15 ways to build self-love

In this article, I will teach you how to build self-love and challenge your inner critic. I will present 15 simple techniques that will change your life forever.

Your inner critic plays an important role in your life. It focuses on your perceived faults, failures and pain and it creates a circle of negative self-talk, anxiety and negative self-image. Your inner critic was created by your thoughts and feelings. The more you listen to your negative thoughts, the more you give your inner critic the power to control your thoughts and emotions. Read more about how to change your thoughts here.

Your repressed feelings and emotions feed the negative self-image you have created by reinforcing the negative beliefs over and over. You then create a pattern of sabotage, self-criticism, self-doubt and self-distraction. Below, I will show you the best ways to build self-love and tame your inner critic.

15 ways to build self-love

1. Remember that you are in control of your own thoughts. Even though it sounds impossible to overcome fear and anxiety when you are in a circle of negativity, you need to remember that your thoughts are only thoughts. Your emotions come and go. You have the power to choose if you will let them control you or observe and let them go.

2. Don’t dwell in the past or overthink the future. Recognize when things have gone wrong in the past, learn the lesson and take it with you in your self-love journey. Learn from past mistakes and then let them go. Learn how to let go of negative emotions here.

3. Make small changes and stick with them. Create a daily task journal and write down the things you want to accomplish that day. Remember to start with small changes that you know you will be able to complete. If you are trying to achieve too many things, you will feel overwhelmed. Accomplishing small tasks will boost your confidence and build self-worth.

4. Learn what really makes you happy. It is impossible to feel happy at all times, but working towards achieving a general feel of joy and self-love is the key to healthy and happy life. Find the things that really make you happy, that connect you to something greater than yourself. Remember the times you felt the happiest and discover what is truly lighting your soul.

5. Practice positive self-affirmations. We believe the story we tell ourselves repeatedly. Using positive self-affirmations will help you challenge your inner critic. In order to check what positive self-affirmations work for you, observe how they feel. If they make you feel better, then you are on the right track. Moreover, statements that feel challenging and scary help you grow. Over time, you will diminish your inner critic and release your negative self-talk.

6. Surround yourself with positive people. By surrounding yourself with positive people, you will quickly learn how to be more positive. Observing how other people see the positive regardless of the situation they are experiencing is contagious. You will soon find yourself looking at life from another perspective.

7. Write down all your negative thoughts. First step in changing negative thoughts and feelings is to acknowledge them. After you wrote them down, analyze if they are facts or feelings. Remember that feelings come and go, whereas facts cannot be changed. Next step is to accept the facts and work on changing your feelings. Learn how to master your feelings here.

8. Believe that you can grow and plan your progress. In case your life has not planned out the way you wanted it, you can always make another choice. Believe that investing in yourself and in your growth will change the future. This is a great place to start your self-love journey.

9. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down all the things you are grateful for. By recognizing the things you are grateful for, you focus your attention on the positive experiences. The more grateful you are for everything positive in your life, the more you attract new positive experiences. Read through your gratitude journal when you feel overwhelmed, stressed or sad and remember all the good things in your life.

10. Help a friend that is facing difficult times. Helping someone who goes through difficult times will help you take the focus away from your negative feelings and emotions. Moreover, helping your friend understand their feelings and emotions, will help you rationalize your own difficult situation.

11. Stop being harsh on yourself. There is an untruth myth that being harsh on yourself will help you improve yourself and achieve great things in life. This is far from the truth. Being harsh with yourself will only feed the inner critic and diminish your self-worth. On the other hand, being compassionate, loving and accepting towards yourself will build your confidence and self-love.

12. Meditate. Meditation will help you understand your thoughts and feelings by simply observing them. When you observe your feelings without identifying with them, you can let them go. Meditation also helps you stay present without worrying about the past or the future. Moreover, meditation helps recognize harmful and self-defeating thoughts and creates more positive, helpful ones.

13. Exercise. Exercising is a great way to keep your physical and mental health on track. Exercise gives you a boost of self-esteem and reduces depression, anxiety and negative moods. When you feel good about yourself, you pay less attention to your negative thoughts and feelings and focus on the positive ones.

14. Know and respect your boundaries. Know what you truly desire and refuse to settle for anything else. Be prepared to say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t contribute to your self-love journey. Set clear boundaries and respect them. By being true to yourself and learning how to respect yourself, you will build self-love and tame your inner critic.

15. Give yourself a break. Give yourself time to do the things you enjoy doing. Spend time reading, traveling, engaging in a hobby or activity that you like. Spend time taking care of your body and mind. Take a walk to the park, take a nice relaxing bath, go shopping or simply watch a movie you enjoy watching. Forget about the problems you have for a while and spend some quality time with yourself.

