Humans are social creatures and we habitually seek out love and approval from others. While feeling loved by others is important, nothing is as important as the love you feel for yourself. Self-love may seem obvious to some. For others, it is a foreign concept. Those of us who suffer from mental health disorders, usually fall into the second group despite the fact that self-acceptance and love are key to our recovery. We can express love to our family, friends, even strangers with ease but showing that same love for ourselves can seem nearly impossible. Cultivating self-love is a process, but we can start that process by changing the way we speak to and about ourselves. Try repeating these three affirmations to help accept and appreciate yourself.
I am not my mistakes.
We often dwell on our past mistakes. Replaying those poor decisions and their repercussions in our minds can lead to self-loathing, depression, and negative self-talk. It is important to remember that our mistakes are not who we are, they are just actions we took or behaviors we exhibited. They are not a part of our personalities. Self-stigma plays a role in this assumption. We accept the common stigmas society too often apply to those of us who live with mental health or substance use disorders adding to our low self esteem.
I respect my accomplishments and celebrate my successes.
We may not be where we want to be, but if we are far from where we were when we felt at our lowest; that is a huge accomplishment. Mental health is a tricky thing because it fluctuates. We may feel great for weeks and think we have finally broken free of our mental health disorder, but then the issues sneak back in. That is not a sign of failure. It just means you have a little more work to do. You deserve to be proud of your accomplishments.
I am improving every day.
Recovery and healing is not a linear process; rather it is a cycle. Self-love is also cyclical. Weeks of feeling good about ourselves can be followed by periods of self-doubt, depression and pain. These downturns don[t mean you are improving. They are temporary, and the sooner you counter them with positive affirmations the shorter they will last. Take time to step back and contemplate where you were in the past and where you are now. Reminding yourself of the progress you have made – perhaps be reviewing journal entries that chronicle your growth – will shorten the times you are feeling down about yourself making room for longer periods of self-acceptance.
Self-love is crucial to recovery. Whether we are dealing with a substance abuse disorder, a mental health disorder, or both, we need to cultivate the habit of accepting and loving ourselves for who we are. Positive affirmations can be a great tool in developing lasting self-love through our highs and lows. At Avalon Malibu, we offer therapies to help heal your mind, body, and soul. We are here to help you learn how to love yourself and give yourself the respect you deserve. We also want you to be fully engaged in your recovery. Located on the breathtaking coast of Malibu, California, we offer a wide variety of programs facilitated by an experienced and compassionate staff who will help you build a treatment plan that meets your unique needs. If you or someone you know suffers from a mental health or substance abuse disorder, please call us now (844) 857-5992.