You love your partner, your children, your job, and your fancy new smart gadget. But when was the last time you said “I love you” to yourself?
No, we’re not crazy. We just think that the idea of loving oneself is underrated, given its correlation to issues like insecurities, self-esteem, and self-worth.
It’s important to not let our self-worth be determined by those who compliment us for how we act or look. Sure, being acknowledged can feel great, but constantly seeking validation from others is no way to live a rich and fulfilling life. It could, in fact, be demoralizing since it can be an indicator of how much you value yourself.
This is where loving yourself comes in. You are responsible for assuring yourself that you are worthy, beautiful, strong, and special. When you love yourself, no words can harm you or affect your well-being.
What is Self-Love?
The idea of self-love can mean different things since everybody has their own definition.
Fundamentally speaking, self-love is taking good care of yourself physically and mentally. This means not allowing yourself to indulge in things and behaviors that are destructive to yourself and/or to others.
Self-love is actually observable in animals but somehow doesn’t come as naturally to us modern-day humans. We get swamped with so many demands of our time that we rarely take the time to slow down and smell the flowers. But how can you know the flowers’ true fragrance if you have been negligent in keeping your body and mind in tip-top shape?
When you appreciate and accept yourself, that is self-love. Taking care of your own needs first before considering others’, that too is self love. Having reached a state of bliss where negativity doesn’t affect you is also another form of self-love.
Why Do You Need To Love Yourself?
The next step after understanding self-love is to familiarize yourself with its importance. Some benefits of loving yourself are:
- It’s a great confidence booster;
- It makes you value yourself more;
- You will become happier and healthier;
- It makes it easier to make peace with your past;
- You are free from worrying about others’ opinion of you;
- You can inspire others on how to love themselves; and
- You will be able to truly love others.
How Do You Practice Self-Love?
1. Learn to Accept Yourself
Accepting yourself means accepting all that you are, including your shortcomings and your strengths. Eventually, you will be able to grasp how to accept your life as it is. You should not dwell on the past or situations that you cannot alter. Learn to accept your reality and be grateful.
Editor’s note: you cannot change your past but you can change your perception and reaction to it.
2. Believe in Yourself
Know that there is a lot of untapped potential in you just waiting to be tapped into. You are your most valuable gift. You are unique. Remind yourself believing in yourself is a powerful tool. You are capable of so many things when you trust your ability.
This doesn’t mean decoupling yourself from reality because nothing would be worth much without hardships. Instead, it means that you believe that you can overcome whatever challenges get thrown your way no matter how difficult, including giving up.
3. Respect Yourself
Respecting yourself goes hand-in-hand with knowing your own self-worth. The moment you realize how precious you are, you will stop disrespecting yourself and, more importantly, stop others’ opinions from affecting you.
We’re not asking you to ignore every criticism because some criticism can actually be useful. You just need to know which ones fall into this category and which ones do not.
4. Practice Being Mindful
We’ve constantly emphasized the importance of being mindful in our various posts, and we are going to do it again.
It’s because of the many good things that it can bring about. It also requires neither a fortune nor a monthly subscription to achieve. All you need is time, patience, and constant practice to reap mindfulness’ many benefits.
5. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is one of those simple things you can do to make yourself feel loved. Simple things like reading a book, having a spa day, or taking a walk around the park can rejuvenate your mind and body in ways that spending hours binge-watching television will never be able to. So spend some time with yourself, enjoying your own company.
6. Do Not Needlessly Criticize Yourself
Your self-worth diminishes every time that you criticize yourself, even if only temporarily. You should not be punishing yourself needlessly. You are your own motivator, and if you beat yourself up too much, no one else is going to save you but yourself. Learn to get over the situation and forgive yourself. No one in the world is mistake-free.
7. Make Room For Healthy Habits
Start practicing healthier habits by watching what you eat, incorporating more physical activities into your daily routine, and following a regular sleep schedule. Do more things that you care about instead of doing them for the sake of getting it over and done with. A loving state begins with a loving mind, so do your best to show love instead of anger or hatred whenever the opportunities arise.
In A Nutshell
All of these are simple but not necessarily easy, so please prepare yourself accordingly. There are times when you will falter, but it’s okay. The important thing is to get back on track when you find yourself having strayed off the path.
Remember to use your breath to nurture your body and mind whenever you can, and know that you are worth loving.