Feeling a little empty? Self-love makes life richer and more satisfying. Here are 8 ways to start loving yourself the way you deserve:
1. Affirm yourself. Craft positive statements that reflect the strengths you already possess or qualities you aspire to. In moments of challenge say them silently in your mind, or simply repeat them over and over again while you wash the dishes or run on the treadmill. With time those positive thoughts will take hold and change the way you see yourself.
2. Think kind thoughts. Never say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to another person. Watch your mental self-talk and make sure you're being kind and positive about yourself and to yourself. If you notice an unkind thought, immediately replace it with a kind and loving one.
3. Care for your temple. Eat healthy foods, hydrate, exercise and rest. Treat your body with care. Invest time in looking after yourself. Brush your teeth and do your hair, even if you won't be seeing anyone anytime soon. Find ways to honor your temple as an act of love.
4. Consciously choose your inner state. Sometimes easier said than done, but when it's possible, do it. Decide how you want to feel. Write it down or simply think the thought, and reach for the best feeling available to you in the moment.
5. Choose your circle carefully. Surround yourself with people who value you and treat you well. How you allow people to treat you is a reflection of your self-love. Only spend your time with people who respect you, and whose presence and words are sincere and constructive.
6. Cook yourself dinner. Cooking a tasty healthy meal for your own enjoyment not only nourishes the temple, it's a loving act of kindness for the self.
7. Communicate your needs. When you need something from your circumstances or circle speak up. Honor your needs and value yourself enough to state what you want using kind, clear, direct language. Then do what is necessary to get your needs met in constructive, healthy ways. Sometime that means doing it yourself. Sometimes that means changing the people around you.
8. Parent yourself. Do the things and say the words that a loving parent would. When things go wrong, encourage yourself. When things go right, acknowledge yourself. Look in the mirror and remark how beautiful or handsome you are. Take care of your well-being, and feel loved.