Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness.
It means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others.
Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve or living your life through others expectations of you.
Practicing self-love is not selfish, in-fact it’s one of the most self-less things you can do. To give kindness, love and time to others, you must give kindness, love and time to yourself first.
Why do you think you have to put your own life-jacket on first?
Because if you’re not full up, you have nothing good to give.
Now that’s all well and good in theory, but how can we give ourselves more self-love in a world that tries to make us feel un-worthy, not beautiful (when we bloody well are) and lacking in time.
How I found Self -love
I found powerful and life changing tools that were helping me feel good about myself for once.
Practices that were ‘actually’ changing my thought patterns and how I felt about myself.
I couldn’t bear the thought that others were suffering with the same crippling feelings I had about myself. So this is why my passion and work today are about giving people these tools through teaching; yoga, mindfulness, personal empowerment and self-love.
Give yourself more self-love today by implementing these 4 things into your life:
1. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Now this isn’t about retail therapy, or facials or painting your toes.
This is all lovely stuff but self-kindness is deeper than this.
How easy it is to give kindness to others. To see the good in others. Yet when it comes to giving kindness back to ourselves, we seem to think we aren’t important. Not worthy enough for that.
How very wrong we can be.
So how can we start being kinder to ourselves every day?
- Give time to yourself every day. – if you cannot find 10 minutes to dedicate to yourself per day to recharge your batteries then something needs to change quick.
A good way to do this is to schedule that time into your diary. Then the moment the clock hits ‘YOU TIME’ drop what you are doing and be kind to yourself.
You might choose to meditate, exercise, spend 10 minutes saying aloud your qualities, relax and breath, walk in nature, do a hobby. Whatever it is, it is for you.
- Swap negative words for positive words. – This is great because you don’t need to allocate any extra time for this self-love method.
All you have to do is pay attention to your thoughts. Recognise negative self talk and switch the game.
Every time you catch yourself been unkind say out loud “STOP” and say the opposite.
For example: “I am rubbish at my job”. “STOP” “I am amazing at my job and I am worthy of it”. This is a powerful tool.
- Compliment yourself in the mirror. – Look for the good not the bad.
Instead of pointing out all the things you are uncomfortable seeing in the mirror, start pointing out all the things you like about yourself. Say them out loud.
After all, we look very closely under the critical eye of the magnifying mirror, other people don’t see this negative stuff.
Other people see a whole person, not close up parts of people.
Remember you are a whole person, not a magnified part.
2. EXERCISE THE BODY
Exercising the body daily is one of the best forms of self-love you can possibly do.
After all your body is your temple and the home of your precious soul. You wouldn’t want your precious soul to be living in an unhealthy home would you?
Self-love is exercising your body because you love your body, not because you hate it. Exercising your body plays a massive part in mental clarity, after all everything is connected.
The science of self-love
Let’s talk about the science behind how your body and mind work together. How important exercise is for self-love and mental clarity.
First of all, physical exercise releases endorphins. Our natural happy pill, which has the same chemical structure as morphine, so often considered our natural pain relief.
When we release endorphins we feel good. When we feel good we stand up tall and open and speak nicer to ourselves. This develops a positive ripple effect which leads us into feeling feel self-confident.
Secondly, the central nervous system is responsible for movement and mindfulness alike. It connects the body and mind from the sacrum (tailbone) to the brain. It’s responsible for movement and mindfulness alike.
Everything is connected along this spinal cord. So when we move the body in exercise, we inevitably still the mind. At the same time this release of stress in the body and mind makes us feel good and allows for better life choices leading to higher self confidence and deeper self-love.
Exercise effects circadian rhythms, central metabolism, cardiovascular function, stress responses in the brain stem and hypothalamic pituitary axis. It effects how we move and plays a huge role in our, feeling good about ourselves.
After all, low self-esteem and lack of self-love comes when we don’t feel good about ourselves and higher self-confidence and self-love comes when we do feel good about ourselves so its a catch 22.
3. CHANGE YOUR THOUGHT PATTERNS
Sounds a bit odd, I know, but paying attention to your thoughts, recognising when you have gone off on a train of negativity is really beneficial. Allowing you to move from negative and degrading, to positive and empowering self talk, bringing much more self-love into your life.
