“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire Universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
There’s more to self-love than feeling good enough to spoil yourself with lavender bubble baths, luxurious massages, and generous spending sprees on organic/non-GMO foods. As a matter of fact, self-love is more of an active process than it is a “feel good” state.
To love yourself means to appreciate your growth potential from the actions you decide to take in the current moment for the good of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Everyone loves themselves at the very core of their being because it’s simply nature, but the beliefs we form throughout our lives about ourselves based on social conditioning tend to draw us away from our natural state of self-love.
Anyone can practice self-love. It might not lead to instant good feelings, but it certainly has the power to affect your thoughts and feelings about yourself with regular practice over time.
Here are three big tips to always remember and prioritize in your self-love journey.
Practice Self-Compassion Until It Becomes a Habit
When it comes to self-love, the old adage “fake it til you make it” isn’t necessarily the fastest or most effective strategy. In fact, focusing only on what you like about yourself while ignoring what you don’t like about yourself could backfire on your self-esteem levels.
Research has shown that self-compassion—the practice of stopping all judgment of yourself, accepting yourself fully, and being kind to yourself regardless of what you do or don’t like—is the real key to feeling motivated to work on improving yourself. It starts with noticing that critical voice inside your head and consciously replacing it with a voice that sounds more like a caring friend.
Make Your Own Rules About What It Means to Show Yourself Some Love
There are countless books, articles, videos, and even courses you could use to learn how to love yourself more, but when it comes straight down to it, only you can know exactly what you need to truly cultivate more love. When it comes to self-love, there are no rules—only the rules you make uniquely for you and your needs.
Self-love can be cultivated in activities as basic as showering and making time to eat or as extravgent as going on a cruise and buying a whole new wardrobe. Just because certain actions work for one person doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily work for you, so be open to experimenting with various self-love rituals and take note of how they make you feel afterward.
Follow the Universal Law of Exchange to Cultivate Even More Love
When you love yourself a little more, you’ll naturally feel compelled to share it. The law of exchange states that the energy you put out into the world will flow back to you, so spreading the love that you’ve cultivated for yourself among others will undoubtedly help you cultivate even more love for yourself.
Simple actsof kindness like a smile here or a thank you there definitely count. Of course, the greater your acts of kindness and generosity that you genuinely feel compelled to express, the greater love you’ll feel for yourself not just as a separate individual existing in society, but as a unique expression of life connected to everyone and everything else around you.