Practicing self-love makes you a more confident, happier, and much more resilient version of yourself. Knowing how to love yourself helps you accept yourself for who you are, and helps you motivate yourself to become the person you most want to be.
Self-love improves your relationship with yourself and also improves your relationships with others. Your relationship with yourself impacts your relationship with others, so when you love yourself, you’ll also be able to properly love others.
Self-love also helps you avoid putting up with poor treatment from coworkers, a romantic partner, or friends.
Fundamentally, self-love is about overcoming the negative self-talk that is so incredibly common for each and every one of us. It’s about learning when not to listen to your inner critic, challenging negative thoughts, and giving yourself more of the compassion you deserve.
However, practicing self-love can be complicated if you’re not used to it.
Below are some good ways to get started when it comes to learning to love yourself.
1. Challenge Negative Self-Talk
To learn to love yourself, you have to get in the habit of challenging negative self-talk, and challenge those intrusive negative thoughts that happen to the best of us.
For example, if you catch yourself thinking a negative thought about your body, actively challenge the thought by saying to yourself, I have a beautiful body.
This is also known as positive verbal affirmations, which come in handy when you catch yourself thinking something negative. Everyone has negative thoughts about themselves sometimes, but if you get in the habit of challenging them, you’ll regain control of the narrative.
We all have a voice inside of our heads (our inner critic) that tells us we’re not good enough, or we don’t deserve something. Human beings have a habit of berating ourselves when we believe we’re not living up to certain expectations. While your inner critic can help you to determine the parts of your life you need to change, it’s important not to allow this voice to get the best of you. Watch out for detrimental criticism, such as simply telling yourself you can’t do something, or you’ll never get somewhere. Question these negative statements, and remind yourself of your values.
2. Stop the Comparisons
Self-love requires the ability to appreciate all the unique aspects of yourself, and to never compare yourself to others. The comparison trap is easy to fall into, especially if you use social media, where everyone posts only the very best versions of themselves.
Everyone excels in different areas. If one of your friends excels at something, appreciate that, and know that you have your own unique stand-out traits.
3. Be More Mindful
To succeed with practicing self-love, you need to become more mindful. People who are compassionate towards themselves are highly aware of their own needs, feelings, and boundaries. Start listening to yourself and respecting what your brain and body has to tell you. Pay attention to the things that make you happy in life, and be grateful for the amazing opportunities you have. When something makes you unhappy or uncomfortable, ask yourself what you can do to change it.
4. Commit to Regular Self-Care Practices
As mentioned above, self-care is a vital part of self-love, as it pushes us to pay attention to our needs. Commit time to reflecting on your requirements, both emotionally and physically, on a regular basis. Allow yourself to take breaks when you need it, and try to identify when you’re not putting yourself first. While you don’t have to focus on your own needs consistently, at all times, you should be devoting at least some of your time to concentrating on what might make you happy.
Self-care is a crucial component of not only self-love, but also our general well-being. For inspiration, check out his article on some of the top self-care activities.
5. Set Healthy Boundaries
Another important element of self-love is knowing your limitations, and loving yourself enough to set those healthy boundaries. Setting healthy boundaries helps you to identify what you don’t want from the people and situations you encounter. It also ensures you don’t get into the habit of saying “yes” to everything people ask of you without putting your needs first. Once you have a good idea of your your personal boundaries, make sure you consistently communicate them to the people in your life, and avoid people who don’t respect your boundaries.
6. Own Your Flaws and Be Open to Imperfection
Most importantly, practicing self-love means reminding yourself, regularly, that human beings are all flawed. The depictions you see of other people in the media and online don’t actually reflect reality. Holding yourself to unreasonable standards means you set yourself up for failure. Instead, allow yourself the freedom to be imperfect, and use your failures as learning opportunities for growth. We need to fail in order to grow into our best selves. Our flaws are what makes us unique.
Discover the Power of Self-Love
We all need self-compassion to thrive, and this starts with learning how to love, respect, and nurture ourselves. When you practice self-love, you become a more resilient, powerful, and confident person. You may even find you start to inspire the people around you to be more mindful of their own needs for boundaries and self-care.
When you truly love yourself, you’ll learn to stop putting up with less than you deserve, and you’ll start striving for higher achievements more confidently.
Some people only start to fully love themselves when they truly get to know themselves. You need to know who you are, to identify with yourself and love yourself.
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