Self-love is a journey each and every one of us needs to go through to live a happy and fulfilling life, but it can often be one of the most difficult tasks to do. Improving your relationship with yourself often means needing to take a look at your life and where you are neglecting and abandoning yourself.
We often give way more to our external relationships and forget about ourselves, but remember, you cannot give from an empty cup, you have to give to yourself first! This means needing to face your shadow and this can often be quite an uncomfortable feeling.
However, if you follow these steps you will be well on your way to improving your life as well as the relationship you have with yourself.
Be Honest About Where You Could Improve In Your Life
You can improve your relationship with yourself by reflecting on the areas in your life where you aren’t honoring your needs and where you are putting yourself last. By evaluating the changes you can make and setting boundaries with others you should get a good idea about what needs to change. This is definitely not an easy process and it may make you feel uncomfortable to see where you have been neglecting yourself.
To get started, you might find it helpful to consider the areas of your life where you feel drained, as this is a good place to start. Quietly observe what seems to be stealing your energy and what is adding to it. Try not to judge it, just recognize that this activity is no longer serving a helpful purpose. It might be something as simple as making yourself too available for friends to lean on you or not getting enough sleep in the evening. Notice what makes you feel agitated and annoyed, from there you can start making changes that serve you better. This process is there to help you to trust yourself and figure out where your boundaries lie. This is extremely powerful and will certainly improve the relationship you have with yourself.
Be Kind And Compassionate Towards Yourself
There is much evidence that shows that simply being kinder and more compassionate to yourself can radically improve the relationship you have with yourself. Quietly observe the way you speak to yourself and try to reframe the negative thoughts you have about yourself into something more positive. You might be shocked to see how often you criticize yourself and put yourself down. Being more positive and kinder to yourself will improve your relationship with yourself but it will also boost your confidence. You will quickly start to see what your triggers are so be especially aware when you are dealing with stressful situations that usually make you spiral.
Instead of beating yourself up just acknowledge that you are struggling at the moment. Try not to shame yourself, instead find a practice that will help to soothe your anxiety. Journalling is a very powerful tool to help you process these emotions without judgment. You could also try to remove yourself from the situation and think about how you would speak to a friend when they are going through a difficult moment. Affirmations are also extremely powerful. Have a couple of statements in your toolkit you can repeat to yourself when you recognize that you are being hard on yourself. Something as simple as “I am loved and worthy” can be very effective in turning your mood around. It is really all about self-awareness.
Practice Meditation And Mindfulness
Regular practice of meditation can assist you in changing your relationship with your thoughts, which, in turn, can assist you in reducing the impact of negative self-talk if you practice it regularly. The simple act of carving out time to focus on yourself, your thoughts, and your breathing can radically improve your well-being. The extra added benefit of meditation is that this may also increase your compassion for yourself, but also for others. If you are a newbie to meditation there are many helpful and free tools online where you can access meditation. Youtube is an especially good space to find guided meditations that can help to soothe any negative emotions. Finding one that works for you and committing to doing it as often as necessary, daily would be ideal.
In order to improve your relationship with yourself, it’s important to remember that you can make a difference no matter where you start and that progress is not a straight line. Sometimes you need to be at the bottom of despair to experience the change necessary to improve the relationship you have with yourself. Relationships take effort, especially the relationship you have with yourself. Consistency can make a massive difference, but you are going to have to commit to the process. Healing is not a one-stop shop, it is something you need to continually work on if you want to notice a difference and experience a healthier relationship with yourself now, and also in the future.
Be Intentional With Your Self-Care
Self-care is probably the most important step when starting a journey of healing the relationship you have with yourself. You need to start taking the steps to improve your life with intentional effort. These are the actions you take daily that support you regardless if you are in a positive or negative space. Self-care is the prevention, not the cure. It is what you do to fill your cup before it runs empty. This can be as simple as journaling daily, going for walks in the evening, or carving out time for exercise. These are the practices that should help to ground you but also build a stronger connection with yourself.
These rituals should help you to create better boundaries in your life. If you know that yoga is part of your routine and what you do to take better care of yourself, you are unlikely going to cancel or fill up that space with activities that drain your energy. Self-care sounds so simple in practice, but when you have a low relationship with yourself it can be difficult to prioritize and this is why it is so important to do. Make this part of your routine and you will slowly start to see the improvements in your life.
Do One Self-Love Activity Daily
To improve the relationship you have with yourself, you are going to have to show up every day and put in the effort. Even if that means simply doing one small activity that boosts your mood – this will make a major difference and over time you will experience the ripple effect. If you are at the start of your self-love journey you may find it challenging to implement so many changes at once. This is why I would suggest starting out small. Pick out one thing that you know you could realistically commit yourself to. A daily 5-minute meditation can have significant positive effects on the relationship you have with yourself.
Because this is something new, you are going to have to reprogram yourself and this takes time. You may feel resistant to the changes, but this means the effort you are putting in is working. You need to persist, and this is why starting small is the way to go. Taking the necessary baby steps will pay off in the long run. If you keep going against this commitment you have made for yourself it should be a pretty clear indication that your relationship with yourself needs work. This is the only motivation you need to start this journey