In our everyday lives, it’s a normal to struggle with low self-esteem and the act of loving yourself. There are so many surrounding factors and aspects that can make us completely doubt our own self-worth and there’s no concrete answer as to how precisely to love yourself. However, there are some contributing things you can do in practicing the art of self-love.
How to Love Yourself: 20 Ways to Start Loving Yourself Again
1. Let go of all your regrets and past mistakes
In order to truly love yourself, you’re going to have to let go of all the what ifs that consume your mind. It’s not a healthy habit to dwell on the past since no matter how much you dwell on it or think about it, nothing’s going to change. The only thing you have control over is the present and what decisions you make today. Dwelling on the past is just going to lead you with negative thoughts which focuses on your faults and flaws, rather than on the aspects of yourself that are good. In loving yourself, it’s significant to avoid negativity as much as you possibly can. When you have negativity in your life, the tendency is to focus on that and it’s going to make you love yourself less.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others
To truly know how to love yourself, you need to stop the negative self talk. The easiest way to do this is by not comparing yourself to others. This is hardest to do in school and work environments where grades and promotions are almost always a political play. Your worth doesn’t increase or decrease by the external events of what happens to other people. For the sake of your mental health, practice self compassion exercises when others experience good things. And try to be happy for others, even when you get the short-end of the stick. Your time will come. Maybe not in that environment. But eventually, we all get what we want. You deserve respect, and there’s a lack of respect that comes from comparison. There’s no need to self blame for a setback or another person’s win.
3. Do things that make you happy
Spending time doing your passion is one of the fastest ways to love yourself, since your passion is what makes you feel good about yourself. Thus, when you’re feeling good, you have more room to love yourself. Whether that’s going out for a movie or playing the guitar, doing your hobbies or the things you love will make you generally a happier and more positive version of yourself. Not to mention, when you spend time on your interests, it makes you proud of the fact that you allocated time for your hobbies when it’s so easy to get caught up in our daily lives.
4. Embrace contentment
In the same sense of not dwelling on your regrets in the past, it’s also important not to dwell on the things you wish you could change in your present. Possibly you’re thinking that you haven’t reached the career path you aspired by this season in your life, or you haven’t become the version of yourself you expected yourself to be. A little pressure is good, however, these kinds of thinking puts too much pressure on yourself in something you can’t change immediately. Loving yourself comes with embracing who you are in this season of you are, without putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. The more you stress yourself out that you’re not where you intend to be, you’re going to overthink everything in your life which again, would lead to negativity.
5. Increase positive emotions
Your authentic self is a happy person. Pessimism and low self esteem come from years of bullying, abuse, or toxic people we know. You need to know how to love yourself. You can replace negative thoughts with happy thoughts. Speak kindly to yourself when things aren’t going as planned. Do things that make you happy like dancing while you cook or going out. Read inspirational quotes, give yourself unconditional love, and allow yourself to experience happiness. You might do daily good deeds for other people to make your world more drama-free. Cutting mean people out can be a weight off your shoulders. You can write a love letter to your future self so you can remind yourself how important you are. If you feel disappointed about something, work towards overcoming it so you can lead yourself on a better path.
6. Surround yourself with positive people
The people that you choose to surround yourself with are very important in loving yourself. Once you make the change of surrounding yourself with people who give off positive vibes, people who encourage you and people who are dreamers, they will rub off on you until soon enough, you’ll end up loving yourself even more. In reality, loving yourself comes off from just feeling good about yourself and being confident in your capabilities as a person. This is the reason as to why the key to self-love is usually just positivity and acceptance of who you are as a person.
7. Practice loving-kindness meditation
Those looking for a quick way to learn how to love yourself can practice self love through a loving-kindness meditation. During this meditation, you’ll express your love for yourself and for those closest to you. It can create positive emotions while letting out the negative ones. Practicing a loving-kindness meditation daily is good for your mental health. You might be able to practice self forgiveness and self acceptance. It’s easier to think positive thoughts, when you spend 10-20 minutes each day doing a loving kindness meditation. Whenever you feel bad, just open your Declutter The Mind app to practice this meditation to overcome a lack of self love. You can find loving kindness videos here.
8. Set boundaries
One of the reasons as to why our lose our self-love is that we forget to set boundaries for ourselves and allow people to walk all over us. This is one of the most important things you can integrate in loving yourself. It’s okay to say no if your feelings say otherwise or if it’s draining all the energy out of you. It’s okay to put yourself first, once in a while. You’re not being selfish, you’re just taking care of yourself. After all, if you don’t love yourself and take care of yourself first, how can you do the same for others?
9. Accept yourself as you are
Self love starts with self acceptance. You’re not perfect, no one is. However, you can’t spend your whole life beating yourself up. Your self worth isn’t determined by all the mistakes you make. It’s how you move forward from those mistakes and what you do after you learn from them. Positive emotions will flow through you as you begin to practice self acceptance and self compassion. If you expect respect from others, start by showing it to yourself. Lead by example. Stop believing the negative thoughts that float in your mind. Don’t get swayed by self deception that you’re not good enough. Practice self care, stop making excuses, and focus on your well being. Take responsibility for your actions but then forgive yourself. No need to experience feelings of shame your whole life. The bad mistakes made you a good person in the end. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can process happiness.
10. Travel at least once a year
This is one of the perfect ways to get out of your comfort zone and check something on your bucket list. Whether it’s traveling alone or with friends, traveling always makes you feel good about yourself. Not only do you get a change of scenery but you also get out of your own head. It’s easy to get consumed with our own internal thoughts and problems, and traveling is the perfect escape. With this, it makes you forget momentarily all the things you were worried about and thus, you’d love yourself even more.
