Often misunderstood but so essential for joy and mental wellness, self-love has been a hot topic for centuries.
Many mistake it for selfishness or narcissism when it’s actually one of the purest and kindest forms of love one can have. Below we’ll be delving into exactly what self-love means, why it’s a necessity for a happy life, and how you can begin to healthily engage in it.
There are various definitions of self-love. For instance, having an appreciation for one’s worth or value is one way to define self-love. It is also believed to entail giving one’s happiness and well-being adequate consideration. Self-worth, self-esteem, self-compassion, and self-confidence are all closely tied to self-love.
Self-love is also a feeling of admiration for oneself that develops from deeds that promote mental, emotional, and spiritual development. Being passionate about your happiness and well-being is what it means to love yourself. Taking care of one’s own needs is essential to self-love, as is refraining from putting one’s health at risk. Not settling for less than you deserve is a sign of self-love. We often hesitate to advocate for self-love, mostly because we equate it with selfishness. However, this is a major misconception. We should learn to love ourselves in a healthy way since our love for others emerges from this source.
What Does Self-Love Look Like?
Self-love means something different to everyone because we all take care of ourselves in different ways, but there are a few universal indicators that most people who love themselves share.
- Speaking kindly to yourself about yourself
- Setting your needs first
- Abstaining from self-judgment
- Believing in yourself
- Being sincere to yourself
- Taking care of yourself
- Establishing sound boundaries
- Forgiving yourself when you make mistakes
- Respecting yourself and your worth
How To Practice Self-Love
- Be self-aware
A person who values themselves is more likely to pay attention to their thoughts, feelings, and desires.
- Act out of necessity rather than desire
Avoid automatic behavior patterns that lead to mishaps, hold you back, and diminish your self-confidence. Instead, keep your focus on what you need.
- Take good care of yourself
People who have a high level of self-love take care of themselves every day by engaging in healthy habits including good eating, exercise, rest, intimacy, and constructive social connections. Self-love also involves treating yourself to activities that bring you joy and happiness, like skincare, nature walks, or listening to your favorite music.
- Make way for healthy practices
You’ll take better care of yourself by incorporating these habits into your diet, workout routine, and leisure activities. Engage in healthy practices things because you care about yourself rather than just to “get it done” or because you “have to.”
- Stick to your boundaries and know your worth
A big part of self-love is standing up for yourself. It’s not settling for less than you deserve, whether in personal or professional circumstances. It can look like rejecting a job that doesn’t align with your values, or not engaging in relationships that don’t make you feel good. Whatever you need to do to keep yourself feeling valued and respected.
Famous Greek philosopher Aristotle one wrote that those who love themselves for selfish gain are evil, while those who love themselves for the advancement of moral ideals are the finest kind of good. The former kind of self-love is not an act of selfishness, but a necessity for a happier, healthier, and more prosperous life.