I don’t think that I truly realized the importance of self-love until recently. I was always someone who had positive self-talk, practiced meditating, and saying positive affirmations to myself daily.
I thought that I was essentially checking off self-love as something on my daily to-do list. I’ve realized in the last two weeks that I was merely doing these things out of habit but not truly being present when I was doing them.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line”. If there are things in your life that aren’t going the way that you would want them to, then take some time to reflect on your self-love.
Do you truly love yourself? Do you realize that you are the only person that can control your happiness? Do you feel wanted and secure? Do you feel good enough?
I’ve struggled a lot with anxiety in the last two years and after spending a fair amount of time reflecting the last two weeks, I’ve realized that it all goes back to self- love. Your physical body is only reflecting how you feel inside.
You project your deepest feelings or insecurities onto people in your life and they then project those feelings or insecurities back on to you. It’s like you are giving them a role to play in a show and they then act it out. Instead of blaming others or thinking “how could they do that to me?” or wondering why you aren’t feeling loved or wanted enough then realize that they are simply just mirroring what you have going on, within you.
You end up putting too much pressure on others to get the love that you feel you are lacking.
If you are constantly feeling anxious, it might mean that you do not fully feel secure, loved, wanted, or “good enough”.
You might blame others for not giving you those feelings but the truth is the only person that can make you feel truly loved is yourself. Self-love means loving yourself because you are the only one who knows what you have been through. Loving yourself because you deserve all the love in the world.
When you look to others to feel accepted, loved, wanted, and secure you end up putting too much pressure on them and they always seem to fall short. When you give yourself love and security then you won’t “need” these feelings from others but you can simply “accept” them in a healthy way. You will then be able to give love to others without “needing” it back.
No one knows you better than yourself and you are your longest relationship and that is why you should become your first priority. It’s never too late to change your life and start focusing on self-love today.
So how can you practice self- love daily?
1. Practice self- love meditations as often as you can. You can find hundreds of free self-love meditations on youtube. These meditations will make you feel so much more loved & secure. They will help you release your anxiety and you will start to feel grounded. You will realize how amazing and strong you are and you can begin to fill the voids of love, acceptance, and security that you are craving from others.
2. Learn to have positive self- talk and say positive affirmations throughout the day. Don’t just do this so that you can check it off your to-do list but really believe what you are saying. “I am loved. I am wanted. I am secure. I love and approve of myself. I am worthy”. You will start to believe these affirmations and you will stop looking externally for others to give you these feelings. This goes hand in hand with #1.
3. Do things that you love (alone). You don’t need others to do things that you love. If you want to try out a yoga class or spend the day exploring the city, then do it! Spending time with yourself will remind you that you can always count on you! You will learn to enjoy being by yourself and having time to reflect on your thoughts. You will also be able to do exactly what you want to do (without waiting for others).
4. Exercise: You don’t need to exercise to lose weight or go to the gym every day but try incorporating some type of exercise into your life every week. Find something that you enjoy doing whether it be yoga, barre, pilates, running, going on walks, or going to a kickboxing class. Try out a bunch of different exercises and find something that you like! It will help you feel better internally and externally (trust me). It also makes you feel like you love and respect your physical body, which you should.
5. Spend time in nature: The last two weeks I have spent a ton of time outdoors, reflecting. Whenever I feel anxious or negative emotions come up, I try to go outdoors and sit near trees, water or go for a walk. It helps remind me of the beauty of nature and it helps me feel alive again.
6. Get enough sleep: Sleep is so important for recharging your body, physically and mentally. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep every night and take naps if you can. I love listening to meditations while I fall asleep.
7. Invest in yourself: When life gets busy a lot of us forget to truly invest in ourselves. I’ve realized that I haven’t invested enough time in myself lately. Ways that I like to invest in myself include reading, starting a new side hustle, expanding my business, setting new goals professionally and non-professionally, continuing to learn about different topics that interest me such as photography, videography, wine, cooking, self-improvement, and learning Italian.
8. Focus on gratitude: When something is going wrong in your life, its hard to focus on gratitude or to see the silver lining. However, if you are able to take a step back from the situation and find a few positive things about it, then you will start to feel better.
Spending time focusing on gratitude daily (written or verbal) will remind you that no matter what is happening right now, everything will work out how it is supposed to. Be grateful for your current situation and be positive and patient about what you want in life because everything will be fine.
If I am feeling anxious, I try to imagine my life in a year or 5 years and I think about how this experience will have helped me to become a better and stronger version of myself and will ultimately lead me to live a happier life.
I am grateful to have realized the importance of self-love at such a young age and to really start focusing on it daily.
People in your life are simply a reflection of the thoughts and emotions that you project on to them. So the key to attracting what you want in life is by first loving yourself: truly and unconditionally. Learning to put yourself first and realizing that loving yourself isn’t selfish.
Focus on learning to love yourself more and more, each and every day and things in your life will start to turn around. I promise.