5 Ways to Increase Self-Love, by Iman

A guest post by a repeat writer for the blog, Iman Walker on five simple strategies to increase self-love. Read this for some new year motivation!

A guest post by a repeat writer for the blog, Iman Walker on five simple strategies to increase self-love.

“Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.” – Louise L Hay

Contrary to what some people think, self-love is not a bad term. It doesn’t mean you’re a narcissistic, selfish or self-absorbed person. Quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, it means you make the effort of recognizing your worth and value.

Self-love is accepting that as human beings, we’re imperfect. And that’s perfectly okay.

In a world where we’re always reminded to compare ourselves to others, to change our lifestyles or looks to fit silly societal standards, self-love is what we do to accept who we are as individuals.

Now, this may sound like sweet, cliche talk, but it’s true. Putting yourself first in your life is a practice that can transform your relationship with yourself.

If you’re ready to start appreciating yourself and your efforts, valuing who you are as a human being and knowing your self-worth, I have five tips that’ll help you out on your journey towards loving yourself.

#1 – Silence the mean, mental chatter in your mind.

Our inner critic.

We all have one. Her opinions are hurtful and useless, and although we realise this, we always listen to her.

silence, stop, mental chatter, inner talk, inner critic,

Let’s admit it. If we spoke to others the way we speak about ourselves, we wouldn’t have any friends. Sometimes, WE are our worst enemies.

One of the first steps to loving yourself is to silence the mental chatter. Don’t give this voice in your mind any attention. Dismiss the criticism. This might be difficult at first because we’re so used to giving in to this mean voice. But with practice, it’ll become easier.

We criticize our bodies, our looks, our ability to do things. And so the best way to combat this voice is to vocally tell ourselves the complete opposite of what she’s saying.

So next time you criticise yourself for whatever reason, flip the script and say something positive instead. You’re always with yourself, you deserve that self-love and appreciation.

#2 – Self-love means you stop comparing yourself.

Before we had billboards, magazines and movies that made us compare ourselves. Now it’s all those things and social media.

Many of us are guilty of using social media in a way that doesn’t benefit us. Every day, we scroll through our feeds, staring at pictures of people we think have perfect lives, bodies, partners, and so on.

If you think about it, what does this do besides ruin your mood?

Embrace your differences, unique, self-love, harmony, meeting, group

I love this quote by Iyanla Vanzant, “Comparison is an act of violence against the self”. Her choice of words shows how damaging it is to compare ourselves to others. It brings about no benefit.

If you want to start loving yourself more, you must recognize that you were created unique, and your journey is different from everyone else’s. Anway, if we were all the same, life would be boring!

#3 – Recite positive affirmations about yourself.

Research has shown that reading or reciting affirmations can influence how we feel about ourselves in a good way. This also subconsciously encourage us to make good choices in life.

self-love, self-care, postive, affirmations, journal, notebook, flowers, be unstoppable, motivational quotes

You can come up with your own self-love affirmations. But just to give you an idea of what you can say, here are some examples:

  • I believe in myself and my abilities to do amazing things
  • I am worthy
  • I’m deserving of love and respect
  • My self-esteem is always increasing
  • I’m always trying to become a better version of myself
  • I have special gifts unique to me
  • I value myself and my self-worth
  • I’m in control of making my own decisions
  • I can make a positive difference in the world

#4 – Embrace your differences as an act of self-love.

This tip ties in with the one about comparisons.

cheer, toast, self-love, healthy relations, success, party, champagne, friends, happy

Society has set an unrealistic standard for how our lives should be. But, in our pursuit of meeting this impossible standard, we put ourselves down for being different.

This needs to stop. We’re not all the same and we were never meant to live identical lives. Don’t look down upon yourself for being different. This is what makes you unique and special.

And embracing your differences is a key ingredient in your journey to self.

To love ourselves is to accept ourselves as we are. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t strive to become better. Naturally, you should always try to improve. It’s important to have goals, but love every step you take towards reaching your objectives.

#5 – Be patient with yourself.

“Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself” – Max Ehrmann

patience, time, gentle, watch, slow, flowers, self-love, love yourself, validate yourself

This is one of my favourite quotes. It can be interpreted in different ways, but I understand it like this: While changing, growing and transforming yourself, be gentle. Be patient. Be loving.

Whatever phase you are at in life, whatever choices you’ve made, there’s always a way to make things better. On some days, you won’t feel good about yourself. But that’s okay. As with anything in life, the goal is to carry on and not give up.

Final thoughts

There you have it. Five pieces of advice to help you increase self-love. I hope you found them useful, but there are many other ways you boost self-love. Check out this post on 7 daily rituals that are essential for self-love.

Iman Walker is a copywriter and blogger for the personal development industry. She enjoys writing on a variety of subjects, particularly those related to self-growth and productivity.

You can check out more of her work at https://imanwalker.com/ and on her Instagram page.

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5 Ways to Increase Self Love

5 Tips to Overcome Anxiety with Present Moment Awareness, by Iman

A meaty post about dealing with anxiety, with a variety of techniques for present moment awareness. Bookmark this for later!

This is going to be a meaty post about dealing with anxiety, you might want to bookmark this!

Anxiety is something everybody experiences. It is normal to feel anxious about certain situations in life. Be it family problems, work, school or a crisis you’re facing. Anxiety is also your body’s natural reaction to impending danger, so it can serve to protect us. 

When the symptoms of anxiety becomes constant, however, to the point that you’re fearful, worried and stressed all the time, It could be that you’re dealing with a medical disorder for which you can receive treatment. 

