How to start your journey to self-love

Self-love may seem like a self-indulgent exercise, but it can have a positive effect on you and the people you share your life with. Having a positive frame of mind can make day-to-day life so rewarding and invigorating. Self-love can also help you cope with life’s more stressful and testing situations. We all have our ups and downs, but it’s how we deal with them that really affects our wellbeing. 

Our personal levels of self-love can have a positive impact on our relationships, career, health, and wellbeing. With the benefits of self-love in mind, we’ll go through four steps with great tips to help you on your journey to self-love. 

Step 1: Use practical mindfulness every day 

We dedicate so much of our time to work, family commitments, and chores that sometimes it’s easy to forget that mindfulness is one of the most important aspects of self-love. Mindfulness has been shown to help defuse destructive emotions, manage behaviour, sharpen your focus, reduce stress levels, and increase your capacity for empathy and optimism. 

Focus on the following three areas to help improve your state of mindfulness:

Physical awareness

Your breath can be used as an effective anchor for mindfulness. Pay attention to your breath. Is it deep, shallow, fast, or slow? Are you breathing through your nose or mouth? Observe your body’s physical sensations during an activity and see how they change. Take in the sights and smells around you. Simple activities such as regulating your breathing can help make you feel more calm, centred, and relaxed when you need it the most. 

Dealing with distractions

Whether we like it or not, distractions are a part of life. We can’t always avoid them. However, we can control how we react and cope with them. The next time a distraction occurs, take note of it. Name the distraction in your head, then bring your attention back to the present moment’s activity. Sometimes it can be just as distracting to focus all your energy on avoiding something. This method gets you to pay attention to a distraction temporarily—so you can immediately forget about it and move on with your present moment’s activity. 

Everyday tasks to practice mindfulness

As you live, work, and play, there are always opportunities to practice mindfulness. Even if it’s only something you practice for five minutes a day, you’ll be surprised by how much of a difference it can make to your outlook on life. 

  • Eating – Take the time to stop what you’re doing and mindfully eat lunch at work. Be aware of the present moment; focus on the task of eating. Ask yourself how does the food taste? What is the texture? Focus on the entire process of tasting, chewing, and swallowing.
  • Walking/jogging – For your next morning run/walk, take your headphones out and tune in to what’s going on around you and how your body is feeling. Pay attention to the movements of your body and the sensation of your footsteps. This activity can help free your mind and make you feel more relaxed. 
  • Ironing – Before you begin, be present and focus on the task involved. Pay attention to how your body feels when you’re ironing. Do your legs feel strong, tired, or sore? Be aware of your body’s movements as you flow back and forth with the iron. If your mind wanders, bring it back to the ironing task at hand. 

Step 2: Nourish your body with natural substances

Processed foods have become such a large part of our lives. As we consume foods that may be high in sugar or salts, we don’t often notice the negative effects until it’s too late. What you put into your body can have a drastic impact on your mood and energy levels. There are fantastic short and long-term benefits to nourishing your body with more natural substances. 

Good nutrition is one of the most important foundations for good health, wellness, and vitality. Diets like the low FODMAP diet are designed to reduce short-chain carbs that are hard to digest and lead to bloating. Wholefood diets aim to increase your intake of plant-based and anti-inflammatory sources of whole foods. 

There is no such thing as a one size fits all solution when it comes to diets. That’s why it’s so important for you to pay attention to how your body feels and reacts to certain foods. Start asking yourself questions like what have I been eating? How often am I consuming sugary drinks or highly processed junk food? 

Take note of how you feel after consuming certain foods. You may find some foods make you feel sluggish while others make you feel energised. Discover what foods work best for you. If you’re not feeling 100%, don’t be afraid to explore new dietary options to see what works best for you. And don’t be scared to consult your local GP or a qualified nutritionist for dietary advice. 

Step 3: Live intentionally

Never doubt the fact that you have the power to make your life better. Even small and consistent actions you do daily can make a big difference in the long run. Start by imagining your ideal day. What does it look like? How would you spend a productive or meaningful day? You might have imagined a day working on personal projects or spending time with loved ones and friends. 

Take note of what was included in your ideal day and what wasn’t. Once you have a clear idea of what you want out of each day, start small. Start introducing small actions into your day like reading a few pages of a book you’ve been meaning to finish or walking around the block as part of your daily step goal. No matter how small they are, consistent actions can still make a big difference over time. 

Before you action something, take a moment for yourself. Pause and process the action before you execute it. A short two-second pause can be the difference between you living in alignment or living life impulse to impulse. A well thought out decision can align your inner purpose and intentions for days or even years to come.

How you spend each moment is how you spend each day. While each day seems like such a small amount of your life, years later you’ll recognise just how much progress you made of your lifetime. 

Step 4: Forgive yourself and live with gratitude

When you let go of the things that you hold against yourself, you can learn to accept and embrace your unique characteristics. Start with a daily task to help you live with more gratitude. Before you get out of bed, think about five things that you are grateful for. If you find yourself complaining about something you lack, stop and divert your attention back to the wonderful things you thought about in the morning. 

Another great exercise for self-love is to write down things you love about yourself in a journal. It doesn’t matter how big, small, or weird they might be. Just write all these things down! Writing down a list like this is a great way to boost your self-esteem. Read each item out, and it just may help you appreciate your individuality more. 

In your daily journal, consider writing down all the things you are thankful that you did for yourself by the end of the day. Writing these things down is another way to positively reflect on all the things you did. This activity is just another way of bringing gratitude to your daily self-love routine. 

The qualified health practitioners at Vital Chi Wellness are passionate about restoring your health naturally. Natural treatments include naturopathy and mindfulness to help your body heal on its own.