Self-love has become quite a popular concept in today’s wellness society. And yes, it’s wonderful…but how do you love yourself exactly? Love has long been conditioned as something shared with another person. In the words of Tony Robbins, “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” True, but more importantly his continued thought states – that includes your relationship with yourself.
Self-love can be seen as a form of self-respect or an appreciation for oneself. Similar to exploring your journey with sexual wellness, this involves developing self-compassion. You are recognizing and accepting difficult emotions, such as sadness and anger, without judgement or self-criticism. It is the foundation of a healthy relationship with oneself and is essential for developing meaningful relationships with others.
When you love yourself, you receive more love in return. It’s essentially a cycle. Practicing self-love takes intention and patience, but it doesn’t have to take years. When you start implementing these small, everyday changes, you will gradually see the payoff which is a happier, centred, and overall better outlook on life.
How to Practice Self-Love
1. Take Time Out for Yourself.
We’re sure you get caught up in taking care of others in your daily routine, but when do you take care of yourself? Easier said than done, we know, but nevertheless make sure you take time out for yourself, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. Do something that makes you feel relaxed and happy. This could be anything from reading a chapter of your favourite book to going for a walk in nature (or more conveniently around the block). You can also challenge yourself by doing something new. Nothing grows out self-esteem like becoming more of the person you’ve always wanted to be with that new hobby, activity, or experience you’ve conquered. Bonus points if it scares you because it may just be the sign to try.
2. Positive Self-Talk.
Be kind to yourself, both in your thoughts and the words you use. “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy,” says Tony. So reject negative self-talk and replace it with positive affirmations. Speak to yourself in the same way you would to a best friend or loved one. Catch yourself when you fall into negative self-talk and make a conscious effort to change your words into something positive. It’s okay to feel down from time to time, embrace that feeling, and process it. The key though is to not lose yourself in the noise of negative self-talk because you deserve better.
3. Celebrate Successes.
It’s important to recognize and celebrate your successes, no matter how small. This can help boost your confidence and help you to recognize your own worth. Many of us are naturally modest and downplay our accomplishments in the name of keeping the peace. But taking credit can be good for your self-esteem – and that can help you fall in love with yourself. Give the complimenter a sincere thanks, and take it to heart. You deserve praise not only from others but most importantly from yourself. This is not a green light to become wildly egotistical, but instead to heal that inner child and validate positive self-talk as mentioned before. Find ways to spotlight the good you’re doing throughout your day. Don’t take yourself for granted.
4. Practice Self-Care.
Self-care and self-love are not the same, but they do go hand in hand. When you love yourself, you treat yourself kindly, both emotionally and physically. Establish positive habits like a healthier diet, exercising regularly, exploring mindful masturbation, getting enough sleep, and granting yourself regular breaks for a better work-life balance. Meditation is a good means of practicing self-care. Start an easy practice of 10 minutes of silent breathwork, noticing thoughts as they come and moving your awareness back to your breath, so you can remember you’re a spirit having a human experience. If interested in digging deeper into your psyche, Visualising is a profound method of meditation that can reprogram your brain into a state of self-love.
5. Give Back.
The secret to living is giving. Giving back is the ultimate purpose in life and is instrumental in providing self-love meaning. When you have a sense of purpose, you’ll live confidently and stop looking for external affirmation. Purpose gives us a reason to get up in the morning and makes us a part of something larger than ourselves. What are you most excited about in your life? What brings you joy? Once you uncover meaning in your life, you’ll start to see the bigger picture – and stop criticising the smaller things. Remember that you have intrinsic worth because you have gifts to give the world. And when you truly believe that you are here for a reason, loving yourself comes naturally. Find your purpose and light a fire of self-love within you, and others will be attracted to the flames.
Why Is Self-Love Important?
A quote comes to mind, “I am mine. Before I am ever anyone else’s.” It’s okay to put your needs first. It’s okay to say no when you want to set boundaries. It’s okay to be you, authentically you. There are many benefits to improving self-love like lowering anxiety and stress, avoiding burnout, building resilience, finding a sense of control, and becoming more assertive to achieve your goals. Until we become our own source of love, we will find ourselves in the wrong relationships, so take the step now and join the Qurious Club where you can connect with leading experts on relationships, identity, sex, and more.