Final thoughts

I hope this article taught you the best techniques to build self-love and change your old negative patterns with new, positive ones. Wish you all the best in your self-love journey!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer them.

All the best,

Ioana,

lovenote-4u.com

  (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists)

For counselling and coaching appointments scan the QR code or press here.

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12 thoughts on “15 ways to build self-love”

  1. Marvelous tips, Ioana, I enjoyed reading them, as always.
    It took me a long time to retire my inner critic (and like me, retirement doesn’t please her either, LOL), but I practice most of your tips and they definitely help. One of the most difficult things was telling myself to stop thinking negatively and what helps me at the moment is this: I have tried to come up with an image that represents when I am truly happy and relaxed.
    By now I have 2 images. One is of me lying on the beach on a warm autumn day (Autumn, because then it’s quiet on the beach and the sun is lovely but not too hot) with the sun shining on my back.
    The other one is of a picnic table next to a pond in the woods near my hometown. Again on a sunny day. 🙂
    So whenever my thoughts are bugging me I say ‘swoosh’ and have one of these images in my head.

    Reply
    • Hi Hannie,

      Thank you very much for your comment. That is such a great idea! I have not used this technique before, but I would definitely give it a try. Stopping negative thinking is one of the hardest thing to do and creating a ‘happy place’ where to go when feeling low sounds like an amazing idea! Many thanks for the suggestion.

      Kind regards,
      Ioana

      Reply
      • What a great post! I really appreciate no advertising! Thanks for that. What I can relate to is definitely exercising, being in the company of positive minded people or being helpful. And it really works!!! What I have learnt here is definitely writing down my thoughts, you are so right that emotions come and go. I will try this technique for sure.

        Reply
        • Hi Olga,

          Thank you very much for your comment. I am pleased that you noticed I don’t use advertising throughout my posts. I want the people that are reading my articles to have the best experience.

          Writing your thoughts down is definitely a helpful exercise. Let me know if it helps.

          All the best,
          Ioana

          Reply
  2. Hi Ioana,
    This is a wonderful post! I sometimes have a harsh inner critic and when I hear that inner voice nag again, I tell myself to let go. It isn’t always easy, but with your tips I will surely make some progress. I am always grateful, every day. I find that there is always something to be grateful for and those things and my gratitude always bring a smile on my face.
    Spending time with yourself is important, and I realized that when I went to the beach yesterday after I had not gone in a long time (even if I only live 3 km from the beach …).
    In the evening after all the work is done, I usually watch a comedy on Netflix, laughter is important. 🙂
    And do not settle for less, I wholeheartedly agree! That is another lesson I had to learn.
    As always, this is another excellent post!

    Reply
    • Hi Christine,

      Thank you for your comment. Being grateful is a wonderful gift we can give ourselves. It must be wonderful to live near the beach, I would absolutely love that! I hope the tips here will help you tame your inner critic. Please keep me updated on your progress.

      All the best,
      Ioana

      Reply
  3. Great article on 15 ways to build self love. I think there are many people that can benefit from this valuable info. It would be awesome if it was on a card to hang on my bathroom mirror. #6 is my favorite but I actually like them all!! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Hi Alyse,

      Thank you for your comment. I believe number 6 is very important as people we surround ourselves with can have both a negative and positive impact on our life. I am glad you enjoyed reading the article and I hope to see you back here soon.

      All the best,
      Ioana

      Reply
  4. Hello again!! Another well written article about self-help! I like “the grateful journal” idea. It definitely does help to write down all the things we have to be thankful for and generates a positive attitude. Much of the time, we tend to dwell on what’s wrong in our lives and not what is good. Helping others is a great way to help ourselves because we get the focus off our own problems or negative feelings. We then feel better about ourselves as we help another person. Again, this is another great and helpful article!!

    Evelyn

    Reply
    • Hi Evelyn,

      Thank you for your comment. You are absolutely right, we tend to dwell on negative feelings and forget to be grateful for all the things that are going right in our lives. Concentrating on those positive feelings will ultimately attract more positive feelings.

      All the best,

      Ioana

      Reply
  5. This is very healthy for people to read. Some people out there, unfortunately, struggle with this task: Self Love. It’s something they struggle with and leas them to many severe issues, like depression. Some of these people are so selfless that they often struggle with the most important person, themselves. Thanks so much for sharing this

    Reply
    • Hi Misael,

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy you enjoyed reading my article . You are absolutely right, self love is the most important gift we can offer ourselves and others. 

      Kind regards,

      Ioana

      Reply

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