Self-love and self-care are important. You hear about it a lot nowadays and sometimes it feels like it became some sort of lifestyle trend that people use to sell more magazines or products. However, I strongly believe all those talks about loving yourself are true at the core. Self-love and self-care are important and here’s why.
Loving yourself more is key to creating a successful and happy life. We all struggle with our life. We all make mistakes. Without self-love, how do you get back up? Everybody needs love and validation. If you seldomly count on people for these essential emotions, you may never get enough. It has to come from you first. Learn to be ok with who you are and let go of the negative voice in your head telling you you are not enough.
Once you have reached a state of acceptance and you truly, deeply, love yourself, you will be able to infuse that love in everything that you do.
How to love yourself more? It’s not that easy, but it’s possible, and first, you need to understand why you should love yourself more.
Why self-love is important
I used to be the outsider, the kid that didn’t fit in. It was especially hard for me to make new friends as a kid. I was incredibly shy and I would care way too much about what other people thought of me. This poisoned my life for years. I don’t like to admit it but I hated myself. It took years of growing up, stepping outside my comfort zone, and experiencing new things, for me to finally move past my shyness and learn to love myself as I was.
Now, I would consider myself as pretty outgoing and I make friends way more easily than I used to despite still being an introvert at heart. The turning point in my life was my time spent on a ranch in Colorado, which also was the start to my art journey.
I moved all the way from Europe to the U.S for a summer, not knowing anyone there and barely knowing how to speak the language (I could understand it fine, mind you, but it was hard to actually speak it). Let me tell you, that’s one heck of a way to step outside your comfort zone! I had to learn to make friend and I had to kiss my shyness goodbye if I wanted to survive and enjoy the experience. And I did. It was hard, but I did. And I’m so glad and grateful for it.
So why should you love yourself?
Because it will make your life so much better. It’s the key to happiness.
How to love yourself more
Unfortunately, there’s no manual (and trust me I could have used one when I was a teenager!). But there are little things you can do that can help you on your journey to self-love.
1. Stop caring about what other people think
Easier said than done, I know. But if you remind yourself every single day that other people’s opinions about you don’t matter as much as your own, then you’ll have taken a step in the right direction. Note that you shouldn’t discard criticism altogether of course, but don’t feel ashamed for who you are.
2. Accept your flaws
So what if you have a weird smile, eyes too big, or untamable hair? It doesn’t matter. What if you are too fat or too skinny? Doesn’t matter either, as long as you feel comfortable in your own skin. Only when you accept your flaws are you able to fix them, should you want to. Most flaws, however, you’ll come to realize, are not actually flaws.
3. Be positive
The mind is a powerful thing. Instead of fearing the worst, hope for the best. Pessimism is not necessarily bad as it prepares you to face the worst case scenario, and being prepared is always good. But by being positive, you will be more resilient when facing adversity. So take hardships as challenges and know that it will get better. By being positive, you learn to trust yourself.
4. Surround yourself with good people
Let go of people that bring you down and hang out with those that lift you up. Surround yourself with people that have a positive impact on your life. They will be a good influence on your journey to self-love. Other people’s positive attitudes can help you love yourself more.
5. Accept negative thoughts but don’t let them define you
Sometimes, you feel like crap and there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s completely fine. Just don’t let the thought take control of your emotions. Recognize it and accept it, but don’t let it dictate how you feel.
6. Be healthy
You would be surprised by how much a healthy diet and regular exercise can help! You will feel lighter, happier, better. Ever since I started weight lifting and watching what eat a bit more closely, I have never felt better! My body is transforming, I am gaining muscle mass, and not to throw flowers at myself but I look pretty amazing! And that makes me feel blissful.
7. Help others
Helping people is good for the soul. It makes you feel useful. You have an impact on somebody else’s life. You make a difference. When you give support to others, you feel good about yourself, which boost self-confidence, which leads to loving yourself more.
8. Be mindful
Live in the present. Don’t dwell on the past and don’t lose yourself in day dreams about what could be. Enjoy the moment. Breathe. Feel your surroundings. You can let your mind wander once in a while, I sure do, that’s how I find inspiration sometimes, but living in dreams will do you no good.
Traveling broadens your horizons. It opens the mind. You learn how to be more receptive to other. Travel makes you more open-minded, you learn not to judge other people as you discover other ways of life.
10. Accept it will take time
You won’t just wake up one day and all of your negative thoughts will be gone. It will take time, be patient. It took me years to learn to love myself but you know what? I’m glad I kept trying! Sometimes all is takes is growing up.
At last but not least, make the choice to love yourself more and start small. Just making the conscious decision to better yourself, to start on the path to find self-love, It may seem like an insignificant thing to do but it will make your day better. Smart small.