“The book is called Opportunity, and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
Edith Lovejoy Pierce, poet
The beginning of a new year is a chance to start anew and initiate positive and long-lasting changes that will enhance the quality of your life.
Do you believe that new year resolutions are powerful or pointless? The downside is that new year’s resolutions can cause unnecessary stress because we often place excessive pressure on ourselves. On the flip side, they can be powerful motivators that propel us towards meaningful, life changing action.
The key to ensuring they are the latter is keeping things simple and focusing your efforts on just ONE compelling and attainable new year goal.
So, as you enter 2023 with renewed hope and optimism, what’s the ONE intention you can set that will help you make choices that will nurture your emotional, physical and mental health? The journey to health and happiness starts with learning to love yourself!
Why is self-love critical and how do you cultivate it?
“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.” – Robert Morely
Self-love is your superpower! It is the key to unlocking great, long-lasting happiness and fulfilment. It is the driver behind positive behaviour, and the preventor of harmful or negative behaviour. It’s important to note that Self-love is NOT a selfish act; it is NOT egotistical, in fact it is quite the opposite. Self-love is ESSENTIAL to mental health and well-being. Loving ourselves equates to a deep respect for our happiness, health and wellbeing. Our contentment is closely correlated with how adept we are at taking care of ourselves, and when we lack self love often we don’t believe we are worthy of self-care, so our happiness goes on a downward spiral. In turn, this compromises our resilience and ability to manage stress.
Self-love can enhance your life in so many ways, here’s how:
It improves the most important relationship you will ever have
Who will you be spending the rest of your life with? YOU! The most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself, and you must nurture it. If you fail to do so, you risk becoming a magnet for dysfunctional relationships because how you treat yourself is a reflection of how you treat others and how others treat you. When we don’t hold ourselves in high regard it becomes easier to tolerate mistreatment or abuse because we don’t believe we are worthy of anything better. Our capacity to love someone else is directly proportionate to our own self-worth, so if we are lacking in self-regard we’ll struggle to form healthy, long-lasting relationships.
It can help you to combat stress and anxiety
Becoming stress resilient starts with self-love. When we care about the preservation of our wellbeing, we’ll be more likely to take proactive measures to manage and mitigate negative emotions. Self-love is the foundation that enables us to implement self-care strategies that ensure we function at our best. If you lack self-love you may not believe that you deserve to take a break for example, and so you risk plunging yourself into burnout. You may even believe that you deserve to be punished and engage in self-destructive behaviour that could potentially damage your physical and mental health, which becomes a serious barrier to tackling stress.
It will raise your self esteem
High self-esteem affords us value and the confidence to chase our goals. When we hold ourselves in positive regard, we’re more likely to see failures and setbacks as opportunities rather than defeats and won’t allow failure or imperfection to ruin our day. Furthermore, a strong sense of self-satisfaction helps to ward off depression, anxiety and other life inhibiting psychological disorders.
It’ll help you to maintain healthy relationships
When you treat yourself with love and respect you are giving others permission to do the same. As a result, you’ll be more likely to build and maintain positive relationships with people who don’t take you for granted. From self-love comes the confidence to assert clear, defined boundaries and a lower tolerance for unjust treatment.
So, we’ve established that self-love is the key to unlocking greater joy and fulfilment, but how do we cultivate it?
Here are a few top tips to help you form a deep sense that you are worthy, valuable and loveable!
To love yourself is to take care of yourself, so start by implementing some simple self-care strategies that protect and enhance your physical and mental health. You could for example engage in mindfulness meditation, yoga, or massage, whatever it is that best takes care of your physical, nutritional, emotional and spiritual needs.
Treat yourself just as you would a friend
Self-compassion starts with treating yourself in the same way you’d treat a dear friend, with kindness, acceptance and understanding.
The setting of boundaries is a courageous and important act of self-love, and vital for establishing self-worth. When we respect ourselves we are not afraid to make necessary sacrifices to protect our health and wellbeing.
Listen to your internal voice
Treating yourself with compassion is critical for developing self-love, so pay attention to how you internally talk to yourself. Would you tell a loved one that they are not good enough? No! So, how can you justify saying this to yourself? Your inner voice holds an enormous amount of power over your emotions, beliefs and behaviours, so you must learn to reign it in. When you catch a negative thought directed at yourself, change it to something more positive or neutral, do this repeatedly and it will eventually become a habit.
Self-acceptance can bring peace and harmony to our lives and make us less vulnerable to criticism. The path to self-acceptance starts with acknowledging your achievements and abilities and all the qualities that make you unique. Self-acceptance will help you to ignore the inner and outer critics, overcome setbacks and move forward with your life with a quiet and profound sense of satisfaction.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into the topic of self-love, I’m confident you’ll love my NEW release ‘Self-Love For The Modern Woman: No One CAN Love Me Better!’.
Learning to love yourself is one of the most powerful and important steps you need to take to live a happy and fulfilling life, and I’d love to help you achieve it. To get started, contact me here.