Loving other people is easy. As humans, we love to love the people around us. Whether it’s towards friends, family, partners, or total strangers, showing kindness is a surefire way to feel uplifted and confident.
But sometimes we focus so much on showing other people that we care, that we often forget to direct it back at ourselves. In times when we don’t have the company of a friend or a loved one, it’s still necessary to feel loved at every single moment.
This is why self-love is so important. In times when we feel alone or dismayed, redirecting positive energy inward is an essential tactic in getting ourselves out of a rut. So let’s take a look at some easy, simple, and comforting ways to practice self-love.
What is Self-Love?
Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself. This feeling can be fostered through activities that enhance our spiritual, physical, and psychological growth.
When you love yourself, it means you have a high regard for your own well-being and happiness, ensuring that you are always putting yourself first. It means pleasing yourself ahead of those around you and recognizing that you are worth the world!
Of course, this can look different for everyone. Self-love isn’t a one-size fits all practice, so try out some different techniques until you find what’s best for you.
Why is it Important?
As beautiful as life is, it’s also undoubtedly stressful.
According to a poll from the American Psychological Association, nearly half of all Americans report that stress has a negative impact on both their personal and professional lives. Stress often stems from past mistakes, the desire for perfectionism, and the fear of letting people down.
When you love yourself for who you are, and recognize that mistakes are a part of your own individual growth, you’ll be free from a number of stressors that often lead to immense mental strain. Recognizing that perfection is unattainable is imperative for being able to self-love.
Trying to be perfect and beating yourself up over every mistake will cause negative, intrusive thoughts. These can weaken your productivity, affect the relationships you have with others, and even lead to physiological ailments, like increased blood pressure.
But when you recognize that your best will always be good enough, you can avoid these stressors from ever gaining a hold of you.
How To Practice Self-Love
Self-love might be as simple as looking at yourself in the mirror and saying that you love yourself. But if you’re finding it especially difficult to see the positives after an exceptionally rough day, there are so many different ways that you can let yourself know you matter.
1. Have an Attitude of Gratitude Everyday
Negative energy feeds off of itself. When you feel down in the dumps, you’re likely to continue feeling that way until you really force yourself out. It can be hard to see the positives when it feels like nothing is going your way, but that’s where having an attitude of gratitude can come in handy.
An attitude of gratitude means that you focus on the positives that life has to offer. You feel thankful and fortunate for everything that you do have, rather than feeling weary of everything that you don’t.
You can start practicing this by waking up every single morning and telling yourself something really positive. Right when you open your eyes, think about the day before and congratulate yourself for a minor accomplishment. Or, tell yourself that you’re amazing and that you’re going to put your best foot forward throughout the day ahead.
You can say anything to yourself as long as it gives you a reason to smile before you even step out of bed. Giving yourself a boost of love and adoration right away will give you the charisma you need to start off on a very high note.
2. Treat Yourself
Between work, school, and daily life stressors, it can be hard to devote some energy for yourself. By spending so much time worrying about meeting deadlines or taking care of other people that it’s easy to forget the one person that matters the most: ourselves.
Rewarding yourself might feel a bit strange, but giving yourself a gift to break up the monotony of the day is an awesome way to feel a sense of joy. Next time you stop in the coffee shop for your morning brew, let yourself get that banana muffin you’ve been wanting to try. Or, if you meet all of your deadlines after a busy workweek, treat yourself to some takeout and a movie from home.
Little acts of kindness for yourself can go a long way. They’re tangible objects that you can see and feel, which can be helpful in proving that your self-love is very legitimate. You deserve the finest things that life has to offer, so never stop yourself from obtaining them!
3. Listen to Your Inner Dialogue
When you look in the mirror, what comes to mind? Are the first thoughts negative? Related to your appearance? Are they self-deprecating? If so, it’s time to rewire your thinking.
Having a positive inner dialogue that incorporates a beneficial perception of yourself is necessary to achieve self-love. Instead of focusing on the things you don’t like about yourself, look at the amazing things. Maybe your hair looks extra great today, or you woke up feeling extra happy this morning.
Speak to yourself in the same way that you speak to those around you. You deserve the same amount of love that you’re willing to give to others.
4. Develop a Self-Care Routine
Speaking of tangible ways to show yourself some love, a self-care routine is one of the best ways to continually support your emotional and physical wellbeing. These routines differ for everyone, but try incorporating them into your everyday habits as a constant way to rejuvenate your spirit.
Take a shower or bath every night, using soaps, cleansers, or oils that make you feel relaxed and calm. When your physical health is good, your mental health will feel even better. Pamper your skin as if you were in a spa every single day and you’ll notice the positive changes almost immediately.
Try incorporating yoga or meditation into your routine as well. Meditation is a powerful practice that allows you to gain a new perspective on yourself and surrounding circumstances. It can serve as a way to see the good in bad situations, helping to relieve pent up anxiety and worry.
5. Do Things You Love
Allowing yourself to follow a passion outside of your job is a fantastic way to show respect and care for your own skin. When you do something that makes you feel happy, or gives you a purpose, you are achieving the epitome of self-love.
Whether it’s painting, writing, charity, or hiking through nature, do the things that make you feel at peace with the world around you. Hobbies and pastimes are often at the bottom of the to-do list, but moving them up into more of a priority can help to alleviate pressure and keep you motivated.
6. Forgive Yourself
Remember that one time when you did something that made you feel bad or embarrassed? It’s easy to let that memory consume you. This can cause a negative self-image, which might ruin productivity and decrease your mood. It’s time to take those small mistakes and let them all go.
What you did in the past is unchangeable. Despite how grim that may sound, it’s essential to remember that the only thing you can control is here and now. Your past mistakes are a learning experience that have built you into a stronger person today.
Nobody is perfect, and it’s okay to feel bad about something you’ve done. But what you can’t do is let it become a part of your personality. Shake it off, move on, and take on your future with the knowledge that you’ve grown.
Feeling guilt for tiny mistakes is actually a testament to how genuine, caring, and sensitive you really are. Let yourself feel, but don’t let it consume you!
Loving yourself can be hard, but it should be easy! There’s plenty about yourself to love on a daily basis, and you deserve everything that the world has to offer.
Practicing self-love can reduce stress and improve your mood, giving you more power to take on the challenges of everyday living. Loving yourself is just as important as loving those around you.
Self-love looks different for everyone, but to start, you can try telling yourself something positive every single day. Develop a self-care routine and be sure to take some time to treat yourself after little accomplishments. But most importantly, forgive yourself and be sure not to sweat the small stuff.
Your best will always be good enough, we promise.
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