Self Love and what it means

By Katie LouiseJuly 24, 2021

Self love is a topic that's been discussed for centuries, but the past few years have seen it take on an all-new meaning. We're not talking about the love of your friends and family here; when we say self-love, we mean loving yourself unconditionally. This means accepting who you are, flaws and all. It's about cultivating feelings of worthiness regardless of what other people think or say. And most importantly, it's about being kind to yourself in every way possible - from respecting your boundaries to taking care of your mental health. It's about knowing that you are your own best friend and honouring the friendship this entails.

Today, self-love is being heralded as one of the most powerful forces we can tap into to help catalyze change in our lives. It's been placed on a pedestal alongside other life-changing concepts such as mindfulness and gratitude.

The idea that self-love should be practised as its own entity has become popularized by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, who have spoken openly about their own journeys towards self-love. The concept is that if you can learn to love yourself first and foremost, the world begins to look a whole lot different.

But there are lessons we can all take from these celebrities - namely the power of self love - and implement them into our daily lives.

The Basics 

Self love is a popular term that is often thrown around as in everyday conversations like: "You have to love yourself more".

It's important to maintain the self-acceptance that prepares you for healthy reconnection.

Self-love is a state of appreciation of one's own ability arising with actions supporting personal as well as psychophysical growth. With self-esteem, you are more likely to use things that can sustain your well-being and serve your needs well. To practice self-love first, be generous and gentle and feel compassion toward yourself as you'd feel for someone you care about. In many cases, a person's self love can be a way of saying self-care. First, however, we often must return to the basic things and accept yourself right now so you can live your life.

Self Love and what it means

Why is self love so important for your mental health and self-esteem?

Remember when you were a kid, and your parents always told you to "love yourself"? Well, it turns out they had a little more insight than we thought. You are able to love yourself is one of the most important things for your mental health – even if it doesn't seem like it. You're probably thinking, okay, whatever, but why does it matter? Because self love is essential to good mental health and the foundation of your self-esteem.

That's right, and it seems like something so simple can have such a significant effect on you. Self-esteem and mental health are SO important in your life because they affect every single aspect – how you treat yourself and others, relationships, interests/hobbies, etc. Self love is the foundation of how you view yourself in this world and how you're going to live your life.

The road to self love is a long one – but it's worth every second! First, you have to understand that there will be times when you'll feel like self-loathing again, but don't worry, it's okay! What you're feeling is completely normal and fine. It happens to everyone. The important thing is that you don't let your negative feelings get the best of you and drag you back down into self-loathing.

What is the key to practising self love?

The key to practising self love is giving yourself a break. Our minds are an incredibly powerful instrument, and it's essential that we take care of our mental health the same way as our physical health. One simple thing is understanding how your mind works so you know when it needs something different. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself breaks from critical self-talk, harsh bullying or unsupportive habits like social media scrolling or reading the news! You deserve every good thing in this world!

If there's anything I've learned about myself over the years on this planet, it's that things go much more smoothly for me if I'm kind to myself rather than being too hard on myself. If some psychologist reached inside my head and separated all the insults that I have been saying to myself over my lifetime, I bet they would fill a dustbin. It gets so old, and so tiring hearing yourself say those things. So practising self love means that you are kind to yourself and remember to give yourself a break!

Build your letting go muscle

The more you can let go of things that don't matter and have no bearing on how we feel, the freer you'll be to shine in your life. When something is bothering you, take a moment to ask yourself what it's worth torturing yourself over if it doesn't really affect anything. Be patient with yourself. You're only human after all! Not every day is going to be perfect. Don't expect yourself to perform like a robot!

Exercise your self-acceptance muscle. You can only stop judging yourself if you start valuing who you are and what you have done. It all starts with taking an honest look at who we are right now, not who we want to be or who we think we should be. 

Self-love is an action, not a state of feeling good

It is the action of positive thoughts and actions. Self-love is a series of small decisions we make that end up changing our lives for the better. Not just in big things, like how to be at work or with friends, but also little things like letting go of material possessions or being kinder and more honest about what you really feel inside. Self love is a daily practice of focussing on what you're doing right and training your mind to see the good in yourself. Practising self love isn't about being better than other people. It's about understanding that if everyone made themselves the priority, then we'd all be so much happier.

