How To Love Yourself Even When You Don’t Know How
You have probably heard a motivational speech where the speaker says you should love yourselves if you want to find happiness. But here is a question – how do you know if you love yourself enough?
If you find yourself focusing on your insecurities more than the good things about yourself or have bad beliefs about yourself, you lack self-love. Think of the relationship you have with your best friend, wife, mom, or boyfriend. You don’t criticize or call them names when they make a mistake. You are always kind to them and treat them with empathy.
So why should your treatment to yourself be any different? Keep reading to learn how to overcome the struggle with appreciating yourself.
- How To Love Yourself Even When You Don’t Know How
- What Does It Mean To Love Yourself?
- What Makes Loving Yourself Hard?
- 6 Steps To Practice Loving Yourself
What Does It Mean To Love Yourself?
If you thought cherishing yourself means taking a bubble bath, treating yourself to dinner, or whatever your idea of self-care is, you are wrong. Loving oneself means accepting yourself wholly and finding peace within yourself; you accept the things you cannot change and see yourself as a worthy human being. But this does not mean thinking that you are better than other people.
What Makes Loving Yourself Hard?
Here are a few situations that can cause self-hate.
This phenomenon states that when presented with two things of equal intensity, our attention is drawn to the negative thing. Our minds developed this as a survival tactic to avoid danger. But if you focus only on the negative things, it will be hard to cherish yourself.
Putting Others Before Yourself
Being there for other individuals is a good thing but no one should come before you – not your brother, mother, or partner. Don’t do too much for people at work and try to please others to avoid getting judgment or being labeled as ‘the stuck-up guy’. You have to love yourself to the point of prioritizing yourself.
Seeking External Acceptance
The truth is that the world makes us believe the opinions of others more than our thoughts about ourselves. And the influence of social media has made it worse. Picture a situation where you post your thoughts about something you read somewhere and get zero reactions. The critical inner voice immediately begins showing you faults in your thought process.
6 Steps To Practice Loving Yourself
Here are six steps to guide you on how to love yourself when you don’t know how to begin.
1. Take Care Of Yourself Physically
One way of showing yourself love is by being the finest version of yourself. It will give you confidence. Here are some techniques to get started:
- Nutrient-dense food should form your daily diet.
- Sleep for seven to eight hours.
- Set aside time for meditation. Meditation will relax your mind, improve your focus and heart rate.
- Find time to exercise. Taking a walk after some vigorous house chores like mowing the front or back yard will count as exercises. At least 30 minutes a day, three days a week is enough to have an effect. It will improve the health of your heart, increase your energy, give you a positive image, and relieve symptoms of depression.
- Give yourself permission for activities and hobbies that give you joy. A rest from work and the normal routine will have positive effects like relieving stress.
- Find ways to get some alone time. Don’t use it to watch movies or other noisy activities. You can use it for reading a book, blog, stories, or understanding your spirituality.
Work on treating your body well and in the course of it, you will begin feeling like someone who loves themselves.
2. Validate Your Flaws And Past Mistakes
A fact of life is that nothing is perfect in this world including you. We all have a dark side. Sometimes, dark thoughts will go through your head.
There are times you will have negative emotions like rage, make poor choices, take bad actions, or have an ugly word leaving your mouth when in a bad mood. There are also times that you will be weak and in pain. Other times, your strengths, talents, and power will be at the highest level and things you touch will turn to gold.
It’s the beauty of human nature. Forgive yourself, embrace the growth you got from the tough moments, and move on. Understanding that pain, suffering, weaknesses, or getting angry is part of the human experience will make you treat yourself much better.
Things like alcohol do not take your anger, sadness, or fears away, they make them worse. Your imperfections are the qualities that make you human, so treat yourself with kindness and compassion.
We advise our readers to get the lie about endless positivity and optimism out of their mind. The truth is that it will only make you start feeling bad about yourself during your low moments.
3. Set Boundaries And Learn How To Say ‘No’
Many people in the society are compelled to say yes to every request, even when it results in giving up the time scheduled for themselves. Learning to put your foot down in your decisions can earn you the respect of those at home and in your job.
The source of the need to please everyone can be low self-esteem and self-doubt. It can also result from being raised with the belief that a good child is helpful and tends to other children.
Don’t go about being at people’s service until you have no strength. Spare a bit of time for yourself. Your needs are not less important than those of any other person. And you do not need the validation of anyone in this world. Toxic friends who think you are in their lives to solve their many problems should be cut off. Let God meet their endless expectations.
4. Find Someone You Trust To Confide In
A matter you should understand is that most of the feelings of hating yourself have a cause. And finding the reason behind your negative emotions takes you one step closer to changing your attitude.
Study your life story. Your life is lived through your eyes and only you can take the skeletons out of your closet and understand yourself at an intimate level. Figure out your life journey. Did something happen in your childhood that caused trauma or do you have a false understanding of reality? 
Assess the past emotions you have been repressing and ask yourself questions that can help track their causes. Knowledge of yourself will give you a stronger connection to the real you.
When you have everything clear, find someone you can confide in, such as a loved one. It should be a person you can rely on with this information and who will listen to you from a place of sincerity. Sharing your feelings is known to have benefits, and you will be on the right path towards redeeming the love for yourself.
Keep in mind that there are people in your life who will not take your changes positively, including family members and friends. When you start to improve your life, they will be the ones trying to put you down with negative comments and trying to take you back to your old habits. You cannot confide in such people.
5. Express Gratitude And Appreciation
Create time to practice gratefulness. Appreciation will make you mentally strong and reset your mindset. It will improve your mental health and make you happier with your life, increasing your sense of self-worth.
You can begin by keeping a gratitude journal. The goal is to let gratefulness order your day even when you don’t feel like it. It will give you hope and give your brain a boost of positiveness. Begin your day by writing down the gifts the universe has brought to your space and things you take pride in. It will help you control your thoughts.
Look for new things to be grateful for daily. Appreciate everything, including the opportunity to live another day. As you develop the habit and make it part of your life, you will become much better at it and learn how to love yourself more.
Appreciation and being grateful will solve the problem of comparing yourself, which leads to low esteem. By learning to appreciate the accomplishments of someone else, in the end, you learn to love who you are.
6. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
You cannot keep doing things in your life the old way and expect to see changes in any areas of your life. Find a way to step out of your comfort zone. Making an effort to try out a new activity and have new experiences will make you understand yourself much better and learn how to like yourself more. You will discover things that make you unique from everyone else on the planet.
If you have trouble making a big change like moving to a new place, start with one small action and increase as you make progress. Begin by writing a list of new stuff that makes you nervous. For example, start a conversation with a stranger or go on a trip alone.
Anything that makes you uncomfortable will help you overcome your anxiety and fear of failure. It makes it easier to make the changes necessary to improve self-love and self-acceptance.
Learning to love you is a journey that you have to take with intention, and it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself. You have to work every day to feel good about yourself and accept your reality. Saying words like ‘I don’t love myself’ , ‘I can’t love myself’ and ‘Will I ever be happy again‘ will keep you from achieving any success in falling in love with yourself and with your life.
Exercise these tips. Build behaviors that make you act like you are an amazing man or woman with a lot of potential. You will not just achieve your goals of cherishing yourself more, but you will be on the right path to developing your ability to have healthier relationships.
There are many books you can read that can give you ideas on improving your perspective of yourself, but ensure that the author is a qualified therapist.