How do you love yourself? That’s a huge question that many of us haven’t quite figured out the answer to.
Many of us will swear up and down that we love ourselves, but then turn around and get stuck in situations, jobs, and even relationships that don’t bring us happiness.
While learning how to love yourself may sound like a tired cliché, many of us still haven’t mastered the art of self-love.
Learning to love yourself helps improve your interpersonal relationships, self-esteem, and productivity in the workplace. After all, how many times have you been involved in a relationship that left you feeling unappreciated, or have taken on more than you can chew at work?
These are all symptoms of a lack of self-love.
Through the process of self-love we can begin to see major changes occur within ourselves that will, in turn, positively affect our external environment.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of techniques that will teach you how to love yourself and improve the overall quality of your life.
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What Is Self-Love?
According to Psychology Today, self-love is the process of accepting yourself for who you are and committing to promoting your own psychological and spiritual growth.
When we lack self-love, it begins to manifest in self-sabotaging behavior. Some relatable examples of this are when we isolate ourselves from others out of fear of rejection, or when we are unable to say the word “no” when someone asks for our time. Whether we consciously choose to engage in these actions or not, they begin to take a toll on our self worth and how we perceive ourselves.
How To Learn To Love Yourself
Below you’ll find some of the best self-love techniques that you can incorporate into your daily life.
1. Take Time Out For Yourself
Spending time alone is a great way to begin the processing of learning to love yourself unconditionally. Allowing yourself to finally relax and decompress in solitude after a long day is a fantastic way to let go of your worries. Solitude enables you to stop performing for others and instead reflect on your needs and wants. During your alone time, you can choose to meditate, read a book, or even take a walk. According to Oprah.com, solitude can physically heal us and help us see situations more clearly.
2. Establish Boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries is a great way to begin practicing self-love. Many of us develop bad habits of putting others’ needs first, believing that our desires are not as important, or that we don’t have the right to say no. Constantly saying “yes” and allowing others to overstep their boundaries with you is a sure-fire way to breed resentment and anger. The best way to begin setting boundaries, according to Psych Central, is to internally reflect on the amount of support you can offer others without infringing on your personal space. Doing favors for others is a fantastic way to show your love, though you should never feel pressured into it.
3. List Your Positive Attributes
Sometimes one of the best ways to practice self-love is to remind yourself of everything that makes you an amazing, unique, and beautiful individual. Many times we can fall into the trap of believing every negative thought we have about ourselves. In fact, we’re often times our own worst critic, according to PsychAlive. To combat this negative train of thought, a great self-love technique is creating a list of your positive attributes. Work on getting the list to be as specific as possible. If you believe that you are a generous person, write out specific examples of times you’ve displayed your generosity. This will help to reinforce the examples.
4. Forgive Yourself And Accept Your Flaws
Nobody is perfect, not even the person you look up to the most. Everybody is battling through emotional wounds that cause self-doubt and criticism. Holding onto guilt for mistakes made in the past and harboring resentment toward yourself is a counterproductive habit. Instead, work toward accepting who you are and what you’ve done up until this point.
Sometimes the process of forgiving yourself starts by speaking it aloud. Others will find success through writing down how they feel and coming to terms with their biggest insecurities. Prevention suggests using the positive emotion refocusing technique (PERT) developed by psychologist Fred Luskin, PhD. The PERT technique involves deep breathing and focusing on a mental image of a place that makes you happy. You then ask yourself what you can do to make yourself feel that type of happiness, and you do it.
5. Consider Professional Help
We can’t solve everything in life on our own. One of the most important self-love techniques is realizing when you need the guidance of a professional. They can help you explore the core of your emotional triggers and devise self-love exercises that are specifically designed to work for you.
According to an article on GoodTherapy.org, if you find that you are experiencing conditions such as codependency, anxiety, depression, shame, or inadequacy, then sharing your thoughts and concerns with a professional can be a positive experience. With the proper guidance, you can build up and maintain your self-esteem and love yourself the way you deserve.
If you plan to put these self-love techniques to the test, make sure to SHARE with everyone who could use a little more love in their life!