The night was dark and the breeze is cold. I am sipping my hot coffee within the hidden garden somewhere south of Metro Manila alone when I suddenly picked up my pen and a piece of tissue and wrote “The Love Yourself”. For some reason, I am not aware why did I write these words so I continue sipping my coffee and listening to the music playing from my phone when Ne-yo’s lyrics keep on repeating on my ear – “…let me love you, and I will love you, until you learn to love yourself.” From that moment I believe that God along with all in the universe want to tell me something about this powerful phrase: LOVE YOURSELF.
Sometimes we are so good in showing compassion and care and concern to others; so generous to give love and affection. But do we show and give the same thing to ourselves? Most of the time the answer is “NO”. So probably, Ne-Yo is right, before someone can love you, you have to love yourself, likewise, before you can love someone, you have to love yourself. Is it being selfish? Definitely, no.
So how do you love yourself?
1. Smile In The Mirror
I have posted in Instagram my photo smiling and mentioned that smiles conveys different meanings. Yes, that is true. But I believe, the main purpose of smile is showing happiness and satisfaction, and smiling in the mirror releases positive energy at the same time receiving it thru reflection. Studies have also been proven that smiling in front of the mirror has multiple health benefit – including happiness.
2. Smile At Others
Smile is like an infectious disease, a good disease, it’s contagious. It won’t hurt you if you smile to a total stranger, what more if you smile to someone you know and knows you. Smiling to others creates a ripple of positivity and it will totally come back to you. If someone smiled back to you, there is an emotional lift inside you that makes you feel welcome and appreciated. Just smile to others.
3. Compliment Yourself
When was the last time you told yourself you are beautiful? When was the last time you let yourself knew that you are outstanding? When was the last time you thought of yourself as great? As brilliant? As magnificent? Most of the time, people forget to compliment and recognize their own self. Our focus is always towards other. We always wanted to be someone else who is best at everything. We tend to forget that we are good enough to be us. From this time on, tell yourself, “I am beautiful!”, “I am awesome!” Believe me, it will boost your energy and will make you keep on moving with a smile.
4. Write Something Nice About You
Get a pen and a piece of paper and think that you are writing a letter of appreciation, but this time to yourself. Acknowledge the efforts you have done to be where you are now. Acknowledge the resiliency that you have in the midst of trials. Acknowledge all the traits, talents, skills, and everything that you have.
Then you will find out, you are worthy and enough to be you. You are not only loving yourself, but also finding your true self because this is the time that you have to dig in to your inner core and find that very special something in you that most of the time, you failed to acknowledge. Get a pen and paper, now, and write.
5. Do Something That Makes You Happy
Definitely! If you want to be happy, do something that makes you happy. But don’t do something that will hurt others and bringing them into disadvantageous stage. That’s not happiness, that’s foolishness.
6. Be Proud Of Yourself
Being proud of yourself is not an immediate synonym of pride and arrogance. Angela Brown wrote in Live Strong that “being proud of yourself is also known as having strong self-esteem. People who are proud of themselves tend to have passions in life, feel content and set good examples for others.” This is a just a single step in boosting your inner self-confidence. This can be considered that you have achieved certain goals and accomplished tasks thru your hard work, passion and self-love.
7. Reward Yourself For Being Fantastic
You are already fantastic by just simply being you. If you’ve accomplished a certain thing that makes you proud, you are even fantastic-er! What’s the best way to reward yourself by doing a great job? You can do the simplest way by recognizing and acknowledging your efforts and accomplishments to being more grandeur by celebrating it with friends and families or throwing a bash. But do not exaggerate it to the point where you are delivering a wrong message to the people about what you have done.
At the end of the day, you want to know that you are indeed in love with yourself (not obsessed) and you are celebrating a milestone in your life with the people you love and love you. Thru this, I believe that you can be an inspiration and a role model to some who have, let’s say lost their self-confidence. Buy yourself a gift, have a spa, travel, take a work-leave and just reward yourself.
8. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
“Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so, you are insulting yourself.” – Bill Gates. According to Leo Babauta, there are several things that we normally do without the idea that we are already comparing ourselves to others – such as looking into other people’s Instagram and feeling jealous for the lifestyle they have, and judging someone else to feel superior which doesn’t make us happy, but rather frustrated. Leo also suggested two habits to replace comparison: first is to Appreciate where you are and the second is Seek to understand, not judge.
9. Compliment Others
When others receive compliments, they feel valued and appreciated. When you give compliments, you may feel generous and kind-hearted. Obviously complimenting is win-win situation that will boost not only the recipient’s energy but also yours. I can say that this is an act of selflessness and appreciation. So, if complimenting others would boost positive emotions and create beautiful effects, why not do it often. Start complimenting yourself then compliment the girl sitting beside you inside the bus.
10. Give Yourself A Pat On The Back
Everyone wants a pat on the back, but if you are not getting any, do yourself a favor, give yourself one. Acknowledge and recognize your littlest achievements. Let yourself know that you did a good job; that you have conquered something; that you have done new things; that you are worthy of a reward even from your own self.
Continue to internalize your strengths but don’t forget your weaknesses. Attach yourself to the thought that you are amazing and awesome and marvelous but not to the point of arrogance. Go back to your inner core and check what the things you need to accomplish this year are. Once you have reached these goals, a soft pat on your back won’t hurt.
11. Create And Recite A Mantra
The internet has defined Mantras as “impulses or rhythms of the consciousness. They create vibrations in the spirit. Their effects, influence, method and mode of working are all a mystery.” How these chants can make you happy? Again, these are vibrations and vibrations can turn into sound, a beautiful sound. Again as you lure yourself in this beautiful sound, you are being brought to the tranquility of your spirit and allow you to meditate and examine your heart. It gives you just judgment, and as a result it helps you understand your environment vividly.
Reciting and meditating (your own) mantra, frees you from worries and doubts, from agitation, and from stress. Moreover, it directs you to a more positive perspective and it opens your eyes to see the light during the dark hours of your present. “Mantras are as subtle as the air which creates ripples in the water as it gently moves over it. Air is all-pervading and at the same time affects specific regions. The field of the mantras is also such. It is all –pervading and also creates an impact on the one who is practicing” – internet.
12. Turn Your Cellphone Off
One of the benefits of not engaging into the virtual reality that the technology has created is avoiding the “self-inflicted jealousy and insecurity”. Often times, you feel jealous with all the romance that internet has offered you. You need to connect to the world. You need to connect to others. But not thru technology and virtual relationship. Turn off your phone and other gadgets and try to experience a real relationship that goes beyond internet and telecommunications.
Try to shake hands and smile to other people around you. Try to learn something from them by starting a spontaneous conversation. Learn from their culture and traditions. Experience diversities and try to understand the differences that make the world go round. Go out of the internet and live the real world once in a while.