Self love is all about trusting yourself and your own instincts. You need to trust yourself before you can trust others – self love and happiness aren’t found, they are created through daily practice and experimentation. Here are some ways to learn how to love yourself first.
How To Love Yourself First
Over the years of our lives we have been taught many subjects by our teachers but no one ever teaches us the meaning of how to love yourself first.
What is Self Love?
So the question is what actually self love is? Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self love is the name of accepting our weaknesses and strengths. You deserve to be loved not only by those around you but by the most important person in your life – YOU.
Loving yourself means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self love means not settling for less than you deserve.
Learning how to love yourself first doesn’t mean thinking you’re the smartest, most talented, and most beautiful person in the world. Instead, when you love yourself you accept your so-called weaknesses, appreciate these so-called shortcomings as something that makes you who you are. When you love yourself you have compassion for yourself.
You take care of yourself like you’d take care of a friend in distress. You treat yourself kindly. You don’t nitpick and criticize yourself. For many, especially those of us who grew up in households that lacked love or in which love waxed and waned, loving yourself will take work. Self-love is a practice and it’s a skill that takes work.
Self-love means giving yourself what your body, brain, and soul needs for the marathon that is life. It isn’t hedonism and it isn’t chasing a physical or emotional high. The practice of self-love is the practice of nourishing yourself.
Loving yourself is the most productive thing you can do for you life because all that doubt, self hate and underestimating is holding you back from reaching your full potential and of course, true happiness.
What Does Self Love Actually Look Like?
Self-love is about how we are being with ourselves in every moment. It’s not about what we think or feel, it’s about how we respond. This is because everyone has a pain story. Everyone has things they wish were different about themselves. This is a part of being human. We cannot control our human mind’s tendency to be a jerk every once in awhile, but we can control how we react to it. If we can become a loving responder, we instantly embody self-love. We shift from identifying with the itty bitty critic committee, and step into our role as the loving and strong presence that transforms pain into purpose.
Self-love applied as practice births feelings of greater inner-peace, harmony, and joy. It’s your trusted ally in dealing with thoughts of not being good enough, important enough, or even attractive enough for who or what you truly desire. It’s the antidote to your inner-critic and medicine for the over-active critical thought patterns. It feels like placing a soothing balm over tender skin.
We are responsible for how we treat ourselves, which includes what we tolerate from others. We are always responsible for our reality, inside and out. It’s never our job to fix anyone else, and it’s always our job to honor ourselves.
How Can I Practice Self Love?
Self-love is a great practice that doesn’t need to take extra time or money. We practice self-love so we can push through our limiting beliefs and live a life that truly shines.
Speak Kind Words
There are so many ways to be kind to yourself. Physically, we can eat healthy, exercise, and rest. Socially, we can find people that make us smile and support us. And mentally, we can cut ourselves some slack and speak kind words to ourselves! This practice is intended to replace all of those negative things we think about ourselves during the way.
Accept Your Weaknesses
Once you accept your weaknesses you will start loving yourself.
Make Peace with Your Past
This is very important. Stop thinking about your past that makes you feel bad or makes you hate yourself. Just forgive and forget. Try to move on. If it doesn’t work then try to replace your old stuff which reminds you of any bad memory with the new one. Make peace with your past. Stop blaming yourself for everything that happened to you in your past. You are not responsible for everything.
Having an attitude of gratitude is a fabulous way to practice self-love. The habit that attitude should replace is complaining. Complaining is focusing on all of the negative things going on in your life. When you complain, you essentially disregard all of the good things happening around you. Being grateful might be harder at first but the benefits are worth it.
Surround Yourself with Right People
Hell yes! Don’t run after people who don’t value you. Don’t be with the people who bring out the bad in you. Instead, be with those who bring out the best in you.
One way to practice self-love is to recognize that you are YOU for a reason. Your unique talents and abilities are yours to develop and cultivate. Do not waste your precious time trying to change things that don’t need to be changed. Instead, focus on enhancing those abilities and attributes that make you unique.
This does not mean that life needs to be sunshine and rainbows all the time, because that’s just not realistic. To me, positivity is having the understanding that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to, if you just keep going and trying your best. It’s okay to feel sad, mad, or frustrated. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and annoyed. The problem is when you let those emotions stop you from progressing and limit what you can achieve.
Spend Time With Yourself
Spend at least 15-30 minutes with yourself daily. Go and sit at your happy place. It can be your room, rooftop of your house, any garden or any place you feel comfortable and happy. Give yourself your time. Think about the best things and qualities in you. Think about the good deeds you did that day. It will make you satisfied and happy.
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.
Practice Good Self Care
You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.
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. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.
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.
Comparison is a killer to self love. Don’t ever compare yourself with others. Everyone is better in his own way. We all are different. Comparing yourself or your life with others will ruin your life. You will start hating yourself instead of loving. So keep it in mind that don’t compare your life with others.
We humans 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 your humanness (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.
Take Baby Steps to Create the Life You Long For
Desires are powerful. And so, to take action turn those dreams into reality is to honor and care for yourself. By taking daily actions, you signal that you’re worthy of living the life you desire. It doesn’t have to be big action—just small and consistent steps in the direction that stirs joy, care, and excitement. This demonstrates that you care and respect your dreams and thus yourself. Has there ever been a better time to do that than now?
Make Room for Healthy Habits
Yep yep! Start truly caring for yourself by mirroring that in what you eat, how you exercise, and what you spend time doing. Do stuff, not to “get it done” or because you “have to,” but because you care about you.Don’t feel like going to the gym? Then maybe put on a soul-soothing podcast and go for a walk. Create habits that are healthy, not just mentally but also emotionally.
Explore Your Spirituality
Faith is the foundation for self-love. Whether or not you’re religious, believing in something opens up your soul to the beauty of belief and trust. It will build your intuition and help you make decisions based on your intuition. When you explore your spirituality, it will also take you on a journey to learning things about yourself, and those new thoughts, feelings, passions, and raw emotions will make you appreciate yourself for being authentically you.
Celebrate the Tiny Wins
Celebrate when something good happens! You don’t have to throw a party or buy something expensive. Call up a friend for a movie night, or take yourself to dinner
Do a Brain Dump
Have a lot of things taking up space in your head? Get them all out on paper. Spend 20 minutes just getting a pen to paper on everything that keeps popping up in your head. Call the cable company, pay credit card bill, tell your boss about a new idea you had, ask your BFF to lunch next week — whatever it is, get it on paper once and for all.
Practice mindful eating:
Mindful eating is when you focus on the food you’re eating while you’re eating it. Instead of watching Netflix on your laptop or FaceTiming your friend, pay attention to your food. Focus on how it tastes, what you like about it, how many times it takes you to chew, and more. While it might seem awkward or weird at first, it helps you to appreciate what you’re eating instead of overeating mindlessly.
Self-love isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity in today’s society. So, start implementing some of the practices above and most of all have compassion with yourself when you fall short. You won’t learn how to love yourself first right away. Simply brush yourself off and get back into it again. As they say, practice makes perfect.