As a boudoir photographer, I often talk about the benefits of boudoir as a part of woman’s self-love journey. The experience helps them push past their insecurities. The images become proof of their natural beauty. But self-love needs to start from within. For that reason, I’ve assembled these self-love tips to help you on your path.
What is Self-Love?
You have heard about the benefits of self-love. Unfortunately for many, the idea can be challenging. After all, we are our own worst critics, right?
It is easy to find faults with yourself. People tend to dwell on their insecurities, which can cause them to dislike themself. This creates obstacles they must overcome on the path to self-love.
Plus, life sometimes gets in the way. You might be so busy focusing on others that you don’t have time for yourself.
Some people feel self-love is narcissistic and selfish. But self-love isn’t about being self-absorbed, vain or conceited. It is about discovering ourselves, our well-being and what makes us happy.
Self-love is powerful and creates an impact on every aspect of your life. It helps you overcome the inner critic, push through limiting beliefs and live your life on your own terms.
So how can you achieve this seemingly elusive goal of self-love? These self love tips are the way to start:
“Self-love, self-respect, self-worth: There’s a reason they all start with ‘self.’ You can’t find them in anyone else.”
How To Practice Self-Love And Care
You’ve heard the saying, treat others how you want to be treated. The problem is, people don’t always offer themselves the same care and respect they give others. Chances are, you are kinder to others than you are to yourself, and it is time to change that.
Giving yourself time to practice self-care is an important part of the journey. Self-love doesn’t happen overnight. It will take time to overcome the criticisms you have placed on yourself.
To begin, it is important to lay out your foundation. It will become the base that will support your new habits.
1. Know Your Why
To make a real change in your life, you need to be emotionally connected to creating that transformation. Ask yourself why self-love is so important to you. The answer should be foremost in your mind anytime you catch yourself falling into old habits. It will reinforce your strength to make the changes needed.
2. Commit Yourself To The Outcome
Change requires commitment. You need to make self-love a priority. Don’t allow life, work, friends or enemies to stand in the way of your relationship with yourself.
3. Take Baby Steps Each Day
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. – Old Joke
Self-Love is like a muscle, you need to exercise it to make it strong. Taking a small step each day can get you to your goal. These daily actions are a signal to your brain that you care about this journey.
Don’t try to do everything at once. That may be impossible to continue, which gives your inner critic a chance to say “I told you so.”
Whatever step you take doesn’t have to be big. Small, consistent steps toward self-love will create joy and excitement. That feeling will grow as you commit to a step each day.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now that you have your “self-care practice foundation” in place, it is time to give you what you came for:
Self-Love Tips That Should Be Self-Love Habits
1. Focus On Positivity
Start and end each day by telling yourself something positive about you. Maybe something you liked about how you looked. Possibly something you were proud to accomplish. Just as you would build up a friend, be sincere with yourself and point out the good!
2. Avoid Negativity
Negative thoughts sap your strength and energy. They are easy for us to believe. If you start to tell yourself something negative, question that logic. Many of the negative things we tell ourselves aren’t true. Thoughts like that become opinions and negative opinions can and should be changed.
3. Become More Loving
If you have problems loving yourself, become more loving to others. What do you love about your family? Your friends? Your Pets? Your Work? Other People You Meet? Focus on these aspects as you go through your day. By adjusting yourself to the positive emotion of love, you learn to appreciate life, and yourself.
4. Role Play
When things get difficult, it can be hard to find the positive in yourself or the situation. This is when role play can help. Ask yourself, what would the most loving person in the world say or do? They wouldn’t criticize or judge you, they would be kind, full of compassion and accept you for who you are. Follow their lead!
5. Learn To Let Go
Everyone has suffered trauma and has wounds from past experiences. Letting go of these burdens can lift their weight off your shoulders. You don’t need to carry them around for the rest of your life. If you need the support of others to do this, seek out help. It is time to come out of that tunnel and back into the light. You deserve better!
6. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
Comparisons can be toxic. You like something about someone else and you don’t have that. It could be money, a job, looks, luck, you name it. That leads to jealousy, which is a negative emotion.
Remember that most people are selective with what they show the world. What you perceive to be wonderful, may in fact be an illusion or something very different to them.
So stop comparing yourself to others. Spend your time and energy to create your own life. You are unique, one of a kind and are incomparable!
“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”
~ Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne
7. Love What Makes You Unique
Accept and learn to love all the things that make you different. They are a part of your whole being and make you special.
Think of it this way, rainbows and sunsets are nothing alike, but both are beautiful!
8. Learn To Accept Your Reflection
Being in front of a mirror invites the inner voice to say things. You need to consciously control that narrative!
Beauty isn’t what you see in a magazine or on television. I can tell you from experience, models don’t look like a magazine edit in real life. They have doubts and body issues too.
Your body is an amazing vessel. It has always been with you and carried you through your life. It is literally the story of everything you have accomplished.
If your mind says you are fat, remember that no two bodies are the same size or shape. You are the perfect weight for you at that moment in time.
If your inner voice dislikes stretch marks from pregnancy, realize they are the badges of honor from bearing your children. Celebrate the fact your body could do that to bring them into your life.
You may not like everything about your looks, but at least accept them and try to view it in a positive light. You are much harder on yourself than anyone else would be – so remember that a try kindness instead.
9. Accept Your Moods
Some days are better than others. No one is happy and positive all the time. You will have down times, sad times and possibly bad times. Your mood may reflect this, and they are valid feelings so don’t dismiss them.
It is important to consciously think about your emotional state each day. When things aren’t right, it does no good to pretend. If you need help dealing with something, seek help.
And cut yourself some slack! Taking some time to yourself is perfectly okay. If you need to change plans to suit your mood, that is okay too.
But also realize that our habits, activities, routines and environment affect our moods. If you find yourself in a slump for too long, change one or all of those things. Take steps to actively improve your mood, because you deserve to be happy.
10. Take Care Of Your Body
Your health can definitely affect your feelings. That it is important to take care of yourself. Exercise, move or walk every day. The activity will stimulate your muscles and your brain.
Be sure to eat as healthy as you can and stay hydrated with water. By taking care of your body, you are showing it self-love.
11. Take Time For Yourself
Turn off the television, put down the phone and spend time with yourself.
- Take a walk to think about what is happening in your life and where you want to go.
- Read a book.
- Draw or paint.
- Work on a hobby.
- Take a relaxing bath.
Taking a break from the chaos of life is a great way to show yourself some love and care.
12. Remove The Toxic And Find The Positive
In life, we come across some toxic people who try to pull you down. They talk about others, they make you question yourself, and they are negative. Kicking them out of your life can be difficult, but it is worth doing.
Surround yourself with positive people. People who love and look at the bright side of things. Those who encourage your dreams and support you. They are there for your ups, and help you turn things around when you are down.
“When things change inside you, things change around you.”
If you’d like to learn more about how a boudoir experience can build your confidence and body positivity, reach out to my studio. I’d be happy to talk with you about the process, answer your questions and see if it would be right for you.
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