Every day I practice self-love to the best of my ability, and this practice helps me be at my best. But what is self-love, exactly?
I define self-love as loving, kind, and compassionate treatment of myself. Self-love is taking care of my mental, emotional and physical health. I believe that I deserve to be loved, just as I believe that every one of you deserves love, too. Expressing this love and care I feel for the world starts with myself.
Self-love is not a behavior I practice at the expense of others, just as I do not practice loving someone else at the expense of myself. When my life is in balance, I love myself and others equally, treating every person with kindness, respect and compassion, and doing harm to none.
In his book, The Art of Loving, psychologist Erich Fromm explored the idea of self-love, suggesting that self-love is different from arrogance or conceit. Instead, Fromm suggests self-love signifies care of, responsibility for, respect for and knowing oneself. By practicing self-love, we are better able to share and show love to others.
Self-love is a practice and a belief and there are many different ways we can exercise self-love in our lives. Here are a few ideas to consider:
~Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you.” Say it often and say it loud! This exercise may feel silly or strange in the beginning, but soon it will feel wonderful.
~Treat yourself with kindness. If you make a mistake, try not to beat yourself up or think self-deprecating thoughts. Let a kind thought or word replace an unkind one.
~Take care of your needs. Are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? HALT and get something healthy to eat, go for walk to cool down, call a friend or family member, or get some much needed rest.
~Accept responsibility for your attitude. When you feel the urge to blame a bad mood on the traffic, or your co-worker, or some other outside source, take a deep breath and accept responsibility for your attitude. Outside factors can influence your attitude, and you decide what you hang on to and what you let go.
~Recognize your talents and accomplishments. Think of something you do well or an achievement you made at work and take a moment to simply be aware of your skills. You’re awesome in your own way!
Self-love and self-confidence are attractive qualities that will allow you to experience love in every area of your life! Love yourself to be your best, feel your best and live your best life.
How will you share your love with yourself and the world today?