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How to Love Yourself: 10 Ideas for Better Self-Appreciation

Self-love is the basis for having a healthy relationship with the number one person in your life...YOU. Yet, learning to love yourself can be difficult. Next, Flo outlines what scientific experts have to say on the subject and shows you how to love yourself. 

Why self-love is important 

Self-care, self-esteem, self-compassion, and self-appreciation all contribute to a healthy mindset and the image you have of yourself. Think about the elements of a strong relationship with your partner: respect, honesty, pleasure, forgiveness, and acceptance. These should also apply when you’re learning to love yourself. 

Self-love is part of a well-balanced lifestyle as it positively affects your opinion of yourself. Learning to love yourself has several emotional and physical benefits, too. When you show yourself compassion, you’re more likely to eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest, and manage stress.  

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Research shows that self-love may lower your chances for depression or anxiety, and increase your resilience in challenging situations. When you accept yourself, you’re less likely to engage in destructive habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs. Higher self-esteem also equals better test scores and work productivity. 

10 tips on how to love yourself

1. Get to know your body

Body confidence has a lot to do with your overall self-esteem. Many women struggle with body image, believing they need to look a certain way to fit in. Remember that what you look like on the outside is not a reflection of who you are on the inside. Plus, the more accepting you are of your body, the less concerned you’ll be with how it compares with someone else’s.

Practice self-massage, speak kindly of your body while looking in the mirror, and wear clothes that boost your confidence.

Develop a positive body image by listening to what your body needs and wants. Practice self-massage, speak kindly of your body while looking in the mirror, and wear clothes that boost your confidence.

2. Focus on your strong points

It’s easy to forget how awesome you are. When you have low self-esteem, you tend to think about what’s wrong rather than what’s right.

Write down your greatest strengths. Maybe you’re a good listener and your friends trust you, or perhaps you’re generous with your time or money when helping others. 

Consider asking a close friend or family member what they admire most about you. Refer back to your list whenever you’re feeling low.

3. Beware of social media

When you’re learning to love yourself, avoid comparing your life to everyone else’s. Social media profiles represent a curated version of a person’s life. You’re seeing their happy moments and edited photos, not the times when they’re struggling. Social media draws you into a comparison trap, especially when it comes to body image and notions of success.

When you’re learning to love yourself, avoid comparing your life to everyone else’s.

If you’re starting to feel anxious, inferior, or unattractive, it might be time to kick social media to the curb! Put down your phone and go for a walk, or commit to taking a break from it for awhile. 

4. Spend time outdoors

Studies show that spending time with nature is mentally and emotionally comforting. Living in a fast-paced city is occasionally overwhelming, but the great outdoors teach you to slow down and appreciate the simpler things. 

Enjoy a bit of quiet “me time” in nature and figure out how to love yourself. Go for a walk on the beach and watch the sun set. Pause and breathe slowly, taking in the beauty of your surroundings.

5. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness enhances your ability to self-regulate, making you less reactive to things that happen. It’s particularly helpful for learning to love yourself because you can train yourself to accept the present. Effective mindfulness techniques include:

  • Sitting in meditation for 5 to 10 minutes per day and observing your natural breathing rhythm
  • Journaling, or writing down what you’re grateful for
  • Doing one activity completely uninterrupted and free from distraction, like eating a meal or washing the dishes

6. Make time for hobbies 

When was the last time you did something you truly enjoyed just for the fun of it? It’s natural to get caught up in to-do lists and all the things we think we should be accomplishing. But carving out some time for hobbies is the perfect way to learn to love yourself. 

Whether it’s painting, singing, dancing, crafts, or sports, devoting time to what you love reaffirms the importance of personal joy and happiness.

7. Respect your own boundaries

Loving yourself is as much about saying yes to your own needs as it is about saying no to people or things which offer nothing in return. Don’t feel guilty about saying no to others, and communicate your wishes respectfully when boundaries are crossed.

8. Stay active

There are countless mental, physical, and emotional benefits to staying active. Physical exercise releases endorphins, which improve your mood, decrease stress, and even enhance decision-making abilities.

Learning to love yourself also means treating exercise as something that benefits you as a whole, not just a way to change your appearance.

Schedule routine, moderate workouts in the form of your favorite activities. Learning to love yourself also means treating exercise as something that benefits you as a whole, not just a way to change your appearance.

9. Know when to rest

Your body needs 6 to 8 hours of good-quality sleep per night to rest and recover. Getting enough rest keeps you focused and energized throughout the day so you can do all the things you truly enjoy.

10. Try talk therapy

If you’re struggling with how to love yourself, and feel depressed or anxious about life, you’re not alone. Consider discussing these feelings with a qualified counselor or therapist who can promote self-acceptance, boost self-confidence, and help you learn to love yourself more. Speak with your doctor first and ask them to refer you.

Takeaway 

These tips on how to love yourself are only effective if you practice them with an open heart and mind. Learning to love yourself takes time and an ongoing commitment to fulfilling your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2594522/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/greater-self-acceptance-improves-emotional-well-201605169546

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140307111016.htm

https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/2012-16517-001

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5928534/

https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2014-38834-001

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44097-3

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2594522/?page=5

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