Growing up, society probably taught you that the best type of love is “selfless love”. A type of love that thinks about others first. So quite naturally, what others think and how they feel are more important than yours. Simply put, others around you are the priority, not you.
However, in the words of Buddha, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
Loving yourself can be described as prioritizing your own well-being and happiness. It involves thinking and seeing yourself in a positive light. This in turn causes you to treat yourself in the best way possible.
At the very least, failing to Love yourself can result in dissatisfaction, constant unhappiness, and poor relationships. On the other hand, loving yourself leads to a healthy lifestyle, satisfaction, and happiness. And since you can only give what you have, loving yourself also leads to great relationships as has been shown by the law of attraction.
As easy as loving yourself might seem, it is difficult for most to practice due to the reason mentioned at the outset. Thus, this article reveals the secret to loving yourself in 5 little steps.
ACCEPT AND APPRECIATE YOURSELF
There’s a lot of noise out there. And the bulk of it is targeted towards making you feel like you are not good enough. If you allow these noises to get to you, chances are you will feel inadequate too. The first step to loving yourself is accepting you for who you are.
What are you good at? Can you cook, dance, write, or sing? Perhaps you are a pretty good artist or programmer. What qualities do you have? Are you generous or do you tend to love a lot? These are the parts of you people find appealing. But do you find them appealing?
On the flip side, what are you bad at? What unlikable characteristics do you have? Perhaps you are blunt and might come off as caring less about people’s feelings; perhaps you are clumsy at doing certain things. These are the parts of you people find less appealing. Do you agree with them?
Self-acceptance begins with ignoring what people might think of you or how they believe you should behave. Ignore the noise. Ignore the expectations of others. Concentrate on improving on how you view yourself. Stop comparing yourself with others.
Appreciate yourself for the things you know you are good at and the great qualities you have. And instead of beating yourself up for the things you find less appealing about you, accept them as is knowing you will evolve.
Finally, realize that some things can’t be changed. If there’s nothing you can do about them, why beat yourself up? Embrace them. Once you’ve done this, you are officially on your way to loving yourself.
LET GO OF THE PAST
A major impediment to loving yourself is letting go of the past. The past can be like a trap. Like a prison, it could prompt you to constantly see yourself in a negative light. Thankfully, this prison is self-made and you have the key to your freedom.
Realize that the past is what you used to be. Henceforth, you can be whatever you like. Focusing on what you did in the past is like a driver focusing on the rearview mirror of his vehicle. Nothing good can come of it.
INDULGE IN SELF-CARE
When we love someone, we channel most of our energy into taking care of them. We try to alleviate their anxiety and generally try to stop them from engaging in anything that could cause them harm. Why not do the same for yourself?
Loving yourself and self-care are like two peas in a pod, they go hand-in-hand. Take care of your physical well-being by exercising, eating healthy, and generally practicing good habits. Reading and exercising are also great ways to improve your mental state. Daily enjoyment of hobbies on the agenda can greatly contribute to your well-being and your mental health. Ultimately, self-care results in building a better version of yourself that you respect. In turn, this self-respect leads to loving yourself.
One often underestimated step to loving yourself is showing kindness, first to yourself and then to others. Start by forgiving your imperfections. Realize that you are not superman/woman and that you are worthy of love.
On the other hand, being kind to others will help build your self-esteem. The best way to show kindness to others is to give. No wonder it is said that the secret to living is giving. When we give to others we tend to think better of ourselves. Loving yourself becomes an easy feat. Be kind and happiness will know you by name.
PRACTICE POSITIVE SELF-TALK
The law of attraction states that positive thoughts bring positive results. However, due to the brain’s negativity bias, positive thoughts can be difficult to have. A sure-fire way to train your brain to think positive thoughts is through positive self-talk. Some positive things you can tell yourself include:
I am loved
I am enough
I am blessed
You can say these to yourself every day without any special ceremony. You can also do it during meditation or “walking meditation”. Know that if you tell yourself positive things long enough, your brain will believe it. At that point, loving yourself is a given.
In the end, the secret to loving yourself is no secret at all. Accept you for you, escape from the prison called “your past”, normalize taking care of yourself first, practice kindness both to yourself and others, and remind yourself at all times how special you are.
You are loved. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.