to self-love, as compiled from Hack Spirit.
1. Be your number one priority
This is something a lot of us have heard or been told but don’t really implement in our own lives. Our actions and thoughts about ourselves truly determine how we feel. You need to understand that your life is an amalgamation of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. The quality of your life is entirely in your hands which means it depends on how much you love and respect yourself.
2. Treat yourself the way you treat your loved ones
How you treat the people you love is how you should be treating yourself. You are kind, patient and understanding towards people you love. You give them space, respect and allow them room for growth and error. Now analyse to what extent you provide all this to yourself? We are our biggest critic and overdoing it can be unhealthy and a destructive way of living life. We should allow ourselves to make mistakes and learn from them, be kind towards ourselves and most importantly we should respect ourselves.
Next time you’re being hard on yourself, take a step back and ask yourself how you would treat your loved ones if they were in your place and give that same treatment full of love and patience to yourself.
3. Accept you’re not perfect
When we talk about self-love, we automatically assume a life without trial and error when in reality it’s how we treat ourselves especially during bad times. Self-love doesn’t mean always having a positive approach to life, in fact it is to accept the good and bad we possess and still feel worthy and loving. We all possess negative traits and thoughts and it is okay to feel anger, hate or rage as long as they are taken as just that- emotions. Just because you feel something doesn’t mean that’s how we are and we don’t always have to act on those emotions. Instead we should feel them, process them and let them go.
4. Unpack past baggage
On this path of self-love, you will come face to face with demons from your past. You will have to unpack all the negative energy, traumatic experiences and memories you’ve been carrying deep inside. You will understand a lot of reasons as to why you behave a certain way or think or look at yourself in a negative way. Unpacking your past baggage can be ugly and messy but the end result is always rewarding. You feel as if a huge burden has been lifted off your chest, you will feel light, positive and learn to be kind and patient with yourself.
5. Spread love
Once you let go of the negativity and understand the reasons for your insecurities and the heavy baggage you had been carrying all these years, you create space for self-love. You don’t have to seek validation from someone else when you feel complete and content with yourself.