The term “loving yourself” may seem vain, but there’s a big difference between being vain about yourself and loving yourself.
Loving yourself can make your life better, make you happier, help you experience things in a different way. Also, like the saying goes; “You can’t truly love someone else until you love yourself.”
Life is supposed to be a journey of self-discovery; the more enlightened you are, the more you know who you really are, the more you realize what makes you happy and what you truly need out of life.
It’s not selfish to love yourself! And yet so many people… don’t do it.
They say things like, well, I’ll love myself more when I get a better job, I’ll love myself more when I lose weight, I’ll love myself more when I get a boyfriend/girlfriend. It’s important to love yourself before all these other things.
If you have no idea how to love yourself, you are not in the boat by yourself. Many people have no idea what steps to take in order to start loving who they are, but that’s what this piece is all about. Below you will find a few easy tips on how to love yourself.
How to Love Yourself More
1. Start Writing a Journal About Yourself
This might seem a little odd; usually, when you write in a journal you write about your day, the people you work with, a crush you might have on someone, etc. But, just like a gratitude journal, a journal listing items you love about yourself can help you appreciate who you are more.
Sometimes, we go through life with regrets – about things we’ve done, the people we are today, the way we act, etc. We never actually sit down and think about the things we LOVE about ourselves.
Get a nice journal just for this exercise. Every morning you wake up you should be doing your gratitude journal and your journal about yourself.
You don’t have to spend hours on these journals guys, just a few minutes every morning – and as time goes on these aspects of why you love yourself and the things you are grateful for in your gratitude journal will be easier to list because when you start to love yourself and be grateful for things in your life – you become more self-aware of all the amazing things you are and all the amazing things you have to be grateful for in your life.
Not to mention the fact that listing positive things helps you be more positive and in turn brings more good things to your life!
Write down 5-10 things you love about yourself. If you find this exercise really difficult at first, that’s okay! You can try writing 3 instead of 5-10. As time goes on, you will begin to think of more things you love about yourself. Here are a few examples:
– I love how creative I am: You can tie in activities you love to do or your job you get paid for, or items you like to make at home, etc. The point is to list things you are good at!
– I love how kind I am towards others: Not everyone has a good heart or knows how to be compassionate towards others, but you do. Love yourself for being able to have compassion, have a heart and be truly kind towards others – because some people have no idea how to do this!
– I love how good of a cook I am.
2. Gratitude Journals
Speaking of your gratitude journal; I want to go over this quickly. A gratitude journal is a notebook, notepad, or a journal book, you should be writing in one every morning and listing ALL the things you are grateful about in life.
It can be small things – your Keurig coffee maker or large things – that piece you created and sold for $1,000 last week. The point is to start feeling gratitude and joy for what you have now which in turn is supposed to bring you more things TO be grateful and happy about.
It also helps turn your psyche from negative to positive, because now you’re focusing on things that are good/positive instead of bad/negative. It helps put you into a different mindset.
3. Positive Affirmations or Mirror Work
Positive affirmations – these tend to be smaller sentences you can say through the day that will help you achieve certain things.
For example, Louise Hay has affirmations on everyone from getting a better job to getting a mate to sleeping better. She also has affirmations on loving yourself and has a book out called mirror work.
Affirmations might be lines like:
- I love myself and all that I am.
- I love myself and accept myself.
- I love who I am.
I’ll be the first one to admit that mirror work can be super difficult. You are essentially looking yourself in the mirror and telling yourself things you like about yourself.
When you do the loving yourself journal above – that’s easy as pie, but actually looking at yourself in the mirror is to really face yourself, literally and figuratively. Mirror work might not be something you want to do right away when doing these other tips on how to love yourself, but it will be something you should definitely try down to the line.
4. Focus Less on Others
When you go through life trying to mold yourself into who people want you to be or what everyone else is doing, it doesn’t give you permission to live your life the way you want, to do the things that make you happy, to have the job you want. Even if it doesn’t make the most amount of money, to live in the house you want – even if it’s not as big as everyone else’s house, etc.
This is your life. Read that sentence again. This is your life. Live your life for yourself, not anyone else. Do what makes you happy and don’t rely on everyone else’s approval of what your life should or shouldn’t be.
