If you don’t understand what it is to love yourself, you stand little chance of fully experiencing and benefiting from real self-love. Not to be confused with self-care, self-love means loving yourself unapologetically. It is not something you can achieve through buying new clothes or getting a manicure. You obtain it through a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Though there are a ton of ways to practice Self-Love, we have chosen our 7 favorite.
7 Ways to Practice Self-Love
- Become mindful. People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel, and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them.
- Act on what you need rather than what you want. You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life, instead. Focus on what you need, turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.
- Practice self-care. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People who practice self-care nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.
- Set boundaries. You'll 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.
- Protect yourself. Bring the right people into your life. Get rid of "frenemies"! These "friends" take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than your happiness and success. There isn't enough time in your life to waste on people who want to take away the shine on your face that says, "I genuinely love myself and life." You will love and respect yourself more.
- Forgiveness. We can be so hard on ourselves. The downside of taking responsibility for our actions is punishing ourselves too much for mistakes in learning and growing. You have to accept the fact that you are not perfect, before you can truly love yourself. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.
- Live intentionally. You will accept and love yourself more, whatever is happening in your life, when you live with purpose and design. Your purpose doesn't have to be crystal clear right now. 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.
Start small! Pick one or two of these actions to work on. You will start to notice a difference! Just imagine how much you'll appreciate you when you exercise all seven! It is true that you can only love a person as much as you love yourself. The more self-love you have for yourself, the better prepared you are to live a kinder, more fulfilled life. Plus, you will start to attract people and circumstances to you that support your well-being.