‘If only we loved & treated ourselves the way we treat the ones we love we would feel a lot more free!’
Many psychology studies attest, self-love and -compassion are key for mental health and well-being, keeping depression and anxiety at bay. Below, we take a look at guilt, what it is and how it makes us feel & what is Self -love? How can we make more of a consciously effort to be more kinder to ourselves? And does it really make an overall difference to our wellbeing?
Guilty is a negative emotional feeling. The Collins dictionary states: If you feel guilty, you feel unhappy because you think that you have done something wrong or have failed to do something which you should have done. Guilt can mix with other negative emotions such as anger, sadness, hurt, shame, jealousy, resentment (mostly toward ourselves) & fear to name a few. We tend to be extremely hard on ourselves when feeling guilty and this can resort to us thinking and believing we are no good. It can prevent us from living a happy and fulfilling life. We believe we don’t deserve it or uncapable of achieving our dreams. We can also feel we have not done enough or we can feel guilty for putting ourselves first and saying ‘no’ to others. Guilt is a heavy emotion which can bring us down and have a negative impact on all aspects of our wellbeing; mind, body and spirit. So now we know that guilt does nothing to help us let’s look at self love and find out how we cans how ourselves more love!
What is self-love?
Self-love is defined as regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. There are three types of self-love:
- Physical—refers to how you see yourself
- Mental—refers to how you think of yourself (self-acceptance)
- Psychological—refers to how you treat yourself (self-respect)
Making ourselves a priority is a fundamental practise to achieve a well balanced body, mind and soul.
Why is self-love important?” you might ask. For many of us, self-love might sound like a luxury rather than a necessity — or a new-age fad for those with too much time on their hands. However, evidence has shown that having a more compassionate attitude to ourselves, rather than critical outlook, has scientific benefits. Where self-criticism leaves us powerless and distraught, self-compassion is at the root of empowerment, learning, and inner strength. By showing ourselves compassion, the same way we show others, we are consciously telling ourselves we deserve care and concern just like everyone else. Evidence shows when we show ourselves love we have a more positive attitude towards life and greater life satisfaction. We become less stressed and anxious and listen more to our inner needs as well as physical needs. Therefore, this leads us to make better choices and decisions in life. There are many other scientific studies that show the positive effects of self love.
So now we know the importance of self-love, now more then ever we should ditch the guilt for showing ourselves a little more TLC. It’s not about being selfish and not thinking of others but making the decision to listen to your own needs and be kinder in the way you think and talk about yourself
So how can you start incorporating self love into your daily life? Being overly critical of ourselves is something we are all guilty of. It takes time and a conscious effort to retrain the way we think of ourselves so here are some ideas on how you can incorporate self love into your daily lives.
- Don’t believe everything you think. There is an inner critic inside of us trying to keep us small and safe. The downside is this also stops us from living a full life. When you start beating yourself up write them down and ask yourself would your friends or family say this about you? The likely answer is no so rip it up and bin it!
- Take time out to calm your mind every day. Breathe in and out, clear your mind of your thoughts and just be.
- Follow your passion. You know that thing that gets you so excited but scares you at the same time. The thing you really want to do but have convinced yourself it won’t work. You should go do that!
- Find something to be grateful for every day. It’s inevitable that you are going to have your down days. This is fine and very human of you. It’s especially important on these days to find at least one thing you are grateful for as it helps to shift your mind and energy around what’s going on.
- Turn off and inwards. Grab a cup of your favourite tea, coffee, wine, whatever your choice of drink, and sit down for a few minutes on your own. No TV or distractions, just you. Think about the wonderful things that are happening in your life right now, what your big dreams are and how you can make them happen.
- Forgive yourself. You know that thing you did one time (or maybe a few times) that made you feel bad, embarrassed, ashamed? It’s time to let that go. You can’t change the things you have done in the past but you can control your future. Look at it as a learning experience and believe in your ability to change.
- Learn to say no. Saying no sometimes doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a smart person.
- Embrace and love the things that make you different. This is what makes you special.
- Give up the need for approval from others. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” — Dita Von Teese
- Get in touch with your inner dialogue. If it’s anything less than loving, encouraging and supportive, it’s time to make a change. You deserve to be spoken to in the same way you would speak to your best friend, sister, brother, daughter, or son. Find some positive affirmations that you can use to tell yourself how brilliant you are!