Do you find yourself always putting other people first, even if that means you miss out on things you want to do, or you end up over worked and stressed? Even when we do get a moment alone, we still seem to always be giving ourselves a hard time. We’ve become experts at putting ourselves down and picking out our flaws. We wouldn’t do it to other people and so why do we constantly do it to ourselves?
If you’re feeling unhappy, or stressed, there are a number of ways to help improve your overall state of mind. But to really battle our behaviour, we need to start by learning to love ourselves. Here are 6 important suggestions to really help you love yourself, unconditionally:
Don’t set conditions
Many of us will not love ourselves until we reach our perfect weight, get the perfect job or find the perfect boyfriend. Unfortunately, perfection is not always realistic and therefore these goals are out of reach. Forget the conditions and learn to love yourself just the way you are.
Be kind to yourself
Start by letting go of negative thoughts about yourself. Instead of criticizing everything you do, say something positive about yourself, every single day. Write it down and carry it around with you, or put it on your bathroom mirror so you see it as soon as you wake up in the morning. It’s also important to remember that everyone is different and so stop comparing yourself to others. Plus, if you make any mistakes, remember not to beat yourself up about them for months on end. Learn to forgive yourself and move forward.
Put yourself first
The phrase “you need to love yourself before you can love someone else” is really applicable here and it doesn’t just apply to relationships. In order to be the best you can be, you need to love yourself first. So, instead of going after the dream job in the hope that it will make you happy, focus on self-love. It will give you the courage and strength to then go on achieve those dreams for real and be truly happy.
Look after yourself
Your physical health and your mental health go hand in hand. Switch off technology and make time for exercise. This could be a simple walk, joining a class at your local gym, or something more adventurous. Exercise can help you clear your mind and it releases feel-good hormones. Follow this up with good nutrition and don’t forget sleep. Although it can feel like a waste of time, especially when you have an uncontrollable to-do list, our bodies and minds need these 8 hours to rest and rejuvenate.
Take time for yourself
Don’t feel bad about taking some time back just for yourself. Use it to do something you love, from getting outdoors, to taking up a hobby, or sitting back with a good book to recharge your batteries.
Be more mindful
Instead of getting bogged down by everything that is going on around you, take some time to focus inwards. Meditation can help you take a step back from life and make you more focused. It can leave you in a better position to make decisions that put you first.
Choose one or two of these suggestions and see where it takes you. It can be surprising how much of an effect simply appreciating ourselves can have on our lives. But this shouldn’t just be a onetime event. It’s important for you to continue to love yourself every single day. It requires dedication but it will be worth it to see your happiness and dreams unfold around you.
Have you been putting yourself at the bottom of your priority list? We’ve love to know what one thing you plan on doing to love yourself more. Tweet us at @PickTheBrain.
Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She is also a Social Media Consultant with a number of years’ experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Harmon.