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Love yourself

 In Mindfulness

You have probably often heard that we must love ourselves before we can truly love another person. Or even that we must love ourselves before we can be completely loved by someone else.

At this point you may have asked yourself, what does it mean to love yourself?

Read the article to find out more!

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Loving yourself means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. The meaning of loving yourself lies in taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your own good to please others.

Love for oneself is not simply a feeling of well-being, it is an action. It represents a choice. It is self-acceptance, a way of relating to oneself that also implies understanding one’s mistakes and defeats. It means being able to communicate effectively with ourselves without harshly judging or punishing us.

The first step to loving yourself is to observe and ‘feel yourself’ carefully, with non-judgmental attention.

It is a discourse that concerns one’s emotions, as they manifest themselves in our body as sensations. If we feel fear, for example, we may notice that we have a knot or a strange sensation in the abdomen. If we are angry, we may find that we have a stiff jaw or clenched hands.

These physical manifestations of emotions through the body are not irrelevant; in fact they are so important that if we begin to observe them consistently, without judging them or trying to avoid them, our relationship with ourselves changes completely. The practice of Mindfulness helps us to train this attitude every day, to learn more I invite you to read this article 

The first step to cultivate love for oneself is therefore to be continuously with oneself (with one’s emotions and body sensations) with kindness, especially in pain, suffering or when we feel hatred for what we are experiencing.

Surely at the moment it is not pleasant at all, but over time we can notice that the more we pay attention to the body, and we explore the sensations without judging them or trying to change them, the more we realize that they change on their own. After a while, some will even have diminished or disappeared altogether.

This conscious observation helps you to take responsibility for what concerns your own experience and to be more inclined to listen and understand what could really help to improve things for the other people around you.

amare se stessi con il mindfulness

LOVING YOURSELF MEANS CHANGING THE INTERIOR MONOLOGUE

‘I shouldn’t feel like that! What is wrong with me?’

‘This is not the time to feel sad, I have to pretend nothing has happened’

Sound familiar?

Loving yourself means accepting yourself as you are, considering our emotions and feelings valid. It does not mean that you must necessarily act on them. Rather, recognize the right to feel the way you feel (no matter what the way). It can sometimes be confusing, because we can experience different sensations at the same time, but in the end, all of them need to be accepted by us.

For example, when someone attacks us or publicly offends us, a part of us would like to shout at those who have offended us, one part cry and be consoled and another make a good impression in front of others and not let anyone know what was happening.

But reacting is not the only way forward, it is certainly the way that strengthens our ego. There is another way, that of silence and self-observation. For example, to support the part of us that feels anger and would like to scream, we can acknowledge and affirm our anger to ourselves by observing the inner rumination associated with it.

Through this process of self-observation we can create a distance from that emotion and the story we tell ourselves about it and contact a more adult and empathic part of us: “I’m here, I’m listening, I feel your madness, tell me how ‘ this moment is difficult, I want to know how it is for you ”.

So if we really listen to the emotions in us and make sure we have felt all the related physical sensations, they can return to flow and the body lets them go.

An important lesson that I have learned in this process is that, whether we are aware of it or not, at all times we teach people how to treat us. If we are canceling ourselves inside, people notice it and can start treating us the same way we treat ourselves.

Essentially, when we abandon ourselves, we feel like the kind of person who deserves to be abandoned and our relationships will reflect this. When we take care of our inner self, we become the kind of person who draws attention and love towards us. Love equals attention, said the Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. A gentle, loving attention therefore.

LOVING YOURSELF MEANS TRUSTING WHAT YOU FEEL

Having self-confidence does not mean thinking positively to put a patch on the cracks of our being. Rather, it is a deep inner awareness of one’s own value and a sense of connection with our innermost essence.

Learning to love each other therefore means:

Listen to the messages and emotions of the body and share them with other people.

Affirm what is true for you and take responsibility for your own experience.

Act in ways that are consistent with your values.

Loving yourself in psychology means accepting yourself, you can read about it in this article

meditazione mindfulness

In general, thanks to practices such as Mindfulness meditation with which it is possible to practice constantly feeling one’s emotions and body sensations, (in giving value to the experience of all the different parts and in communicating in an authentic way) we can transform the relationship with ourselves and with the whole world. 

To learn more about how to transform suffering with meditation and Mindfulness, I suggest you read this article

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