Relationship Coach Nathalie Sommer gives us her tips on how to achieve total self-love…
Self-love has become quite the buzzword and the self-love movement is at a pivotal point in our social history. It may appear that just about everyone is preaching the need for self-love, but many of us don’t know how to truly practice it. Indeed, achieving total self-love is easier said than done. Many people struggle to prioritise their own needs, either because they do not believe this could be done or out of fear that it would be selfish. Well, there’s no better time to start than now! Read on for tips from relationship Coach Nathalie Sommer on how to fall more deeply in love with yourself.
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The Importance Of Self-Love
First off, why is it so important to master the art of self-love? Cultivating a healthy relationship with yourself is, in my opinion, the most critical thing you should do in your life. That being said, having a healthy relationship with yourself revolves around the practice of self-love.
Self-love isn’t selfish, it is a necessity, and if practiced intentionally, influences everything. This includes not only our relationship with ourselves, but relationships with others and our ability to cope with difficulties in life. But here’s the thing, total self-love is not something you can build overnight. Like any great skill, it takes time to hone, tweak and practice new thoughts, behaviours and actions until it becomes a natural way of being.
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Allow Others To Love You
Despite how it might sound, self-love is not just about you loving yourself. It is as important to allow others love you too. It’s also about putting yourself out there by being vulnerable and allowing yourself to feel all the feelings, to try new things and, even when we fail, not to think of ourselves as failures.
We have to remember that since birth, we’ve been dependent on the connection, help, presence and love we get from others. Total self-love allows us to withstand loneliness and accept our incompleteness.
The Benefits of Practising Self Love
Researchers have linked self-love to a number of benefits, including increased happiness in relationships, greater resilience, optimism, and less anxiety and depression. When one person lacks self-love, their relationship with others is likely to become toxic because they would constantly be trying to fill the void rather than build love from within. Co-dependency is no longer needed when you love yourself because you are strong enough to stand on your own two feet.
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Boundaries & Self-Love
Creating boundaries is vital to any healthy relationship. Not only do personal boundaries help fill your self-love cup and bolster your sense of identity, but they also make relationships so much easier. A fundamental principle in loving yourself is respecting yourself, your ideas, wants and needs, and expressing them clearly to others. This sets a tone for how you want others to treat you. If you treat yourself without respect or love, you are permitting others to do the same.
If you treat yourself without respect or love, you are permitting others to do the same.
How To Love Yourself
To love yourself, you need to know who you are inside your heart, mind, body and emotions. When we practice self-love, it’s more than just self-care. It’s about accepting yourself on every level: the physical, emotional and mental aspects. But how do we do that?
On the physical level, it’s about taking care of yourself, connecting with your body and listening to its signals. Whether your body is telling you it wants to rest or play, or if your gut is telling you something is not right, it’s important to listen to it and act accordingly.
On an emotional level, embrace your feelings and know that they are temporary. Be honest with yourself about how you feel without judging or labelling them as good or bad. Similarly on a mental level, watch your thoughts and know that they do not define you. Train your mind to stop judging yourself, stop focusing on what you feel is lacking and stop comparing yourself to others. Instead be grateful for what you have and for your unique qualities.
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How To Self-Love In Relationships
You can give your partner plenty of love without depleting your own self-love tank. When we experience self-love and are able to accept love from our partner, we can build healthy and loving relationships. It’s crucial to be aware of our own needs, and to be able to communicate them comfortably.
If you are finding this difficult, find out your partner’s love language and tell them yours so that you can both show love in a way that makes each of you feel loved. Self-love also applies to your sex life in that you should know your body and also accept your body in the process. When we understand our body’s needs and voice them to our partner, this can lead to deeper intimacy.
To summarise, you’re responsible for your own happiness. Only you can love yourself and allow others to love you. The more open you become to this, the more content you will be living life as your authentic self.
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Hero image courtesy of Jeffery Erhunse via Unsplash, image 1 courtesy of Darius Bashar via Unsplash, image 2 courtesy of Gemma Chua-Tran via Unsplash, image 3 courtesy of Gemma Chua-Tran via Unsplash, image 4 courtesy of Ketut Subiyanto via Pexels.