After all, words are powerful. If you wouldn’t say these unkind words to others, why would you say them to yourself?
From time to time we all get a little lost in the stories of the mind. The mind is a very loud computer and if we believe everything it says, often this can lead us to feeling bad about ourselves.
Changing our thought patterns is a matter of cognitive restructuring which is a simple but powerful technique or set of techniques that can be used to help identify negative and destructive thought patterns and rumination that leads to lack of self-love.
Do you often find yourself stuck in your own head? These endless spirals of over thinking, continuous self-criticism or comparison or even perpetual worry about perceived faults can really attack us, leaving us feeling a lack of compassion and self-love towards ourselves.
Here are some cognitive restructuring techniques that you can do to become more aware, less snowed under and more in-tune to your mental bully.
Watch your thoughts
Pay more attention to the words you are mentally chatting to yourself. If they are negative and destructive like “I am not good enough” “I feel ugly” “I wish I was more like…”. Then swap these words for the opposing words straight away. Say “STOP” then swap “I am good enough” “I am beautiful” “If my creator was happy with how I was made, then so am I. I am perfect as I am”
This is a practice, which mean you have to keep doing it over and over until you eventually change your thought patterns.
Another good technique to use to change your thought patterns from negative self-chat to positive self-chat is recognising when your thoughts are destructive. Then quickly change your state by saying out-loud “erase” (say this with conviction, like you really mean it) and keep saying it every time you go on one of those mind spirals.
Simply put, meditation is one of the most effective ways to really calm the mind, helping us to see more clearly through all the chatter. Meditation is one of my favourite 10 minutes of self-love daily practices to do.
In a world of hyper-arousal and over stimulation of the mind; TV, social media, advertisement and constant noise, it is vital to find some stillness. And bring some awareness back to yourself, the body and the breath by simply sitting.
If you struggle to sit in stillness (you’re not alone).
Here is a beautiful kundalini yoga meditation to bring you to stillness easier, by moving the arms in 3 different ways.
Its called the self-love meditation.
Flip your words
“Words have power, words are power, words could be your power also” Mohammed Qahtani
The words that come after “I AM” have the power to change your day, your week, your state and your life. Take this for example:
“I am lovable and worthy”
“I am unworthy and unlovable”
The first proclamation already starts to flood your body, mind and spirit with positive words about yourself instead of negative words about yourself.
We all know about the “fake it to make it” theory. The more we tell ourselves “I am confident, I am powerful, I am happy” the more we start to believe it. And self believe is confidence.
Change your state
Think about someone you know, who you consider positive, assured and has abundance of self-confidence. Now take yourself back to when you first met them, you probably knew they were confident before they even opened their mouth.
You knew they were self-assured because of the way they presented themselves and moved.
You could pick up on the energy they had, they most likely made eye contact, they shook your hand firmly and stood up straight.
Read our article about how smiling can change your state and bring you further self-love. https://northandsoul.co.uk/vitamin-s-deficiency/
We recently did a whole podcast on changing your state with our in house motivational coach Chris Fawcett –
Chris is a master of his craft.
Changing state and watching the way you speak to yourself is vital to give yourself more love and less negative back chat.
If you’ve not subscribed to our podcast yet then why not?
Have a listen, subscribe if you like it, and let us know what you think?
What subject would you like to hear about in the next podcast?
4. FIND SELF DISCIPLINE & ROUTINE
Now this looks like an interesting one for self-love, but I personally find discipline and routine to be the two main contributing factors that lead to self-love and are the practice of self-love in general.
“Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself” Max Ehrmann.
Discipline provides people with rules to live their lives efficiently and effectively.
When you have discipline in your life you can make small sacrifices in the present for a better life in the future.
Discipline creates habits, habits make routines, and routines become who you are daily.
When we stick to something through habit forming and discipline, we have shown up to ourselves, given ourself time and inevitably chosen to work on ourselves which puts us in the important list.
Even if it is just that 10 minutes written in your diary for that little me time everyday and you discipline yourself to keep that as a routine. This is a really good habit to start to form to help build self-love towards yourself that arises from these small changes in daily routine.
Action is the high road to self-confidence and self esteembruce lee
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PEACE, LOVE, YOU X