They say you need to love yourself first before you can love others. Many of us have a very critical and negative inner voice. If someone else said to us the things we say to ourselves we would be outraged. Everyone needs to love themselves a little more – it is one of the keys to living a happy and joyful life and reducing our suffering. Today we will be talking about how to love yourself.
How To Love Yourself – Don’t Be A Perfectionist
Perfectionism is a major obstacle in the way of self-love. People who tend towards a perfectionist type personality can be extremely hard on themselves when they fail to reach a perfect standard. It is easy to see how this can be a recipe for self-loathing.
Instead of thinking about the end result, think about the work you are putting in now. Put your heart into the moment and a good result will come.
How To Love Yourself – Don’t Call Yourself Names Or Label Yourself
For instance calling yourself a “failure” or “loser”. No one deserves to hear this from themselves. Calling yourself such a name reduces you to a single element – and it isn’t true.
- If you think you have failed at something, actually it may be a learning step that will help you do better in future. All our biggest failures in life are really learning opportunities.
As the Irish playwright and author Samuel Beckett said:
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Don’t call yourself a failure. It doesn’t help you at all, and actually just leaves you wallowing in unneeded misery. Instead, look on failure for what it is – an inevitable part of life that allows you to grow, develop and become stronger.
How To Love Yourself – Write Down Your Positive Attributes And Reflect On These Daily
I swear, if you manage to put the effort in and do this task, it will change your life massively for the better and it will train you to love yourself. Once you are proud of the person you are, you become confident. People can sense this, and life becomes easier and better. So much depends on your own self-image – that’s why you need a reminder of how amazing you really are.
If you have got into a long-entrenched habit of negative thinking, this may be difficult in the beginning. Don’t be disheartened in the beginning if you cannot think easily of positive things to say about yourself. That is only a result of your mindset – and not the reality. Slowly as you practice you will see and learn more positive things about yourself.
Find one positive thing about yourself and add it to the list once a week. At the end of each day, reflect on the entire list.
- Make this as specific as possible. You should list specific things you have done, or attributes that you have.
- As you read your list, remember that you are worthy of respect and love.
- Then as your list grows, you will really see this and feel it.
How To Love Yourself With Loving Kindness Meditation
Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM) gives us the tools we need to love ourselves. It not only enhances and puts you in touch with feelings of love for yourself but also love for others. It is a really positive practice that you can do from home, to improve your life in so many ways.
At the hearing of LKM is the request that we love without judgment, expectations or conditions. Judgment can often result in misery for ourselves and others.
To begin sit comfortably in your chair, with your palms facing up and resting in your lap. Breathe slowly and deeply, filling your entire chest with air and expanding your diaphragm. Now focus on exhaling completely. Try to focus entirely on your breath and center your conscious mind around this.
Once you have been in a meditative state for a number of minutes, when you feel it is right, repeat some positive affirmations to yourself:
- “May I learn to forgive others and myself.”
- Then say “May I love others with my whole heart.”
- After this “May, I be able to live in the world happily, joyfully, at peace.”
- Finally “May I be free of mental suffering and distress.”
You may notice that whenever you think something positive, immediately there is a negative thought that jumps in and tries to counter it. This is the reflex of an overly negative mind, don’t become attached to these thoughts, just notice them with interest and allow them to pass and melt away. Continue with your positive affirmations.
Meditate On Your Relationship With Others
- Now, identify people with whom you have trouble feeling unconditional love. Repeat the affirmations while holding the thought of that person in your mind.
- Next, think about someone who hold in positive regard and whom it is easy to love. Again repeat the affirmations, holding that person in your mind as you do so.
- Now think of someone you feel neutral about and do the same.
You should allow the positivity from these affirmations to fill your heart completely. Continue repeating the affirmations, without thinking of anyone, in particular, this time. Allow the feelings of positive energy to fill your body, and imagine sending it out of yourself.
Finally, repeat a final mantra of love. You can try something like:
“May all people be joyous and feel joyous. May they have happiness and health in their lives.”
LKM works well for many people and is a powerful way to learn how to love yourself by also focusing on your love for others.
By forgiving and loving difficult people, it allows you to process and move on instead of clutching to a negative emotion or experience.
A message of love is what the world needs. I hope through some of these tips, we can all learn to love ourselves better. Slowly we can become more positive people, and life becomes a thing of joy, not burden and suffering.