What is Self-Love?
Experts Say Self-Love is the Foundation of Healthy Relationships
Self-love is neither constant nor permanent, it’s an everlasting journey. Self-love means that you accept yourself completely, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and support your growth and well-being. To some, self-love may look like a luxury, but in reality, it’s a necessity to us, hard-working individuals, always striving to push ourselves and grasp the shape-shifting illusion of perfection.
It embodies not only how you treat yourself but also your thoughts and feelings about yourself. So, when you paint a mental picture of self-love, you can try to imagine what you would do, how you’d talk, and how you’d feel about yourself that mirrors love and consideration. When you practice self-love, you have an overall positive image of yourself, but this doesn’t mean you’ll feel positive all the time. It’s ok to feel upset with yourself temporarily, as long as you always remember to circle back to loving yourself.
What Does Self-Love Look Like?
Self-Love is About Learning & Growing
There is no finish line to self-love, and it isn’t the same thing as being “in love” with yourself. Sel-love looks like a commitment, acceptance, or general neutrality. One practice is called “radical acceptance”, where people accept their reality of life, while having positive hope for the future.
Self-forgiveness is another practice that can foster self-love and acceptance, and Dr. Gooden, speaks about it in depth. Letting yourself off the hook will help you identify the insight you gained from a disappointing situation. Don’t miss the chance to learn from yourself.
The following are examples of what self-love can look like:
- Saying positive affirmations to yourself
- Forgiving yourself when you mess up
- Meeting your own needs and desires
- Being assertive
- Not letting others take advantage of or abuse you
- Prioritizing your health
- Spending time with people who support you and build you up (and avoiding people who don’t)
- Asking for help
- Letting go of grudges or anger that holds you back
- Recognizing your strengths
- Valuing your feelings
- Living in accordance with your values
- Pursuing your interests and goals
- Challenging yourself
- Holding yourself accountable
- Giving yourself healthy treats/rewards
- Accepting your imperfections
- Setting realistic expectations
- Noticing your progress and effort
Self-Love is a Journey, not a Destination
Loving Yourself is a Worthwhile Pursuit
Self-love is the infrastructure that allows us to be confident, set boundaries and create healthy relationships with others, when practicing self-care, we pursue our interests and goals, and feel proud of who we are. Treating yourself a little better each day is always beneficial. Firstly, focusing on how you internally talk to yourself is essential for learning to manage an intimate feeling of self-love. How you talk to yourself and think of yourself can affect your confidence.
A few notable practices include owning your power having control over your life, self-love meditation, giving love to others, and self-love journaling. Doing anything that makes you happy and feel at peace can be considered as self-love. Self-love has the potential to greatly impact your life if you define it as an acceptance of who you are and a commitment to personal growth.
Prioritize Your Well-Being and Mental Health
It is hard learning how to love yourself. It takes time, practice, and a lot of hard work. Without self-love, you’re likely to be highly self-critical and fall into people-pleasing and perfectionism. It’s ok to ask for help in how to get started on this journey, rather it’s a friend, family member, or therapist, help is available. Learning about self-care and how to love yourself doesn’t have to be a lonely journey.
Here At Psych4U we combine both medical and therapeutic treatments for the best results. The services we offer include an evaluation, a follow-up session after the initial evaluation, therapy services, and medicine management. We also offer Telehealth services for at home treatment. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here for you.