“Love yourself first and everything else will follow.” Surely you’ve heard this saying a few times before. But what does it really mean?
Self-love is a term that has been used too many times in a lot of different contexts. We hear it on TV, we read it in books and we see it online. Even medical professionals believe that it’s the best thing we can do for our mind and body. But how do we really know that we’re doing it right?
One common misconception about self-love is that it can be synonymous to narcissism or selfishness, but that’s not the case. It’s not about feeling that the world revolves around you or that you are always better than anyone else. It’s more than just pampering yourself or buying everything you want.
Loving yourself is accepting every bit of who you are, including your imperfections and shortcomings. It’s being connected to your thoughts and feelings enough to know what truly makes you happy. It’s being compassionate to yourself by choosing the things that makes you grow and the people who respect and love you the most.
Self-love should be a constant practice. It may require some form of effort on a daily basis but if you can take care and love other people, why wouldn’t you put forth the same time and energy for yourself? Here’s how you can practice self-love in a way that affects your life positively:
- Accept EVERYTHING about you.
Self-acceptance may be a simple concept but it’s extremely meaningful and beneficial. While it’s very easy to embrace our good traits and achievements, accepting our flaws and mistakes is a little more difficult to do. True self-acceptance is recognizing every single aspect of YOU – physical traits, skills, personality, values and experiences. How you see yourself reflects how you value yourself. And the more you believe that you are someone who deserves genuine happiness regardless of who you are or what you’re going through, the more you strive to give yourself love and compassion.
- Take good care of your health.
Paying attention to your physical needs may be the most basic practice in having a good relationship with yourself. It is ensuring that your health is well taken care of and is always prioritized no matter what’s happening in your life. Physically, it’s as simple as eating nutritious food, working out, taking vitamins, and having adequate sleep. Mentally, it can be done through meditation, yoga, reading a good book or other activities that keep your mind at peace.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself.
You know you are a good person. You help others in your own little ways and you work hard to be the best version of who you are. However, you also need to accept that making mistakes and having shortcomings are all part of life. Give yourself a break and embrace the fact that you’re human. Yes, you may be imperfect. But that doesn’t mean that you are undeserving of self-love. Learn to forgive yourself from mistakes that you’ve done in the past. Be honest with yourself and admit your faults and weaknesses. You cannot truly allow yourself to grow and explore beyond your limits if your own self is holding you back.
- Choose your people.
The people that you surround yourself with greatly affect your life and how you perceive yourself. Undoubtedly, there are family and friends who truly love and respect you. But there may also be people in your life that have been trying to control you or take advantage of your kindness without you even realizing it. If you’ve been used to tolerating toxicity for a very long time, distancing yourself from difficult people may not be an easy thing to do. But you don’t really need to end a friendship or a long term relationship just to retain good people in your life. You just have to clearly state your boundaries and be firm that you’re no longer willing to allow yourself to be treated any less than how you deserve to be. If you really want to take the path of self-love and self-respect, there are things, patterns, or even people, that you may need to let go of.
It is indeed true that once you learn to truly love yourself, everything else falls into place. Full awareness of the things that make you genuinely happy can attract positive things on all aspects of your life. The career path you take will be something that you enjoy and will allow you to use your full potential. The relationships that you have will revolve around mutual respect, acceptance and love. The life decisions that you make will be considerate of how you feel and will be fair to you and the people around you.
So do yourself a favor and love YOU more!
If you are someone who is going through personal issues such as depression and anxiety, or if you are seeking sobriety and recovery, self-love may be a concept that can require outside help. What’s important is allowing yourself to seek support and take significant recovery steps through healing. Don’t hesitate to speak to us about your situation. If you’re looking for treatmentcenters in Utah, call Next Level Recovery at (888) 759-5846.