23 Ways to Love Yourself More This Year from 23 Ways to Love Yourself More This Year

23 Ways to Love Yourself More This Year

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23 Ways to Love Yourself More This Year

Self-love is an important aspect of a happy and healthy lifestyle. “Decisions we make every day that shape our lives are influenced by how much we love ourselves,” Dr. Krista Jordan, a board certified psychologist, says. “For example, do we take time to eat a good breakfast or are we drinking too much?” Lack of self-care usually means lack of time and motivation to pursue one’s passions and dreams, and people end up settling for less. Breaking the cycle is a process, but not impossible.

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Talk positive to yourself

 “Self-talk is one of the most important things we do all day,” Hope Tackaberry, life coach and speaker, says. Start to be more aware of the negative things you say to yourself. “Catch yourself and listen to the words. You are not going to speak to a child the way, right?” So why would you do it to yourself? This is a process of an emotional awakening, she adds, that leads to more positive feelings towards you.

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Be proud of the good you did

Spend time before bed thinking about the good things you did during the day, Dr. Krista Jordan, a board certified psychologist, says. “Give yourself credit for the good job you did.” This can be anything from accomplishing a task to skipping dessert at lunch because you’re trying to cut sugar. Acknowledge the progress and be proud of it.

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Make a decision to practice self-care

If Anita Lane, certified breakthrough coach, was to give one piece of advice to people about how to ways to love themselves more, it would be, she says, to start by making a statement that they will practice self-care and start choosing activities to support that declaration. Tell yourself “I’m my own best friend’” to help you make baby steps towards feeling better about yourself, she adds.

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Stop with the self-criticism

You can’t stay too wrapped up in self-criticism because it will only lead to self-loathing, Tackaberry says. “Spending energy self-hating is not doing anybody any good.” Do something about what you did wrong, and move on, she adds. “A lot of people get stuck in a state of self-hating. This can eventually lead to depression.”

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Look at a photo of you as a child

“It’s easier for people to connect loving, tender feelings toward a child,” Dr. Jordan says. When they see pictures of them older, they immediately focus on negative things like wrinkles and gained weight, she adds. So find a photo of yourself as a happy kid and put it on the mirror in your bedroom or someplace where you’ll see it often.

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Write intentions down and read them before bedtime

The part of your brain that helps create new beliefs is activated in the middle of the night, Lane says. “So if you want your brain to start creating positive feelings for you, write them down and read them as you are falling sleep,” she adds. If you feed it negative emotions after watching the news, for example, that’s what your brain will process, Lane says, and you’ll wake up in a bad mood.

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Make a list of your achievements

Visualization helps many people, both Dr. Jordan and Tackaberry say. “We tend to forget all the good things we’ve done," Tackaberry adds. List all of the goals you had set out in the past and accomplished, and put it somewhere you can see it every day. Clearly seeing things in black and white will help you convince yourself that you have many reasons to actually, sincerely, like yourself.

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Treat yourself deliberately

Make a point to do something you like every day, Dr. Jordan says. “But it has to be a deliberate act of self-love such as a nice lunch or taking a hot bath.” Tell yourself “I deserve this because I’m a good person,” she adds. This will eventually turn into a natural habit, leading to more positive feelings toward yourself. 

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Stop thinking of the past

“The past doesn’t exist anymore,” Tackaberry says. “Whatever you did and whatever happened will remain there.” Remember that you did the best you could with the information you had at the time. “The only clay we have to work with is the now. This is what creates the future,” she adds. It’s a waste of energy to focus on something that cannot be changed.

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Engage with motivating people

Go on a “diet of positivity,” Lane says. “Make life a workshop around how you want your life to be and engage with people who are motivating you to live it like that.” Review your relationships and get rid of anything that makes you feel bad. It’s not easy to disregard family, the members of which you can’t choose, so be around inspiring people any chance you get.

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Practice healthy narcissism

“People don’t realize that there is such thing as healthy narcissism,” Dr. Jordan says. “And we want them to have it.” It’s a form of healthy self-investment, she adds. Brushing your teeth, eating healthy foods, wearing a coat when it’s cold outside are just a few examples. “You are taking care of yourself; it’s hard to like yourself if you’re not,” she adds.

