Finding Self-Love Through Mindfulness
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~ Buddha
What does self-love mean to you? An important aspect in determining how to express compassion towards oneself is first by finding a definition that resonates with you. There are countless definitions, but I’ve chosen one that really spoke to me, written by Doctor of Psychology Deborah Khoshaba in her article, “Seven Step Prescription for Self-Love” in Psychology Today, which states that, “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.”
Below I’ve provided a brief summary of Khoshaba’s full self-love prescription.
Full List of Self-Love Prescription
- Becoming Mindful – Develop your own meditation practice and cultivate the self-awareness needed to find out what you need and want from yourself.
- Determine the Difference Between your Wants and Needs – As soon as you determine your wants and needs, decide to act on needs before wants. For example, do you need to binge watch, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (my most recent bingeathon) on Netflix or do you need to get a full night’s rest?
- Practice Good Self-Care – Nourish your mind, body, heart, and soul with healthy food, activities, relationships, and sleep.
- Set Boundaries – Learn to say no to people and things in your life that bring you harm.
- Protect Yourself – Surround yourself with positive relationships.
- Forgive Yourself – Accept that you are human and mistakes happen. Khoshaba says it best, “Remember that if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.”
- Live Intentionally – Determine life goals and make purposeful decisions that allow for you to achieve your best life.
Khoshaba discusses that while all of these steps are important, she also states that to be most successful in our pursuit of finding self-love, we should only focus on one or two at a time. As a result, I decided to take a deeper look at the first two steps.
The Role Mindfulness Plays
Since “becoming mindful” is the first step on the list, and a pivotal aspect of SoVital, I decided to delve deeper into the role mindfulness plays in achieving self-love. Meditation encourages stronger self-awareness, and the better we can identify our individual thoughts, emotions, and actions, the better we can tap into our own wants and needs and, ultimately, our sense of purpose in life.
Not only do we use meditation to encourage a deeper understanding of self at SoVital, but we’ve also created authentic, pure fitness classes to deepen your connection to your self by building strength and flexibility of your physical body. The classes are designed to harness your own body weight to lengthen, lean, sculpt, and define your muscles, further developing your self-awareness by challenging you to keep the focus on your most important tool…you.
Distinguish Wants from Needs
Khoshaba’s second step, “acting on what you need rather than what you want,” reflects on the importance of being able to distinguish needs from wants in self-love. Khoshaba explains, ”You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life, instead. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.”
I found this passage incredibly eye-opening because I think self-love is often depicted as self-indulgence, and while this may work on occasion, maybe sometimes the most powerful love we can give ourselves is a love that pushes us to be our healthiest self; in mind, body, heart, and spirit. We are committed to helping you connect to yourself at SoVital so that you can hear whether your inner voice is calling for an intense workout or maybe a restorative meditation class, because after all, don’t you deserve to be heard?
What does self-love mean to you? Let us know in the comments below.