Most of us move through life’s journey carrying a heavy bag of ideas about ourselves upon our shoulders. “I’m not funny, I’m too fat, I’m lazy.” Take your pick, the list is almost endless. Some people don’t even know what the words self love even mean.
Then every now and again we meet someone who just seems so light and unburdened. There is no difference between you and them, except they’ve learned not to pay heed to the negative voice in their head.
They’ve found self-love and so can you
Silencing your inner critic and learning to be love yourself just the way you are is the most powerful thing any of us can do in this world. Achieving self-love is my idea of a real world super power.
When we achieve self-love we finally start making good decisions. Decisions that are genuinely right for us, instead of making the choices we think others would approve.
Below are a number of simple steps anyone can take to reach self-love.
Ah, sleep. Nothing has the power to change our mood more than a good night’s rest. “It’ll be brighter in the morning.” Never have truer words ever been uttered. This is one habit you can change to create more self-love for yourself.
Sleep is the single most powerful tool we have to change our mood, our outlook and even our health. Study after study has shown that individuals who sleep less than seven hours a day are doing their physical, and even more importantly, their mental a disservice.
Good sleepers are more positive about life. They view the world through the prism of a glass half full. The same, alas, cannot be said of poor sleepers. Insomniacs are far more likely to develop anxiety, stress and depression than their well-rested counterparts. Getting a good bedtime routine is one path to self love.
Now, knowing you should get more sleep and actually doing so are two very different things entirely. Lots of things can keep us awake, but that’s not to say we shouldn’t try. Prioritising sleep is the first step on your journey to self-love.
Fill your life with joy-spreaders
We all know someone out there that radiates joy, they light up any room they are in with good spirit. Gravitate toward these people. Spend as much time as you can with them. When your circle is full of positive energy you will find the experience infectious. You’ll soon find yourself blossoming into one.
On the other hand we all have people in our lives who carry gloom and negativity around with them wherever they go. It’s not their fault, far from it, circumstances often conspire to make some people’s lives harder than others. Limit your exposure to these individuals but don’t abandon them. Once you’ve found your feet, spread your new-found joy in their direction too.
Find new ways every day to fill your hours with smiles not frowns.
Find a community
Depression, stress and anxiety prosper in solitude. Staying at home alone watching Netflix until 3am isn’t going to bring anything but feelings of loneliness and guilt. There are many routes to self-love but one of the quickest is to put yourself out there, get involved and become needed.
Self love is far easier than it sounds. All you need to do is become a joiner. No, I don’t mean someone who puts together your kitchen, I mean someone who joins in. Join the local community choir, a shamanic drumming circle, a running team, a knitting circle, a book group, a community garden.
Once you start looking the options are endless. There will be somewhere that you will fit into. You just need to find it. Your tribe is out there waiting for you, when you find them, your people, you will find that your confidence will flourish.
Focus on health not appearance
When we feel healthy we feel good about ourselves. When we feel really healthy we feel like we can take on the world. Unfortunately far too many of worry about how we look and not how we feel.
Starting a new diet or hitting the gym with the sole purpose of trying to ‘look good’ is always going to end in failure. Appearance after all is subjective. Eating a better diet and exercising more with the goal of getting healthier cannot help but have a positive impact. Focus on fitness not fatness.
The best thing is when we exercise our mood lifts, when our mood lifts our opinion of ourselves improves and suddenly we will be looking at the very same face in the mirror and smiling instead of frowning. This is self-love.
Hi there, I’m Sarah. I was once a self-hating workaholic but all that changed when I discovered the power of sleep. By re-organising my entire life around one central tenet – a good night’s rest – I soon found my priorities changed in all areas of my day. Now I spread the good word whenever and wherever I can. Sleep is good for you, get more of it. Simple as that.