11. Form healthy habits
One of the greatest ways to condition our minds (and our lives) towards a positive angle is with our day to day habits. Your good habits have so much power behind the entirety of your mindset and your actions. If we have bad habits, these can lessen our self-esteem and then lead to feelings of constant doubt and second-guessing our every action. It’s also in our habits where we can train our minds to have a stronger capacity. For instance, having a morning routine is an example of a good and healthy habit. Not only does this promote dedication and motivation, but doing this makes you productive and ends up making you love yourself after.
12. Take care of your brain
The key to know how to love yourself is to take care of your brain. Most of our lives aren’t lived in the present moment, we live life in our heads. Self love is all about being kind in our heads. Practice self compassion by replacing ruminating thoughts with positive thoughts. Your self worth is only a thought away. Identify the thoughts that leave you feeling stuck in a negative vortex, so you can overcome them and heal yourself. By getting the mental support you need, you can point yourself in a positive direction. Your happiness is the result of how you think, nothing more. You can control how you view a situation, but you can’t always control how things unfold. When you realize happiness is just replacing negative thoughts, you’ll discover better relationships and forgive yourself for lost time.
13. Start a journal
Positive words of affirmation is one of the effective things you can do as a self-love activity. Basically, you start a journal and you can write whatever you want in it that leans towards appreciate all the aspects about yourself. You could write about all the things you’re grateful for for that day, or you could also write a personal letter to yourself that pertains to anything that you’re proud of yourself for accomplishing. This is an effective activity since it promotes you to actively analyze the positive aspects of your life rather than focusing on the things you lack.
On the other hand, you could also make room for another journal- one that is completely dedicated to your negative and anxious thoughts. This is your form of release to any feelings of anxiety and worry that you may have. When you put all your anxious thoughts down on paper, it doesn’t seem as great as an impact compared to when you were just thinking it. Often times, when you write them down, it can calm your heart and help you to come to the realization that they’re all just irrational fears-they aren’t real.
14. Accept your flaws and mistakes
Generally, the realization that you’ve accepted your flaws and imperfections is the key to loving yourself. The reason behind this is that you stop beating yourself up on your weaknesses and you focus on your strengths instead, It’s a normal human reaction to focus on what we don’t have rather than on what we have, however, this can affect how we perceive ourselves.
The more we beat ourselves up for what we lack, you’re putting yourself to a road of disappointment. No matter how much you beat yourself up, it’s not gonna change the facts. All you have now is the realization that maybe your strengths make up more than everything you lack in total. Maybe it had to happen to become the person you were meant to be today. Maybe your flaws and mistakes comprise more of who you are and what makes you distinct from the rest of the world. In realizing this, the closer you are in embracing who you truly are and thus, loving yourself.
15. Do something for yourself
As you embark on your journey to know how to love yourself, consider doing nice things for yourself. Self love is all about making yourself feel special. You can develop positive feelings by doing the things that make you happy. From making silly faces to watching a funny movie to writing positive affirmations about your self worth so you can practice self compassion, build the world for yourself you want to live in. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one. You have full context on why you acted a specific way and how you felt. Use words that lift you up instead of tear you down. Focus on your physical health, so you get those feel good endorphins flowing through you.
16. Give yourself a break
Whether you have a tendency to pressure yourself with certain aspects of your life, you should be okay with giving yourself the break you deserve or else, it’s going to result to a burnout. You should give yourself necessary breaks when work gets too overwhelming and draining. The reason for this is, any person needs time to refuel and recharge in order to get that motivation they need to work again. This is essential in loving yourself because you can’t completely accept yourself if you’re too harsh to yourself all the time.
17. Change your life as you please
It’s okay to make necessary changes in your life if you’re not happy with the outcomes of your life anymore. You can’t love yourself if you’re not happy and proud of the life you’re living. Nobody deserves to settle for a life that they don’t want, and you shouldn’t either. It’s important to make necessary changes and know that it’s never too late to life the life you’ve always wanted. This will make you love yourself even more because this step requires taking accountability of your life and making a change in your life, which takes a lot of bravery and courage.
18. Build your self confidence
Your self love starts with self confidence. Experience positive feelings by reminding yourself you’re worthy. Treat yourself as a person with an amazing ability. You know how to carry yourself well. Take pleasure in knowing you can achieve anything you dream in life. Don’t give too many points to suffering. Our suffering reminds us that we’re not on the right path. But moving towards the right path is always possible. Taking care of yourself and gaining confidence will allow you to go after what you want. Reality doesn’t have to suck. You can make the most of any situation. So, what’s your next page of your life book going to be about.
19. Form healthy relationships
You can know how to love yourself when you form healthy relationships with others. Your relationship with family members, friends, or even romantic partners will help you understand the importance of respect, self love, and how people should treat you. Make a point to cut out people who disrespect you. Know your self worth. Don’t be afraid of cutting out toxic people. You need to create the life for yourself that you deserve. Learn from the toxicity so you don’t spread it yourself. By living a life of kindness, you’ll bring in people who are also kind to you.
20. Keep an accomplishments folder
The easiest way to practice self love is to know what you love about yourself. Make a list of all the things you have in your life, everything you’re grateful for, and some of your biggest accomplishments. It’s easier to have self love when you realize all the amazing things you offer. Celebrate your working body. Be grateful for all the amazing relationships you’ve developed. Identify all the dreams you’ve achieved. Think about all the suffering you’ve overcome. Remember all the knowledge you’ve gained over the years. Reflect on the fear you overcame. It’s easy to see you’re worthy, when you see all the amazing things you’ve done in your lifetime.