Self-love is unique to each of us; what it means to me will be completely different from what it means for you. And whilst our doubts and criticisms are uniquely our own – there are techniques we can embrace to build and boost self-acceptance, self-compassion, and ultimately self-love of yourselves.
Here are two simple techniques you can use whenever your self-love needs a boost:
Technique One: Write yourself a letter of appreciation
Write yourself a letter of appreciation, list all the things you appreciate and are grateful for about yourself. Some ideas to get you started – start by thanking your body…. your legs that take you from A to B, your arms that let you hug your loved ones, your fingers that type and send a message to a friend, your ears that hear and take in those wonderful sounds and songs from your favourite artists. Your eyes that see the outside world, the sky, the trees, the grass.
You get my drift.
Now it might feel silly at first but try it out because the rewards are worth it.
When you practice this technique, a couple of incredible things are happening to you. Firstly, when we express gratitude, we get a surge of the hormone DOPAMINE. Simply taking stock of all that you are grateful for about yourself, fires off a surge of this incredible feel-good hormone. Think of it as giving your entire body and system one huge, big hug, showering yourself in feeling good about yourself. And by regularly pausing and taking a moment to recognise and acknowledge how incredible you and your body is – you are creating a new mindset habit for yourself.
Also, the process of putting pen to paper and writing is intrinsically linked to learning. 1. So by writing all the elements of yourself that you appreciate, you are learning to love yourself, to see yourself in a new, more positive light.
The Mindology App also has a Gratitude Journal you can download for free to get those feel-good hormones pumping.
Technique Two: Self-Love Affirmations
Language is powerful to our psyche and our physiology. Imagine a friend saying lovely, sweet words to you vs. an angry driver on the road screaming insults and road rage – first scenario, you feel good about yourself you are calm, your body is calm, you might even be smiling, and have a warm fuzzy feeling inside, whereas in the second scenario your heart is pounding, your palms are sweaty, your blood pressure up – you are stressed.
You may not realise this, but words actually have a huge impact on your day-to-day mood. Neuroscientist, Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett, has researched the affect words have on us, showing that when you hear negative words there will be increased activity in the brain system that controls heart rate, breathing, metabolism, the immune system, and hormones. Dr Lisa says, ‘The power of words is not a metaphor, it’s in the wiring of your brain.’
What inner dialogue and words are you telling yourself.? Is it time to re-write your own words to yourself? Turn your self-talk into the lovely friend, not the angry road rage driver.
This technique is simple, it is about creating self-love affirmations for yourself. It might seem silly at first but imagine yourself as that sweet friend – what kind and loving words would you use. Choose the words that resonate with you. If something does not feel right, tweak until you find what does.
For example, I like to start my day with an affirmation that – “I am calm, contented and confident.”
This might not resonate with you, so choose what does.
Here are some ideas:
• I am doing the best I can.
• Every day is a new day, a time for change.
• I do the best I can.
• I am unique. There is no one like me.
And if you get stuck, ask yourself – ‘I love myself because…… ?’ Also, write down the affirmations to really give yourself that additional boost of love and positivity.
Finally, practice self-love as often as you can, taking time to appreciate ourselves is something we can do every day not just for Valentine’s Day.
Claire Aristides is a Hypnotherapist, Visualisation & Mindset Consultant and founder of Mindology.App. After completing a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Claire entered the business world working in IT, then launching successful fine jewellery brand Aristides Fine Jewels. Hypnosis has had a significant impact in both the business and personal aspect of Claire’s life and it is this passion for hypnosis that she shares with her clients. Check out her work here and follow Claire on Instagram.