All the love experts say, "Love Yourself First." HOW?
Self-love is an ongoing practice, a way of being. It consists of actions you can take, and it is a way of honoring yourself. Here are some practices you can do to develop self-love.
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1. Express your authentic feelings.
Expressing your feelings authentically is a way of honoring your feelings; a way of saying what I feel matters and is worth expressing. Often we are taught as children that our feelings are not important, or even worse, wrong, and because of that we learn to not trust our feelings. When we express our feelings we are saying that our feelings do matter and begin to regain trust with that part of ourselves. Expressing our emotions authentically is a way of honoring and therefore loving ourselves.
This does not mean your feelings are everything. Feelings are like an ocean wave. When we allow ourselves to feel our feelings and express them it is like the wave crashing onto the shore and then receding. This allows another emotion to reveal itself.
2. Know and enforce your boundaries.
First you must become aware of when you are allowing your boundaries to be crossed. Your emotions are the sign. If you allow someone in close and it feels unsafe, uncomfortable or uneasy then you have allowed him or her to cross your boundary. Become aware of what it feels like when someone crosses your boundaries.
The easiest way to enforce your boundaries once you’ve discovered them is to honor your “No.” Many people are afraid to say no, but when we become comfortable saying no then we can truly honor our “Yes.” Wouldn’t it be great if when you said yes you really meant it and could throw yourself into a situation whole heartedly?
3. Re-fill your cup.
Most of us raised to put everybody before ourselves. This is a recipe to harbor anger and resentment. The goal is to fill your own cup, not just to full, but to overflowing! Then you are service from the saucer - the overflow. What is in your cup is yours and yours alone.
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Take time to discover what refuels you and engages your inner child. This will help you create rapport with yourself and will make the previous two steps even easier.
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4. Introspect and Journal
Introspection is important in learning to truly know yourself. And by introspection we mean looking deeply at your actions and understanding where they come from. Introspection asks you to be a detective about your behavior and requires that you suspend judgment. Look in the mirror of your self and be honest about who you truly are.
Journaling can be a part of introspection and it can also be a separate practice. It can be helpful first thing in the morning to do an exercise of free writing where you write non-stop for at least 20 minutes. This is a brain drain. When you are done you will find that your mind is much clearer and focused on your tasks throughout the day.