How to love yourself:
the complete guide

Love yourself

These two words carry the power to alter the course of your life, give you the strength and joy that can never be snatched away by this world.

To cite an example, King Janak’s love for his self was so great that it left the world surprised. A disciple of Sage Ashtavakra, King Janak’s love for himself was not limited to the changing things in life, it was unique - beyond the luxuries of the world - it was for his higher Self. Many of us struggling to be comfortable in our own skin, to accept ourself as we are, can find mighty inspiration from King Janak’s life.

Explore king Janak’s journey of Self-love with Sri Sri’s commentary on Ashtavakra Gita.

It is only when we realize the importance of our existence, we can take a pause from the fast-paced life, drop the judgments we hold about ourselves and for once, love ourselves. Self-love is the birthright of all of us, irrespective of our worldly status, our shortcomings, achievements and our stage of life. Make yourself your priority and see how you get a more profound perspective about life.

You would wonder how to achieve this state of unconditional love for oneself – imperfections accepted and all the falls and stumbles of life embraced? Is there anyone who did not struggle to achieve self-love? Despite life’s complexity, is it possible to do this one simple thing?

Yes. It is. In fact, you owe it to yourself.

Wondering how to love yourself and where to start? Then, here are a few guidelines for you to take those baby steps towards loving yourself.



Ways to Love yourself:


Start by loving your body

The journey to love yourself begins with the body. Imagine if you wake up to find that your body is gone. You wouldn’t even be able to express your shock with a scream. You enjoy the world and even feel its pain through your body. It’s a gift that must be loved and taken care of.

It’s your body and it’s the only one that you have for this lifetime.

Love your body, no matter what.

Tips to love your body

Change your perspective: If you have even slight dislike for your body, then change gears now. Start accepting your body. Love your body the way it is and take corrective actions for your health instead.

Eat healthy: Eat what is conducive to your well-being and let your eating habits be governed by your intelligence rather than your cravings.

Take morning walks, do yoga: Regular morning walks and yoga practice strengthens the body and ensures it remains healthy and fit.

Self-love is only possible if you're stress-free, confident, joyful, and dynamic. Make it happen with the Art of Living Meditation and Breath Workshop.


Stay away from negativity

Learning to love yourself becomes difficult when you’re brimming with negative thoughts about yourself. Thoughts about your unworthiness are a hindrance to let one be comfortable in their own skin. These feelings that pull the energy down originate in the mind. Thus, disciplining your mind and letting yourself loose from self-depreciating thoughts is the second step to love yourself.

Often, self-doubt is a result of comparing oneself with others. We forget to cherish our uniqueness.  Discipline your mind to not indulge in negative thoughts, rather be a silent observer of them. Let the thoughts remain.

“What water can do, gasoline cannot and what copper can, gold cannot. Everything and everybody has been designed with a proportion of uniqueness to serve a purpose that we can fulfill only by being our unique self. YOU as you alone can serve your purpose. Existence loved you so much that it broke the mould after making you so that another of your kind never gets replaced.” 

~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

There are also times when the feeling of unworthiness is injected from our surroundings and people. How to love yourself in these moments? Well, some practical wisdom for your mind can help you to simply remain unaffected.

There are even some special skills and knowledge imparted in the Happiness Program that can help you surmount the negativity in your mind.


You are more than your body and mind

We lose our confidence when our standard benchmarks of identity – the body and the mind – dwindle in appearance and sharpness respectively.

However, there is a part of us that never changes – an element beyond the changing mind and body. A glimpse of our own self empowers us with the confidence of the greatest kind and you learn to love yourself like never before. This element is the consciousness that is the source of joy and love in all of us. Meditation helps one to tune to this aspect of our being.

You can catch a glimpse of the changeless you through guided meditations.

You can also learn the art of meditation from trained teachers.


(With inputs from Prashant Lalchandani, Faculty, The Art of Living)

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