“Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth,” according to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. It is an acceptance of who you are right now and an understanding of your own self-worth. It is not trying to change but rather building a positive relationship with yourself. Ultimately, respecting yourself leads to loving yourself.
Self-love is knowing your individual needs, and it is not being self-centered or selfish. However, allowing yourself to have self-love will actually make it easier to relate to others. You cannot help others if you neglect your own physical and emotional needs. A sense of happiness and worth does not come from others but rather from self-love.
It is also important to be kind and compassionate with yourself. Try making lists of all the positive things in your life. Practice talking kindly and respectfully to yourself. Try to not judge so harshly and try to be understanding–it helps. Everyone makes mistakes, and you are not defined by your failures. Allow yourself the grace to heal.
Taking time for yourself
Spending just 15 minutes of quality time being alone and reflecting helps to center your body and mind. This means turning off electronics and staying off social media. Do things that you enjoy, whether it be reading a book, working on a hobby or just observing nature. Self-love also means taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Instead of being reactive, try being proactive to stay healthy and balanced. Learning how to relax helps to reduce stress.
Each day, plan to do an activity that is enjoyable. Finding a happy place where you can later visualize will help calm anxiety. Taking regular vacations or just having a relaxing weekend can help you rejuvenate yourself before you tackle the demands of everyday life. Simplifying and decluttering your life will lead to a sense of control.
Taking time to meditate, pray or say affirmations can help ease your burden. Trying to release grudges and forgiveness of yourself and others leads to contentment. You only have one body that you need to care for, love and appreciate. Practicing healthy eating and getting regular exercise promotes longevity. It is not enough to look good, but it is critical to feel good.
Spending quality time with family and friends is important. Nurturing positive relationships with others increases self-love, as does avoiding toxic energies and being with those that boost your confidence and self-esteem. It is okay to set boundaries and say no. Surrounding yourself with those that make you feel good can bring you joy. Having a good social network helps you to stay motivated and on track.
Knowing your strengths helps to build a realistic relationship with yourself. Acknowledging weaknesses is good because it allows for continued growth. Self-love gives you a better handle on difficulties, challenges and setbacks. It gives you strength to persevere and keep going. Positive energy will increase your sense of self-love. Remember that there is only one you, so be kind to yourself.
- Be real, not perfect.
- Live in the moment.
- Practice gratitude.
- Embrace uniqueness.
- Find a happy place.
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Path of Self-Love Free Resources
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Increase Clients’ Self-Love: 26 Exercises & Worksheets, Heather S. Lonczak Ph.D.