Lucille Ball once said, "Love yourself first and everything falls into line."
Who doesn't want to love themselves more? We are in the midst of what I consider a self-love revolution and it's so exciting! However, I also know how challenging it can to truly love yourself. We all have our moments when we battle with that self-depricating internal dialogue and we don't always win. Don't lose hope as self-love isn't a switch that's on or off, its a process--a daily one.
1. List the ways you love thyself. Grab a pen and a piece of paper--or sit down and write an email or text message to yourself--and list a few things you love (or even like) about yourself. Ideally you can come up with ten things, but three is great too. Here are some pointers:
--I love the way I have compassion for people
--I love the way I manage "x" at work
--I love the way I take care of "x" in our family
--I love the way I laugh
--I love the kind of friend I am
OK... make your list and save it! And, as often as you can, take it out and read it. If you're feeling extra loving--add some more things to the loving thyself list!
2. Surround yourself with positive people. Sometimes this can be a challenge, especially if there are co-workers or family members who are negative. But, try! People who are friends with happy people are healthier and happier and definitely love themselves more. So, choose wisely when spending your time with people. If some of your friends or loved ones are the glass half-empty types, then avoid them. Yes, you heard me--avoid them. I'm not saying to just drop those people (as if they're family or close friends--that's not the right thing to do) but I am saying to make a deliberate choice to spend less time with them. When you do spend time with more negative people, make it your job to prepare for it: spend a few minutes before you see them and think of all the things you like about the person--think of all their great qualities and focus on sending them love. Spending more time with happy, positive people will make a significant difference in your life. And, it will amp up your love for you. Remember: you are the most important person in your life, so look out for number one.
3. Say, "I love you" to yourself. Yes, every single day, catch yourself in the mirror and look into your own eyes and say, "I love you". That's it, keep it simple and keep saying it until you start to believe yourself. Even if you don't completely believe yourself, just the act of saying it makes you feel warm and nourished.
4. Believe. Believe in something-- have faith in life being as amazing as you long for it to be. Believe that all you desire can be yours. If that feels like a leap for you--then spend some time pretending to believe... kind of like I said in my first book, Chill Out and Get Healthy: fake it 'til you make it. I always encourage patients, friends, loved ones and even myself to spend some time each day daydreaming or imagining your life as you want it... abundant and fun and easy and happy. Spend enough time imagining your life how you want it and you will start to believe it can happen. Find a time each day where you can steal a few minutes and just daydream... and believe that all you desire can be yours!
5. Tell yourself a better story. This is a great way to forgive the past and to find more ways to love yourself. Is there something you tell yourself or a story you tell on a regular basis--it could be told out loud or in your head-- that is negative or self-depricating? Is there something you believe about yourself that maybe isn't true? My life coach would have me take a stressful statement, like: "I'm not good at "x"" and she would have me ask myself, "is that true?" Hmmm... kind of makes you think. Is it true? Well, Im sure there are ways you can show that it is true. But, there are also ways you can show that its not true. Aha! And thats where your focus needs to go. Tell yourself a different story...something like, "you know for years I always thought I wasnt good enough or I wasnt "x" and then I really looked at my life and I realized that when I do "a", "b" and "c" I am showing that I am good enough or that I can do "x". Does that make sense? So the key here is to tune into that internal (and external) dialogue and change the story. Often my patients who are struggling with getting pregnant will say, "if i get pregnant..." and I make them repeat the sentence to "when I get pregnant..." Just shift the words and tell yourself a better story and love yourself more!
I hope these tips are helpful!
You are amazing and worth all the love in the world!