If you’re anything like I used to be for much of my life, you may feel that self love techniques are virtually impossible. For the longest time, I battled to love myself. It was not just bad self esteem, either. I was unable to see my worth and unable to imagine anyone ever loving me, let alone the idea of loving myself.
Luckily, things are very different now. Although I still have to actively work on re-routing my negative thoughts about myself, I have slowly learned how to ‘change the subject’ when I feel doubts and self criticism entering the picture. This has made SUCH a huge difference to every part of my life.
How do you learn how to start loving yourself? For starters, you can try some of these self love techniques that are designed to help you reconnect with yourself once again.
Reclaim Yourself With These Self Love Techniques
Finding your way back to yourself takes more than effort – it also takes time. Most of all, it takes practice. Going from a state of doubting yourself and believing that you are not worthy to a state of loving who you are right now, flaws and all, is not a quick fix. With that said, the journey can be surprisingly satisfying. Just like any other journey to your heart’s centre, learning how to reclaim yourself teaches you plenty.
To help you get that journey started, here are some self love techniques to try.
Take a self love course.
A self love course can be an excellent way to kick-start your journey. Here in South Africa, Jane Killian Shaw has created an 8 week transformation course. Unselfishly Me is designed for women to help them lead their way back to loving themselves. Along with the online course, Unselfishly Me also offers workshops in KZN. This is a great option for those who are struggling with change, self-doubt, insecurity or even just wanting to grow.
Journaling is another tool that can help in so many ways. Try setting yourself a challenge to write 5 things you love about yourself every day for 1, 2, 3 or even 4 weeks. Try thinking about how others see you or think about who you are as a person and what you have to offer the world. When you stop to think beyond your insecurities, you’d be amazed at how you start to see yourself.
Reroute your thinking.
Ask yourself why it is that you think about yourself negatively. What caused you to view yourself this way? When you make a mistake or do something silly, what is your first reaction? Do you tell yourself how stupid you are or do you laugh it off knowing that anyone could have done what you just did? Rerouting negative thoughts is essential on many levels. As a self love technique, learning how to recognise toxic thoughts and turn them into positive thoughts is vital. Instead of telling yourself you are a failure, you could tell yourself that you will get it right next time. With practice, it gets easier. I promise.
Meditation is a tool that continues to help me in ways I never could have imagined. There are many amazing meditations for self love, including loving kindness meditations that focus on loving yourself and those around you. Sitting still and learning how to open and calm the mind will make it a lot easier to start to find peace on every level. This has a knock-on effect, helping you find peace with yourself as well.
Try gentle movement.
You don’t have to suddenly start running 10k races or hitting the gym every single day. Movement is not always about physical impact, either. You don’t have to move because your body needs to be improved. You should, however, move to treat your body and increase endorphins, which make you feel happier and calmer. Try something gentle such as yoga or pilates. Take a walk to get outside and breathe in some fresh air. Find something you genuinely enjoy. Have fun and let loose!
Be kind to yourself.
This is the hardest one of all… and also the most important one of all. Would you speak to a friend the way you speak to yourself? Would you judge another person the way you judge yourself? Every time that you are hard on yourself and every time that you tell yourself how useless you are, you are training your brain to believe what you are saying. Once you start to believe the negativity, you begin a downward spiral. Stop the cycle right now by actively working at being kind to yourself. Talk gently to yourself. Forgive yourself. Stop berating yourself. You will start to feel the difference.
Take those first steps today and reclaim yourself. Today – not tomorrow or next month or next year. Try these self love techniques and see how even the smallest steps can make a difference.