When we are engaged in a relationship we usually pay attention to maintaining it by making sure that we devote some of our time and effort to our partner almost every day. We evaluate that relationship, think about it and maybe even discuss it and seek advice for some problems we are experiencing. Sometimes we seek advice on how to improve the quality of our relationship.
Although the described process seems perfectly usual, there is one particular and very intimate relationship that we tend to neglect to pay attention to – relationship with ourselves. It is something that we frequently take for granted because we give priority to other people, work, and life problems (1).
Also, even if the concepts of self-development, confidence, and satisfaction in life are familiar to us, we sometimes believe that there is no need to invest time and energy in “that stuff “ since we seem to be fine and in control our lives. This works until a problem appears.
When we look for a solution, just by skimming over some popular self-help websites we realize that almost all of them, one way or another, recommend self-love and self-acceptance. There are numerous approaches and recipes to become our ideal self, feel happy, confident, efficient and on top of all – love ourselves.
Here, we will look into some less popular, behavior-oriented, ways of learning to love ourselves more every day.
1.Get it all out
Prepare to release yourself from all the grief and anger that accumulated over the time. Let go of all your dislikes about yourself, others and life, everything you collected. The advice is to write everything down, but you can take it one step further – say it out loud. That way you will more likely experience the emotions underneath (2).
Even if it is unpleasant, the feeling is only temporary and it makes you realize that those emotions were really yours. You are allowed to experience and express them. Now that they have served their purpose you are letting them go and moving on to some new, hopefully, more positive ones. You should instantly feel a relief to some degree known as emotional ventilation and your body and mind would be thankful to you for letting them get rid of that load.
Note: You can always go back and edit your “grief and anger list” every time you feel that there something is remaining, or something new showed up.
2.Identify Your Limiting Beliefs
Make an effort to look for the source of your troubles and unwanted emotions. They do not appear just as a direct reaction to certain situations. If you think carefully you will notice that they derive from your thoughts or your interpretation of that situation.
If we learn to identify and dispute our irrational beliefs, our emotional response becomes more corresponding to the reality of a situation. That does not mean that we are going to always feel happy and think rationally. We simply would not be “utterly dysfunctional”, which is a much better place to continue from.
3.Be Kind to Yourself
Sometimes we can be quite harsh towards ourselves (3). We tend to focus on our flaws and things that we think we need to improve. On one side, this is a good, because it makes us want to grow. On the other, we can become overly critical because of our high aspirations, and that in turn makes us feel unsatisfied.
The usual advice is to use self-affirmations and tap ourselves on the back more frequently. Although that definitely does not hurt it will hardly make us profoundly change our way of thinking.
What is available instead is to imagine how we would act towards someone other who faces the same challenge? Would we point out what they are doing wrong? Would we shame them because of it, and make them feel guilty? The answer is probably “no” because when someone asks us for advice we have the urge to reassure them and pass our good influence. If for no other reason then just to feel efficient and useful.
If that is the case, why do not we deserve the same treatment that the others would get? By putting ourselves in an equal position with others, we allow ourselves to make mistakes the same way all human beings do. That relieves us of the tension induced by trying to be perfect and releases our energy so we can put it in to a better use.
You can actually train your mind to remember that you are worthy human being.
4.Take yourself on a date
We know the importance of dedicating our time to others in order to get to know them and satisfy our need for connecting. How can we let others relate to us if we do not even know ourselves?
We keep track of changes that happen in lives of our significant others so that we can understand better why they behave the way they do and to anticipate their behavior. At the same time, we forget to stop for a minute and think about what motivates our actions and how far have we come on our journey. That makes deciding on where we want to go a much harder task.
Have patience and see if you enjoy the time with yourself. Do it in a literal way so it feels more real. Plan where are you going to go, how long it is going to last and what you want to do. It can be anything that helps you learn something new about yourself, like reading something that will stimulate your introspective nature, writing a journal, talking to strangers or doing some outdoor activities on our own.
We believe in this so much that we created the 30 Days of Love Challenge! Each daily session will take you on a profoundly deep mini adventure of discovering your purest self-love. It's like giving yourself a 5 to 10 minute date every day. If you really want to see your self-love grow, give it a try. You'll thanks us later, and so will the loved ones around you ?
❤ TRY IT FOR FREE! ❤
5.Get Surrounded by Positive People
Having relationships with caring, nonjudgmental and supportive people raises our mood as well as a sense of well-being (4). Happiness is contagious and those who are truly happy are also ready to share what they know about it. As it is aforementioned, we have a need for connection and we should not be afraid of it. Instead, we can pay attention and choose wisely the people in our surroundings, because they will affect us, as we will them.
That also means that we need to start interacting with the people similar to our ideal self. They can serve as a model and an evidence that it is possible to obtain certain characteristics.
6.Get up and get out
Benefits of physical activity and regular exercise are numerous and well-known. But it is not just about keeping our fitness. Our mind also appreciates some fresh air and stretching. By keeping our body passive for long, we also put our mind in a similar state and then we wish to keep it there. It is a vicious circle that is hard to get out of it.
When our thoughts become passive and our mood lowers we put up a resistance toward initiating any activity. In some serious cases, it can lead to depressed mood.
The activity does not have to be a workout, you can walk to the mall with a friend. It is even better if you use it as an opportunity to socialize. It is just important to follow through with an initial idea of engaging in an activity that will take you out of “stuck zone”.
These are just some practical hints about how to make yourself feel better and more satisfied. They may seem very simple, but it actually takes a lot of work to integrate them in our behavior. It is your decision whether you want to give yourself a chance to grow, accept and feel.
By giving these simple guidelines a try you’ll already open yourself up to something new, an experience, an opportunity or whatever you make of it.
No pressure, just a loving invitation.