We all want to be loved and appreciated, we seek love from people, but what keeps us going in life is not the love we seek but how we have learned to love ourselves. One thing I have learned in life is that you cannot give what you don’t have. If you do not love yourself, how can you love others?
What does self-love mean? Self-love means expressing love to yourself regardless of what people say about you or what others think of you. It begins with self-acceptance. When you accept yourself and your reality, you have already begun the journey of self-love
Loving others and being loved is sweet, but loving yourself is sweeter. Self-love is not being selfish but loving yourself for who you are regardless of how people see you or what others think of you. We seek love from others but we forget to love ourselves. How sad it is!
What Self-love is
Self-love is a life-long process that entails appreciating, loving, and accepting who you are regardless of your reality. What is true self love? True self-love means loving yourself limitlessly, endlessly, and unconditionally. It means embracing your real self regardless of your flaws and limitations. Loving yourself does not entail striving for perfection; it is just embracing your weaknesses and strengths.
Many of us deprive ourselves of the love and happiness we deserve in the process of seeking for love from other people. Self-love gives you everlasting happiness. The amazing power of self-love is that even when you make some mistakes in life, you won’t stop loving yourself.
If we do not love ourselves, we would be abused. In today’s world, most of us have lost our inner peace in the quest of pleasing others. We lose our real selves, we do what the society expects us, we do what our friends are doing, and in the end, we lose our inner peace.
What Self-love is Not
Self-love is not selfish. Self-love does not mean that you have to put yourself above others. Sometimes, we mistake self-love for selfishness and arrogance. Selfishness means caring about yourself alone and not considering if your actions hurt others. A selfish person cares for her own interest alone. Self-love does not connote selfishness.
The concept of self-love preaches the love that comes from within. Self-love is not being obsessed with oneself. Self-love is not egoistic. We should not get the concept of self-love twisted. When we talk about egotism and narcissism, there are not the fruits of self-love. Narcissism means being obsessed with oneself.
Egotism is when you consider yourself more important than others. An egoistic person is a proud fellow; he thinks so highly of himself and sees others and their opinions as less important. An egoistic person does not acknowledge his flaws. Selfishness, narcissism, and egotism are not the product of self-love.
In psychology, self-love is a concept that explains how you express love to yourself by appreciating and valuing yourself as being worthy of love. Self-love is something you need to develop as you go on with life. You need to love and acknowledge your weaknesses and limitations if you want to learn how to love yourself.
Self-love explains that you need to love yourself without making comparisons. It entails accepting your true self, believing in your strengths and achievements, and acknowledging that it is normal for you to make mistakes. It is a way of expressing sincere appreciation to yourself.
To love anyone else, you need to love yourself first. When we practice self-love, we find it easy to show love and care to the people around us. You need to understand that love can only start with you. Psychologists have found out that self-love makes us feel good about ourselves and it brings more happiness to us.
Research has revealed that self-love protects people against depression which might lead to poor mental health. Self-love has been used as a way of treating depression among people. It plays an important role in psychotherapy. In psychotherapy, self-love is used to explain to patients how they can acknowledge their struggles, accept that it is okay to have problems and show love to themselves.
Importance of Self-love
We might feel self-love is something that takes a long time to achieve. Many of us feel we cannot afford to love ourselves because of our challenges, past mistakes, and failures. You must express love to yourself because self-love is the key to happiness. Many people underestimate the power of self-love; we do not know that self-love can help us break the greatest obstacles we are faced with.
Love is powerful, self-love is more powerful. Many people think loving themselves unconditionally is something that is not necessary; after all, we can seek love from people. This is very untrue. If you don’t love yourself, you will be abused. Self-love boosts our mental health and well-being.
So many of us try as much as possible to meet the expectations required by society, we end up denying ourselves the things that give us joy and happiness. Happiness, peace, high self-esteem, good mental health, and optimism are all the importance of self-love. Loving yourself will help you forgive your mistakes and move on with life.
