Have you ever wondered if you do love yourself? For some, it looks easy and natural, while to others it’s an ongoing struggle. I’ve had the same experience, and in a way, I’m still on the road on how to love myself. But along the way, you’ll find many good things happening to you. In this article, I’m going to talk about some tips on how to love yourself (even more).
What does it mean to love yourself?
Let’s start off talking about what self-love is. In the yoga philosophy, I’ve talked a bit about it already, but not very clearly. This is why I’ve dedicated a whole article about it. Not just to inform you, but also as a reminder of myself.
But what exactly does it mean to love yourself? It’s very simple. Loving yourself is when you can look in the mirror and you can see the beautiful person that you are. Well, it sounds simple, but it’s not that easy to achieve. So, as a little experiment, I would like you to walk up to your mirror, look yourself in the eye and try to say ‘I love you’ to yourself. Try to see and feel if you really mean what you are saying, what feelings are rising. This is very important as this will define how you look upon yourself. And it might even point out some things that you might have to deal with.
But what you’ll feel when you truly love yourself is amazing. First of all, you will be more or less content with your life, of course, you’ll have your off days, but the good moments will outshine them. You won’t care so much anymore about what people have to say about you, nor that you feel obliged to behave in any way to conform with others.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of course, but in general, you’ll feel a lot more energetic, people won’t be able to take your mood down, etc. Anyway, that’s a little bit about the meaning of self-love. Do you have any other things to add that might relate to this? Let them know in the comment section below.
5 Ways to Love Yourself (For Free)
#1 Clean up your Mess
This one might sound weird, to begin with, but it will make sense, I promise you.
With this I mean, your actual physical mess, but also your relationships with others. Let’s start with the physical one though.
Let’s get very practical now, I would like you to walk through your house and have a look. Are you seeing things that aren’t making you very happy? Are there clothes on the ground that give you a disgusting feeling? Well, then it might be time to think about cleaning up. In this article I’ve mentioned it before already, a quiet space also makes that your head will be quieter.
It works the same for your environment of course, have you ever been walking through the city in the middle of rush hour? I can imagine that it wasn’t that pleasant while walking on an autumn day in the park might be a breeze.
Have you picked up your mess already? I hope so 😉
On the relationship aspect of cleaning up your mess, well, that’s a bit more difficult of course. I’ve never really had a problem with breaking friendships when they were pulling me down more than that they were doing me any good. It seems very harsh, and in a way it also is.
If you are not ready to get rid of the people in your life that are pulling you down, don’t worry. A drastic way like I mentioned above is not always necessary, you can also just do it a different way. The less drastic way though is harder and other people might show a lot of resistance.
The way to do this is to look at your friends and to see what it is that is pulling you down. Are they negative, or are they always gossiping, etc? If those treats are the ones you don’t like, don’t engage in it anymore. Or give a counter-reaction. Try to speak up and tell them that they might be too negative, they might not even realize it themselves.
#2 Take care of Yourself
This one is a bit similar to the previous one, although here we are going to talk more about the health aspect. Do you know how important food is related to your happiness? Do you think that eating comfort food is making you happy?
Well, it does, but that happiness is just short-lived, and besides that, your body might not agree with you. Try to see where you can fit in some healthy habits to replace them with some unhealthy ones. I started recently making ginger tea in the morning. I never really like ginger, but when it’s very subtle, with a bit of lemon and honey, it’s amazing. And besides that, it’s good for your health as well!
Do you even know that some countries have a sugar tax? If your country does, then it’s probably even cheaper to eat a piece of fruit instead of a bar of chocolate. For example, I live in Portugal, a chocolate bar costs here around $1.50, one apple costs around $0.20. Do you see how much money I can save just by changing my food pattern? It’s a win-win!
#3 Do what you love
How many times a day are you doing something that you don’t like to do? Add to that a job that you might not like. This will give you a lot of things that you don’t like to do!
That’s why it’s important to find some things that you love to do. And with this, I don’t mean binge-watching television or sleeping in your bed. If it gives you a lot of energy, be my guest and do it, but most likely you will only get drained and you’ll get lazy as well.
With “the do what you love” mentality I’m talking about things that you love to do, something productive, creative, which has a result. If you like to cook, find some recipes that you are trying to experiment with. Check them out and start cooking. If you like to be in nature, then try to go for a walk in your favorite park, or start a garden. The latter is also a great way to ground yourself!
There are many things to do, and a lot of them don’t even cost any (extra) money. Make it into a habit, but also make sure that it doesn’t become a rut.
Another part of this is to learn to say ‘no’. Don’t feel embarrassed to say that you can’t do anything. You might love to help people out, but at what cost? If you don’t have the energy to do something, or you just feel like you don’t want to do it, it might be best to give others a no-answer.
#4 Fake it till you make it
Remember the mirror exercise at the beginning of this article? Try now and then to look at yourself in the mirror and try to say ‘I love you’. Even if you don’t feel it, just do it, until a point where you will feel it!
Not only that, but every single day try to be grateful for something in your life. This can be something that happened, or simply that you woke up and are healthy in the morning. This may seem like a silly exercise, but changing the way you think is one road map to loving yourself.
The more happy thoughts you have, the more loving you will be towards yourself.
Of course, this step couldn’t be missed on this list, especially on a yoga blog ;).
With meditation, I’m talking more about everything that clears your mind. Meditation and yoga are a good way to do this of course, but things like running, surfing, other kinds of sport, do the same thing. As long as you are doing something in which you don’t have to think (too much), and feel relaxed afterward.
When you are relaxed, self-esteem will grow as you won’t be in your monkey mind thinking about everything right OR wrong.
Here is a guided meditation for love.
Besides these free ways to start loving yourself, there are also a couple of ways that are paid. These are more for when you are finding some emotional or physical blockages, so see how much you think your happiness is worth to visit a specialist.
What I’d also like to mention is a story that my teacher always told me. I was always out there helping people, always saying yes to others. He gave me the piece of advice that they tell you on airplanes. On the fliers on how to proceed when there is an emergency, it states that you have to put your oxygen mask on first before helping out any others. This will give you the energy to save others. When you put this at work into your daily life it translates as, do what gives you energy first, before you decide to help out others.
That’s it for now, if you have any more questions, feel free to write them down in the comment section below!