We have all heard phrases that implore us to love ourselves before all else. Many theorize this is the key to many other things like building self-confidence and finding the love of another. But why is it so difficult for people to love themselves? Why is it difficult to accept the fact you are worthy of love?
You will need time, patience, and practice to become adept at loving yourself. The battle is ongoing and you may stumble from time to time. Many of the thoughts that nag you with doubt and self-loathing come from inside. But there are times the comments and actions of others can trigger these thoughts.
The most important thing to remember is you are deserving of self-love.
Therapist, Health Coach, And Personal Change Facilitator, Drew Coster, talks about self-love in this article published in Psych Central.
What Is Self-Love – The process of loving oneself is both physical and mental. Many times it is necessary to put your own needs first in life. This is difficult to do if you do not believe you deserve it.
Why Self-Love Is Necessary – Lacking self-love can negatively affect every aspect of your life. People who do not love themselves often continue on a downward spiral until relationships with friends and family begin to suffer. The absence of self-love can even lead to depression.
It is not necessary to diagnose a mental or emotional disorder to experience these problems. Everyone has days when the thoughts in their head or the actions of others destroy their emotions. But when these days begin to happen with frequency, it can mark the beginning of a dark and dangerous road. No one but yourself can rescue you from depression. It is important that you choose to do so sooner than later.
An article of its own could be written about self-care. This action affects so many aspects of your life, it is vital you practice it mindfully. The root cause is always present when there is a lack of self-care: You do not think you are worthy of it.
These feelings of unworthiness can cause you to ignore basic human needs such as bathing, exercise, and eating healthy foods. If you learn to take care of your basic needs, your life will be happy again. We often tell ourselves someone else has a greater need for our love and attention than we possess. This is often used as an excuse for not loving and caring for ourselves.
Here are some tips to love and care for yourself:
- Eat healthy foods
- Get plenty of sleep at night
- Start or maintain an exercise routine
- Take time to meditate
- Practice good hygiene
- Say no to things that compromise your love for self
- Do something for yourself on a daily basis
Pen A Letter To Yourself
Sit down and pretend you are looking at yourself. Write a letter that highlights all the good things you see. Also, sketch all the encouragement the person you see needs to hear. Seal the letter and put it in a safe place until you return for it. Read the letter later to remind yourself why you should always have compassion and love for yourself. This self-compassion will give you greater inner strength, emotional stability, and an increased ability to remain calm.
Make Time For A Heart To Heart With Yourself
Experts believe in the proven ability of self-talks to reaffirm the value of anyone struggling with self-worth issues. These discussions can basically take place everywhere and can even be used as a preventive measure when no problem exists. Take the time regularly to verbally reaffirm your positive traits and qualities. You should also tell your inner critic to shut up.
Record Negative Thoughts In A Journal
Negative thoughts about yourself cannot be helpful. This is true whether the thoughts originate within yourself or are prompted by someone. You can take the bite out of these words by writing or recording the negative thoughts you have for yourself. Later, read these words to yourself.
Ask yourself if these are things you would say to other people. If not, why would you talk to yourself this way?
Use Loving-Kindness Meditation
With guided meditation, you can overcome past problems that dominate your thoughts. This will also work for new thoughts and events. Meditation promotes positivity by training the person to live in the present. Breathing exercises and yoga can be added for a complete body and mind experience.