Love can move the whole world. We all need love and seek love from others but how much do we love ourselves? We need to express self-love because those things that give us happiness will not be there for us all the time. When we depend on people for love, we might get disappointed at the end of the day.
We need to love ourselves because self-love makes us happier and healthier. So many of us find it easy to love and forgive others when they make mistakes but find it hard to love ourselves and let go of our mistakes and failures. The truth is that you cannot love yourself if you do not let go of your mistakes, fears, worries, grief, and pain.
The only thing that can heal a broken heart is love. So many people are emotionally sick, we fear for the unknown, we worry about the future and we grieve because we are broken. The only thing that can treat these emotional diseases is self-love. Below is the importance of self-love.
Self-love gives happiness
Yes, self-love makes you happier. Loving yourself unconditionally is the beginning of happiness. If you want to live a happy life, love yourself. One of the importance of self-love is the unending happiness we get from it. At some point in our lives, we are faced with challenges that can make us develop fear and anxiety. But self-love conquers it all. When we love ourselves, we will be happier and our lives will be sweeter.
It boosts our well-being and mental health
Our wellness and mental health are very vital to living well. An emotionally and mentally derailed person has lost the sweetness of life. Life is sweet when we are happy and feel love. Happiness, love, joy, and peace of mind are very important in life and a person who has all of these is successful.
Psychologists have found out that there is a strong relationship between self-love and mental health and wellness. Self-love boosts mental health and wellness. According to studies, people who practice self-love are happier and healthier.
It can help us achieve our goals
This is also one of the benefits of self-love. Practicing self-love can help us get better and achieve that goal we set for ourselves. When you love yourself, you believe in your abilities and this helps you to accomplish set down objectives.
Self-love encourages good habits
When you love yourself, you will never engage in things that will hurt you. This is another importance of self-love is that you will learn to cultivate good habits. People that practice self-love refrain themselves from engaging in things that will affect them negatively. Self-love means loving everything about yourself. Loving yourself can help to engage in habits that will boost your wellness.
It gives you satisfaction
One benefit of self-love is that it gives satisfaction. When we practice self-love, we become satisfied with ourselves and know that we can improve ourselves. Self-love can make us see the world from a positive perspective. It makes us feel special and creates the awareness that we are unique.
Self-love helps us overcome life challenges
This is one of the benefits of self love you will enjoy when you practice it. When you love yourself, you will be able to cope with and overcome life challenges. There are challenges and stressors in life, with self-love, we can conquer these challenges. Everyone deserves to be loved and happy.
How to Practice Self-love and Care
No one can love you like yourself. You need to understand that no one is perfect. We are imperfect creatures created by a perfect God. We have our weaknesses and strengths. We have made mistakes, gone through life’s hurdles, and gone through pain; either emotional or physical. These happen because we are humans and we are bound to make mistakes.
The great thing is that we do not let our mistakes, pains, and challenges define how we see ourselves and express love to ourselves. We can only love ourselves over and over again when we learn to accept ourselves and our realities. Having known the importance of self-love, it is high time you started practicing it.
How do you show yourself true love? There are many ways you can show yourself true love. If you want to know how you can express self-love, below are tips on how you can practice self-love and care.
- Accept yourself
Self-love is an art that you need to practice. To love yourself regardless, you need to accept your weaknesses and strengths as part of you. Once you realize that you are not a perfect being and making mistakes in life is inevitable, then you have started learning the art of self-love.
- Say positive things to yourself
You need to say positive things to yourself regardless of the situation you find yourself. When we make mistakes or do unpleasant things, our inner mind judges our actions. Therefore, we need to take control of whatever we say to ourselves. Learn to say positive words like “I love myself” “I am the best,” etc. to yourself.
- Take care of yourself
Learn to take good care of yourself. Take time to take yourself out on a date, spend time with yourself, eat good food, rest well, and exercise well. Spending quality time with yourself is one of the most powerful ways you can express love to yourself.
