The concept of self-love is not a new one, we all know that we should look after our bodies and well-being. But what about love, care and kindness towards our mind and emotions? The benefits of self-love usually result in carrying around less emotional luggage, raised awareness, and a balanced state of mind. As a business and life coach I am often asked to share tips on how to actively bring forth self-love into our everyday lives. Here are my top 4 tips:
Tip 1 - Start a journal
Writing out your thoughts at the end of each day can be incredibly therapeutic. It need not be pages and pages containing the details of everything that happened that day, just a couple of paragraphs about the day and how you felt about it is sufficient. The idea is to get it out of your head and onto the paper. It is usually best not to go back and read what you have written as the point of this exercise is to release it from your mind.
Tip 2 - Critical voices
When you look in the mirror do you notice all the things you don't like? Do you wish you were slimmer, more beautiful, more healthy? How would life be different if you were able to look in the mirror with acceptance, joy and love? Everyday when you look in the mirror consider repeating a more positive mantra like 'I look beautiful today' and smile. You might feel silly, you might not believe what you are saying, or you might think what is the point? The idea here is to start creating a healthier judgement of ourselves and to feel good. Try doing this for a month and notice how you feel about yourself.
Tip 3 - Look out for energy drainers
Discovering what drains the mental energy from you is the first step to to resolving it. Ask yourself the following questions to help raise awareness and add more clarity to your life.
1. Can you name 5 things that you are you currently putting up with? What does putting up with each of these cost you?
2. What can you change here so that you can take your power back? What boundaries can you set?
3. Can you raise your standards and stop putting up with 1 thing this month?
Tip 4 - Say No
Many of us are walking around with a 'Yes' sign on our heads, and those around us know it. Do you often feel obliged to say yes only to regret it later? Is saying 'no' a big 'no no' for you? Learning to say 'no' will help to set boundaries and give you more time and energy. You may want to try the following steps next time a request is made of you:
1. Pause and mentally acknowledge in your mind that 'this is a request and I have a choice'. If you need more time consider replying with 'can I get back to you on that?' You need not answer with an immediate yes or no.
2. Consider what you will be saying 'no' to if you were to say 'yes' to this request. For instance, if you said 'yes' right now to this request, are you inadvertently saying 'no' to more time with your family?
By learning each day to take care of yourself, you will start to be an example to your colleagues, friends and family. Many of us are more motivated to do something positive when we realise the potential impact it can have on others and by keeping a journal, being aware of your energy drains, learning to say no and quietening those critical voices you will notice more time, head space and energy in your life to do the things you want to. Just like ripples in the water your positive changes will most likely have a positive impact on others.