I know what you're thinking. This is a sex blog, so why are we talking about self-love?
I'm glad you asked. It is because self-love is the essential foundation that allows us to be our best selves in every aspect of our lives — and that includes our more intimate relationships. So while this post is less focused on sex, it is just as important. While building up your self-worth takes work, doing so can help you get rid of the need to bring someone else in as a source of validation. The old saying “you are my other half” becomes less enticing. When your self-worth meets another’s, you can form an even stronger and healthier connection as two whole people. Self-worth also allows you to confidently communicate with each other, and to value yourself just as much as you value your partner.
Finding a stronger sense of self is something most people could improve on — and that includes me! I’m constantly working to find a sense of internal confidence, and some resources and tools have been more helpful than others.
The Current Tactics: Self-Love Meditations, Gratitude, and Eradicating the Word “Should”
I’ve tried meditating on my own several times in the past and have often had a hard time getting my mind centered. After a lot of searching, I found a couple of recordings that feel peaceful, impactful, and timely — and it turns out that guided meditations were the trick I needed to establish a habit.
I highly recommend the meditations by Layla Martin who is on a mission to help people find “epic sex and legendary love.” She offers an abundance of information on sex and relationships through a variety of content, and her meditations are only one of her many practices. In particular, her Body Love Meditation, Energy Healing meditation, and Self-Care Package meditation have been helpful.
The second series of meditations are from the “Live Awake” podcast. These are recordings focusing on a wide range of topics, including internal trust, stillness, and self-worth. The soothing voice paired with the empowering ideas make for a really impactful listen.
Finally, while it can take me a minute to sort through different videos on YouTube to uncover the meditations that I connect with, there is great content and a wide variety on the platform. One place to start is Jay Shetty’s page. He is personable, interesting, and full of insight.
Ultimately, the important thing when it comes to meditation is finding what works for you.
The next method of practicing self-love is to hone in on gratitude, which can help shift the time you spend looking at the good versus the bad. It also can help you be more confident, because it’s my firm belief that training your mind to be grateful for everything you are rather than tearing yourself down, as so many of us do, helps build your self-love muscle.
I am currently doing a 28-day challenge outlined in a book called “The Magic”, where author Rhond Byrne teaches the reader how to apply gratitude to their everyday life. The challenge includes outlining 10 reasons I am grateful every morning. One tactic I really like is writing “thank you for X because of Y.” Explaining the “because” is really important, as it helps internalize feelings and increases the actual emotions of being grateful. And finally, the process includes making time before bed to reflect on the day, pick the best part, and offer a moment of gratitude for it.
If you want to switch things up, the book offers some challenges. One that I particularly like is thinking of a person, situation, or aspect of myself that brings me negative emotions, before writing 10 reasons why I am grateful for it and why. It’s shocking how helpful this strategy is at reframing your frustrations into gratitude. Another tactic that has set me up for a great day is waking up and immediately saying: “Thank you for another day because…”
The next time you get ready for the day, take a few moments to stay in the gratitude headspace. This strategy might not seem like a lot, but it really does help shift your mindset, and help you live your life with that “glass-half-full” mentality.
Eradicating the Word Should
A third way I’ve increased my self-love involves the word “Should.. I promise that it’s worth ditching this word for good. Though it’s meant to be a motivator, it reinforces what you are not yet doing, and is subconsciously telling you that you are not enough.
I’ve been trying to remove this word from my own vocabulary for a few weeks, and wow. The awareness alone made it clear to me how often I use it. For example, when I feel like I should meditate, it feels heavy, like a chore. But when I tell myself I am going to meditate because it helps me breathe, because it aligns with my goals, and because it increases my self-confidence, I am much more likely to do it. It’s such a small shift in strategy that has a huge pay-off.
A Final Word
There’s a lot of advice out there telling people to simply “let negativity go,” or “love yourself,” or, “be more grateful and life will be better.” But I’ve found that I need structured and simple steps to tap into my gratitude. These specific tools and daily practices have helped me foster a deeper love within myself and toward others. It’s not always easy to prioritize internal self-acceptance over external validation, but it’s worth it.
It took living through a few eye-opening experiences for me to start developing a stronger internal belief system. These wake-up calls come at different times for different people. No matter where you are in life, I encourage you to try out some of these practices yourself. If you’re looking for intensive gratitude work, talking with a therapist can also be helpful. What matters is that you keep trying, and hold space for the process.