Does loving yourself make a difference in your relationships? If I told you yes, I’m sure you would not be surprised. It would make sense that loving yourself and having healthy self-esteem would have a positive effect on your relationships. I know deep down you know how to love yourself more, and in this post, we’ll dig into how you can do it.
Think about the negative people in your life. Think about your reaction when you are around someone who is negative, and generally unpleasant to be around. It’s obvious they don’t think much about themselves, and when you are around them it’s downright depressing. Consequently, you probably prefer to be around people that aren’t so negative.
If you are in a relationship that could use improvement, have you considered that you might be this person? It makes sense to discover how to love yourself more.
What is self-love?
According to Psychology Today;
“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.”
It’s not about being self-absorbed or narcissistic, it’s about truly knowing yourself, what makes you feel happy and your overall well being. It’s about knowing that you are special, unique and deserve to be loved. For self-love to manifest, you need to make yourself a priority.
When you love yourself, your health and happiness are of the utmost importance because you know that if you can’t love yourself, you will never be able to truly love others.
Why is it so hard?
Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles we face as humans is our limiting beliefs that we are not good enough. Our society puts impossible standards on how we behave and what we can achieve in life. Those suffering from depression are at an all-time high, not to mention the toxic political climate we are living in right now. Additionally, society teaches us that we should put others’ needs before our own and never put ourselves first because that would make us selfish.
Now, I’m not saying that putting others first is a bad thing. But think of the golden rule:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
In simple terms, treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself.
Are you treating yourself kindly and with compassion?
The benefits of self-love
Self-love changes and improves every aspect of life from your health, appearance, and relationships. Developing it takes time. Here are some of the lifelong benefits of self-love:
- Life satisfaction
When you love yourself, you are more easily able to accept life’s ups and downs. You take responsibility for your own actions and take steps to change them.
- Healthy Lifestyle
When you love yourself, you are more likely to take care of yourself. More sleep, better nutrition, exercise, and hydration. Naturally when you pay attention to these things, not only does your mindset change but so does your appearance.
- Coping Skills
When you love yourself and are taking care of yourself, you are better able to deal with difficult situations in your life. You won’t compare yourself with others and you embrace the hardships because when you come out the other side, you’ll experience deeper gratitude for the good in your life.
- Healthy self-esteem
When you practice self-love and take care of yourself, you naturally feel good about yourself. Healthy self-esteem can provide unlimited benefits in your life.
- Improved friendships
It’s a fact that positivity breeds more positivity. Think about your friends that are fun and happy. You love to be around them!
- Improved relationships
A happy life with a perfect mate. That’s what we all want, right? Know this: if you do not love yourself and/or practice self-love you will not attract or retain your perfect mate. Things will inevitably fall apart. Negativity breeds negativity and a negative environment ultimately erode everything within it. If you are suffering in your relationship, looking inward is always the first step.
How to practice self-love
We’ve talked about the importance of self-love. You may be wondering, where do I start?
Here are a few ways to begin practicing self-love today:
- Set boundaries
Learn how and when to say no to things that you know will hurt you. For example, do you have a friend or a relative that brings you down every time you see them? Ultimately this person will drag you down with them. You need to say no to being around them simply as a form of self-preservation. Set limits to how and who you spend your time.
- Practice self-care
This is such a trending phrase today that sometimes the meaning becomes watered down. But self-care basically means taking care of your physical, mental and emotional needs. This means exercising, eating healthily, practicing good sleep habits, and engaging in healthy social connections.
- Be mindful
To be mindful is to know what you want, think and feel. Pay attention to those things and act on that knowledge rather than impulse, or what other people want from them.
- Be protective
It is important to be protective of who you let into your life. Beware of the frenemy: it’s a cheeky term, but can be oh so harmful. A “frenemy” is a “friend” that takes pleasure in your pain and loss rather than truly empathizing with you and helping you through hard times. There isn’t enough time in your life to deal with people like that. Only invite people who lift you up into your life. You’ll thank yourself for it.
- Forgive yourself
This is a tough one, isn’t it? We can be so hard on ourselves. You have to accept that you are not perfect in order to love yourself. Show yourself some grace. No human is perfect! Remember there are no failures in life; only mistakes that you can learn and grow from. Mistakes are what life lessons are made of.
Choose One Way and Get Started
If you focus on just one way to show self-love, you will begin to love and accept yourself more. You will be amazed at the transformation that begins to happen. As a result, you’ll encourage those in your life to express themselves in the same way. Can you imagine the impact this can have on your friendships or your marriage for example? The more love you have for yourself, the more that healthy relating that can happen.
Need some help? Become your highest self with these 4 simple strategies.