Many of us go through our lives constantly trying to please our loved ones, families, friends and lovers hoping to get the affection in return. But we never bother to please ourselves the same way do we? Every often we question ourselves on our inability to maintain relationships. But we never question if we are loving the right person. So who is the right person? It is YOU. You are the person you need to love first to be able to love others and get it in return. Self-love and acceptance is a concept still alien to many. With the rise of awareness towards mental health, discussion on self-love has certainly opened but there are still many conflicts that need to be cleared out.
What is Self-Love?
What does it exactly mean to love ourselves? Loving oneself is accepting and respecting yourself irrespective of where you are in life, how much money you have, how many people you hang out with, what is your position in your company, the degrees you hold or popularity on social media. It is being able to look in the mirror and accept yourself with all your flaws and imperfections. Self-love is a package. It is understanding that you are a human allowed to be imperfect and make mistakes. To love oneself is about self-acceptance. By accepting yourself however you are is the heart of loving yourself.
Why is self-love important?
Most of us spend our lives loving others so much that we forget we are in need of that love too. We do things for people, try to please them in and out and sacrifice a lot to get people to love us that we forget being happy with ourselves. We begin to question ourselves if we are not enough. Once the self-doubt begins, it is the start of a mental low that can eat you up within. We start harboring inhibitions, insecurities and end up losing ourselves in the process of feeding these insecurities. This is the beginning of a downfall. We start pushing ourselves for all the wrong reasons.
Self-love is necessary especially in today’s world where there are so many factors trying to bring us down. What we need to learn is we are where we start. If we cannot be happy within then we cannot be happy with anyone. This can lead to low self-esteem. Loving oneself seems like a far-fetched term but in reality it is a very easy thought. With a few simple changes, you can learn to love yourself and move towards a happier life.
Tips on How to Love Yourself
- Get in Touch with Yourself: Stop focusing on others and start caring for yourself. Pay attention to your own well-being. Begin with few minutes of meditation every day. Spend time with yourself. We are humans. We are social animals. We love the company of people. But a few moments of solitude and introspection can do a good deal to your self-esteem and confidence. Sit alone every day or week for some time and think how you are. Evaluate your mental condition.
- Self-Acceptance: There’s going to be a commotion of voices inside you telling you that you are not enough. Learn to not dwell on it. You are a mortal and allowed to be imperfect. Look at yourself and embrace all the flaws that you are made of. Make it a point to retrospect. Remember the mistakes you have made and what you gave learned from them.The lessons you learn are important. They make you a better person. Instead of punishing yourself for the things that happened, learn to move forward. There’s always going to be someone who will tell you did wrong when everyone says you did right. Remind yourself to focus on the thousand other voices other than that one voice. Criticism is necessary to learn in life but not stopping on one negative remark is your responsibility towards yourself.
- Pain is Essential: All of us are afraid of getting hurt but remember you are strong enough to take anything that is thrown your way. Your pain is important to help you grow as a person. Old wounds help us understand ourselves. The resentments, heartbreaks and disappointments we face help us grow mature. What you need to do is feel the pain but don’t allow it to take over your mind.
- Letting Go: While feeling pain and acknowledging the hurt is important, it is also necessary to release the negativity that it leaves behind. If you hold on to the resentments of your past relationships, it lead to becoming a tumor that will keep building up with time. This habit of harboring negativity can become toxic overtime and hamper with your mental peace. Confide in your loved ones who will understand you. If you are not sure about friends and confidants, seek professional help. Once you get it off of your chest, you will be able to leave the past behind. Slowly and gradually, the hurt will subside and you will be able to forgive those who caused you pain.
- Good Companionship: Not many people understand the importance of good people around. We surround ourselves with people we are used to no matter how wrong they might be. We agree with their choices and opinions, when we don’t we change our own thinking process to match theirs. Quit this habit of altering your own thoughts and instead, be with people who understand you. Try to spend more time with supportive people who can feel what you’re feeling and help you get out of the negative space. The mental support you receive from these people will help you get out of your shell. This way you can achieve mental peace.
- Pamper Yourself: Take good care of yourself. You should be the first one on your list. Save some ‘me time’ for yourself every week. Develop a hobby or do anything you like, anything that makes you happy and calms your mind. Take a healthy diet, exercise and do things that matter to you. It could be anything. Gardening, workout, reading, cooking or shopping, do something alone that stimulates you mentally. Take yourself out on a date. You should be able to enjoy your company. When you learn to be happy with yourself, that’s when people also start being happy around you. These good vibes are necessary for your mental peace.
These are some small yet life changing ways through which you can learn to love yourself. All you need to do is be patient. Remember it takes time to bring change. But when you do, you will realize how these small steps go a long way.
Always remember you are yours before anyone else’s!