How to Love Yourself to HealthPublished on Friday, July 01, 2022 by
What Does It Mean to Love Yourself?
The term self-love has become a bit cliché and thus misunderstood. And while loving yourself is linked to self-care, it is not the same thing, but both require action! Self-love focuses on internal actions; how we think and feel about ourselves. Actually, it isn’t necessary to love yourself to take care of yourself, but the better you care for yourself, the more you prove that you love YOU!
Create a New Mixtape
Holding yourself in high regard and being happy with yourself is easier said than done. It means not settling for less than you deserve and that includes your health. Do you have a mixtape on repeat in your head? You know, that nagging little critic that keeps saying you’re not good enough and you don’t deserve the life of your dreams.
That script MUST be flipped. Here’s why: when we listen to that negative voice, we tend to engage in less than healthy or even risky activities without considering the long-term consequences. Things like overeating or undereating, excessive alcohol use or drug abuse, gambling, or overspending.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't -- you're right.”
― Henry Ford
To overcome the inner critic, begin interrupting the negative thought. Notice it and simply say NOPE! Next, create a statement that affirms the opposite. Affirmations can be negative OR positive. Every thought affirms something. It’s your choice. Make it positive!
Here’s an example, if you tell yourself “I’m such an idiot, I keep making the wrong choices”, your brain believes you’re an idiot and that’s where it’ll feel comfortable. Flip that! Say this instead: “I am learning what is good for me. Today wasn’t perfect but tomorrow will be better. I am capable and I am worth it.”
One useful tool for this is meditation. Meditation is a great way to become mindful. It teaches us self-compassion, self-acceptance, and self-forgiveness. Research shows that mindfulness even helps with maintaining a healthy weight.
3 Ways to Practice Self-Love
Self-love creates higher self-esteem and boosts confidence, two extremely healthy things.
So, let’s explore practical ways to get there.
Prioritize yourself and your needs.
This is not selfish but selfless. It says, I love you and I love me also. It shows that you deserve respect. This has proven to be especially difficult for women.
If you continue to put your needs aside you will eventually have nothing left- no time, no energy, and no health. No one wins, least of all YOU. We can break this cycle and be an example for the next generation!
Show yourself compassion.
This is not the same as feeling sorry for yourself. No pity parties here. This is having grace. Recognizing we won’t and can’t get it right all the time. Giving ourselves grace reduces stress and anxiety, two of the biggest health risk factors.
Small steps to create big change.
Healthy habits are built one baby step at a time. It has been said that the only way to overcome a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. Implementing new habits will crowd out the old ones.
Try these: Have an 8oz glass of water immediately when you awake. Take a breather every 90 minutes during the day to increase productivity. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time daily.
Your Identity Is Key
The thoughts in our head or the circumstances in which we find ourselves often become our identity. Remember this, “Where you are is just WHERE you are, it’s not WHO you are.” -Dr. Troy Amdahl.
Although loving yourself isn’t the easiest thing to do, you can do it. It begins with recognizing that you are amazing and deserve love. The struggle is real, but you are worth it.
I see you, and YOU are beautiful!
Deanna Salles-FreemanLife & Health Coach