Authors & Thought Leaders

10 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Practice Self-Love

Published on February 10, 2018

Article by Shannon Kaiser for Bodhi Tree

For decades, I avoided mirrors, deflected compliments, even deleted tagged photos of myself, all because of shame and insecurity. I was at war with myself. The enemy was always my body.

When things weren’t going well in my life, my body was to blame. I thought, “If only I were thinner, I’d be more successful, happier, and I’d finally meet my soul mate.” It never ended. No matter what size my body, whether I was 40 pounds underweight or 60 pounds over, I always felt unworthy.

A Self-Love Mission

But all that changed when I made falling in love with myself (regardless of my physical size) my full-time mission. Today, I accept and love myself. How did I go from a down-and-out, self-loathing, insecure woman to fulfilled, balanced and healthy self-loving woman? I created a “self-love experiment”—a challenge I gave myself to become my own best friend. After years of suffering with eating disorders, drug addiction and depression, I knew things needed to change. So I set out on an incredible journey to fall in love with myself, and then wrote a book about it: The Self-Love Experiment: 15 Principles for Becoming More Kind, Compassionate and Accepting of Yourself.

Throughout the process, there were many things I did to become more compassionate and kind to myself. Some of my steps were very personal, but others seemed more universal, and a some were so powerful, I wish them for everyone. Below are 10 super-easy ways to feel more self-love, inspired by my book.

10 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Love Daily

1. Lighten up.

Emotionally, spiritually, mentally, even physically. Ask yourself, “Where am I taking life too seriously and how can I lighten up more?”

2. Look at yourself the way your dog (or cat) does.

Ever notice how your furry friends seem to think you are the best thing on the planet? They see your greatness—it’s time for you to see yourself the same way. If you don’t have a pet at home, learn how to see yourself the way loved ones do.

3. Listen to your inner guide.

Your inner voice is your truth, and it’s always giving you guidance. Whether it’s to reach out to a friend you haven’t seen in years or change careers, the most loving thing you can do is to start to trust your inner guide, because it knows what will make you the happiest.

4. Replace judgment with curiosity.

When you feel as if you are judging yourself (or even another person), go inward and ask yourself, “What does this situation bring up for me? Why do I feel the need to attack emotionally?” When we judge, we remove ourselves from love. Return to love by turning to curiosity instead of fear-based thoughts.

5. Smile more.

Look at the things that are going well in your life instead of what isn’t working. Smile at the good and grasp it daily.

6. Share your story.

Being honest and open about your experiences will help you heal and grow. When you share your experiences with others, you connect on a deeper level, which gives you purpose. Plus, your personal story can help others.

7. Write a letter to your future self.

Sit down and visit future you, the one who is through the struggle, over the pain, and has it all figured out. She/he will offer you guidance and comfort.

8. Schedule “Me Matters” time.

Creating a “Me Matters” list—a feel-good list of the situations when you feel like your best self—and doing some things on that list daily will help you feel more balanced and alive.

9. Start speaking kindly to yourself.

What you say to yourself matters. You can start by looking in the mirror and saying nice things about yourself.

10. Listen to your body and give it what it needs.

Your body has infinite wisdom and knows exactly what you need to feel better. Don’t feel guilty for taking an afternoon snooze or for needing to skip a workout. If you are listening to your body, everything will feel better. Maybe it’s guiding you to start a new diet or change your environment. Listening to your own body is one of the most loving and nurturing things you can do.

 

 

Looking for more words of wisdom on the topic of self-love and acceptance? Check out our Bodhi Talks given by authors, healers, philosophers, teachers and scientists at the original Bodhi Tree Bookstore. Explore now!

Published on: February 10, 2018

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