Self-Love: How to Love and Respect Myself for the Rest of My Life?

Faced with this new — and not at all pleasant — social situation, which can lead to heightened states of anxiety as well as states of sadness and anguish, the question is this: Do you like yourself? Have you had time to get to know and accept yourself, with all your good and bad things? Is it respected? Do you respect your times, your limitations? Have you been taking good care of yourself? If you're tired, you probably don't even know how to respond. Don't worry. Believe that, at this moment, you are not alone. Few are those who are able to live without feeling too much about what is happening in our country and in the world.

The worry is constant. Doubt is enormous and generates fear. And fear generates doubt again. However, everything that is happening has given us the certainty of what has always been said: in life, we control little. What we really control, and which is still not easy to do, are our thoughts, the way we react to the events of life and in life. Our thoughts are, most of the time — not to say almost always — responsible for our physical, emotional, and visceral behaviors. Yes, our organs respond to all these commands coming from the mind, which leads everything.

Therefore, we have to start trying to think differently. And when I say different, I'm not dismissing the negative. Positivity should be better explained. And yes, it all starts with you. Do not panic! As difficult as it is — because there are mental habits to change — it is achievable and it is possible to start thinking differently.

One of the foundations to build is within yourself. Self-esteem is a very important thing to keep high, but self-acceptance and self-love are the crutch that supports your being when self-esteem is low. The latter is defined by the way we evaluate ourselves, taking into account the standards (always very unconscious) by which our society and family are governed. Self-acceptance, which makes self-love exist, is the way we deal with ourselves, the way we deal with what is good in us, with what is less good in us and with what, even and eventually, we will never be or have.

How to like yourself more, your inner self? How can you accept your limitations and highlight your true qualities, in order to feel stronger, doing the best you can in your life, letting go of what is not under your control?

Start by answering this question: How much time do you usually spend feeling sorry for yourself? Think, but don't blame yourself too much. Relax. You can do it at will. In fact, you must get used to the fact that being alive and being human includes, from time to time, suffering. It includes not being well, without it meaning that you are like that, without it defining you as a person.

However, you shouldn't do it for too long (feeling sorry for yourself), as that doesn't mean loving or respecting yourself. In excess, it means penalizing yourself, mistreating yourself. Our mind does not replace thought alone. Therefore, if we want that or another emotion to pass, we have to take into account that it is our thoughts that feed it and that, for that reason, we have to change our focus. It's not easy, we know. But with calm and persistence, you will be able to do it. Read the following tips carefully and don't take too long to start putting them into practice. It is urgent to love yourself again! Your SELF, more than ever, needs you.

It's important to have time for yourself. Quality time.

Take an hour a day just for yourself. This hour can be divided into two half hours “spent” at different times or four quarters of an hour, for example, divided by the day. (Re)start that activity that you know is so good for you, even via video call. Eat that meal you like so much (and not the one others suggest); listen to that song that unconsciously makes you dance without realizing it (and not the one you only listen to because it's trendy); wear the clothes that make you feel happy (and not what others think looks good on you); watch that series that captures your attention like no other and ignore if people make fun of you at home.

Understand, once and for all, that you are human and that you feel.

Start accepting the emotions you have, without judging yourself. However, do not feed them. Then, try to think about other things, people or life events that bring you happiness. Try listening to meditations or podcasts related to the Emotional Scanner or Rain Formula . These will help you understand this idea better.

Limit the time you feel sorry for yourself.

Crying is good and lamenting for a while is not always as negative as we sometimes think. We need to vent! However, impose a time limit on this. Don't allow this posture to control you. It won't do you any good and will only increase that depressing feeling. In order to better understand and put into practice the concept of self-compassion, search the Internet for meditations and podcasts with the same name. Listen, with an open mind and heart.

Remember your qualities and enjoy improving them.

I'm sure your friends and family can help remind you of your virtues. Take advantage and make a list with two columns. In one column, write what you consider to be good in yourself and, in the other column, write what you think is “less” good. Don't waste your time with self-criticism and focus on strategies to further improve (or not lose) your potential qualities and to minimize what could be your “flaws”.

Let go of whatever has to go.

Allow yourself to let go of those who want to leave your life and free yourself from objects or situations that no longer make sense to you. Let go of limiting ideas and beliefs that have already proven to be inappropriate and unhealthy. Understand that everything is a cycle and that whatever has to stay with you, from people to situations, will only stay if it has to be.
Do your best to maintain what you want in your life, but then surrender. Let it flow. Everything has a reason to happen.

Do this exercise every day:

Take a moment out of your day to look in the mirror, into your eyes. Don't be afraid of what you may feel. Try to forget the outside and focus on your eyes. Look yourself in the eyes. If you can, say: “I like you!” Then, ask your most intimate self: “What, even today, can I do for you to make you happy?”

You may not even be able to do this exercise or you may feel emotional and sad when you do it. It usually happens because we are not used to talking to ourselves like that. If this happens, don't worry. It's all a matter of habit. But try. If you feel sad, then focus on something that makes you happy. And try to understand what little treat, even today, you can give your soul: a trip to the manicure? See that movie you've been putting off? Talk to that friend you like so much? Eat that cake you avoid so much? Whatever it is, whatever is within your reach, without harming you, gain courage and do it today!

We are the only company that will be with us, always, day and night, without fail, until the end of our lives. So, take care of yourself, learn to love and respect yourself. Everything else will flow better and there will finally be space for what you most want to feel: love, peace, joy and motivation.



Vanda do Nascimento is a therapist, trainer and Mindfulness instructor at the Escola de Mindfulness Essencial , founded by her in 2016. She began her career as a teacher in 1997, obtaining a degree in Education. On that same date, he also began his studies in Reiki, Meditation and Mindfulness. Later, he embarked on the path of Psychology and delved even deeper into the topic of Mindfulness, in order to continue his fight to control stress and anxiety.

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