Postpone your worry and negative thoughts

The first 15 minutes of your day set the tone for all that is to follow. If you start off thinking 'what if' or feeling guilty about things or worrying about what others think, then it will be a lot harder to make good decisions throughout the rest of your day. So postpone the worry -fest until you can get some perspective on it.

Shower yourself with good vibes

Be kind to yourself. When you catch yourself saying something nasty to yourself, stop and find a way to be nice instead. Your mind is really powerful, and it's easy for us to fall into patterns of thinking that aren't helpful or supportive. Even if you're not sure what kinds of positive things you should say to yourself, the act of changing the dialogue from negative to positive is a good thing. Start cherishing your accomplishments.

It's so easy for us to take our best moments for granted. When we're going through a rough patch, it feels like there will never be good things in life again. But the truth is that nothing lasts forever, even the bad parts of life! So those good times are out there waiting for you, and cherishing your accomplishments will keep you inspired.

Have you been in a period you feel joy and happiness? Celebrate that! Have you reached an accomplishment? Be proud of yourself!

Build a precious community

We all need support, and it's essential to have people in our lives that we can lean on. We're only human, after all! You don't need to go far. Maybe just a phone call or a quick email will do. Those precious moments help us remember what is truly valuable in life and who we are supposed to be.  

Open communication, compassion and honesty are the best ingredients for an incredible support system.

Surround yourself with people you feel good about

Being around people who make you feel good about yourself is like a breath of fresh air. Loving the ones we're with means that we can be more loving to ourselves too.  

Tap into what it feels like to be loved

Learn how to receive love. Learning to accept love is one of the most important skills for living a happy life. It can be difficult to accept love and compliments if you are used to not receiving love. It will be hard for you to open yourself up and learn how to receive love. Try accepting love in small ways. Start by saying thank you when your friend compliments you. 

Learn which friends and family members are truly supportive of you and which ones don't believe that you can be successful or happy on your own. Don't waste time with people who seek to bring you down! Instead, surround yourself with positive and loving people who will support you and build you up!

Start saying 'no' to something

Don't be afraid of what others will think, and this is the best and most important way you can feel better about yourself. Saying no to the things that don't serve us or move us forward is a sign that we're growing up because it means that we are beginning to know who we are and what we want. 

Create a vision of yourself that you feel good about

We all have our own style, but many of us don't know what it is yet or how to get there. So start thinking about your unique strengths and what makes you special. Enjoy your life now! 

Don't compare yourself to others on social media

This is a common mistake that many people make. I had been comparing myself to other people on social media. Finally, I realized it affected my mood, how I perceived my life, and my sense of self-confidence. I tried to stop comparing myself to others on social media, which has helped improve my mood and self-confidence.

Every person's life is different, and we can't judge what other people are going through. The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence. I used to get jealous when seeing others post about their travelling adventures, thinking, oh, they must have such a great life! They're so lucky! But then I realized that everyone wants to travel, but not everyone has the financial resources to do it. It's better to be grateful for what we have and where we come from, instead of worrying about what others are doing or wishing we had what others have.

If you're feeling down about where you are in your life, keep this in mind:

Recognize that not everyone is where they want to be, and there might be a valid reason for that. Don't compare your life to someone else's. Just because they seem like they have it better than you in some areas doesn't mean their life is perfect.

Don't get me wrong. You can still be grateful for the positive aspects of what other people post on social media. But don't compare your life to theirs because you don't know their whole story.

Create a self love ritual

It's important to keep ourselves in check and remind ourselves of how awesome we are. When it comes to self love, creating a ritual is the best way to go about it. It could be as simple as putting on your favourite outfit to get all dressed up for date night with your partner.

Whatever it is, make sure that it's something you love and enjoy doing!

Take yourself on a date

Solo dating is one of the most powerful (and fun) techniques to start practising self love. Our time alone gives us a chance to learn more about ourselves as individuals and foster our connection with who we really are.

Take yourself out for something special (that you've never done before). Take yourself to a restaurant for dinner or go to the movies. Start treating yourself today. You deserve it.

You deserve to be happy.

You are enough just the way you are! And by treating yourself, loving yourself, and giving your heart what it needs, you will feel loved and happy.

