Learning to love yourself might sound like an exercise in selfishness, but in reality, it is an important practice that improves confidence and shows others how you expect to be treated. It can help stop unhealthy comparisons to others as you learn to validate your personal gifts. Self-love can also improve your ability to naturally make healthy choices, as you learn to practice self-care, because you are worthy of it.
Learn to Love Yourself
Loving yourself might take some practice, especially when you try to quiet your inner critic. Most people play tapes in their heads that seem to be a repeated loop of reliving past mistakes or criticisms from others. Without self-love, you might avoid going in public because you don’t like the way you look or perhaps avoid having your picture taken because you’re afraid of what you might see. Break the cycle with the following practices to turn off the self-loathing and learn how to love yourself.
Self-Love Affirmations – First incorporate self-love affirmations. These can help you get used to the idea that you are a beautiful person who is worthy of love. Try practicing these daily or making a tape to listen to yourself repeat this on a loop. Anytime your mind plays a self-loathing tape, override it with affirmations like:
- I am worthy of love
- A deserve joy in my life
- I approve of myself
- Mistakes help me learn
- I release all negative thoughts and energy
- I focus on love and healthy energy
Practice Self-Care – Self-care is taking care of your wellbeing. It involves physical, mental and emotional self-care and protection. Taking care of yourself reinforces the fact that you deserve to be taken care of. A healthy diet and exercise will improve your physical and mental health. Taking time out for yourself to meditate, take a bath or journal is another way to practice self-care.
Be Responsible – If you are down on yourself because of your job or situation in life, take responsibility for how you got there and resolve to change it. Do something every day that will help improve your situation, such as learning a new skill to improve your work situation. If you hate where you live, take steps each day to improve your surroundings or make a plan to change it.
Challenge Yourself – Practicing self-care and taking responsibility for yourself are two ways to actively feel better about yourself, which is a big step toward self-love. Challenging yourself can take your self-love and self-worth to the next level as you meet small goals that reinforce these feelings.
And remember the challenges you choose are about self-love, and there is no need to compete against others. Do challenges that are for you, like running a virtual race or taking part in a virtual fitness challenge in which you compete against yourself. Use a fitness app that helps keep track of your progress and even motivate yourself with new challenges, adventures and rewards. As you see your progress, your self-esteem will improve even more.
How to Start Loving Yourself
Start with a plan and write it down. Take small steps in the right direction each day, no matter how unmotivated you feel, because something is better than nothing. And be kind to yourself, because you are human and everything worth doing is a journey and takes time.