by Janey Bowyer | February 11, 2018 6:03 pm
‘You have got to learn to love yourself!’ Is what a friend once said to me at a time when my self-esteem felt lower than a sea snail in the bottom of the ocean.
I’d come out of a broken relationship and self-love was the last thing I could picture. Though, as I later learnt, great things don’t happen overnight but are instead the result of a little bit of effort over an extended period of time. Like tiny stitches of hope, through self-exploration, change is possible.
So up I got, dusted myself off and slowly worked on loving myself. Yet, how to even begin? For starters, I have learnt that to practice self-love and self-acceptance. I discovered as I came out the other end of the process that self-love is one of the most life-changing habits you can hope to manifest. To accept yourself fully, unconditionally and with gratitude, rocks on so many levels.
Self-love isn’t about being arrogant or not caring about others. It is instead simply about caring for yourself. Yet, I feel so many of us can forget to do that and end up putting ourselves last.
So here are four ways, to practice self-love and acceptance:
1. Know you are more than good enough! Easier said than done if you don’t yet know how to feel self-love, but a little bit of effort daily can soon help you realise that you indeed are good enough and then some more!
Method: Purchase a small notebook and pen. Next, take note of all your self-talk for a whole day and night, that internal dialogue we can so often use to narrate our lives. Make a note of any times you put yourself down. For example, you may look in the mirror and think to yourself – I am ugly, not good enough etc. Whatever comes up, just keep writing it down.
The next day, read through everything that you have written. You may be shocked at how you speak to yourself. The good news is that can change. So on the next page, re-write every negative comment into a positive. If you put ‘I am not good enough’ change it to ‘I am good enough.’ Do this for every comment.
Now as you go about your life, be the watcher of your thoughts. If you ever catch yourself bullying yourself, take a breath and rethink the thought as a kinder more nurturing one.
2. Big yourself up in front of the bathroom mirror each day.
Yes, show yourself some self-love by showering yourself with compliments and affirmations. Even if you don’t feel it, start up. If you are stuck for affirmations, look on the internet for ideas. I like to say: ‘I am divinely perfect as I am.’
3. Take Yourself Out On A Self-Date. Yep, you heard me! Go on a delicious date with yourself. It’s a good way of getting to know yourself and what you really like. The more you know yourself, the easier it will be for you to love yourself and for others to follow suit. Ideas are: taking a walk, catching a yoga class, cinema, shopping, reading a book at home. I suggest doing this at least twice a month. If you are busy, even taking half an hour shows a sense of love and appreciation.
4. Do heart-opening yoga exercises to lift your happiness.
Poses like The Bridge, The Wheel, Camel and Cresent Moon can lift the spirits, open our heart chakra and also the chest area. Try adding these poses to your normal yoga sequence, and as you do them think of at least one thing you like about yourself.
Remember, no one is perfect; we all make mistakes, so simply learn from them and try not to repeat. Also, love and accept yourself without and conditions. There is no one more lovable than you!
So next time you feel that you lack in the self-love vibes, try one of the suggestions above.
‘You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection. ~Buddha’
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