For most of us, terms like self-love and self-compassion can cultivate feelings of doing yoga, hugging trees, or sitting in a garden amidst flowers, trees, and birds. Often, it is what we do when we are deeply hurt inside, having a hard time, or need special care which we do not get from our partner.
Either because we choose not to communicate with our partner, or because we don’t feel safe enough to communicate exactly what’s going on. Perhaps you’re not even sure what’s going on! These activities can certainly do wonders for you, keeping depression and anxiety at bay.
But before we get into the discussion of why self-love is important, first let’s understand what self-love is!
For many of us, it might sound like just a word as you might wonder – Is it even possible? To some others, it might sound like a new-age fashion for those having ample time at hand. Many might even argue saying I love myself, yet I am not leading a happier life – so how does it even matter?
I want you to take a couple seconds and journal on this question…
How Do I Define Self-Love and How Does It Look For Me?
I want you to pay attention to what comes up for you while you’re thinking and writing this out.
Different people might have distinct perceptions on self-love. However, we can’t have self-love without self-compassion. They go hand in hand.
So the second question I want you to journal on is…
How Does Self Compassion Look Like for Me?
I want you to think about self-compassion as treating yourself the way you would someone you love dearly.
This is something that is desirable by nearly all of us. It is all about showing extensive care, compassion, and affection for yourself by doing things that create a feeling of relaxation and happiness, of self-peace, and utter self-compassion.
What happens in our minds, trickles down to our bodies, so might as well have great things going on in our minds so that our physical bodies can benefit from it.
When you catch yourself being too self-critical, take a step back, inhale a deep breath in 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, and exhale for 7 seconds. This is the 5-5-7 breath technique that soothes the body and changes from the alert and anxious response to a relaxed response.
Every time you feel like you’re going down a personal spiral of intense self-criticism, practice the 5-5-7 breath to help your physical body relax and the mind will follow.
We can choose to cultivate self-love for many different reasons. Maybe you’re looking for love and know that in order to receive love fully, we must be full of love ourselves. You may think that it is just easier for others and super hard for you, but the truth is we all have some sort of cross we carry whether you can see it or not.
Self-love and self-compassion is critical for all of us, especially those who are living stressful lives. This pandemic has made the average life stressful for most, so this is a great time to be super mindful and practice self-love and self-compassion. Be kind to yourself, this storm won’t last forever. Whatever you’re going through such as a desire to excel in your field, or a broken relationship that might be causing all the anxiety, cultivating self-love can always help maintain good mental health and wellbeing.
Perfectionists are at higher risk of developing mental stress
You might wonder saying that being perfect at everything is of course a great trait, which can earn name, fame, and money. To most of us, it is priceless and something that we have always wished to have.
Contrary to the common beliefs, the chase to find that perfection is often the culprit, bringing in more stress for you. It is as damaging as cigarettes or marijuana. Depression, prolonged anxiety, a shorter lifespan, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity are some of the common problems encountered by perfectionists.
Be kind and love yourself using your preferred love language
If your love language is gift giving…
Give yourself a gift; it doesn’t have to be expensive.
You can come up with something creative for a special present for yourself. Maybe putting on some makeup and appreciating the work will do it for you, or maybe leaving little notes around the house as tiny cheerful gifts for you that remind you of why you’re worthy of love.
If you understand love with physical affection…
Give yourself hugs and kisses. As silly as this sounds, once you get into the habit of it, you’re going to love it! This one is one of my favorites.
Stressful relationships can make things even tougher
If you are in a relationship that you think is harming your physical or mental wellness, you are at risk of facing constant stress or succumbing to a stress-induced illness. You want to make sure that your relationships add value and help you navigate life in a positive and constructive life to avoid falling into depressions, severe anxieties, and the like.
Healing yourself with self-love
So, what do you do to move away from such feelings of constant emotional anxiety and overwhelm? First off, understand that too much stress and ignoring your personal wellness is harmful for you! In whatever way it comes to you, find ways to overcome it. Acknowledge that progress is better than being in constant stress of achieving excellence in everything you do. It takes failures to attain excellence and as long as you’re working on yourself 1% everyday, then you’re in for your own transformation. That’s 365% by the end of the year! Stop criticizing yourself for not being able to achieve goals in unreasonable timelines Create a clear path to build the self-love and self-compassion to bring about the change you wish to see in yourself. Don’t put yourself in the habit of constantly beating yourself up for being unsuccessful at something. Instead, put yourself in the habit of constantly giving yourself boatloads of love, compassion, and understanding. Learn to be kind and forgive yourself.
If you are recovering from a broken relationship and constantly hurting yourself by dwelling in regrets, understand your self-worth and believe that you can shift your perspective and your life to build the relationships that you’ve always wanted. Do something that you like doing the most. Spend time feeling your emotions and then build your way to overcome them with compassion.
What do you do to practice self-love, self-compassion, and improve your overall relationship with self? Let me know in the comments below!
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