Self-love encompasses not only how you treat yourself but also your thoughts and feelings about yourself. When you’re conceptualizing self-love, try to imagine what you would do for yourself, how you’d talk to yourself, and how you’d feel about yourself that reflects love and concern.
For some, the journey of Self-love is treacherous and difficult. While many can look at an obstacle and know that it can be overcome. For others, it’s not as easy; some challenges seem so impossible that it’s easier to succumb to the overwhelming feeling of potential failure and give up before giving anything a chance.
To say that every day of my training went smoothly would be a lie. My Sensei would be the first to say that I was my own worst critic and enemy. There were times that my negative self-talk would pull me down into a dark hole where I would only focus on all the things that were “wrong” with me and the things I “couldn’t” do. This became abundantly visible when I achieved my Blue Belt – it was time to learn new, slightly challenging advanced techniques, and I wanted to give up.
Some nights I would leave class feeling defeated in myself and broken-hearted that I couldn’t do something that someone else could easily do. Then it clicked, I was comparing myself to someone with 30+ years of experience when I had only been training for about six months! At that moment, I learned that I should not compare myself to others but to the person I was when I started my training.
Over the years, while I continued training, I struggled a lot with depression, anxiety, and PTSD – to the point where at times, it was debilitating. Martial arts helped me learn how to channel and redirect my energy, provided a safe environment to process my trauma, provide me with the skillset needed to feel empowered in my own body, and helped boost my confidence.
It’s been proven that training in martial arts has several benefits that boost mental health. As exercising can release chemicals like dopamine and endorphins that make you feel good, it also aids in releasing tension from stress and anger. Martial arts also teaches people to establish and defend healthy boundaries, which is perfect for anyone new to their self-love journey.
Self-love means that you accept yourself fully, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and nurture your growth and wellbeing.
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