Self-love may be one of the most essential concepts in life and one of the most difficult to grasp. There are many ways to practice self-love every day, but we often find it challenging to prioritize this type of care in our busy lives. Sometimes we learn to only love certain parts of ourselves, accepting some things about ourselves but rejecting others. Especially during recovery, you may need to approach self-love with a fresh start. You may need to retrain your mind to recognize that every part of you is worthy of love. Your own body and mind have gotten you this far, and that fact alone is worth acknowledging and appreciating.
The most important relationship we have is the one we have with ourselves. This fall season, make a conscious choice to fall in love with yourself. Maybe you’re falling in love with yourself for the first time, or perhaps you’re learning to fall in love again. Either way, you deserve a life full of self-love.
Be Kind To Your Mind
This is a suggestion heard frequently regarding self-love and one that is sometimes easier said than done. Challenge yourself to address the inner dialogue that you have inside of you. Pay attention to the stream of consciousness flowing from within you, and recognize when it’s helpful or combative. Try to connect with this inner voice. Identify its tone. Notice when it starts to sound threatening or demanding. Become aware of this voice and of the things that it tells you. Often, many people struggle with self-love because their inner dialogue is constantly bashing them for what they do or say.
Try to recognize where harmful or hurtful comments from your inner voice have their roots. Sometimes, the people that were supposed to show us unconditional love and care when we were young failed to do so. Their criticisms and judgments can resonate from the past and cause our internal monologue to bring about those same feelings of rejection from childhood.
Being kind to your mind involves bringing awareness to your inner voice and purposefully recognizing when its comments are hurtful. Train your inner voice to be a friend to you, offering advice and compliments when necessary. This may take some time, but here are some tips that can help with the process.
Think of your favorite friend or family member. Train your voice to speak as kindly and lovingly as your favorite friend speaks to you.
See yourself through the eyes of someone that loves you. This will help you highlight the numerous traits that you have in you to love.
Read positive affirmations out loud. Statements like “I am worthy” or “I am grateful to be alive today” are just a few helpful examples. After repetition, these affirmations will start to stick in the mind.
Focus on your many positive traits, including strengths, abilities, and passions. Try to avoid judgments and comparisons to others.
Making mistakes is an inevitable part of being a human. Fall in love with yourself by forgiving yourself of your past mistakes. Acknowledging when you have made a mistake can feel embarrassing, but recognizing your shortcomings and reflecting on them can help you assure that you won’t make the same error again.
When you discuss with a friend something that they regret or did wrong, you would typically provide support and advice to help them move forward. Regardless of what they did, you know that they are a good person and learned whatever lesson was there to be learned. Likewise, your inner voice should respond to yourself as kindly and caringly as you would respond to your friend.
When you are experiencing moments of regret, remember to be kind to yourself. Mistakes are a normal part of life. An excellent example of this, especially during recovery, would be acknowledging the inner strength it takes to try again after relapse. All of your previous work is not negated by one mistake, so give yourself the grace to get up and move forward. Forgive yourself so that you can love yourself.
Identify Needs and Make Changes When Necessary
Self-love always comes back to reflection and recognizing personal needs. Here are some questions that you can always ask yourself:
- How am I feeling right now?
- How can I make myself feel better?
- What do I need right now?
- Do I need alone time?
- Am I due for a quality conversation with a good friend?
- How is my living environment?
- Do I need to explore different career opportunities?
- Do I need an adventure?
Find out the things that you need, and then give them to yourself. Fulfilling needs is a priority with self-love. If there is something that you believe needs change, such as your job or living situation, you owe it to yourself to make that change. Many judge others because we were once judged harshly. If you want to be less judgemental, bring awareness to your thought patterns and stop yourself when you find yourself judging. Bring awareness to the many thoughts, needs, and changes that you experience within you. This is the one life that you get to live, so live it how you imagine it to be. You are worthy of endless self-love.
We fall in love in many ways throughout our lives, but this season, ask yourself what it means to fall in love with yourself? Self-love is a crucial part of quality living, especially during one’s recovery journey. Acknowledge and challenge your inner voice. Recognize the way that it speaks to you and whether it leans more positive or more negative. Retrain this inner voice to speak more patiently and more kindly to you. Use your inner voice to foster forgiveness within yourself when necessary. Be able to voice and identify your needs and make positive changes in your life. You only have this one life, so it is vital that you shower yourself in self-love to recognize your true worth. West Coast Recovery Centers focus on mental health and substance abuse treatment with individualized treatment options for all clients. For more information on self-love or the treatment programs we offer, give us a call at (760) 492-6509.