Cultivate more self-love with these 5 self-love exercises that are simple yet effective.
What Are Self-Love Exercises?
Self-love exercises help you strengthen your relationship with yourself by focusing on all the things you love about yourself.
There is a lot of talk about self-love nowadays but most of it is centered around the self-care portion of self-love.
Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself to something nice but self-love is so much more than that.
Self-love takes work. It is a fierce commitment to love every part of yourself unapologetically and unconditionally.
It involves looking at the parts of you that are not so easy to love (or even painful) in order to transform them into your greatest strengths yet.
Self-love is your birthright because love is your true nature.
Your job is not to search for love. Your job is to remove the blocks to the presence of love that is already within you.
Choose to love yourself today by committing to these 5 self-love exercises below.
1. Forgive Yourself and Others
The first exercise for self-love is to forgive yourself and others.
Make it a daily habit to ask yourself, “Who (or what) have I not forgiven today?”
One of the biggest blocks to self-love is holding on to pain from the past.
We are under the false belief that holding onto the past will somehow protect us from pain in the future.
But in reality, we create more resistance to love.
For what we give to others, we give to ourselves. And what we withhold from others, we withhold from ourselves.
When you withhold forgiveness from others, you withhold forgiveness to yourself.
But by extending forgiveness to others, you extend forgiveness to yourself.
Ultimately, forgiveness is not about the person who hurt you.
Forgiveness is a radical act of self-love for removing all blocks to the presence of love within you.
It is a natural by-product of loving yourself because you prioritize your joy above all else.
2. Positive Affirmations
The second exercise for self-love is to recite positive affirmations.
The opposite of self-love is not self-hate. It is simply a lack of love for the self.
Self-love doesn’t come naturally to most of us. It takes a conscious effort to reorganize our priorities back to ourselves.
Positive affirmations are amazing for introducing self-love back into your system.
As I teach in my online course for manifestation, the best way to get rid of limiting beliefs is to replace them with new ones.
And affirmations help you do just that.
Use these positive affirmations every morning to start your day off in positive high vibration.
3. Listen To Your Intuition
The third exercise for self-love is to listen to guidance from your intuition.
Your intuition (also known as your higher self) is the inner guidance system that is always guiding you toward love, joy, and inner peace—all of which are emotions with the highest vibrations according to the Emotional Guidance Scale.
You didn’t have to learn it because you were born with it.
Children experience joy frequently because their intuition naturally guides them toward things that make them happy.
But as we grow up, we are taught to ignore our intuition and rely on external evidence to support our decision-making.
To reactivate your capacity for self-love, make it your goal to reconnect with your intuition.
Instead of overthinking and second-guessing yourself, listen to your inner guide, and let it guide you toward what feels good.
Start small when cultivating your relationship with your intuition.
Ask your intuition for guidance in low-stakes areas of your life, like deciding what to eat or what to buy.
As you get to know your inner guide, you’ll learn to rely on your intuition in all areas of your life.
4. Call Out Your Judgment
The fourth self-love exercise is to call out your judgment.
Judgment is a nasty habit that is a major block to our ability to love ourselves.
Judgment is a double-edged sword. When you give yourself permission to judge others, you give yourself permission to judge yourself.
For what you judge in others, you judge in yourself.
Everyone in our lives is a mirror reflecting back to us the parts of ourselves that are like or dislike.
So when we withhold love from others by judging their behavior, we are actually withholding love from ourselves.
The first step to getting rid of judgment is to become the non-judgmental witness of our judgemental thoughts.
When you catch yourself judging someone, call it out.
Use this prayer to forgive yourself reorganize your perspective back to love, “I forgive these judgmental thoughts and I choose to see peace instead. I am willing to see this from the perspective of love.”
The more you call out your judgment, the more quickly you will be able to break free from judgment’s grasp.
In time, judgment will no longer resonate with you and any judgmental thoughts will feel false.
You will be so filled with self-love that your positive energy actually repels judgment.
5. Inner Smile Meditation
The final exercise for self-love is to practice the inner smile meditation.
I actually got this idea from Liz Gilbert’s best-selling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love.
The inner smile meditation is a popular Taoist practice in which we smile inwardly to each of the major organs of our body.
The idea sounds kind of silly but it is often the smallest shifts that create the biggest transformations.
Smiling is a powerful but underrated practice for self-love. Just the act of smiling itself brings tremendous relief to yourself (and others).
Try it right now! Smile gently and notice how it makes you feel.
Do you feel happier? More peaceful? Less stressed? Well, that’s the point.
When we radiate a genuine smile, it opens our heart chakra and stimulates the loving-kindness that is deep within us.
Now just think about how good it would feel if you intentionally practiced this smiling meditation every day.
Here’s how to practice the inner smile meditation:
- Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
- Take 10 deep breaths and relax your eyebrows, jaw, and shoulders.
- Begin to smile by lifting the outer corners of your mouth gently.
- Place your hands over your heart.
- Imagine a glowing ball of light at your heart center and allow the loving essence from this light to cascade through your entire body.
- Allow this light to flow from your head to your toes. Illuminating each internal organ along the way.
- Notice the sensations in your body. Perhaps you feel peaceful, content, and warm.
- Continue visualizing the essence of that light permeating through your body.
- Take several deep breaths and relax.
- Whenever you’re ready, open your eyes to the room.
Can Self Love Be Learned?
Yes. Self-love can be learned.
We were all born loving ourselves. Just take a look at little kids and you’ll notice this truth.
But somewhere along the way, we learned to focus on the negative aspects of ourselves instead.
Just as we learned to focus on what’s not working, we can train ourselves to focus on what is working.
Do Self-Love Exercises Work?
Yes. Self-love exercises work.
The reason why self-love exercises help you build your self-love is that they help you rewire your mind to focus on all the positive aspects of yourself.
Most of us tend to think negatively and therefore we train our minds to focus on what we don’t like about ourselves.
So if you want to build your self-love, you must reprogram your mind to think in a more positive way and self-love exercises can help you accomplish this easily.
How Long Does It Take To Increase Self-Love?
It takes at least 40 days of consistent practice to form a habit of loving yourself more.
After doing these self-love exercises for 40 days, you should find it much easier to believe in yourself and treat yourself with more compassion.
These positive feelings are a sign that your self-love is increasing.