You need to learn to love yourself before you love someone else. But doesn’t self-love mean being selfish? And what does self-love exactly mean?
Loving yourself is easier said than done.
You cannot just wake up one morning and start loving all your flaws, that too, that too after years of fault-finding. This is possible only if you make the habit an everyday affair. One of the toughest things in life is to accept, embrace and love yourself with all your imperfections.
To do so, you must stop condemning yourself. You must dispense with self-loathing and create a habit that eliminates negativity from your life.
You cannot expect others to make you feel loved when you have abandoned your own own self. It is only by taking responsibility for yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, that you will feel loved.
The trick here is to treat yourself the way you treat others with love.
Given below is a list of useful tips that will teach you how to love and accept yourself.
- Believe in yourself and your abilities. Believe that you deserve good things and you are worthy of them. You need to stop thinking negatively.
- Listen to your inner feelings. Many times people are aware of others’ feelings but have no idea as to what their own feelings are. Being in sync with your inner feelings will help the child in you feel accepted and loved. Listen to your inner feelings often in order to love and accept yourself.
- Be compassionate with your feelings. Avoid being judgmental of your inner feelings. Be kind, gentle, tender, understanding and accepting of your feelings. It will make you feel loved.
- Be open to your feelings. If you try to tune into your feelings when you are in pain, you will notice that they are cautioning you about someone who is not nice to you. Listening to your feelings, accepting them and taking action will make you feel loved and blessed.
- Have a dialogue with yourself. Interact with yourself and you will find an answer, sooner or later it may come to you through words, images or dreams.
- Deal with your false beliefs. Explore your inner self. The first step is to ask yourself as to what thoughts or actions are causing you pain. Once you realize this, explore what fears and false beliefs are causing it. If you feel rejected by someone, explore what is it between you and that person that is causing you pain.
- Be in sync with your intuitions. Pay attention to your gut feelings. Your intuitions will guide you in life. If you listen to your intuitions while making a decision, chances of failure are less.
- Evaluate what you are feeding your soul. Keep a close watch on what you are feeding yourself. Whatever you do or indulge in affects your life. Whether it’s a television show, the websites you surf, the people you spend time with. And also your online interactions. Read and watch things that make you feel positive and teach you how to love and accept yourself.
- Take pride in yourself. Don’t indulge in activities that bring you down. Be respectful to yourself.
- Honor your word. If you make a promise to yourself, keep it; whether it’s going for a vacation, practicing yoga or going to bed early.
- Respect your time and space. By doing so, you are making yourself feel loved.
- Be around loving people. Try to be around caring, supportive and accepting people, as they will make you feel loved. Being in the company of in the company of abusive and unkind people who publicly criticize you, will make you feel unloved.
- Stand up for yourself. When around unkind people, speak up for yourself. Let them know that you do not like like being ill-treated. If you allow yourself to be treated badly, you are sending a message to your inner self that you are not worth loving.
- Stand up for something you believe in. Don’t buckle under peer pressure. So what if you still believe in staying single when the whole world is getting married, or you still like listening to Elvis Presley when people around you are fascinated with One Direction. Self-love is also about having your own interests and passions, and not feeling apologetic for them or feeling the need to defend them.
- Stop being a perfectionist and be your true self. Stop being perfect and become your true self. Accept yourself whole-heartedly. Appreciate your talents, skills and beauty. Learn to love your imperfections in order to love and accept yourself.
- Do not wait for approval. Do what you like doing. Stop worrying about what others might think of you.
- Avoid comparing yourself with others. Often disappointments arise when you think others are doing better than you in life or are better placed. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Love yourself for whatever you have achieved so far. Be proud of it.
- Stop gossiping and complaining. Gossiping makes you negative. Instead, if you try to find something inspiring in others, you start looking for joy, inspiration, growth and love. And these are positive qualities that will make you love yourself.
- Have patience. Let go of fear, urgency and restlessness. Relax and let loose. Believe in yourself and your good work.
- Forgive yourself for your past. It’s human to err. Good people sometimes make mistakes. Forgive yourself for what you did or did not do.
- Let go of the fear of failing. For being successful, you need to make mistakes and fail. Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from making decisions.
- Nourish yourself. Care about your appearance. You feel great when you look good. Taking care of your body is important. You will feel loved if you take care of your body by eating healthy food, exercising and sleeping well.
- Show gratitude. Be grateful for what you have. You may not have everything you wanted or your life may not be the way you wanted it to be. But understand that you might have things that others might not have. That should motivate you.
- Start your day with love. As soon as you wake up, before getting out of your bed, remind yourself of how worthy you are and how lovely your life is.
- Begin with meditation. Even if it is just for 5 minutes, start each morning with meditation.
- Write down your accomplishments. Create a record of your successes and accomplishments by writing it down every morning. You can re-read them when you are feeling down. It serves as a great motivator.
- Tell yourself how spectacular you are. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how awesome you are. Often, what you see in the mirror is what you see in the world. You see shortcomings in others because you see those shortcomings in yourself. So, you must love your own self your own self when you look into the mirror.
- Talk happy. Talk to yourself using positive affirmations. Say, ‘I love my life’ or ‘I deserve the good things I have in my life’ to yourself. Say it out loud as many times as you want.
- Scribble a love note to yourself. Write a love note to yourself on your mirror or at a place where you can see it every day. It could be something that you would like to read aloud every day. Make sure to write something real.
- Do things that make you happy. Care for yourself by doing something every day that makes you happy. Invest your time in activities you love doing and be happy by making positivity an everyday habit.
- Do something for someone else. Self love is not just about you. It is also thinking about others, helping them and making them feel good. Contribute your time and skills on someone who needs them.
- Try something new. Do something that you haven’t done before. Try a new skill or a new language. Go to places you haven’t visited before. You deserve living an awesome life.
- Find something to do that you are good at. If you are good with writing, start a blog. Excelling at something will make you feel good about yourself.
- Find work that fulfils you. Your work takes up a the major part of your life. If you force yourself to stay in a job that you hate, you are telling yourself you are not worth doing whatever you love to do.
- Take out time to relax. You need a balance of work and play to feel loved. Taking out leisure time will reduce stress.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Get out of your home and do some stretching. Join a yoga class or a meditation course. You can even take your mat and do some yoga in a park with your friends. Getting some kind of exercise will help you feel good about yourself.
- Spend some time with yourself. Switch off your phone, shut down your laptop and go for a walk, all by yourself. Spend some quality time with yourself. Go for a movie you always wanted to watch, dine at a place that youryou friends or family wouldn’t want to visitor go to a concert. Initially, you may feel awkward by the silence or loneliness, but gradually the discomfort will vanish, and you will be at ease with yourself.
- Go to bed early. Sleeping early will make you get a minimum of 6 hours of full rest, which will make you feel optimistic, patient, relaxed, productive and energetic throughout the day. Too little sleep tends to leave people feeling short-tempered, irritable, and stressed. Research suggests that those who go to bed very late are more likely to be overwhelmed with repetitive negative thoughts.
- Look at the inner beauty. Focus on the kind of person you are becoming rather on your physical appearance. Are you kind? Are you making others happy? Are you a nice person to be with? Focusing on these qualities will make you appreciate yourself, thereby making you feel loved.