I’m sure some of you have questions. How do you know if you love yourself? How do you learn to love yourself? Both very valid questions.

How do you know if you love yourself?

Where do you put your self in your list of priorities? For a lot of people, they don’t even put themselves in the top three. How do you feel about your body? When someone gives you a compliment, how do you react? The answer to whether you love yourself lies in the answers to questions like these.

How do you learn to love yourself?

I don’t have all of the answers. Every person is different. But I do have a few simple techniques, some that are a little silly, that helped me.

First, find a quiet place to think or journal. Ask yourself this question, “how do other people see me?” Make a list. What are all of the positive things people say to you or about you? Don’t filter the list. Don’t think, “people say I am smart but that’s just because…”

This was harder to do than I expected. I never thought about the fact that I run all of these observations through an internal filter. The filter that dulls the compliment. That retracts from that person’s meaning and intention.

Once you’ve completed this list, look at it. Think about each item on the list from the outside looking in. Ask yourself why they said that to you or about you. They said that because it’s true. That’s how they see you. Accept it as true because it is true.

Another area I have always struggled with is loving my body. I know a lot of you have the same struggles. So, I did a little research. How do you get over something like that? What I had always told myself was, “someday when I lose the weight I will love my body.” I had no idea how ridiculous that statement was. But I truly believed it.

One suggestion I had read was to dance in front of a mirror naked. I know that sounds silly but there was something to it. It was something I wasn’t comfortable doing. I didn’t want to spend time in front of a mirror naked just standing still, let alone shaking and jiggling. Haha!

So I started slow. At first I would stand in front of the mirror naked while I combed my hair after my shower. Once I got comfortable with that I would take a little more time. It took a while but today I am more comfortable with my body. And yes, I totally dance in front of the mirror naked.

talkMy last suggestion is to make a list of a few things you could do that are just for you. Do one of those things every day. It could be something that takes five minutes or it could be something that takes hours. That’s up to you. It’s less about what you choose and more about intentionally taking time out of your day to do something that is just for you. Making a commitment to yourself. Making yourself a higher priority.

My short list; meditation, yoga, hiking and long hot shower. Some days I would only get 10 minutes of meditation in. Some days I would go on a long hike, for hours, by myself. There are no rules. If you like to draw or write, take some time to be creative. If you like to dance, turn up your music and dance around your house. The possibilities are endless. It’s about you and what you enjoy.

These are just a few suggestions to help you start moving in the right direction.