So go ahead, treat yourself, love yourself, and have a great time!

Start a gratitude journal

Gratitude can make our lives more meaningful and give us a sense of purpose. In addition, studies show that keeping track of gratitude can make us happier, healthier and more productive. 

A gratitude journal is a great way to remind yourself of what you have and reflect on how blessed you are. It's also a good way to practice self-love! Try writing three things down that you're grateful for every night before you go to bed, and then when you wake up the next morning, reflect on what you wrote and how it made you feel. It is always good to start the day on a positive note.

Explore your spirituality

There is no shame in believing in a higher power or exploring spiritual or religious beliefs. In fact, it has many psychological benefits, such as reducing stress and improving self-esteem.

A great way to explore spirituality is by reading inspirational books and watching videos on Youtube. So go ahead, find your favourite spiritual guru and start exploring your spirituality.

Express yourself!

Expressing yourself is one of the best ways to build self-esteem. Whether you love writing, dancing or singing, there are so many great ways to express your emotions and thoughts through art. Even just practising daily affirmations can be a powerful tool to use as well! 

Here are some self love affirmations that you can try: 

  • I am enough, exactly as I am. 
  • I think and act with integrity. 
  • I deserve to be happy! 

Self Love and what it means

Take small steps to create the life you long for

Sometimes we can get overwhelmed by the big picture and forget about taking action. Instead, we make excuses like "I don't feel like I'm good enough to start my own business," or "I'll wait until I lose weight so people won't judge me."

Start small, take daily steps toward your goals, and you will see results. Your big goal might seem scary and overwhelming, but it's made up of parts. Break your goal down into small, doable steps that you can practice every day until you reach your end goal.

If you want to start that business, make a list of the steps you need to take to get there. If you're going for a dream job, break down your resume into steps that you need to take.

Take baby steps, and before you know it, you'll be on the right track towards your goals!

Write a loving letter to yourself

Give yourself a fantastic gift by putting pen to paper and writing a letter that you would never send anyone else. Express your deepest feelings, your passions, hopes and dreams. Write about what you love about yourself or things you want to change. Let your letters be a way to bring awareness to something you would like to change. In addition, it can serve as a reminder of the amazing person that you truly are.

Practice self-care!

Self-care is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves, and often times it's the last thing we think about doing when things get too busy. Instead, we say things like "I'll just do it tomorrow" or "I deserve a break."

However, we often neglect to take care of ourselves in the ways that truly matter. This is because we are so busy taking care of everyone else and staying busy that we forget about our own needs. Would you like to find out more about how you can give yourself 10 minutes a day for self-care? Check out my blog post, all about self-care for busy mums.

Here is a list of what works for me

By recognizing what I already have, I open up space for more good things and good feelings in my life. 

I'm grateful for the lessons that have shaped me into the person I am today, hard as they may be. The past is over – it's done – what's important now is making the best of this moment right now.

I do something special each day just for myself, whether it's pampering myself with a bath and giving myself a facial or spending time chatting to my friend. 

Practice self love because

You deserve it.

You're doing great.

You're worthy of happiness and positivity and having the best life possible! You're only human. After all, it's perfectly fine to mess up once in a while. Just be sure that you don't let it drag you down too far because your worth is determined by how hard you work at living your best life.

You matter, honestly. It is the only way to live!

Developing self-esteem can take time. You will have ups and downs along the way. When you feel like you're not making progress, remind yourself of all the great things about yourself! Self-love is a journey toward becoming your best self.  

Remember, don't hold back, be kind and true to who you are. If you want something, go get it! You deserve all of the good things in life. Have the courage to pursue your wildest dreams, even if you feel like they might not come true, know that believing and pursuing them is what makes life worth living.

Why not join me on my self-love Journey | How I learned to stop worrying and love my body

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3 comments on “Self Love and what it means”

  1. Great post about self love. A gratitude journal is important to appreciate more in life. I do believe loving God helps you to love yourself and others. Taking care of yourself is so important everyday. Thank you for sharing this post

    Pastor Natalie
    Letstakeamoment.com

  2. Self-love is so important but sometimes so hard to feel. It took me years to learn to love myself and it's still a work in progress. I loved this post though and how extensive it was regarding this topic!

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