You might have heard the term self-love a lot these days but might not be sure what it actually means.
Is self-love about being selfish? Does that mean you have to disregard others and only care about what you want?
Are people who love themselves narcissists?
The answer is no.
What is self-love?
Self-love is not about putting yourself above everyone else, thinking you’re better than others, and cannot be wrong. It’s not about disregarding others in your life.
Self-love is about treating yourself like you treat the people you love. Simple and straight.
It’s about being your own wonderful friend. It is about giving yourself care, forgiveness, attention, and understanding.
People who love themselves treat themselves like human beings.
Here’s what self-love looks like:
- Not being overly harsh with ourselves
- Giving forgiveness after unintended mistakes and as we learn to make better choices
- Seeing life as a journey and not a competition
- Being kind and compassionate toward ourselves
- Not having useless expectations
- Treating our body with respect and understanding
- Accepting ourselves
- Believing in our dreams
- Not relying on external validation to feel worthy
- Letting others love us too
- Letting go of what is unhealthy ( like habits, relationships, and memories)
- Making health a priority
- Talking to ourselves kindly
Why is self-love important?
If you share a room with someone you don’t like, you’re probably not going to have a good time. But, if that person is someone you love, life’s paradise.
You are always going to be with you. There’s no way out of that, and there doesn’t need to be.
But, most of us treat ourselves with a lot of harshness and cruelty. The way that we always pick what we don’t like about ourselves.
Think about it. When you look at a picture of yourself, you’ll probably not appreciate yourself, unless it’s a really good picture where the flaws you’d have picked out aren’t visible.
So, just as living with someone you love and appreciate is going to make your life so much more beautiful, it’s the same and much more important to love yourself.
Loving yourself is fair. And, it will make you a better person.
When you‘ve already sorted out the issues within yourself or are at least giving yourself the space and patience to do so, you’ll likely be a kinder person to others too.
In the end, self-love is important because you deserve it.
How to practice self-love
- Talk to yourself kindly
- Take care of your body
- Be grateful for the little things
- Simplify your life
- Take a self-love course
1. Talk to yourself kindly
What is the tone in which you talk to yourself in daily life? How do the words that you choose feel?
Most of us do what is called negative self-talk. We overly critique ourselves. Blow up small mistakes to feel like existential failures.
Take bad comments to heart. And, expect ourselves to not really be humans.
Also, negative self-talk should not be confused with holding yourself accountable when you make mistakes or the voice that protects us from harm. That is positive.
We'll make mistakes from time to time, learn from them, improve what's needed, and move on. That is part of a good life.
But, negative self-talk is irrational and severe.
We need to free ourselves from it because we're not taking too much space, we're not being lazy when we choose to rest, our words are not useless, our emotions are not invalid, we will not end up failing every time, we are not fake, we are not too much, and it's not too late.
Think about how you would talk to your friend if you could become the voice in their head. I find positive affirmations quite powerful in tackling this. I think you’ll like them too.
2. Take care of your body
I have found that when I am compassionate and kind to my body and how I perceive it, I also behave kindly to myself.
Your body is your forever home. It's what takes you around, lets you do all that you can, it's what you experience everything with.
It's what gives you life. And, it already loves you. It tells you when you need to rest, when you should eat, when you should hydrate, or go around.
It's here to give you care, and all it needs is for you to love it back.
It's hurtful to you and your body to look in the mirror and have disappointment or dissatisfaction be what you feel.
Why is it so important to look some other way? If it's good for your health, great, but even then you should approach it with love, not ridicule and criticism.
The bottom line is this: Your face, your hair, and your body doesn't deserve to be mistreated. Would you be a good friend if you subjected your friend's body to the same behavior as you do to yours? Think about it.
3. Be grateful for the little things
Gratitude is a humble and powerful perspective that keeps our focus on the things that truly matter. It steers our eyes away from material gains and unhealthy fixations with the past or future and brings us right here.
It makes us look around, feel where we are, and appreciate all the little things and systems that support our lives.
I think it’s essential for self-love because it builds a mindset that appreciates what we already have and understands its significance.
It makes us aware. It flourishes joy that needs no achievement.
To begin being grateful, I really suggest that you start a simple gratitude journal. That’s what I have done for the past few years and I can’t imagine my life without it.
Just write one thing that you’re grateful for every day and you’ll start to see how your focus shifts to finding more and more that you can appreciate in the world, in other people, and in yourself.
4. Simplify your life
At its root, simple living is cutting to the fundamentals: a life driven by what’s most important and valuable to you.
In that sense, material items don’t come to the forefront of the discussion. To live simply, we must first focus on our values and the aspects of our life that are vital to our existence.
In my opinion, living a simple life means living a life most fulfilling to you because you are investing your time and energy into things that matter the most.
So, slowly and gradually, let go of the habits, thoughts, people, memories, things, expectations, and goals that are in reality no good for your well-being.
When you take out what’s not helping you, you make room for good things to come in. It also shapes a life that lives to your values and attracts more of what will make it more beautiful.
5. Take a self-love course
And, finally, I recommend that you take my 21-day Self-Love Course. It’s a very comprehensive course condensing everything that I know into bite-sized lessons that won’t take more than 15 minutes of your time each day.
As of now, more than 30,000 people are enrolled in this course. I will talk to you about self-worth, acceptance, body image, moving on, health, and so much more.
And, that’s it! I am glad that you are learning more about self-love. I think everyone should.
It’s extremely important to be practiced in the right way so we can shape a beautiful world together.
Share this with the people you care about. Take care!
Continue Reading: 5 Things to Do When You Compare Yourself to Others