This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Good Vibes, Good Life" by Vex King. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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How do you practice self-love? What does self-love actually entail in practice?
It seems like everybody is talking about self-love, but there are so many different things “self-love” can imply in practice. According to Vex King, self-love means two things: self-acceptance and self-improvement.
Here are some ways to practice self-love, according to mind coach Vex King.
Self-love is composed of two parts: total acceptance of yourself (appreciating who you are and where you are in life) and taking action to improve yourself. King warns that many people fail at improving themselves because they fail to truly accept and love themselves no matter where they are at the present moment.
(Shortform note: Health experts second King’s assertion, explaining that self-love motivates us to make healthy life choices and nurture our well-being. They define self-love as a state of appreciation for yourself that results in physical, psychological, and spiritual growth, which include the two components King presents: self-acceptance and self-improvement. Further, experts explain that when we’re motivated to take care of our body and mind we are also more resilient to mental hardships and physical ailments.)
In his book Good Vibes, Good Life, mind coach Vex King suggests the following ways to practice self-love and acceptance:
Love your appearance: Many people get down on themselves about not looking perfect because society pressures us to compare ourselves to others. King reminds us that there’s no such thing as the “perfect” appearance. Beauty standards constantly change, but regardless, these are all social constructs that mean nothing. Appreciate your uniqueness.
Appreciate your inner beauty: Are you intelligent, artistic, kind, compassionate, generous? There are so many wonderful things about you that add to the world. Remember and appreciate these things.
Celebrate your achievements: Remind yourself of all the amazing things you’ve accomplished, big and small, and celebrate these things. If you are proud of a project you completed, celebrate by making your favorite dinner or meeting with friends. This will help you love and appreciate yourself.
Forgive yourself: Everyone makes mistakes, but the only thing you can do about it is learn from it. You can’t change the past.
Check your behavior: Are there things you’re doing that are hindering your progress? Bad habits, addiction, toxic relationships? We have the power to change, but we need to take action and be consistent to achieve these changes.
In You Are a Badass, Jen Sincero says that there are 10 ways that you can reclaim self-love and get rid of guilt, self-doubt, and self-loathing. Like King, she stresses the importance of appreciating your uniqueness (body and mind) and forgiving yourself, but she adds a few additional tips:
- Do what you love: Find your passion and explore it. This will prevent you from feeling like you’ve let yourself down.
- Stop self-deprecating humor: You can laugh at yourself, but putting yourself down is another thing. When you do this, you’re convincing yourself and others of the negative things you’re saying.
- Accept compliments: Accepting compliments graciously will help you see yourself in a positive light.
Sincero makes additional recommendations that mirror King’s advice in other parts of the book:
- Use affirmations: Saying things like “I deserve and receive love every day” will redirect your brain from self-hate to self-love. King includes this in his recommendations for how to achieve your ideal life.
- Replace negative thoughts: When something bad happens, we’re quick to think things like “I’m so stupid.” Instead, tell yourself “I made a mistake that I’ll learn from.”
- Take care of your body: The better your body feels, the happier you are.
- Stop comparing yourself to others: Someone else’s uniqueness is no better than your own. Embrace who you are.
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Here's what you'll find in our full Good Vibes, Good Life summary :
- Why the key to living your dream life is to have good vibrations
- How to successfully manifest your dream life
- Tips on how to avoid suffering and negative energy