We live in a world of exhaustive personal analysis and constant comparisons. As a result, it is more important than ever to dedicate time to reinforce a positive relationship with yourself and your body. This is where self-love exercises can be beneficial.
Why Is Self-Love Important?
The tone of your internal thoughts and the way in which you communicate with yourself are important. In the first place, they dictate the way in which you relate to the wider world. Secondly, they determine your emotional ability to manage challenging situations.
Therefore, it is essential to create a peaceful, optimistic and creative atmosphere in your own mindset. This allows you to empower yourself to feel capable, and at harmony with your body.
4 Self-Love Exercises
Here are four self-love exercises which you can practise in the comfort of your own home. These exercises will help you begin a journey of self-love and self-acceptance, as well as general harmony and peace. Or to continue your pathway to finding true self-love.
Affirmations are a powerful and acknowledged way to create a positive relationship with yourself. Furthermore, they can help set the tone for the day ahead.
There are many different affirmation styles. For example, ones you can adapt to target any challenges you may be dealing with. On the other hand, you can use them to help create the tone and positivity you need to manage a particular task. This might be a job interview or a situation that may be causing feelings of anxiety.
To practise affirmations, you can adopt verbal affirmations, write them down, or join these with a stance to reinforce the message. The practice is to affirm a statement or mindset which you wish to adopt. Then repeat the message to yourself in a peaceful environment. This is so you can absorb the message you are delivering.
These could include statements such as:
- I am enough. This is a powerful affirmation to banish self-doubt. It will establish in your subconscious that you have the tools and resources to meet your challenges.
- I can…. achieve this/succeed. This is a useful affirmation when facing a challenge or obstacle. It helps to communicate that you are capable of your goal.
Physical affirmation stances are a way of reinforcing the message you are delivering to yourself. This could be any stance that makes you feel powerful. In other words, a positive self-love exercise that allows you to combine your emotional wellbeing with a physically powerful posture.
Examples of affirmation stances include:
- Superman/superwomen stance: standing tall, chin held high, arms on hips or raised above your held.
- Power stance: chest held proud, chin high, standing to your full height.
Physical affirmations work well in front of a mirror and repeating verbally your affirmation message. Combine these with a stance helps to deliver the affirming and positive message throughout your mind and body.
Written affirmations are another form of affirmation as a self-love exercise. You could try leaving a message somewhere you are likely to see it often. For example, on the front door or the cooker. So each time you leave the house or cook a meal you are affirming to honour yourself with healthy dietary habits.
2. Keeping a journal
Writing a journal is one of the simplest, yet most effective self-love exercises. It helps in various ways:
- You can track your emotions and challenges.
- It allows you to identify situations or dynamics which trigger negative feelings or responses.
- You can also engage with the positivity you have experienced every day.
With busy lives, we all often forget to take note of the small positives. As such, taking the time to note all the good things which have happened in a day can be uplifting. It is a good way to help engage with positive memories on one of our more difficult days.
With this in mind, take the time to read back through a journal each week. Then we can see how all the positives reinforces our perception of how much happiness is around us if we only stop to take note.
Choose a journal in any format which you are most comfortable with. This might take the form of making notes on your mobile phone, it might be written down by hand – whatever you choose. Remember, writing in your journal is intended to be something just for you. Therefore, it should be a true and honest account of your experiences to allow you to reflect.
Your journal could be a design that speaks to you with an image, colour or pattern. Something you find soothing, creative, or which makes you smile.
Try writing down one positive thing every day. It could be as small as hearing a bird singing, a stranger smiling at you in a shop, or someone stopping to let you out of a junction. All these small positives add up to a greater understanding of the energies surrounding us.
3. Physical exercise
Physical exercise provides multiple benefits to our wellbeing. It is beneficial both physically and mentally. It doesn’t matter whether you take up gentle yoga, low impact swimming, or a more intensive form of exercise. Any form of exercise is an excellent tool in practising self-love.
Physical exercise is beneficial in many ways:
- It can help you to appreciate what your body can do.
- Of what your body is capable of achieving.
- You can set small goals and challenges for yourself.
- You can feel positive about your achievements.
- It can also open up opportunities to engage in a social setting with other people.
- You’ll form a sense of community around an exercise that you enjoy.
Endorphins are chemicals released in our bodies during exercise and are a powerful way of alleviating anxiety. However, some people do not feel comfortable exercising in a group setting. Or they find the idea of practising physical self-love exercises challenging. If this is you, you could try a low impact exercise such as yoga. You do not need any specialist equipment for it and you can practise in your own home.
Yoga is a peaceful and low impact way of connecting with yourself.
Moreover, it is probably one of the best self-love exercises as it aligns the emotional and physical aspects of our being.
There are many videos and guides online which can help with ideas of poses to try, and showing different exercise options available. So, if you are new to physical exercise there are plenty of resources and guides to help you get started. The exercise you choose should be scaled to your abilities and be something that you enjoy and find a positive experience.
The goals you set yourself can be simple. For example, swimming an extra length, or learning a new pose. These are objectives that you can scale to your abilities and physical strengths. Then you’ll be able to experience the joy of learning something new and meeting a personal target. Noting these successes in your journal is a great way to practise self-love and be able to remind yourself of all you can achieve.
4. Alone time
Alone time can mean many things; meditating, taking a bath, reading a book, drinking a cup of tea, or simply being still and mindful. Meditation is an excellent self-love exercise. In addition, it is an exceptional way to connect with your inner dialogue. You can stop and take time to exist in a meaningful state of being, present in the time and moment.
Any form of alone time is a time of peace, self-reflection. It is a time which you set aside for yourself to exist in your own being without any interruptions or interactions with the outside world. Taking some time to reflect, consider your day, and listen to your emotions.
Understand how you are feeling at that moment is a powerful process for generating self-love. Then, giving yourself the time and attention you require to ensure you are responding to your own needs.
Often nature is the ideal environment for mindful alone time. For instance, sitting in a quiet outdoor space and listening to the sounds of nature around you. Try finding somewhere quiet, neither too hot nor too cold. Then, shut your eyes, and ask yourself how you feel at that moment.
There is no ‘best’ way to spend time with yourself but creating space for your inner dialogue acknowledges you as a person. Furthermore, it is a great way to show yourself self-love.
You could argue that all the above self-love exercises are beneficial in their own ways. But perhaps the best way we exercise self-love is simply to be kind to ourselves.
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