5. Distance Yourself from Negative People
If you have people that constantly put you down or worse – bring you down, either distance yourself from them or remove them completely.
A few years back when I started to follow Louise Hay and started doing positive thinking, starting to learn about how to love myself, the very first thing I did was start to look at those around me.
I realized very quickly that I had a lot of negative people that were really bringing me down. It was difficult to do, but I removed those that I could remove from my life – mostly friends, and I distanced myself from those I could not remove – mostly family.
It’s your prerogative to remove or distance yourself from people that don’t help you grow. If you truly feel like someone is bringing you down or they are making you go off track – remove them or move away from them.
What I mean by making you go off track is this: you follow these tips; you buy some really positive books; you make sure you are watching your words and how you speak to yourself and then suddenly your friend Joe comes along and starts engaging you in negative talk – about you, about how he hates his life, about how bad of a person you are, etc.
This kind of person throws a wrench in all the hard work you are trying to do and might make you go off track. If you have a person like this, you know exactly what I mean!
If you want to really learn how to love yourself, remove these negative people from your life that talk negative, make you feel bad about yourself, make you feel bad about life, etc. Believe me, in the long run, it’s going to be better for your life and your heart.
6. Forgive Yourself!
Oh my gosh, this is so important and yet so many people have a hard time with this one.
The past is the past, I think we can all agree on that. But what you might be forgetting to do is forgiving yourself for past mistakes – big and small. Wrestling with your demons while living in the present and trying to love yourself is one of the most difficult things to do.
Sometimes, forgiving yourself is just accepting that you are human, and you made a mistake. While you usually can’t go back and fix that mistake, you can learn from the mistake and get better from it, and don’t make it again in the present or the future. Instead of focusing on what happened then; focus on what can happen now.
7. Acknowledge Your Effort
Everyone messes up and everyone has their hang-ups. If you hear yourself saying something negative about yourself – don’t punish yourself. Realize the error and learn from it.
Likewise, acknowledge the effort you are making in order to love yourself more, be more positive, be happier, etc. Acknowledge that you are taking the steps to be more, to be happier, to love yourself more, to speak more positively, etc.
8. Do One Thing Every Day to Make Yourself Happy
When looking at any article or book about how to love yourself, you will see that they all have different ideas, but this one tends to be in all media; do one thing every day to make yourself happy.
Do an activity you love. Listen to a song that makes you happy. Be with someone that makes you laugh. Do something for yourself like take yourself out to dinner, go get a pedicure, go get a massage, etc. Do something that genuinely makes you happy.
9. Pay Attention to Your Words
You might be surprised as to the things you say about yourself or tell yourself during the day that you don’t even realize you are saying – saying negative words to yourself are one of the easiest ways to self-sabotage yourself, become negative about yourself, talk down to yourself, etc.
Consciously pay attention to the words you are saying about yourself – either out loud, “You idiot, look what you did”, under your breath, “I can’t do anything right,” or even in your head.
Words can be really damaging, choosing to be more self-aware of what you are saying and removing those negatives and instead adding positives to your life can make a big difference. Oh, and don’t just change your words while you are alone either, change them when you are around others as well.
10. Spend Time Outside and/or Relax Indoors
If you absolutely hate being outdoors – you can relax inside. But, I find for myself, as a Pisces, that I love the outdoors. This doesn’t mean I go wandering around the forest prancing!
But even if I watch the sunrise or if I go down to the beach to watch the sunset; it makes me feel like I am one with earth and it makes me genuinely happy inside. It’s a renewal of sorts.
If you hate the outdoors, spend time inside doing something that can make you feel connected to life, connected to our earth, or just plain relaxed. Remember that it’s okay to take a break! You deserve it for all the hard work you’ve been doing, right!?!
Remember: people in your life will come and go, jobs will come and go, apartments will come and go, but yourself, you only have one and you are stuck with yourself for the rest of your life.
So, why not love yourself, your life, and who you are as a person? When you love yourself it remains with you, especially if you decide to nurture it with the tips above.
It’s also important to remember that you can’t please everyone and not everyone in life will like you or how you live your life or what you do for a living, and it’s not your responsibility to make other people happy, but it is your responsibility and your right to make yourself happy!