In this Gratitude blog, I've talked a lot about gratitude (surprise to no one). I've dived deep into the exploration of what we can all be grateful for.
There are friendships, nature, memories, humor, music, entertainment, places, people, lessons, and a plethora of things. The universe of gratitude really is infinite.
And, one highly important yet underestimated planet in this universe is self-appreciation. Being grateful for our very own selves.
Self-appreciation - What is it?
To understand what it is to appreciate yourself, let's simply understand gratitude first.
When we feel grateful for something, we appreciate the good aspects of it just the way they are, aspects that we might have taken for granted, aspects that seem too little to praise, or aspects that have always been a blessing.
Now, let's turn that to our own selves. Self-appreciation means to appreciate parts of our life, personality, or ourselves as a whole to acknowledge the good that already exists within us.
It is to be grateful for the many little qualities that make us who we are and the small ways that we go forward.
It is about appreciating how these little things create big changes and take us further in our journey.
It is about looking back and marveling at how much we've grown and how much we've learned.
Self-appreciation comes with compassion and self-reflection.
We're often far more likely to notice someone else good qualities, appreciate their growth, adore their quirks, console them, understand their reasons, and remind them of their goodness than we are for our own selves.
Let's change that. Let's make a kinder choice. Let's be complete and fair in our gratitude.
So, here's what you can do to appreciate yourself and open up a bigger world of gratitude in your life:
How to appreciate yourself
1. Understand the importance
Once a person understands and accepts the importance of something truly, it's easier to follow through on it. So, what is the importance of self-appreciation?
It's simple. If you think it's important to appreciate others or other things for the goodness in them, then it applies to you too.
If we appreciate only others and not ourselves, we're not being honest and fair in this practice.
It's the same as love, if we love others but not ourselves, that leaves love incomplete and reduces its power.
When we appreciate others as well as ourselves, we're practicing true gratitude.
Everyone wants and deserves to be appreciated for the little ways that they make this world people, and so do you.
As we appreciate ourselves, we form a healthier and closer relationship with our own selves.
2. Value your life
Isn't it an incredible thing that you are alive and experiencing life right now?
Being given a chance at life is quite a privilege. Yes, we suffer and go through tough times, but they don't reduce the amazing blessing that life is.
And, you! You're the only person just like you in this whole world. And, you know how you have lived your life more than anyone ever can.
So, isn't it only fair that you are the one who should appreciate yourself most honestly?
No one but you has known what it is to have lived through your hard days, overcome those problems, done your best to learn something, been there for someone in your life, to have experienced all that you did.
You are the first person who should appreciate yourself because you've been here the whole time, through every bit of it.
3. Positive self-talk
Positive self-talk is about talking to yourself in the same kind and compassionate way that you would with someone you love.
Positive affirmations are a powerful tool in shaping how we talk to ourselves. They come especially helpful in self-appreciation as they guide us in taking the road of compassion instead of ridicule.
When we make a little mistake, we so often automatically say something mean about ourselves. It's such a pity that we're naturally against ourselves in this manner.
With self-appreciation, we can do better. Here are some affirmations that you can say to appreciate yourself:
- I am grateful for the way I have supported myself.
- I am grateful for my good qualities.
- I am grateful that I can rely on myself.
- I am grateful for how I have grown through the years.
- I am grateful for all the little achievements I make every day.
- I am grateful for the positive impact I make on the world.
- I am grateful to be me.
- I am grateful for my kind heart.
- I am grateful for my body and all that it lets me do.
- I am grateful for my good health.
- I am grateful for my life.
Acceptance of ourselves should not be postponed to the point when we feel that we are as perfect as it's possible for us to be.
This doesn't mean that we're looking at our flaws as good things, we're just accepting them as they are in us.
People can only work on themselves when they are aware of what is there, accept that it is a part of them that they should improve, and then work on making it better.
It’s a very simple concept, really. And, the simplest things are sometimes the hardest to practice.
Wherever you want to go, whatever you want to achieve, and whoever you want to become, the person that you are right now is the one who’s going to take you there.
Don't you think it's important to appreciate the person that you already are to become an even better version of it?
And side note, I definitely don't mean that we should become cocky, arrogant, or narcissistic, people who can't stop praising their own selves.
This post is about also acknowledging the good that we have while we acknowledge it in others. It's about being a support system to ourselves as we are to others.
It's about building a healthy relationship with ourselves, one that isn't about bullying but care and understanding.
5. Practice gratitude
Have you ever tried your hand at gratitude journaling? Self-appreciation is a part of the whole gratitude practice, as I mentioned earlier.
So, as we express gratitude for the little and big things in life outside of us, let's also appreciate the very many things that we are blessed within.
Here are some gratitude prompts for self-appreciation:
- What do you like most about yourself?
- Write about a time when you challenged your comfort zone.
- Express gratitude to yourself and the journey you're having.
- What are you always excited to do?
- What is your strongest life value?
- What is one part of your life that you won't trade for anything?
- What is something that was hard to do but you did it anyway?
- How have you supported people throughout your life? Remember a time when you helped someone in need.
- What are the steps that you have taken through the years that made you a better version of yourself?
- What is your favorite part of your daily routine?
And, that's it! This is how you can start appreciating yourself and forming a kinder relationship with yourself.
I hope you found this post helpful. Share it with anyone who you think might need it. I wish you the best!
👉 Continue reading: How to Enjoy Life As It Is