5 Simple Ways To Practice Self Love Compassion
There is one relationship that affects your life more than any other. No matter who you are, what you do, or what you want to achieve, it is this essential relationship that influences every step you take on your life journey:
Your relationship with yourself.
Yet how many of us experience dysfunction with this most essential relationship?
I’m talking about the importance of self love – it’s easy to forget that you have to start with being kind to yourself. How does it feel to hear that? Maybe it makes you uncomfortable. After all, you were probably brought up to think of others first, to be unselfish, to put your own needs behind other people’s.
But having real self love means that you treat yourself the same way as you would a friend who was suffering.
What are some examples of self love?
Acts of self love include:
- not judging yourself harshly
- not holding yourself to impossibly high standards
- putting an end to comparing yourself to others
- not beating yourself up for making a mistake
- not thinking you not good enough
5 Simple Ways To Practice Self Love
These are the fundamental elements of building self-compassion and learning self-love.
Let Go of Self-Judgment
Listen to your self-talk for a moment. How are you feeling about the whole idea of self-love? Many people have a negative mixtape inside their heads that is full of judgment and self-criticism aimed at themselves. A negative loop that uses words they would never dream of saying to other people.
Self-love acknowledges that life is full of ups and downs and that going through hard times isn’t necessarily someone’s fault. By accepting the reality of life and letting go of self-judgment, you will find calm and understanding.
Unless you are paying attention you might not be aware of this negative self-talk. So make a concerted effort to pay attention to your thoughts throughout the day.
- Embrace Imperfection
Developing self-compassion means letting go of perfectionism.
It means being okay with making mistakes and even embracing failure.
It also means learning to forgive yourself (and others) for mistakes and failures.
Use techniques such as journaling, self-affirming mantras, and guided meditations to get let go of the negativity.
If you really battling with getting to grips with harsh self-criticism perhaps consider seeking out a therapist or a coach who can help you shift perspective.
Recognize You are not Alone
One of the worst aspects of going through a tough time is feeling that you’re alone in your suffering.
Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that being human means being imperfect and vulnerable.
You don’t always have to wear a suit of armor or pretend everything is perfect when it does not feel that way.
But remember bad times come and bad times go, and you’ll make it through. It happens to everyone because it’s part of the human condition.
So, take a deep breath, take a step back, and treat yourself gently until the storm has passed.
Also, learn to reach out to others when you are feeling vulnerable and alone. You will be surprised as to how many people also do feel alone so apart from helping yourself it may just benefit someone else as well.
It can be tempting to fall into negativity when things don’t go your way. This only makes a bad situation worse.
Often the tendency is to lash out at others when we are feeling down – it’s called misplaced anger.
But try taking a mindful approach that acknowledges your feelings but doesn’t over-identify with them. Wallowing in your unhappiness or beating yourself or others up is unhelpful.
Mindfulness means taking a step back and observing what is happening without getting caught up in the emotions, or at the other end of the scale, trying to suppress or deny what you’re feeling.
Acknowledge your emotions and the situation you find yourself in, but also find some perspective. Consider what is happening in your life and compare your experience to what is happening in the greater scheme of things or even the world.
To develop genuine self-compassion, you must acknowledge your own pain and come from a place of acceptance for yourself so that you can offer it to other people.
This is also a good time to address being grateful for everything that you do have. Even your problems. How so? If you look back on your life you will see that every problem you once thought of as insurmountable has now gone. Yes, you may have a new set of problems but they too shall be gone one day so learn to be grateful for them and the lessons they bring to your life, now.
Keep a gratitude journal and try and write down at least 3 things a day you are grateful for. This may seem hard at first but if you keep it up it is guaranteed to shift your perspective.
Dial-up the Self-Care
Although self-care is always important, taking time out for some extra pampering may just be what is needed when we are feeling down or trodden on by life’s circumstances.
At these times we can come to realize how important the small things in life are.
Try a long hot scented bath, a guided meditation with crystals and incense, a massage, a new hairstyle or outfit, buy yourself a bunch of flowers or write yourself a love letter – The list is endless.
Learn to slow down in life and just relax and take in the moment.
Relaxing and spoiling yourself is an act of self love that acknowledges that your needs are just as important as everyone else.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”
Life demands a lot from all of us every day. Bosses, husbands, wives, kids, jobs, parents, deadlines, etc.
Self-kindness means you understand that in order to be able to continue to give your best you have to operate at your best, both physically and emotionally.
So make your acts of self love a priority every day. Make a non-negotiable daily appointment with yourself to withdraw from the demands of life and recharge yourself physically and emotionally – even if it’s just 20 minutes – this is the best way to be kind to yourself.
This is not selfish. This is self-kindness and self-love.
Do you agree with these 5 simple ways to practice self love? Do you have other suggestions on how to be kind to yourself? Let me know in the comments.
I would like to share this ancient poem Desiderata, which means “things that are desired,” which was written by Max Ehrmann.
Since the early 1920s, these words have been valued by countless people and rose in popularity in the late ’60s and early ’70s. It is making a strong comeback today, as parents and grandparents are passing along this wisdom to their loved ones.
I am of the opinion that it epitomizes how you should practice self love and kindness always.
GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
By Max Ehrmann © 1927
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