how to practice self love

Self-love isn’t just a trendy expression, it’s a vital concept to grasp if you want to live a happy life with healthy relationships. At the end of the day, your approval and appreciation of yourself are crucial — but many of us women tend to focus on meeting other people’s needs, and rarely prioritizing our own. So, how can you love yourself more? Well, we’ve rounded up a list of some foolproof exercises to get you started. Like most things, getting better at loving yourself takes some practice. Incorporate these exercises into your routine and you’ll be feeling more self-assured in no time.

Meditate

One of the greatest things you can do for yourself is to meditate. In this fast-paced world, we are almost always thinking about the next thing we have to accomplish instead of living in the present. So spending even just five minutes a day to quiet your mind is a wonderful gift to give yourself – it can help to center you, quiet your mind and even learn more about yourself.

Sit comfortably somewhere you know you’ll have no distractions, and bring a notebook and pen with you. Set a timer if you’d like, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Allow yourself to hone in on your senses — the smells in the room, the way your feet feel on the carpet, etc. But take note when your mind wanders to any worries or thoughts that don’t relate to your present existence. When the time is up, write down one thing you learned about yourself, one thing you’re proud of yourself for, and one thing you’re feeling grateful for. You can do this exercise when you first wake up or right before bed.


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Treat yourself

We all have certain things that make life more enjoyable for us, whether it’s a luxuriously long bath, a fresh manicure, an outdoor run, or a fine glass of wine. Don’t forget to partake in these things on a regular basis. Make a list of the top five to 10 things that bring you the most joy. Then find a way to actually schedule time for those things by penciling them into your planner or typing them into your calendar. By formally scheduling a time to treat yourself, you’re less likely to lose sight of those rewards and forget to give them to yourself. You may even want to make a regular date with a friend to keep you accountable for treating yourself. For example, you and a girlfriend could make joint appointments for a blowout at your local salon, or a standing reservation for brunch once a month at your favorite spot.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a mental state that revolves around being super aware and in the moment while also acknowledging your thoughts and feelings. Many of us may find ourselves living life on “autopilot,” never really taking note of what we’re thinking or how we’re feeling. As such, any negativity can build up, causing distress, depression, anxiety, and even physical health problems.

Whenever you notice a thought that’s negative — whether it’s an overly harsh self-criticism, jumping to an unreasonable negative conclusion, or just being generally pessimistic about certain circumstances — write it down. Then, ask yourself: what triggered this thought? How does that thought impact my feelings and limit me? And what is a more positive alternative to that thought? The more you do this exercise, the more aware you’ll become of toxic thinking, and the quicker you’ll be able to re-route your thought patterns to be more positive. Moreover, this is a solid exercise in building up your overall mindfulness.

Self-love cannot be achieved without a little effort. But it’s so imperative to continually work on learning to accept and appreciate ourselves because it can affect everything from our performance at work to our friendships and our marriages. And no one else can bolster our self-love, no matter how many compliments they give us — the journey has to come from within. Try incorporating these exercises into your life and you’re sure to feel a difference. Here’s to a more empowered, self-assured, mindful and grateful you.


Related: Imperfection Is Beauty: 6 Beautiful Things That Make You Unique


Featured image lingerie:
Casey Plunge Molded Bra 2801 | Casey Boyshort 2805 in Summer Print

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Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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