5 Steps to Love Yourself
Handy hints to discover real self love.
Identity 23rd Dec, 2020
In recent years public awareness of mental health has improved, including understanding of issues caused by low self esteem. Learning to love yourself is something that many people need to do. Common signs can be struggling with a fear of failure, or putting high emphasis on not achieving milestones like promotions or marriage by a certain age. Problems with low self esteem can start early, there may be contributing factors such as being bullied, or parents who did not celebrate childhood successes. Perhaps you never remember having any confidence in yourself. Either way, once this belief forms, most people search for evidence that confirms they are not good enough.
Every time you make a mistake, or have an embarrassing moment, or don’t get that pay rise, you see it as proof you are not worthy. It is likely that you retain these moments and play them over and over again in your memory. It is equally likely that you do not remember, or even notice, your successes in the same way.
Cooking your family/friends a meal is a triumph, seeing your grandparents or going to the gym once a month is more than countless people manage. Take a moment to think about the things you do that you should be celebrating. Then try out 1 of the ideas below, which offer practical tips on how to introduce some balance, so you can improve your self esteem.
Mindfulness is used to help people take the time to live in the present. This allows you to quiet the chatter in your mind. Perhaps you regularly catastrophise, which is when you imagine a reaction to something you have or have not done. However, this reaction has not happened yet and will never play out exactly as you believe, as you can’t predict another person’s actions completely accurately. Practicing mindfulness may help you reduce this habit, as well as many others which cause stress.
For tips on how to start go to: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/
Stop Following The Rules:
There are many rules that people follow without even noticing them. Perhaps having a shower feels like a difficult task because you do not have the energy to stand, so you don’t shower and then feel annoyed with yourself. Instead of beating yourself up, try sitting down to wash. Another common one is you must rinse your dishes before running the dishwasher, if you can’t face that, run it twice.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, ask the people you live with if they could help out while you are struggling. If you rarely spend time pampering yourself, or alone, take 5 extra minutes in the bathroom. Take a look at your life, break the rules when you need to and don’t give it a second thought.
Argue With The Voices In Your Head:
Many of us are constantly telling ourselves stories, ‘I didn’t get enough done today’, ‘I’m a failure’, ‘why is my cooking worse than my partner/friends’. It is all too easy to listen to this voice and those stories, however, you don’t have to. If you wouldn’t say it to a child, or your best friend, don’t say it to yourself. Start to listen out for that voice and the times it’s telling you off, once you are aware of it, you are likely to find you can dismiss it, or argue with it. This voice can also be your biggest cheerleader, try to listen to it then, the positive rather than the negative.
Accept That The Grass Is Always Greener:
However well you do in your career/ physical fitness/relationships there will always be somebody you perceive as more of a high flyer/fitter/happier. That is human nature and there is nothing wrong with it. This feeling can even give you the drive to achieve your goals. However, when you feel like it’s trapped you in a life that is not good enough, it is time to evaluate what you have. You are worthy and have made a life for yourself.
You do not need to have a high wage/model body/partner to be happy. Remember, most people live what is perceived as a ‘normal’ life in a standard job, with a comfortably rounded body and high and lows in their relationships. You are enough where you are right now, wherever that is.
Go Outside Once A Week:
There are many studies that have shown spending time outdoors in green spaces can help your mental health. Even a quick trip to a tiny local park could be good for you. Whether you live in a city, the country, or somewhere in between there will be somewhere you can go, partly because of the increased awareness of the benefits these spaces can offer. Take the time to slowly walk around, listen to the birds or any other animals that are there.
When you are focused on looking for wildlife, you are less likely to be trapped in your mind and thoughts, as you are thinking about the animals instead. This could help you practice mindfulness. If possible, take a 20 minute walk once a week, or as often as you can and enjoy the benefits.
Learning to love yourself starts with understanding that you do deserve to spend time improving your self esteem and working on your mental health. You are worthy, you would never tell a friend that they don’t deserve to love themselves, stop saying it to yourself. Try out the ideas above, see which, if any work for you.
Perhaps none of them do, take a look at this link and try out some of these tips https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/ You may also want to seek professional therapy, if so, talk to your local doctor and find out what services are available. Ultimately, don’t pressure yourself to try all 5 steps, pick 1, see where it takes you and be kind to yourself.