Episode 7 – ‘Self Appreciation’

Written by Alison

May 11, 2022

Hello everyone, hope you’re all doing well!

We are going to focus on self love and self appreciation

Self love is our topic this episode and interestingly it is often one of most difficult things people find able to do. As we head into the warmer months, many people are trying to get “beach ready.” This is the time when dieting is popular, amping up the exercise and working on a tan for summer.

 If you ask the average person if they truly love themselves, what do you think the answer will be? I think it would go something like, “Yes, of course, well except for this one thing, and also this other thing, and well, come to think of it, I am not really happy with myself in general.” It does not have to be so hard to look inside ourselves for confidence. 

We live in a culture of social media and a world of visual images of beautiful people around us at any moment in time. This sets us up for comparison — not only with famous people but social media also gives us glimpses into others lives too. The problem is, while we spend time comparing ourselves to external sources we are somehow looking to either be more like them, or looking for approval from others.  

Until we can look inside and depend on ourselves for confidence, we will forever feel inadequate. If you aren’t your own cheerleader then who will be? 

Self-love comes from accepting yourself for who you are at this very moment. This includes looking at your insecurities and faults and shining light on them. 

One way to describe Self love is appreciation for yourself and yourself who grows from actions and actually mistakes. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others 

 Everyone is human and no one is perfect, everyone has insecurities and that makes us who we are. Loving yourself truly comes with facing what you may hate most about yourself. Maybe it is a body-part or multiple body-parts, or the way you treated someone, or guilt or shame about a situation. The thing is, until you can really shine a light on your insecurities, you will never be truly accepting of yourself. 

The best way to boost your self-esteem is to choose healthy positive thoughts. And believe it or not, you do have choices and you certainly have a choice how much impact your negative thoughts have on yourself. 

You get to pick if you start your day with positivity. Look in the mirror and thank your body for all the wonderful things it allows you to do. Start your day with “I get to do …” and finish the sentence. Write down a list of all your many accomplishments that you can be truly proud of and then say them aloud. Root for yourself, boost your own confidence, and set yourself up for success. 

This is your only life with this one body, and you get to decide how you love and treat it. I suggest you treat it with love. 

What does self love mean to you…

For starters, it can mean: 

  • Talking to and about yourself with love 
  • Prioritising yourself 
  • Giving yourself a break from self-judgement 
  • Trusting yourself 
  • Being true to yourself 
  • Being nice to yourself 
  • Setting healthy boundaries 
  • Forgiving yourself when you aren’t being true or nice to yourself 

For many people, self-love is another way to say self-care. To practice self-care, we often need to go back to the basics and 

  • Listen to our bodies 
  • Take breaks from work and move/stretch. 
  • Put the phone down and connect to yourself or others, or do something creative. 
  • Eating healthily, but sometimes indulge in your favourite foods. 

Self-love means accepting yourself as you are in this very moment for everything that you are. It means accepting your emotions for what they are and putting your physical, emotional and mental well-being first. 

How and Why to Practice Self Love 

So now we know that self-love motivates you to make healthy choices in life. When you hold yourself in high esteem, you’re more likely to choose things that nurture your well-being and serve you well. These things may be in the form of eating healthy, exercising or having healthy relationships

Ways to practice self-love include: 

  • Becoming mindful. People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel, and want. 
  • Taking actions based on need rather than want. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behaviour patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love. 
  • Practising good self-care. You will love yourself more when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions. 
  • Making room for healthy habits. Start truly caring for yourself by mirroring that in what you eat, how you exercise, and what you spend time doing. Do stuff, not to “get it done” or because you “have to,” but because you care about you. 

Finally, to practice self-love, start by being kind, patient, gentle and compassionate to yourself, the way you would with someone else that you care about. 

Not easy but really important as it impacts on so much. 

Music can change your mood literally in seconds. It can help you to take the pressure off yourself, be less serious and even down.

It literally has restorative benefits against depression and anxiety. Different uses may include listening to music, playing a musical instrument, singing along to music and using guided imagery with music. 

Music can make us feel good. There is solid evidence that music stimulates the production of dopamine, the “feel good” hormone in our bodies.

If it can help you be yourself and have some self love and compassion then bring it on. 

 A natural goal for all of us is to be happy in life. When we take full responsibility for ourselves, then we have the control and the right ingredients to actually make that happen. When you are free to decide your own path and focus on what you really want and deserve, then momentum is there. The key to this is not to sacrifice yourself so much that you build up frustration and resentment 

 I thought we could touch on a little tip that I was given many years ago. Did you know that when you give yourself a little hug helps promote relaxation since it lowers levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. Sure, a hug won’t solve your problems entirely, but it can help relieve some of your tension and stress.  

 Hugs release endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain relievers, so getting a hug will actually help soothe aches and pains. Hugs increase production of dopamine. Dopamine is produced in the reward centre of the brain and makes you feel happy, relieves depression, and just makes you feel good. 

 Oxytocin is a chemical in our bodies that scientists sometimes call the “cuddle hormone.” This is because its levels rise when we hug, touch, or sit close to someone else. Oxytocin is associated with happiness and less stress. Scientists have found that this hormone has a strong effect in women. 

 

 

Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.

                                                                                                     – Abraham Lincoln

 

 

 

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