Self love and appreciation – A beginners guide to loving yourself
In the era is social media, instant gratification is exponentially personified in likes, and comments, and just as quickly disappointment is magnified and self-doubt are amplified. In the context of BDSM, it is no different, but add to it an endorphin rush from a scene, the frenzied response elicited by the presence of a D/s dynamic, and the sudden absence of it creating drop can intensify these feelings even more.
I struggle with this on a daily basis, and was given the task by Mistress of researching self-love and self-appreciation as an answer to where to go when I have these feelings. It is a regular protocol to review this guide when I am experiencing drop, and I have shared it with others who have found it a helpful exercise as well to remember exactly who you are, defined by none other than you.
Self Appreciation and Self Love
Self-appreciation is the process of appreciating yourself. Appreciating yourself is about being grateful for yourself and the things that you have.
One way of looking at this is considering the things that you take for granted and recognizing them. Another view is to consider your faults and what you can appreciate in them as well, the benefits of those qualities to yourself and others.
Most of us let others determine if we are good enough or not. We let other people determine our worth and happiness. But appreciation doesn’t always come. Just because you put time and effort into something, doesn’t mean that others will appreciate what you do.
What if no one appreciates what you have done? Does it mean that what you have done is worthless? Are you going to blame them for not being appreciative?
Instead of waiting for or seeking approval from others, self-appreciation is a better choice. Because it’s something within your control. Furthermore, people are more likely to appreciate someone who appreciates themself.
Tips on How to Appreciate Yourself
1. Appreciate what you have
You don’t have to set a goal or achieve something monumental in order to appreciate yourself.
Things that you do – you already do things daily – require effort and take time to complete. Appreciate that you got out of bed, it’s difficult for many people, for some it is even impossible. Things have done – no matter when you did them – appreciate today what you have done in the past, it is part of who you are and is still just as much a part of who you are now as it was when it happened.
Your body is a gift, you are alive because of your beating heart, your lungs, take note of all the working parts of your body one by one and be thankful. You like parts of your body more than others, celebrate your best outer qualities as they will seldom change.
2. Describe yourself using kind words
Be kind to yourself first, by using kind words to speak about yourself. Using negative words to describe yourself will only create tension in your words, only creates drama for yourself and for others. The type of language you would use to describe someone else, you choose your words carefully when you want to show appreciation for someone else – use those same words to describe yourself.
Making a mistake is human, why beat yourself up about it when it happens? Remember all the times you didn’t make a mistake, and use one as a reminder for next time. Focussing on what you did right is more likely to ensure you repeat that action, rather than dwelling on and preparing to repeat a negative one. Being aware of how you speak to yourself will help you to appreciate yourself more.
3. Be yourself
Be the person you want everyone to see, your perfect self is the image you project that you want others to see the first time you greet them. Worrying about how you will be perceived limits your ability to show your strengths.
Focus on your strengths and others will appreciate them. You don’t need to hide your faults, accept that others have them also, acknowledge them and move on.
Appreciating your faults can also be a positive action, for example – the ability to laugh at yourself. You can’t draw? Show your silly drawing, all the artists will feel great about their own abilities, and you in turn will feel more positive.
Additional Tips and Exercises
Keeping a gratitude journal
Keeping a gratitude journal can help to keep track of things you might normally overlook.
Write down everything you were proud of doing from being on-time to doing the dishes Making this a regular protocol also makes sure you spend time appreciating yourself every day.
After time, keeping a gratitude journal makes self appreciation into a habit. You are able to look back over weeks, months, and years to truly grasp the amazing person that is you.
Giving yourself a gift
Rewards can be small gifts you give yourself like a candy, a new pair of shoes or a day off from work. Making small gifts and keeping them simple means you can find ways to reward yourself more often – like getting a coffee, taking a 5 minute break to listen to music, talking on the phone with a friend.
Giving yourself a gift should be spontaneous, something that you do because in the moment you are appreciating yourself and rewarding your efforts.