The Rewards of a Self Love Meditation
In the whole wide world, there has never been anyone who is exactly the same as you. There is no one who has exactly the same thoughts and feelings or exactly the same approach to life that you do. You are unique – someone who can never, ever be replicated. There are times when this feels amazing. There are other times when this feels like the worst thing in the world. The period surrounding Valentine’s Day can be one of the latter if you’re alone and don’t have anyone special around to let you know how very much you’re loved.
Questioning what’s wrong with you is a common response
It’s tempting at those times to dwell on what’s lacking in you as an individual if you don’t have a partner with whom to celebrate this day where romantic love reigns supreme. We all lack a little confidence at times, some people more than others, and some more often because of various life experiences they’ve gone through. Often we live our lives portraying confidence on the outside, while on the inside we believe it’s nothing but a facade. This detracts from our feelings of authenticity, making us feel unworthy or undeserving of love. All is not lost when we find ourselves in this kind of self-defeating mindset, however. A meditative approach can change the way we think and approach issues such as lack of self-love and self-confidence.
For a minute, imagine what would happen if you took a more compassionate attitude towards yourself? Instead of beating yourself up and making harsh judgments about your physical, mental and emotional attributes detach from the negative thoughts that are the cause of so much of your distress. Instead, meditate on feelings of love and compassion for yourself as the living, breathing, miracle you are. You are able to cultivate the confidence to let your individuality shine, achieve your goals and develop the courage to go out and enjoy life! Focus on any and all joys your current life brings; magnify the intensity and importance of the little things you like about yourself and your life. Meditating on a regular basis can help with this.
Benefits of self-love meditation
Studies have shown that engaging in meditation on a regular basis can:
- reduce the tendencies that some of us have toward self-criticism
- lead to positive growth in our confidence to show others who we really are
- enable us to view any periods in which we feel inadequate or not up to a task as fleeting instead of permanent
- reduce anxiety, depression and other forms of suffering that can arise from feeling we are not ‘enough’
- increase the amount of compassion we feel for ourselves and for others
A regular meditation practice can help increase our feelings of connectedness to the rest of the world and lessen feelings of sadness and isolation associated with spending time on our own. It can help us:
- experience positive emotions on a more regular and lasting basis
- to more easily get over experiences that we view negatively
- become more sociable, compassionate and generous
- become more aware of things that occupy our attention and focus
Change is possible
The good news is that your past doesn’t have to be your future! Recent studies have shown that the circuits in the brain for self-love and well-being are enhanced by meditation and respond wonderfully to training. Even better, these changes start to occur after only two weeks of regular meditative practice. The end result is that you can be happier, more confident and feel less stressed. Feeling more positive about yourself and your life in turn extends that compassion and love out into the world as an authentic extension of who you are.
If this time of the year is a challenge for you, please, take heart in the knowledge that focusing on self-love will allow you to tap into knowledge that’s hidden deep down in your core: you don’t need to be anybody else except your beautiful, authentic self. By adopting a regular meditative practice, you can treat yourself with the love that you wish someone else would bestow on you, embracing yourself and your life with new eyes and a compassionate approach that will make even the little things so much more enjoyable. This Valentine’s Day, I invite you to give yourself the most wonderful gift you possibly can as an expression of how incredibly worthy you are – the gift of self-love and self-compassion.
If you’re unsure what to look for in a meditation teacher or how to choose a class that’s right for you, please see the ‘Start Here’ page.
1. Davidson, R. J., & Schuyler, B. S. (2015). Neuroscience of happiness. In J.F. Helliwell, R. Layard, & J. Sachs (Eds.), World Happiness (Chapter 5). New York, NY: The Earth Institute, Columbia University.
2. Crescentini, C., & Capurso, V. (2015). Mindfulness meditation and explicit and implicit indicators of personality and self-concept changes. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 44. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00044