How do you love yourself? No, not your spouse, your friends, your pet, or your parents. How do you practice self-love?
It’s not typically something that we’re taught as children. Oftentimes we aren’t shown how to love ourselves first, to have a positive inner dialogue and to treat ourselves with compassion, and respect. In a world where impossible standards are pushed in the media and we sometimes can’t help but compare ourselves to others, learning how to love yourself can be a challenge. Self-love is a struggle for us all at some point.
So, why is learning how to love yourself so important?
Learning how to love yourself leads to more confidence and a better appreciation of your self-worth. When we cultivate a sense of unconditional self-love, we move through this world with more certainty and grace. We know what we deserve and what we want from life. We step into our power and in alignment with who we’re meant to be.
Ultimately the relationship you share with yourself is the most important one you’ll ever have. It is, after all, the longest and most devoted one you’ll experience in this lifetime. If we don’t develop the tools for self-love, our mental and physical health can suffer.
Roughly 46 percent of American adults experience some form of mental health issue in their lifetime.
This means that nearly half of us are experiencing some type of intense feelings, such as loneliness, sadness, anxiety, or depression. There’s an evident lack of self-love running rampant in this country, and learning how to love yourself may be a dynamic approach to decreasing these jarring statistics.
Here are a few simple ways to show yourself some love today.
1. Take yourself on a date
Commit to spending a few hours alone with you and only you. Bond with yourself. Head to your nearest park for a solo picnic and to dive into that book you’ve been meaning to read. Take yourself out to a nice lunch. Check out a museum. Go see a movie. Travel alone. Simply be with yourself. Spending quality alone time gives you the chance to get to know yourself more intimately and lovingly.
2. Celebrate yourself
It’s far too easy to get caught up in the things we’re not doing and what we could be doing better. We flood our subconscious with the notion that we aren’t enough. Give yourself some credit! Perfectionism is an illusion. Actively choose to honor yourself, even the smallest of victories, when learning how to love yourself.
Commend yourself when you eat a healthy meal. Give yourself a pat on the back when you complete a difficult task at work. It’s the simple things that count. At the end of each day, list three things worth celebrating about your day or three things that you’re grateful for. Journal about your strengths and the things you love about yourself. This creates a powerful and reassuring inner dialogue. Through this process, we shift our subconscious into a place of deep appreciation that strengthens our self-esteem and transmutes any critical thought patterns.
3. Establish healthy boundaries
Do you find that you have a tendency to give more to others than you do for yourself? Sometimes saying “no” can be powerful and useful when learning how to love yourself. While saying “yes” to life can prove to be effective and magnetic, we run the risk of burn out and overwhelm when we make ourselves too available for others. It’s ok to put yourself first. This doesn’t make you selfish, it makes you wise. Nothing says “I love myself” more than establishing your boundaries. How you love yourself is a direct reflection of how you love others. And we can’t show up and love others if we don’t love ourselves first.
4. Forgive yourself
We all struggle with moments of shame, despair, and anger. Many people find they’re at war with themselves at some point or other. We let our minds and negative thought patterns get the best of us. We harbor old traumas and limiting beliefs that prevent us from operating from a place of deep reverence and love. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all mistakes. We all face hardship. Practice acceptance and forgiveness to shift to a more loving state of mind.
5. Practice self-care
The idea of self-care has received a lot of buzz in the wellness space. And while some may consider it a luxurious privilege, taking basic care of yourself can be immensely useful when learning how to love yourself. It shows that you respect yourself enough to know that you’re at your best when you’re deeply nurtured and connected to yourself. Nourish and take care of your body accordingly. Fuel yourself up with nutrient-dense foods. Practice mindfulness. Develop a regular meditation practice to understand and love yourself more deeply. Drink water. Exercise regularly. Carve out time in your schedule that is solely committed to the caring of you. Both your mental and physical health will greatly benefit.
6. Surround yourself with a loving support system
We’ve all heard the famous John Rohn quote stating that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. The people who surround you are a direct indication of the love you have for yourself. Choose those people wisely. Yes, learning how to love yourself is absolutely crucial. But fostering the earnest relationships that bring you joy are equally as important. We’re all in this together.
Love is the most healing sensation on the planet. It’s what makes this world go round.
But loving yourself unconditionally is the most healing sensation of all. Leaning how to love yourself is a continuous work in progress and no day is the same. Our capacity to love can vary from day to day. Cultivate an unwavering loving relationship with ourselves so that even on the toughest days, we are still able to return to loving ourselves fully.
Visit the TelMD Upstream Blog for more ways to achieve optimal wellness!
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