Do you love yourself? For those who struggle with eating disorders, the answer is often—sadly—a no. Loving yourself can be a struggle, particularly for those who are wracked by feelings of shame or guilt. Yet learning to be kind and patient with yourself—to recognize your dignity and worth—is critical for recovery and for ongoing health.
So how do you do it? How do you arrive at a place of true self-love? It’s not easy and it won’t happen overnight. Rather, it involves the cultivation of several healthy habits, all of which will lead you to a place of seeing yourself as worthy of friendship, kindness, and affirmation.
Here is one habit that is especially important: Fostering gratitude. Dwelling on the things you are grateful for. Actually writing them down—making a list, then meditating on it.
Fostering gratitude is something we’ll be considering further as part of our 31 Day Self Love Diet Writing Challenge—but even if you’re not joining us for that month-long event, we invite you to consider gratitude as a great doorway for self-love.
The connection is really pretty simple. First you take stock of the good things in your life—focusing on your health, hobbies, the natural world, religious belief, or whatever happens to be meaningful to you, but also putting a special emphasis on family, friends, and relationships.
Count the things that you’re most thankful for, and then remind yourself that these people have chosen to love you. Your friends and loved ones have chosen to fill your life with these good things, and to give you so many reasons for gratitude.
They’ve done so because they believe you are worthy of love—and they’re right.
Let gratitude be your path to self-love; get in a thankful spirit today and every day.[cta] How do you foster gratitude? Tell us on Facebook! [/cta]