Let’s talk about the importance of self love! I know as much as anyone that self love can be difficult, especially when you feel the weight of your mental health on your shoulders. How many times have you looked in the mirror and put yourself down? Called yourself fat, ugly, too short, too tall or anything derogative? I know I have, a lot. But self love isn’t only how you feel about your body, but yourself in general. In this post, I want to share with you different tips to build your self confidence and focus on your good qualities, rather than your bad.
The first step to self love and confidence, is to break away from the negative thoughts you constantly tell yourself. When we are feeling down, ill or having a bad day in general, it is easy to put ourselves down with nasty comments. Instead, try to tell yourself something (or all) from the list below.
- You are good enough
- You are enough
- You are worth living
- I accept you as you are right now
- You have a good body
- You are a good body
- You are beautiful inside and out
- My relationship with you is important
You don’t necessarily use anything from the list above, but the idea is to start speaking positively about ourselves and accepting who we are.
Spending time alone doing something you enjoy, is actually a great form of self-care and an important step for self love. This can be anything you personally enjoy, for me it would be going for a walk, watching my favourite movie or reading. By doing this, you learn to enjoy your own company and also most likely feel more confident doing it on your own.
We all make mistakes, it’s normal. And I know just as much as anyone else, that forgiving yourself for these mistakes can sometimes be rather difficult. Reflecting on your mistakes can help you forgive and forget. If you can look back at poor choices you have made, and forgive yourself, you can start to move on and forget about the past. But as I said, this can be easier said that done. Below is a list of tips to help guide you in the right direction.
- Focus on your emotions – the first step is to acknowledge and process your emotions, give yourself permission to accept the feelings that have been triggered in you and welcome them.
- Acknowledge the mistake out loud – when we give a voice to the thoughts in our heads, as well as the emotions in our hearts, we begin to free ourselves from some of the burdens.
- Think of each mistake as a learning experience – remind yourself that you did the best you could with the tools and knowledge you had at the time. This helps us forgive ourselves and move forward.
- Have a conversation with your inner critic – lets face it, we all have one. Journaling is a great tool for this technique. Writing out a ‘conversation’ between you and your inner critic can help you identify thought patterns that are sabotaging your ability to forgive yourself.
- Quiet the negative messages of your inner critic – there is actually a little activity to help with this technique! On one side of a piece of paper, write down what your inner critic says (which tends to be critical and irrational). On the other side of the paper, write a self-compassionate and rational response for each thing you wrote on the other side of the paper.
- Take your own advice – it’s often easier to give advice to others, rather than ourselves. Ask yourself what you would tell your best friend if they were sharing this mistake they made with you, and then take your own advice.
I have mentioned the benefits of journaling in previous posts, but I will repeat it once again here! Journaling can help you keep track of your thoughts, whilst allowing a release for built-up emotions. There are many different types of journaling, including:
Writing – this is perfect for keeping track of thoughts and emotions.
Bullet – this works best for lists and goals.
Photo – this is where you journal about specific memories and photos.
Dream – used to write down dreams from the night before, especially one of significance.
Travel – this is used for documenting different travels. Often includes thoughts, photos, memories and goals.
Gratitude – strictly for all the things you are grateful for
Journaling is a helpful practice to cultivate for many reasons. It allows you to look back and see your thoughts and emotions at one point in history. It helps guide you to make better decisions when looking back at past memories, emotions and experiences. It also helps you notice patterns in your behaviour and attitudes, and serves as a source of encouragement, reminding you of achievements. As mentioned in the previous step, using a journal to reflect on your mistakes, is a great way to practice self love!
Making a list of what you have achieved is a great way to fall in love with yourself. This makes you feel good about yourself, and find happiness from what you have accomplished. We can sometimes focus on the negatives and forget about the positives, so this technique is a great way to remind yourself of what you have achieved.
There are so many different techniques to try when practicing self love, so many that it is difficult to put down into one post. So I will be posting a part two on Wednesday (hopefully)! I hope you have enjoyed the list, and find it as beneficial as I have!
Thank you for reading!