If you pay close attention to most motivational speakers, preachers, and even your counselor, you will always find that they nudge you to practice self-love. And when you experience feuds at your workplace or even a bad break up and share the problem with your friend, they still ask you to love yourself more.
So how do you love yourself more? If you are having trouble figuring out how to practice loving yourself, the following is a guide on learning to accept and respect your entire self.
But first, let’s look at what loving yourself is as you cannot practice self-love if you do not understand what it means.
What Is Self-Love?
Loving yourself is more than having a make-over, dressing to kill, or even going out for vacations. It is not a mere feeling of happiness. Self-love refers to the positive regard for oneself.
It means to be self-aware of your attributes, both your strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, you accept and appreciate your shortcomings and work towards being a better version of yourself. Loving yourself means that you take care of the whole person, your mental, physical, social, and emotional being.
When you love yourself, you keep your needs before those of the people around you. Additionally, you do not let people’s opinions change how you feel about yourself. This is because you are comfortable in your skin and other physical attributes.
What Are the Benefits of Loving Yourself
The key to having better relationships with the people around you is by loving yourself first. So if you are constantly experiencing a strained relationship with your spouse, siblings, friend, and colleagues, to mention a few, the chances are that you do not love yourself enough.
If you love yourself, you will treat people the way you would like them to treat you. This means that you will treat people with kindness and respect; therefore, you will have healthy relationships.
But what happens if you do not get the same kindness you show to the people around you in return? When you hold yourself with high regard, you will stay away from toxic relationships that rob your wellbeing.
Loving yourself means that you take care of your emotional, social, physical, and mental health. Therefore, you avoid situations that may compromise your wellbeing.
For instance, you learn how to cope with stress. A lot of doctor visits are stress-related.
Remember how many times you have experienced headaches, dizziness, trouble sleeping, chest pains, or felt your heart race? The chances are that you were stressed, and this compromises your mental and physical health.
Loving yourself helps you to adopt a healthy lifestyle through being mindful about what you eat, having healthy relationships, and including physical exercises in your daily routine.
Happiness is a decision that one has to make for themselves. Therefore, loving yourself helps you to choose to be happy. Often, most people put conditions to their happiness.
For instance, you may decide that you can only be happy if you are in a romantic relationship. Therefore, until you are in a relationship with someone, you do little to make yourself happy. And this results in a miserable life.
However, when you love yourself, you depend only on yourself to be happy. You realize that happiness is for you and not anyone else. Therefore, you go on trips, dress nicely, and treat yourself to nice meals every once in a while.
How to Love Yourself
1. Know Yourself
How well do you know yourself? Self-awareness is an essential aspect of self-love. It helps you to determine what you believe in, value, and like.
Knowing yourself helps you to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. For instance, do you have trouble maintaining conversations? When you acknowledge your fault, you can improve them to help even in your relationships with the people around you.
2. Forgive Yourself
Everyone makes mistakes. Therefore, whenever you make mistakes, learn from them, and remember to forgive yourself. Do not hold on to the mistakes that you made years back.
For instance, you may have made a mistake that cost you your job or even marriage. But if you are constantly beating yourself up for it, you may fail to move forward and close doors to other opportunities.
3. Normalize Saying ‘NO’
How many times have you had to do something you didn’t like because you couldn’t simply say no? For instance, remember when you had to work overtime just because you could not say no to your colleague or when you lost your money because you couldn’t resist your friend who keeps asking for a loan?
Often you are people pleasers. But you change this by saying no when you are not comfortable doing certain favors. Saying no helps to keep boundaries, and this enables you to earn respect and avoid subjection to situations that make you uncomfortable.
4. Be Keen About What You Eat
Loving yourself means that you are mindful of your health. Therefore, you will only indulge in activities that help you remain healthy.
Today, there is a rise in the number of lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes, to mention a few. Now, eating junk food contributes to acquiring these diseases. When you love yourself, you will only consume balanced meals that do not put your health at risk.
5. Speak Positive Things About Yourself
You are your biggest cheerleader. Therefore, do not wait for people to compliment you. You may wait a long time for that to happen.
So, always say kind things to yourself. Say you are beautiful and a winner, to mention a few, often. Avoid being mean to yourself. Whenever you accomplish something, blow your trumpets, and this will boost how you regard yourself.
Charity begins at home. Likewise, you receive the same amount of love you shower yourself with from the people around you. If you expect people to respect and accept you, then do so by treating yourself accordingly. Therefore, familiarize yourself with the above tips and learn how to love yourself today.