Self-acceptance is vital for your mental & emotional well-being. It is significant to learn to love yourself & the things that make you unique. Self-acceptance is a process of loving yourself, inside & out. It is about letting go of the things you can’t change & understanding what makes you unique. Yet, being comfortable in your skin can be challenging. In today’s article, we will discuss some Ways to Practice Self-Acceptance to improve your mental & emotional health.
What is Self-Acceptance?
Self-acceptance is just the act of accepting yourself & all your personality traits precisely as they are. You need to accept them no matter whether they are positive or negative. This comprises your physical & mental aspects.
Self-acceptance means identifying that your value goes beyond your personal qualities & actions. This is occasionally known as radical self-acceptance. Self-acceptance offers you more confidence in yourself & makes you less vulnerable to criticism. It means to intensely & totally accept every aspect of yourself absolutely & without any exception.
To attain self-acceptance, you must learn to accept the parts of yourself you think are negative or unwanted.
Ways To Practice Self-Acceptance
1. Practice Relaxed Awareness
As opposed to invariable distraction, or concentrated focus, relaxed awareness is a process of soft consciousness of our thoughts, feelings, pain, self-rating & judgment, etc. It is an awareness of our existence, & the flow of phenomena occurring at this particular moment, including thoughts & emotions & outside stimuli.
To practice it, try to close your eyes for a minute, & instead of pushing thoughts away or trying to focus on your breath, tenderly notice your thoughts, feelings & body. You might notice negative thoughts or emotions – that is entirely okay. Keep noticing them; watch them. Don’t struggle to turn them into positive thoughts or shut them away. You can try this practice for 5 minutes a day or up to 30 minutes if you find it helpful.
2. Welcome What You Notice
In the next step of Ways to Practice Self-Acceptance, when you practice relaxed awareness, you will notice many things – negative thoughts, fears, happy thoughts, self-judgments, anxieties, etc. We try to stop the negative thoughts & feelings, but this is just a transient suppression, an avoidance, an antithetical of the negative. Instead, welcome these experiences, and invite them with open arms. They are also a part of your life, & they are okay. If you feel awful about how you have been doing with exercise, that’s okay.
Hug the bad feeling, embrace it, and let it hang around for a while. They are alright but are chances to learn things about ourselves. We create more pain when we try to escape these “bad” feelings. Instead, try to see the good in them, & find the opportunity.
3. Avoid Self-Rating
Another thing you will notice once you begin to pay attention is self-rating. We often rate ourselves compared to others or rate ourselves as “good” or “bad” at many different things. We tend to rate ourselves as unfit or too skinny, or ugly. This is not a very helpful activity. That doesn’t mean to let them go, but notice it, & see what results come from it. After realizing that self-rating constantly causes you pain, you will be happy to let it go in time.
4. Forgive Yourself
We have all acted in some ways we regret. Maybe you hurt someone you love, stole something, cheated, or anything that you look back on & wonder, “What was I thinking?” You beat yourself up or feel ashamed. This is a very common response to our past wrong doings.
It might be true that you did something evil or made a stupid decision, but that is not the right question to ask yourself. Instead of asking what you think, ask yourself if it is helpful. Is it helpful to think about those things or judge yourself? You can’t go back in the past & change anything & you must have learned something from those incidents.
Forgiving yourself doesn’t mean settling or overlooking what you might have done in the past. It shows you take responsibility, accept that it has happened, & find a way to move forward & improve yourself. This will set you on the path to Ways to Practice Self-Acceptance.
5. Keep Your Word to Yourself
When we struggle to accept ourselves, we become full of self-doubt. This results in changing our minds frequently, valuing others’ opinions more than our own. A way to break this cycle is to keep every commitment you make to yourself.
Whenever you notice yourself doubting a decision you have made earlier or not making a decision because you are full of doubt about your opinion, stop, breathe & see this for what it is: a chance for self-acceptance. You may mess it up. You might wish you had chosen another choice, but remember that you made the earlier decision based on something rational. Try to remember those points & see how it goes eventually.
6. Own Your Weirdness
We all have weird, different, unique, awkward, & quirky sides. Inward acknowledgment & acceptance of who we are, what we feel, and what we deal with daily, our eccentricities & challenges combined with an external communication of our issues is an intensely self-respecting & self-acknowledging experience that contributes to self-acceptance & inner peace.
It can also help us to feel more comfortable in our skin, with our quirks and awkwardness. It takes courage to be clear with others, to let our guard down & share beyond the phony. Practice being open & exposed to others for the sake of respecting yourself. Don’t expect anything in return – do it for yourself.
7. Practice Gratitude
Wake up in the morning & note down three things about what you are grateful for. Include things about yourself. If you failed at something, what about that lesson from that failure you achieved? What about your imperfection can you be grateful for if you aren’t perfect? Feel free to note these things each day or once a week. It will be helpful.
8. Separate From Your Emotions
When feeling negative emotions, try to see them as a separate event, not a part of your life, & watch them. Deny their power over you by thinking of them not as directives you must follow or believe in but as passing objects, like a leaf floating past you in the air. The leaf cannot control you, & neither do negative emotions.
The real key to self-acceptance is getting over self-doubt. Somehow, some way, you must understand that you are doing the best you can with the chances & resources you have & this has always been true.
So, when you decided to major in history in college & now you regret it because you can’t find a job with your history degree, don’t beat yourself up. When you took that option back in the day, you did the best you could with your resources.
Today, you’ve got new resources & chances, so you can think another way & make different choices. Don’t accept yourself as you are now; accept yourself as you were back then. The past is to learn from, not to live in. Practicing these simple yet effective Ways to Practice Self-Acceptance can be helpful in this process.