The word 'Love' is a basic feature of a quintessential happy life. If asked about love, quite likely (in fact very likely) your thoughts would jump, searching for a name or a face. The answer by habit comes out to be some other person and rarely will you speak out your own name. Maybe you tag it selfish or self-centric or the idea of ‘Self-Love’ never occurred to you (up until now!).
Self-love stands for the regard you place on your individual well-being and happiness. You would say, well! I regard it quite highly, of course we all do, we all want to be happy but the question is what do you specifically do towards this. Mere thinking (Oh! I need to be happy…I care about my well-being). No, mere thinking is not self-love; self-love is Action-Oriented, in true sense more a verb than a noun.
Self-love being action-oriented, you need to practice few basic things to imbibe it in your daily life, practice them over and over, everyday, to realise the idea of self-love. It is not something you do today and then forget tomorrow. Self-love is a process and inculcating few ways in your daily lives, will help in enhancing it many folds.
Here are 7 Ways to Self-love that add to your overall Well-Being:
1. Practice Mindfulness: Simply explained, mindfulness is being in the here-and -now. It is the subtle art of being aware, alert and cognisance of your internal and external world. Being mindful of the internal world implies being aware of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Never let your thoughts run loose without you having any control over them. Start being conscious of what you are thinking and how is it making you feel. A simple litmus test would be if a thought feels negative, then change the thought; start thinking something that makes you feel better (there are always thoughts and memories that make us feel better). Prolonging negative thinking can have adverse effects on your physical and emotional health and hence on your overall well-being. Hence, it is important that you feed yourselves with good nourishing thoughts and be aware of your emotional status all the time (Check this right now!).
At the same time you need to be aware of your external world. Mindfulness emphasises awareness of self, others and our environment. Let’s put this in an example. On usual days you would just start your day in a jiffy, jump out of your bed, sip your coffee…reach office…work and back. Mindfulness seeks to take out this “jiffiness” from your daily routine and replace it with a living that is more conscious and aware of what you are doing…being in the here-and-now.
In a nutshell, “fill” some “mind” into your everyday living and you will see the difference.
2. Analyse your needs versus wants: An important aspect of self love is knowing what you actually require and need to live a fulfilling life. We want many things but we need few things. Your wants can go haywire and hence it is important to do an introspection into your actual “needs”. An ego-centric approach to life tells you that you have to have all that you want but it fails to tell you whether we “need” what you “want”.
You might have found yourself wanting something and then after having it, life doesn’t feel any better. So the point proves itself, work on what you truly need in your life. For example, you like a person and you think he/she would be perfect to be with, for their looks , their smartness, etc. Abracadabra!! You are with the person…one week into the relationship…one month now; gradually you realise something’s amiss and you are again not happy. You know exactly what happened, you guys were not compatible. So to cut short this whole scenario from repeating itself time and again, you must brainstorm, now- and -then, about what you need from life and what your ‘true’ purpose is. Simply following people and media to compose your wants might prove unhealthy and strenuous eventually.
In a nutshell, brainstorm what your true needs are and separate them from the wants that you are creating for yourself out of external influences. Why waste time pursuing things that won’t make a difference, ultimately!
3. Get into Self care: Self-Love is all about 'Self-Care'. Self care involves paying attention to your health, hygiene, nutrition and pampering yourself now and then. Indulge yourself in a healthy routine. Talking about a routine, Well! It is essential for a healthier-happier life. Follow a daily routine because it helps to structure your day and prevents it from running loose. Add some exercise/physical activities in your routine for that adrenaline rush for the day; adrenaline rush that helps in keeping fit, keeping many diseases at bay, the healthy glowing skin and so much more.
Hygiene should also be addressed daily with a bath (to start with) and gradually progressing onto self indulging grooming. Yes! Not to forget the mollycoddled body massages and facials. Another area to take care of is your nutrition, do take care of it by eating healthy (I am assuming that you have a fair idea about healthy food habits).
