There is a common saying that, “Before we can love anyone else, we need to love ourselves.” Sometimes it seems that it is easier to love others than to love ownself. While we sometimes say ‘I love myself’, most of the time we do not know what does self-love mean. Self-love is the forgiveness, acceptance, and respect for who you are. When you love yourself, you take care of yourself, you honor your limitations, you listen to your needs and you respect your dreams enough to act on them.
When you love yourself, your happiness, health, and fulfillment are all of supreme importance because you realize that without loving yourself, you will never be able to genuinely love others. But learning how to love yourself is not something that you can get overnight. It takes time (even some years may be) to realize and feel the effects of not loving yourself. But after practicing some steps, you will realize your improvement and be able to say, after looking yourself in the mirror, honestly that ‘I love you’. Here are some other tricks to try out:
You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.
People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel and want. They are also mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them.
Live intentionallyYou will accept and love yourself more (no matter whatever is happening in your life) when you live with purpose and design. Your purpose does not have to be crystal clear to you. If your intention is to live a meaningful and healthy life, you will make decisions that support this intention, and feel good about yourself when you succeed in this purpose. You will love yourself more if you see yourself accomplishing what you set out to do. You need to establish your living intentions to do this.
You will love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.
Talk to yourself
You may want to acknowledge yourself for trying, even if you failed. You may tell yourself to focus on the positive aspects of what you did as well as the negative ones, or that behaviour change is a process, and you need to keep trying.
We humans can be so hard on ourselves. The downside of taking responsibility for our actions is punishing ourselves too much for mistakes while learning and growing. You have to accept your humanness (the fact that you are not perfect), before you can truly love yourself.
Explore your spirituality
Faith is the foundation for self-love, no matter what you believe. Believing in something opens up your soul to the beauty of belief and trust. It will build your intuition and help you make decisions based on your gut. When you explore your spirituality, it will also take you on a journey to learning things about yourself and those new thoughts, feelings, passions, and raw emotions will make you appreciate yourself for being authentically you.
Build a precious community
It is true that we cannot do everything by ourselves. You need the support and love from people around you to stay motivated and on track. Positive energy is contagious, so whether you are building a network or planning to go to a fun event, it is always important to have a community you value around you regularly.
Instead of punishing yourself with negative thoughts, gently guide yourself in a positive direction. You may ask yourself what led to the destructive behaviour, whether it is really what you want to be doing, and what the consequences are. Tell yourself that you have other choices, and it is never too late to change. Then think about a concrete step you can take right away to move in a more positive direction or get up and try again. If someone else was mean and you let them get away with it, think about how you can set a limit or boundary to stop this from happening again.