What do you think when you look in the mirror? Do you like what you see? The pathway to radical self-love isn’t about becoming a specific person, but rather, being unconditionally in love with you who are, as you are. This process can take time and will come with its own daily ebbs and flows but is critical to our happiness.
As you navigate through your own insecurities, frustrations or personal barriers, remember that your journey will look different from the person next to you—and there’s no perfect pathway to follow. If you’re hoping to improve your self-love this year or keep your current momentum going, here are four key practices to consider:
It’s easy to forget what makes us remarkable when we’re stuck in a rut. While habits are beneficial to helping us make lasting change, doing the same thing over and over again, with no intention can be harmful to our mental health. Think about your daily routine: where could you disrupt your regular schedule?
For example, if you’re spending most of the day behind a laptop computer, schedule a 20-minute walk between meetings. If you’re spending every weekend home watching Netflix, carve out a few hours to go shopping for house plants. Doing something out of the ordinary can get you out of a poor mindset and give you the clarity you need to develop lasting self-love.
Activities like journaling, meditation or personal planning can have a significant impact on how we feel about ourselves. In these spaces, we create opportunities to outwardly express our innermost ideas. If you’ve never taken the chance to share these thoughts—about how you feel now or where you want to improve—now is the perfect time to start.
If you want to begin journaling, but don’t know where to start, consider using your pen and paper as a tool to counter any negative thoughts you may have about yourself. Laura Rubin, creativity coach and founder of AllSwell noted that, “one study in behavioral science suggests that when we work in teams, we need two pieces of positive input for every piece of criticism just to maintain a medium level of performance…We can apply the same idea to our internal chatter. Over time, this practice becomes a lens to help you better appreciate yourself on a regular basis.”
A process of improving self-love can feel overwhelming, and it’s easy to set a lot of lofty goals right off the bat. Instead of trying to do it all, take a step back and examine your current day-to-day routines. Are your basic needs being met? Do you get enough sleep at night? Is your diet nutrient-rich? Do you work out two to three times a week? While setting goals to address daily needs might not be glamorous, they’re some of the most effective changes you can make. When we are in a healthy physical state, our mental state improves, and we are able to better love who we are.
While we might receive feedback from those around us, it’s often our own mind that’s our biggest critic. Half the battle to loving yourself more is making sure that the voice inside your head is your biggest fan—and turning that inner monologue into an outward affirmation.
Daily affirmations are one of the best, and simplest, ways to improve your self-love. While it might seem silly, the words we say in our heads and out loud can dictate how we truly feel. Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself in the mirror and start each day with a list of affirmations that remind you who you are, and why you love yourself. Over time, with each of these habits and changes, you’ll begin to notice that you’ve fallen in love with the person that smiles back in the mirror. And that makes all the hard work worth it.
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