When dealing with anxiety, it can be difficult to imagine a way of what you’re experiencing. It traps you and makes you feel like you’ve lost control. But you haven’t. Believe it or not, it is possible to release yourself out of the tight grip of anxiety. 

In this article, I am going to share with you six ways in which you can ease your anxiety. These steps involve calming yourself by pulling your attention away from your worries and to the present moment. 

#1 – Accept that the past is gone and that the future doesn’t exist yet.

Anxiety is often triggered because of worries we have of the past or fears of the future. In both cases, it is pointless to feel anxious. 

past, anxiety, future, choice

The past is in the past. Accept that what has happened, happened. You can’t change events, all you can focus on is what you are doing now.

 If you made a mistake and you feel guilty about it, worrying won’t change a thing. Instead, learn whatever that experience taught you and resolve never to do it again.

The future doesn’t exist. Think about this fact for a moment. 

Ask yourself, why am I worrying about a tomorrow that isn’t guaranteed? Take any action necessary now towards making your future easy, but you don’t stress about it.

#2 – Silence the voice in your mind.

You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.

– Dan Millman

Negative thoughts can sometimes be the main trigger of anxiety. You may not have control over a stressful situation you’re in. But you do have control over how you think about that situation and your perception of it. 

When a negative thought creeps into your mind, stop it in its tracks. It’s impossible to entertain two thoughts at once. So shift your attention towards something else. 

positive, affirmations, peace, stress

This is something you have to practice regularly because this inner voice will constantly come knocking. But the more it does, the more you have to train your mind to shut the door. 

You can practice this in four ways:

  • Change your thoughts from something negative, to positive. For example, if you’re worried about something that will happen in the future, such as an important interview, instead of thinking: “this is going to go horribly wrong” try “this is going to go extremely well”
  • Recite positive affirmations to yourself.
  • Distract yourself by focusing on something other than the thoughts in your mind. Do something practical like exercising, cooking or painting. Anything you enjoy. 
  • Speak to someone. The conversation doesn’t have to be about your problems if you don’t feel comfortable sharing that. But speaking with a friend or family member is an effective way of pulling your mind away from negative thoughts.

#3 – Practice mindfulness exercises for anxiety

Practising mindfulness exercises is a good way of being present, and easing your anxiety. You’re turning your attention away from your thoughts and feelings, towards something else which you are doing now.

mindfulness, meditation, present moment awareness

Here are some mindfulness exercises you can try:

a) Meditation 

Meditating is simple. Find a comfortable place to sit, this can be on your bed, chair, floor, anywhere you want. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Don’t breathe consciously, let your breath flow in and out naturally. Be conscious of how your body moves as you inhale and exhale.

Read more : Everything You Need to Know About Meditation

b) Breathing exercises

If you’re in an environment where meditating isn’t an option, you can practice breathing exercises. Just take a deep breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Focus and breathe consciously, you’ll quickly notice a difference in how you feel. 

c) Being mindful of your surroundings

Life moves fast. So fast that we often forget to pause and live in the moment fully. A great way of easing anxiety is to be mindful of your surroundings by  using your senses. 

Try this:

  • Look around you and focus your attention on what your eyes see, absorb all the details.
  • You can then use your auditory sense, what can you hear? 
  • Use your sense of touch, place your palm against anything around you, that can even be an object like your phone. How does it feel?
  • Step outside and inhale the fresh air, how does that feel? 

#4 – If possible, SOLVE the problem that is stressing you.

If your anxiety is triggered by a specific issue in your life which you have the ability to solve, do so now. For example, you might have a lot of work or revision for school which you need to do. Start doing it. Even if you don’t complete everything, starting will give you a sense of achievement. 

solve rubix cube, anxiety, stress, resolve

If you have crippling debt, despite how scary it seems, start taking the necessary actions towards paying it back. 

Whether you can solve your problem now or in the long-term, taking the actions towards solving it will help to ease your anxiety now.

#5 – Journal your anxious thoughts

Journaling is an effective way of reducing anxiety. Grabbing a pen and jotting your worries down on a piece of paper can help you to gain clarity. 

journaling, diary, notebook, self awareness, anxiety, calm

You don’t have to worry about making sense or writing a structured entry, just write whatever is on your mind. If you’re stuck and you don’t know how to begin, here are some journaling prompts:

  • Why am I feeling this way?
  • What is the root of my fear?
  • How can I solve this problem?
  • What can I do to take back control?
  • What strengths do I have which will help me get through this?

If you rather write about something besides anxiety, here are more positive journaling ideas:

  • Gratitude journaling – write three things you are grateful for.
  • Describe your favourite memory
  • List five things that make you happy and why
  • List all the things your strengths and skills you have

#6 – Leave the situation that is making you anxious

Some people experience anxiety if they’re in certain situations they don’t like. If you’re uncomfortable in social gatherings for example, and your anxiousness is debilitating, leave that place. If you can’t leave for whatever reason, then excuse yourself for a few minutes. Practice some of the mindfulness exercises listed above, then go back when you feel calm again.

If you’re scrolling through social media, and it’s triggering your anxiety, log off. Your mental health comes first. You don’t have to force yourself to stay somewhere you feel uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts On Anxiety & Present Moment Awareness

There you have it. Six pieces of advice to help you connect with the present moment, and ease your anxiety. 

Here’s a recap:

  • Accept that the past is gone and the future doesn’t exist yet
  • Silence the voice in your mind
  • Practice some mindfulness exercises
  • If possible, solve your problem now
  • Journal
  • Change the situation you’re in

Is there any other way you can use the present moment to ease anxiety? Comment down below and let us know!

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5 Tips to Overcome Anxiety with Present Moment Awareness