Want to feel upbeat and enthusiastic most of the time? Self love is the key to creating and maintaining that high energy, focused and positive mood on an ongoing basis.
It's simple, really. If you love yourself, you will be highly motivated to provide a healthy physical, mental, emotional and spiritual experience for yourself.
I know, you've probably heard all of your life that you're supposed to love yourself, but how in the world do you actually do that?
India.Arie sings a beautiful answer to that question. Listen, breathe it in, and enjoy.
As this gifted singer suggests, you are not what happened to you, or what others think of you, or even the mistakes you made.
You are so much more.
The actual practice of self love goes deep, and becomes an actual way of life that will serve you well in all every aspect of your life. So, why is it so hard?
Why Isn't It Easier To Love Yourself?
That's the real question, isn't it. If only it was as easy as Stuart Smalley makes it seem...doggonit...
Here are some of the reasons we struggle with self love:
When things went wrong in your childhood (neglect, abandonment, abuse, etc.) your child mind thought it was your fault. This is natural, but it creates a major barrier to self love.
Feeling this self doubt, you looked to the world outside you for the love and approval you needed. This is also natural, but it puts your happiness in the hands of others, which as you know doesn't always work that well.
When the world outside you fell short of what you needed (and it always does, sooner or later), you fell back into the old internal self doubt.
This is the problem, and we'll get to the solution in a few minutes. But first, take a look at this diagram to see how this all works.
Love is who you are. You were born with a deep and profound need to love and be loved, but even the best parents cannot meet this need perfectly. So at some point things started feeling bad although you didn't understand any of this at the time.
As an innocent child, you didn't know how to put the responsibility on the grownups where it belonged, so you took it on yourself. That's where the self doubt and confusion sets in.
Then it seemed that love and approval from others was the answer. Your thoughts were, "If I can get them to love and adore me, then I'll feel good inside, and that will solve this problem of my inner doubt and confusion."
So, like everyone does, you set about the business of seeking approval, love and recognition from your parents and other significant people in your life.
"It's not other people's job to make you feel good about yourself. That is something you and you alone can accomplish."
How Does Self Love Help You Keep Your Good Mood?
Your good mood comes from feeling good physically, mentally and/or emotionally. And you'll be willing to take action to create these good feelings when you love yourself.
If you love your car, your home, your spouse or your children, you are highly motivated to take good care of them, right? Likewise, if you love yourself (your body and mind), you will be more likely to practice good self care.
So, how does loving yourself help you to keep on feeling good? One word...motivation. You will be motivated to take care of yourself if you love yourself.
General steps toward self love
Here are some general ways to move in the direction of self love (more specific skills below):
Eat healthy and exercise regularly. The more you do that, the better you will feel, and the easier it will get.
Stay mentally focused in a direction that is uplifting and encouraging. This is a set of skills that you can develop, and this entire site is designed to help you with that.
Keep yourself grounded and centered in who you are and what you're creating. This is a matter of regularly asking yourself, "Who am I and what am I doing here," and answering that with your core values and your vision for your life.
Skills to help you love yourself:
Review and re-work your personal history, to remove your emotional and mental barriers to self love.
Journal about your past experiences, going all the way back as far as you can remember.
With each significant experience, whether positive or negative, ask yourself, "What did I conclude about myself and my future because of this?"
Write down your answers to that question, and separate them into two categories. Label one as, "Self limiting beliefs" and the other as "Self empowering beliefs."
Replace each self limiting belief with one or more self empowering beliefs. Keep doing this until you have a nice, long list of self empowering beliefs.
Read and re-read your self empowering beliefs daily until they become strong and embedded in your subconscious.
Write daily messages to yourself as your best friend, personal coach or wise inner being
your journal, say to yourself, "Good for you for (fill in the blank)"
and repeat that for all of the good efforts, choices, decisions,
thoughts and actions of the past 24 hours.
Do this 4-5 days a
week or more, on an ongoing basis. After you start feeling really good
most of the time, you can just do it as needed to feel better and raise
your energy level.
To bring in a spiritual element, imagine that
you are a loving angel or other spiritual being who loves you
unconditionally and believes in your goodness and your gifts.
Develop and constantly renew practices of caring for your body, mind and spirit.
and implement your own personalized daily exercise program. Make sure
it works for you and your body, and ideally include some way of getting
outside and connecting with the earth.
journaling practices, in addition to those listed above (and others you
put together), to keep your mind clear, positive and focused on the good
inside and all around you.
Work directly and intentionally with
your core values. Make a list of your top priorities in life, and make
up your mind to redesign your life so that you are living according to
those priorities (values). All of the other exercises recommended here
will help you with that.
Create and design your own
spiritual practice, based on your beliefs and convictions. This can
include some of the above listed journaling processes, along with
inspirational reading, audio and video programs.
If you're not already doing some of these things, it might seem like a lot of work. The question is, how important is it to you...to keep that good mood?
you're willing to wait for the next good thing to come along and
improve your mood (not recommended...sometimes it's a long wait), you'll be willing to start practicing these self love
skills on a regular basis...and you will get the results you're looking for.
Remember, love is who you are,
and love is where all of this started. When you become stronger in
loving yourself, you are simply getting back to who you really are and
were born to be.
Let's close this page with some important thoughts.
I suggest that you write these down and keep them with you all of the time:
"Nothing will steal my joy!"
"I will not use (that person or situation) as an excuse to feel bad."
"Being happy and feeling good is my top priority!"
"I have so much to love and appreciate about myself and the world around me, right now and every moment of every day."
More Great Articles On Keeping Your Good Mood
Nurture Your Inner Child-- In this audio program available as a CD or MP3 download, Dr. DeFoore will guide you through affirmations and visualizations to heal old wounds and develop lasting self love.
Guided Imagery Scripts-- This is where you can read the entire script to the Nurturing Your Inner Child program. That way you can either just read it to yourself, or make your decision to try the audio program.
The Art Of Happiness-- There is an art to creating and maintaining happiness, and appreciating art in its many varied forms is part of the wonderful, uplifting journey.
Self Confidence Tips -- Learn three steps to building the confidence in yourself you have always wanted, and begin creating that successful life you've dreamed of
Expand Your Circle Of Trust -- The more you love yourself, the more you trust yourself. And the more you trust yourself, the more you can build trust in others. Keep your good mood by expanding your circle of trust.