It is believed that building our own self compassion can also help grow our self-esteem and resilience. It also makes us less likely to struggle with depression, anxiety, shame and fear.
How we treat ourselves shows others how we will allow them to treat us. Think about it, if we don’t believe we deserve to be treated well by ourselves, then how do you think we feel about others taking advantage of us? We need to feel secure in ourselves and our worth so that we don’t have to look outside ourselves for any validation or support. When we don’t care about or even talk nicely to ourselves we can attract people who do the same. We can find ourselves in abusive and disrespectful relationships.
SO HOW DO WE BUILD SELF LOVE??
1. Notice your self talk. If it’s negative and putting you down all the time, work to make it more kind and compassionate – also know that self-compassion doesn’t mean we have to only have good feelings. We can be going through a hard time and still be kind and loving to ourselves.
2. Give yourself permission to not be perfect. No one is. Taking the first step to change is often the hardest. Be proud.
3. Be mindful – Situations can be out of our control, and there’s nothing we can do to change them. Let them go. Allow yourself to feel how you feel without judgement. Just notice them and let them go.
4. Mother yourself (or practice self-care if you prefer that phrasing). What phrases would your mother say (or you wished she would have said) that gave you comfort? Say those to yourself, take care of your needs (bandage any wounds, feed yourself, bathe yourself, etc)
5. Thank you body and mind for all they do. I do this myself a lot and I used to do it weekly in my eating disorder support group. Go through a list of all you have accomplished this day or week and thank your body and mind for allowing you to do those things. They can be simple tasks or more intense ones.. But take some time to be thankful and kind to yourself (this can be a great way to get started if you find the other ideas too hard).
6. Be patient. Learning a whole new way to talk to yourself and live your life is going to take time. The old habits you are fighting against didn’t happen in one day, so give yourself time to try and try again. Each time being mindful of how you are doing, reminding yourself that you’re not perfect, and that you aren’t supposed to be.
Keep doing it. It’s a constant practice. Yes it will get easier, but we have to keep doing it. Relationships take work, especially the one you have with yourself.
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I’m Kati Morton, a licensed therapist making Mental Health videos!
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