- Do things that make you happy
This is another way you can practice self-love. Research has found out that doing things that make us happy can make us stay healthy. Do what you love doing and do away with things that drain you mentally and emotionally.
- Appreciate yourself
You can be more positive about yourself by appreciating yourself. Be grateful for mistakes you made in the past and how you learned from it. I appreciate who you have become and look forward to becoming better.
Self-love might look like something difficult to do to some people. You just have to know that you need to love that person you are. If you want to develop self-love, you can practice these self love techniques.
Be conscious of your inner voice
We all have that inner voice that speaks to us. We might not be aware of that voice that speaks to us, we need to be aware of it and listen to it. You need to know how you feel when you do what you love and what your inner voice tells you when you make certain mistakes.
Stop that comparison
If you keep comparing yourself to others, you will deprive yourself of love and happiness. You need to realize you are not perfect and you can never be. Most times, we compare ourselves with our colleagues at work, friends, siblings, and classmates, and then we say to ourselves that we are not enough.
You need to know that there cannot be another you, you are unique and special. You need to stop comparing yourself with others because no matter how much you know them, you don’t how they feel about themselves.
Surround yourself with positive people
Surrounding yourself with positive people helps you love yourself more. It is one of the self-love techniques you should never ignore. Make friends with people that see the good in you and accept your strengths and weaknesses. If you have toxic friends, do well to break your relationship with them.
Negative people have a way of making us feel bad about ourselves. Choose your circle wisely because the people you spend time with determine how you perceive yourself. Positive-minded people can make us feel good about ourselves and happier.
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Don’t be too hard on yourself
We need to learn to be compassionate about ourselves. We treat ourselves hardly when we make mistakes. When we are rejected, abused or when we fail, we need to learn to say good things to ourselves and let go. Feeling bad about our mistakes can make us wallow in self-pity.
Let us learn to forgive ourselves and treat ourselves nicely when we fail, after all, failure means we tried and there is an opportunity to rise and win. If we do not make mistakes, how do we learn? When you fall or you are rejected, learn from it and move on.
You cannot love yourself enough until you have learned to accept yourself. Self-acceptance is key to loving yourself. The only way you can be yourself is to accept and love yourself. Everything about you cannot be good. When you realize that there are some things you cannot control, then you have accepted yourself.
Accommodate and encourage healthy habits
Another way to love yourself is by encouraging healthy habits. You can engage in exercises that will make you fit, go shopping, give yourself a nice treat, and hang out with good friends. Do things that will make you happy, if going to the cinema will relieve you of that stress, then go and have fun. Accommodate healthy habits.
Think of the things that make you happy and do them. We need to accommodate things that will make us a happier person. Spend quality time with yourself and love yourself over and over again. You can also read books, paint, take pictures, get a manicure, go for a walk, etc. just live life and love life.
Recognize your strengths
Another way to love yourself is by recognizing your strengths. Positively use your strengths. For instance, if you love giving, you can help others around you by giving out the little you can. If you are a good teacher, you can teach people around you. Learn to recognize your strengths and focus on them.
The power of self-love cannot be underestimated. If you have not learned to love yourself, you need to start doing that. Self-love is important to maintain physical and emotional well-being. Nobody will practice self-love for you, it is self and it has to be done by you. You can only be who you are and not ashamed of yourself by accepting and loving who you are.
If you do not understand the concept of self-love and self-acceptance, you will never be proud to be who you are. You can only be who you are when you understand that pretense will deprive you of love and happiness. We pretend to be who we are not because we want others to love and accept us and as such we end up building toxic relationships that leave us emotionally derailed in the end.
So many people are afraid to be their real selves and face their fears because they cannot face what people will think of them. Self-love is paramount to revealing our true self and not being ashamed of it. You need to learn how to embrace who you are and express love to yourself. No one can be you, you can only be yourself.
Fumilola is a creative writer, skilled at writing informative and engaging articles. She has a Bsc. degree in Demography and Social Statistics. She spends her free time reading novels