How to Reduce Anxiety with Self-Love!
Updated: May 12
What is self-love?
Self-love is different to self-care but when we practice self-care we are increasing our self-love.
Let me explain: Self-love is defined as a healthy state of valuing and appreciating ourselves as human beings and holding healthy self-esteem and a positive view of ourselves in the world.
Self-care leads to self-love
When we practice self-care by doing things that make us feel good, we are showing ourselves that we are worthy of love and care. This increases our belief and confidence in ourselves.
By taking care of our wellbeing and putting our needs first at times this is also showing ourselves self-love.
Ensuring that we care for our own mental, physical and emotional health we are showing ourselves we are worthy of this love and care.
How does self-love help alleviate anxiety?
Some actions that show us self-love are ensuring we get enough sleep, getting enough exercise, eating healthily, relaxing sufficiently and holding healthy boundaries for how we let others treat us.
As humans we are also wired to need connection and love from others and so nurturing our relationships with the people in our lives and making time to enjoy other’s company can also help us to feel good.
When we experience anxiety we may struggle with worry, looping thoughts, stress and some physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, feeling nervous, restless, weak or tired. Whilst we do notice physical and mental effects of anxiety, the cause is mainly from our thoughts, fears and limiting beliefs.
All of these basic self-care activities will help our mental health and therefore can reduce anxiety. But there are some specific things we can do to help further.
Self-Love Practices for Anxiety
1) Stop comparing yourself to others and practice self-acceptance and compassion. Accept and honour where you are in your life and tell yourself that you are exactly where you need to be right now. If you’re not in a good place and you don’t like where you are, tell yourself you can make changes step by step and at your own pace.
2) Practice gratitude. This helps you to develop a more positive mindset and this undoubtedly will help you to feel happier.
3) Acknowledge and process your feelings and emotions. There are a number of tools and practices that can help with this. A simple one is just to note down how you are feeling, let it all spill out onto a page (you can throw this away afterwards and it can absolutely be for your eyes only). Once you’ve done this take some deep breaths and ‘sit’ with the feeling until it subsides. Emotions are just vibrations in the body caused by our thoughts. Once we acknowledge them, they will start to dissipate. It’s so much healthier for us to do this practice rather than try to suppress emotions.
4) Speak to yourself with kindness and compassion and be encouraging. The ‘inner-critic’ inside us can be cruel if we let him/her take over. I recommend creating a list of the things that you like about yourself (your qualities, attributes and unique talents) and include any achievements/accomplishments (big and small) that you are proud of. You can keep this list and read it often, it will help you to feel more confident and give you a lift when you need it.
5) Put something into your daily routine that soothes and calms the nervous system. You could try gentle yoga, breathing techniques, meditation or relaxing and empowering hypnosis audios.
6) Move your body daily. Exercise releases feel-good hormones and burns up stress hormones. Any activity like running, walking, swimming, dancing, yoga will have a beneficial effect.
7) Create some healthy boundaries for how you treat yourself and how others are allowed to treat you too. How you love and respect yourself is how you show others to treat you. You deserve to be treated well both by yourself and by others.
If you would like further help with anxiety, it may be necessary to seek advice from your doctor and/or get some therapy for support and to help you feel better.
If you want to learn some self-love practices plus spend some quality time on yourself, why not join us on one of our Self-Love Empowerment Retreats this Autumn. We have one of these special events in October in the lovely Kent countryside. For more info click here!
We also include Rapid Transformational Therapy in the retreats and I have helped many people with anxiety using RTT! See here for more details.