We spend so much time doing our best work on the outside, working on our bodies, careers, relationships, cooking skills and goals, yet we forget that true happiness comes from inside, and that it plays a huge role on our health.
While it is good to take care of our outward appearance, it is just as important to spend time doing work on the inside, developing deep and lasting self-love, acceptance and compassion.
The more we can make ourselves feel whole and worthy as individuals, the more we have to give to the world and the better our health.
With this in mind, here are five beautiful and effective ways to increase your self-love.
Practice self-care- Get enough sleep to feel revitalized; attend a yoga class or go for a run; fill your fridge with healthy whole foods; drink plenty of water; and schedule in time for fun, adventure or relaxation. Value yourself enough to make self-care practices a regular part of your routine. This applies to mothers too, take time to take care of yourself so you can take proper care of your child.
Learn to empathize with and root for yourself- Our inner voice can be a critical and demanding taskmaster. We speak to ourselves using harsh words we would never dream of directing towards other people. Start treating yourself like you would a friend or loved one. Be kind and gentle with yourself, especially when you're suffering fear, anxiety or pain. Give yourself encouragement and celebrate your better moments. When you have a decision to make, ask yourself: "What would someone who loved themselves do?" or what would i tell someone i love if they were in this situation?
Respect your uniqueness and allow your authenticity- We cause ourselves so much pain and suffering when we stifle our true nature and ignore our burning desires and dreams, for the sake of fitting in with the status quo and meeting the expectations of others. Ask yourself would God make a mistake by creating you? You are a one-of-a-kind unprecedented human being. There will never again be someone quite like you, and you are here to give the world your own special blend of gifts, passions, interests and quirks. Allowing yourself to show up to life as your authentic self is one of the most empowering things you can do, and it can profoundly enrich your relationship with yourself. As Angelina Jolie said at the KCA "Different is good," so give yourself permission to be own person and see how happy and healthy you will be.
Give yourself the space to feel your emotions- When an event or person triggers a strong feeling of anger or pain inside of you, or you simply wake up feeling irritable for no reason, don't beat yourself up for letting it get to you, or attempt to suffocate your suffering. Instead, try surrendering to the feeling. Observe where in your body you can feel the pain, with patience, love and an understanding that it is not who you truly are. It will soon fade if you don't cling to it or exacerbate it with negative thinking.
Practice gratitude for yourself and your body- Instead of focusing on what you perceive to be 'wrong' with you, focus on all of the amazing things you do have to offer. Energy flows where attention goes, so the more you shift your perception towards your positive attributes, the more of them you will uncover. It's also important to remember that your body is just a play thing for your spirit. Love it, have fun with it, take care of it and feel appreciation for all of the wonderful things it enables you to do, but don't invest your self-worth in your appearance. You are not a body, you have a body - you are a soul.
There is a common myth in our society that there is such a thing as 'perfect' and we should all strive to be it whereas the truth is we are all human, flawed and prone to making mistakes as we navigate the world and learn and grow from our experiences.
Therefore, realize you're not the only one who feels vulnerable, insecure and self-critical at times, and that we're all fighting our own demons and trying to do our best.
By remembering this, you immediately take the pressure off yourself and no longer feel so isolated and alone.