In a nutshell, start paying some attention to what is healthy and what is not and actively inculcate nourishing habits in your daily routine.
4. Becoming Aware about your beliefs: Beliefs are those core structures that must be revisited, before working on any change we wish. Simply put, beliefs are the lenses with which you view the world and take actions. Beliefs paint our perceptions and give us a coloured or discoloured view of the world around us.
To start with, thrash out the basic values and principles that drive your life and then evaluate how healthy or unhealthy these principles are. Revisit you beliefs about life and living and jot them down. Ask yourself questions like How I…? When I…? Why I…? , etc. Weigh these values and principles unbiasedly and come out with or add few more that help you perform at your optimum (without sabotaging others well-being) and at the same time add to your overall well-being and happiness.
In a nutshell, be aware about your core beliefs and values with which you see the world around you. Maybe you will find some erroneous ones and some healthy ones. Choose them wisely and be well (self) informed.
5. Stop the comparison: There is a new disease taking over us and that is 'Comparison'. We just cant have enough of comparisons. Not that it was never there, but with the coming in of social media and the over dependence we show to it, comparisons are but unavoidable. You click, you see someone else and you gauge yourself with that someone. The probability that you will find many doing way better than you are (as per your perception) is not high but very high. And probability of you feeling insecure or inadequate after such social media comparisons (conscious-unconscious) is very high as well. So don’t fall into this trap of comparisons. You are good the way you are and people are good the way they are. Do what you do best and be content with what you achieve. Gradually work for higher aims, not because you are comparing yourself with others but because you ought to, for yourself. Remember self-love!
In a nutshell, stop leading a life of constant comparisons. Do things that 'You' like and excel in them.
6. Mind your company: Your company matters a lot in your quality of life. The choice of people that we have around us enormously determines our well-being status. So the basic rule is to choose wisely and rightly. Try keeping company of positively like-minded people (people who have a positive impact on your life), rather than forcing yourself into a company which is poles apart but you are just keeping it because… (you don’t know…maybe just being social!).
Surround yourself with people with whom you can be yourself and feel comfortable with, people who respect your individuality. Also it is only a handful…sorry not handful just a pinch of people (I guess that amounts to a couple of them) who play a major role in your well-being. If it feels too difficult to be around someone even after trying hard enough to make it work, do evaluate the possibility of moving on, keeping your self-respect intact.
In a nutshell, identify the right kind of people for you, people you can gel with without trying hard, keep them close and pamper yourself with them.
7. Giving back Love: An important step in self-Love is giving love. Love works on a principle of 'reciprocity'. The more you give the more you receive. But here an element of 'selflessness' is involved. Love without expecting (you have heard it before and that is quite true!), love others because you want to, make other people feel better because you want to, not because you are expecting something out of them (then it becomes selfish and doesn’t serve the purpose). Try giving more of love, help, charity to the world around you with the sole aim of selfless helping and you will fall in love with yourself, because you are worth it :)
In a nutshell, giving selfless love to others infuses positivity, contentment and more confidence in your life and is a by-product of self-love.
Summary: Seven ways to Self-Love
1. “Fill” some “mind” into your everyday living and you will see the difference.
2. Brainstorm what your true needs are and separate them from the wants that you are creating for yourself out of external influences. Why waste time pursuing things that won’t make a difference, ultimately!
3. Start paying some attention to what is healthy and what is not and actively inculcate nourishing habits in your daily routine.
4. Be aware about your core beliefs and values with which you see the world around you. Maybe you will find some erroneous ones and some healthy ones. Choose them wisely and be well (self) informed.
5. Stop leading a life of constant comparisons. Do things that 'You' like and excel in them.
5. Stop leading a life of constant comparisons. Do things that 'You' like and excel in them.
6. Identify the right kind of people for you, people you can gel with without trying hard, keep them close and pamper yourself with them.
7. Giving selfless love to others infuses positivity, contentment and more confidence in your life and is a by-product of self-love.