Self-Love Tips to ThriveMay 19, 2023
Self-love is essential to our well-being, but it can often feel challenging to cultivate. It requires dedication, effort, and a willingness to prioritize our needs and desires. The Mind-Body Thrive Method offers valuable guidance to help you develop a loving relationship with yourself. In this post, we'll explore practical tips that can set you on the path to self-love. By committing to these practices, you can feel more empowered, liberated, and worthy of love.
1. Notice how you’re feeling. Noticing and understanding your emotions is essential to self-awareness and overall well-being.
- Check-in with yourself: Take regular moments throughout the day to pause and check in with yourself. Find a quiet space to focus on your thoughts and emotions without distractions. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself, "How am I feeling right now?"
- Scan your body: Emotions are not just experienced in mind; they can also manifest physically. Pay attention to physical sensations in your body, such as tension, butterflies in the stomach, or a racing heart. Scan your body from head to toe and notice any areas of discomfort or ease.
- Name your emotions: Once you've checked in with yourself and noticed any physical sensations, try to identify and label the feelings you're experiencing. Use simple and specific words to describe your feelings, such as happy, sad, anxious, frustrated, or content. Naming your emotions can help bring clarity and understanding.
- Be mindful of triggers: Notice what situations, people, or thoughts might trigger certain emotions. Recognize patterns and connections between your emotions and external factors. Understanding your triggers can provide insight into why you're feeling a certain way.
- Practice journaling: Writing in a journal can be a powerful tool for exploring and understanding emotions. Set aside time to write about your thoughts, experiences, and feelings. Describe in detail how you're feeling and try to explore the reasons behind those emotions. Journaling can help you gain perspective and process your emotions more effectively.
- Reflect on patterns: Take note of recurring emotional patterns or themes in your life. Are there particular situations or relationships that consistently trigger specific emotions? Reflecting on these patterns can help you identify underlying issues or unresolved emotions requiring attention.
- Use emotion tracking tools: Utilize digital apps or journals specifically designed for tracking emotions. These tools often provide prompts, mood scales, and spaces to record your emotions throughout the day. They can help you track patterns and better understand your emotional landscape.
2. Act on your needs. Self-love flourishes when you turn away from the quick-fix satisfaction (yet destructive) dieting practice. Instead, begin to focus on what you truly need. The pull of your disordered eating to engage in harmful behaviors may seem appealing, but avoiding them is essential for wellness. Trade your “diet meals” for nourishing ones, or partake in gentle exercise you enjoy rather than pushing yourself excessively at the gym. Choosing even just one health-promoting way to fulfill your physical and emotional needs could be enough to set self-nurturing and healing in motion. Once you’ve done so, observe and celebrate the benefits!
3. Cut yourself some slack. You would never criticize your friend if they made a mistake, but you beat yourself up over the most minor things. If you make a simple mistake, laugh it off and chalk it up to a moment of comic relief.
4. Be of service. The notion that tending to your own needs first and foremost holds merit, but assisting others can also help get you there. Volunteer work and being of service can serve as a healthy distraction from negative self-talk and behaviors, provide intense emotional gratification, and have been shown to help minimize stress and depression. For example, if you love animals, volunteer at your local shelter, or share artistic gifts by donating artwork or playing a musical instrument at an assisted living center. Being of service could also include picking up the phone and dialing your grandma, who would love to hear your voice!
5. Spend time with people who lift you higher. Being selective about who you spend time with is another crucial element of self-care. Avoid people who value aesthetics over all else or who make you feel anything less than embraceable. Delight in the company of friends who embrace you for who you are.
6. Take a social media sabbatical. Removing yourself from the online world allows you to stop comparing yourself to other people and what they do in their lives, whether for an hour or a day. Remember, social media will enable people to post what they want the world to see, usually the good, not the bad or the ugly. Giving yourself a moment to separate from the virtual world reminds you of what you love about your life.
7. Write a love letter to yourself. This may sound cheesy, but hear me out! People who suffer from disordered eating and body image issues are notoriously hard on themselves, and negative self-talk tends to run rampant. Invest similar amounts of energy into articulating the wonder of you instead. If you find that challenging, list your life’s blessings instead. Studies conducted at Carnegie-Mellon University showed that contemplating something personally meaningful before engaging in stressful activities reduced people’s stress and improved their performance by 50%. In other words, positivity and gratitude reduce stress, making thriving easier.
8. Take yourself on a date. One of my more powerful steps during my recovery involved a sumptuous, candlelit dinner I prepared and ate in solitude. I took my time savoring the meal's sights, appearances, and aromas, treating myself the way I would treat someone I deeply cared for. I shed a few tears as I ate, not out of sadness but because I realized how it felt to embrace self-love. Whether your solo date involves food or not, nurture yourself as you would a cherished friend. Paired with other treatment measures, it may help you become your best friend.
9. Reach out. If you are struggling and need support, please reach out to someone. Society encourages us to show ourselves to others when we are feeling good and hide in the shadows when we are feeling bad—try to fight that pressure. If you are not feeling well, and need the love and care of others, reach out to someone (or multiple people) in a way that feels good for you (texting, calling, FaceTiming, meeting in person). Also, remember that it does not reflect your lovability or value if they cannot support you at that moment. Remember, you always have the MBT Community to support you along your self-love and healing journey as well!!! :)
10. Step outside and breathe. It's easy to take for granted that we can rejuvenate our minds and bodies through the sacred pathway of our breath. By filling our lungs with air, we remind ourselves that we are worthy, which is one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves.
While self-love is vital for our well-being, it can be difficult to cultivate. The good news is that there are practical steps you can take to cultivate self-love, and the Mind-Body Thrive Method provides guidance to help you achieve this. By following the ten tips outlined in this post, such as prioritizing your needs, surrounding yourself with supportive people, and treating yourself with kindness, you can build a positive self-image and feel more empowered and worthy of love. Remember that self-love is a journey; with dedication and effort, you can develop a loving relationship with yourself.