3 Ways To Practice Self-Love You Can Start Today

Woman smiling. Foundations Family Therapy in Raleigh, NC 27606 provides family counseling in Fuquay Varina, NC 27526. Online therapy in North Carolina is also available with an online therapist in North Carolina from Foundations Family Therapy!

It’s hard to ignore the red roses, teddy bears, and balloons that line the store aisles this time of year. So, love is in the air…or, maybe not?

Regardless if you are in a relationship or not, self-love is imperative to the way we form relationships and interact with others. If we struggle with loving our self, it can be difficult to love others. I would suggest that when we begin to truly love ourselves, we attract those that love themselves as well.

So, how do we learn to love ourselves?

Reflect on your positive qualities.

It is easy for us to be self-critical and focus on our faults but our perspective shifts when we reflect instead on our positive qualities. I will often have clients choose their top five positive qualities from a list. The list includes qualities such as: accepting, friendly, creative, confident, determined, funny, patient, independent, reliable, organized, focused, cooperative and balanced. Next, spend time thinking about how you exhibit these qualities in your life and how that quality was developed over time. Perhaps there is a specific experience that you overcame where that quality was helpful or maybe a role model in your life exhibited that quality which guided you to strive for that as well. When we can focus on our strengths, we can often use them to overcome a weakness.

Create self-affirmations.

The thoughts that you think about yourself are powerful. They hold weight. If internally, we are saying that, ‘I’m a failure’ and ‘I’m never enough’, that is having a tremendous impact on our daily life. However, it might be difficult to jump from saying ‘I’m a failure’ to ‘I’m a super star.’

Think about a neutral response if that is true for you. A self-affirmation may be something like, ‘I am doing the best I can.’ It could also be ‘I can take things one step at a time.’ Another one is, ‘I am enough.’ Find a couple self-affirmations that speak to you and write them down on an index card. Put it on your mirror, in your car, or at work where you see it as a visual reminder of your worth.

Start a gratitude journal.

Studies show that having a consistent practice of acknowledging gratefulness in life helps with reducing depressive symptoms. When is the last time you thought about what you are grateful for? If you already journal, it may be helpful to add a line each day related to gratitude. Prompts are also helpful to reflect on gratefulness. Some ideas are ‘one good thing that happened to me today was…’ and ‘today I smiled when…’ There are many self-care journals that have prompts included for those that want more guidance and focus.

Remember the importance of self-love during this season and try one or all three suggestions. If self-love or self-confidence has always been a struggle for you, let us help. We are here to walk with you through this self-discovery time.

Let 2019 be your year for self-love!

Renee Pugh, LCSW