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Don’t judge people

Even if you’re not saying it out loud, putting people down in your mind by judging them is an exhausting exercise that only creates negative energy in the body, Tackaberry says. “All of these bad feelings end up putting you in a bad mood, and it’s hard to love yourself when you’re feeling down.”

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Forgive yourself

Some people don’t want to release that pain, which is usually in the form of anger, but they are only hurting themselves in the long term, she adds. “You don’t have to be mad to make good choices,” but you can’t process bad emotions if you’re holding on to old ones.

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Ask for help

Some people, especially men, base their self-value on being able to figure out issues themselves, Tackaberry says. “But we only see through our own lens and experience, and we can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it.” It’s sad that many people will wait until a breaking point to ask for help, she adds.

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Do jumping jacks

When you’re angry or feeling defeated, your brain is basically in fear, Lane says. It doesn’t respond to logic, only to emotions, she adds. “You have to do something that is different and possibly shocking to interrupt this downward spiral.” You are not going to be able to talk yourself out of that state, Lane says. Scream in the shower, do jumping jacks, drive somewhere, or go for a walk – anything to get that bad energy/toxicity out of the body.

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Listen to cheerful music

Music has the ability to change your mood in an instant, Tackaberry says. And science has proven it. Another benefit of music is that it leads to social connections, which is also an effective way to fight the winter blues. Studies show that listening to your favorite music is a great wat to relieve stress. Happy tunes relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.

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Imagine someone else did what you did

“It’s important not to live in regret,” Dr. Jordan says. “Imagine the same situation but with someone you love as the transgressor.” This kind of flipping around helps with feeling compassion toward yourself, she adds. “You’d hate it if you forgot to take care of your best friend’s dog while she was away, but you won’t hate her if she forgot to do the same.” So why do you think you don’t deserve the same sympathy?

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Be honest with yourself

“This is really important and really difficult, especially if you listen to critics,” Lane says. But if you are not honest with yourself first, and then others, you are not giving that voice of self-love a fair chance, she adds. “If you feel unworthy, you’re not going to be able to love yourself.” Take the power away from that bad feeling, Lane adds.

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Surround yourself with nice people

“Optimism is contagious,” Dr. Jordan says. So you obviously want to have people around who always look on the bright side. But healthy relationships are all about reciprocity, she adds. “Think about whether you want your child, if you have one, to be friends with a certain person.” Then you can decide if he or she should be in your social circle.

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Keep moving

Exercise, stretch, play in the snow or just walk, Tackaberry says. Do anything that will get you moving and release the stress hormones stuck in your body, she adds. “The more of the suppressed negative emotions we release, the less mired down we get.”  The human body was designed to move, Dr. Jordan adds. “It’s a healthy investment and an important part of taking care of yourself.”

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Make a list of your positive qualities

Write down your best qualities and post it so you can see it. “People tend to pick one bad thing about them, even if it’s minor like not being good with time, and focus on it,” Lane says. Don’t go down a whole self-defeating path with one or two bad qualities when you have so many positive ones. Ask close friends and family about what they like in you and let that become your truth, she adds.

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Don’t look for others’ approval

“Try to understand that this is a never ending trap,” Dr. Jordan says. “You are never going to be satisfied because there are as many opinions as people out there.” You are setting yourself up for misery and this is a dangerous situation from which it can be very difficult to get out, much less feel better about yourself.

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Volunteer

Helping others makes people feel happier, purposeful and self-confident, according to a York University study that included more than 700 people. Some were asked to be compassionate towards someone for 5-15 minutes a day. About six months later, they reported to be in a much better mood than those who were not helpful. Volunteering is good for the body and mind, other research shows. The biggest benefit is feeling connected to other people. This helps to ward off loneliness and depression.

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Imagine the results you want

“Seeing a picture of what you want is a very powerful tool,” Lane says. The brain doesn’t know the difference between feeling what you’re thinking of and doing it, she adds. “It’s a little bit like daydreaming but it’s shown to create the results people want.” For example, post a picture of an adventure spot if you want to travel, a new house if you want to save money, or of a woman exercising if you want to lose weight. “Feed the brain what it is you want it to create,” she says.

23 Ways to Love Yourself More This Year