Self Love seems an easy word, but how to practice self love when you’re suffering? Because that’s when self love needs to be practiced most.
I had to suffer myself and know how to overcome my suffering in order to deal with it. And you have to suffer yourself and know how to overcome your suffering yourself in order to deal with it. There is no better way.
However, because suffering is universal, I hope that through these advice self-love advice I give to myself on overcoming suffering, you will also find some of these advices useful in overcoming your suffering mindfully.
How to Practice Self Love when you’re suffering
Table of Contents
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Acknowledge the imbalance
It is okay if you don’t feel like doing anything. It is okay if you don’t have the same energy that you normally have. Acknowledge the imbalance and just give yourself a good rest.
When you feel sad and hurt, your body, your heart, and your mind are asking for some good rest. Sadness and hurt are good in a way that they help you to slow things down.
Here is another post that you might love reading: 11 self care ideas for tough days
Acknowledge your emotions but don’t succumb to it
Acknowledge your emotions by accepting them and allow yourself to feel what you are trying to resist. Allow yourself to rest and evaluate your feelings. If you don’t feel like doing anything for some time, then don’t.
But don’t let your suffering get the better of you.
If you keep on doing nothing just because you don’t feel like it and you keep on waiting for the time you feel good again then you are succumbing to your emotions.
If you forget your responsibilities and your goals because you say you are sad or hurt or angry then you are succumbing to your emotions. This way you will never overcome your suffering.
Don’t try to justify your weakness with your suffering. You are stronger than you think.
Create a feel sad- do nothing day/week
When I deliberately create a time period when I let my emotions have control over me but at the same time let myself be aware of how it is affecting me, I stop letting myself succumb to my suffering.
I do this by creating a feel sad- do nothing day and even a week if need be when I know I am sad. During this period, I allow myself to feel sad, bad, confused, off track, off balanced, messy, complicated and all the heavy emotions. I will allow myself distractions and pleasures and I will deliberately succumb to my suffering.
But after this time period is up, I will get back up. No excuses. I have already let myself succumb to my suffering, now no more.
I will get back up and push myself but at the same time be kind to myself for we are not a machine either.
Simply observe without judgment
There is no need for you to know when this feeling will go away. Let it last for how long it will. Your job is only to be an observer of your thoughts and feelings.
A good observer is one who is able to describe well what he/she is observing. Be an expert in observing your feelings.
What is it that you are feeling?
Is it hurt? Is it sadness? Is it guilt? Is it fear?
Instead of attaching yourself to those feelings by saying I am hurt. I am sad. I am fearful. Simply observe and try to see them as ‘this is hurt’, ‘this is sadness’, and ‘this is fear’.
Simply observe your feelings and be open to it. Try to be less discriminative towards all your thoughts and feelings. Simply be open to your suffering.
Never stop doing these things that makes you better at observing your feelings:
- Writing in your journal (here are journal prompts for self discovery for 21 days)
- Going on your solo walks
- Being close to nature
- Giving yourself time to heal and grow
- Meditating for at least for 10 minutes daily
- Never neglecting prayer
Choose to suffer
This might sound contrary to self-love but the greatest act of self-love to help you overcome your suffering is by choosing to suffer when you are suffering.
There is no need to always choose to be happy. More harm is done when we only choose to be happy and when we don’t choose to suffer.
This is not sabotaging yourself or making yourself helpless but being brave enough to endure the suffering. By choosing to suffer you are acknowledging the fact that you are suffering and that you are ready to face it and endure it and come out as resilient.
Listen to your heart
Don’t listen to your mind. Listen to your heart. Your mind may be weak but your heart is strong. Believe in the strength of your heart.
Every suffering has a meaning if you listen to your heart. It might take a long time, but it will heal. Don’t rely on others to do the healing for you. You do your own healing.
Stop being too caught up with happiness.
The last big advice on how to practice self love from me to you is that don’t concern yourself too much with happiness. Forget about happiness and you will ultimately be happy.
We often suffer more on account of not wanting to suffer and always wanting to be happy than we suffer by suffering itself.
Happiness can never be sought. Happiness always comes as a result. It can only ensue, not pursued. It only comes about as a by-product of the things we do.
If you want to be happy. Seek these instead. Read more.