Self-love is a term that is commonly used today in positive psychology. The common clichés you hear are:
- "You can't love someone until you love yourself"
- "Love yourself more"
These phrases get thrown around so much. But there is so little guidance on "how" we should love ourselves. Is it just a matter of spending time alone? Or is it just a way to dress up better and treat ourselves out more often?
Self-love is a state of appreciation for yourself by taking actions that support your own physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. Self-love grows as we mature and understand ourselves better. When we learn to unconditionally love ourselves more, we begin to accept our weaknesses and our strengths. We no longer need to hide our shortcomings. We gain deeper compassion for ourselves and others. We are centered on our purpose and our values.
Self-love is important to a fulfilling life. It influences how you treat people, or how you handle your problems in life. It is important to learn how to practice self-love in your life. Stop beating yourself up. Don't criticize yourself for every little mistake. Stop being your worst inner critic. Start taking care of yourself. Remind yourself that you need to treat yourself with love and respect every single day.
How to Practice Self-Love
How do you practice self-love? Is it as simple as getting a makeover? Or is it spending the day at the spa? The short answer is none of the above. While these activities are enjoyable, you cannot grow in self-love by practicing these types of activities.
1. Practice meditation
Meditation is a great way to let go of negative thoughts, feel better, and practice mindful self-compassion. In tough times, it's okay to feel overwhelmed. But by practicing self-compassion and self-love, you are able to overcome the bad moments and grow. Even using loving-kindness meditation can help you love people that you have difficulty with.
2. Take care of your needs
When you love yourself, you will take care of your basic needs better. Don't feel bad for turning away old behavioral patterns that get you into trouble. Nourish yourself with exercise, sleep, and healthy social interactions.
3. Sleep well
Sleeping well helps you enjoy reduced stress, exercise better, and have better overall health. Stop viewing sleep as a weakness. It's important to keep a consistent pattern to relax and enjoy a better quality of life.
4. Don't deplete yourself
Life has a way to drain you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Set limits for yourself and say no to work, people, or activities that are detrimental to your well-being.
5. Surround yourself with good people
When you are surrounded by good people, your life feels amazing and empowering. When your friends bring happiness and success to your life, keep them around. There isn't enough time in your life to waste on people who want to deplete your joy.
6. Have compassion for yourself
Training self-compassion is not easy. The process of developing self-compassion is a life-long journey. We all make mistakes. We do not want our mistakes to lead to low self-esteem or passive aggression towards others. The lack of self-love leads to our behavior getting worse. Try writing yourself a self-compassionate letter. Identify anything that makes you feel ashamed, insecure, or not good enough. Then find ways to better cope with your negative aspects.
7. Forgive yourself
Don't be so hard on yourself. You are on a life-long journey. It's important to view yourself as a constant work-in-progress rather than a final product. Talk to yourself like you'd talk to a good friend who made a mistake. Be loving and kind. The way you treat yourself changes everything.
All Self-Love Articles
Here is a complete list of articles I have written on self-love. Enjoy!
- 11 Ways to Love Yourself More Deeply
- Turning 30: How to Age Like Fine Wine
- How to Forgive Someone Who Hurt You in 7 Steps
- How to Deeply Love People Without Reservation
- 8 Ways to Become a More Empathetic Person
- 13 Ways to Start Being Happy Today
- You Can Always Say No
- How to Feel Happier: The Simple Hack