February 14, Valentine’s Day. A day in which loved ones give each other extra attention with gifts, flowers cards and love. In addition to loving someone, it is even more important to love yourself. However, many people seem to forget this. For that reason we will discuss what self-love is, how to love yourself and what loving yourself can do for you.
What is self-love?
Self-love is simply accepting and appreciating yourself for who you are, what you do and what you stand for. Looking at both the positive aspects that contain your physical, mental and psychological growth, as well as the negative aspects such as our shortcomings and the mistakes we make. Because even by giving the negative aspects in life a place, your grow as an individual. Three key aspects of self-love are:
- Self-kindness: be kind to yourself instead of judgmental and negative. ”Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend or loved one”.
- Common humanity: this means to accept the fact that you are a real human being. People are not perfect and will make mistakes, together with you, there are 7 billion others who do this. Making mistakes might be not quite as bad as you make yourself believe sometimes.
- Mindfulness: takean open, non-judgmental look at yourself, your thoughts and your feelings and accept this as how they are.
With these aspects in mind, you can start working on loving yourself. This can be done in many different ways. This are a few examples:
- Stop with criticizing yourself: this is an example related to the aspect of common humanity. We are not perfect. Let thoughts as ”I am ugly or I am stupid be for what they are.
- Give positive reinforcement to yourself: examples are ” I do not have to be afraid, I accept how I am” or “I have unconditional love for myself”.
- Be your own friend: Experiencing negative feelings? Place yourself into the role of a good friend or loved one. How would you react if a good friend or loved one was experiencing negative emotions? You would probably show that person love and compassion to make them feel better. Why would you not do the same for yourself?
- Nothing wrong with failing: Again, you are human so it is OK to fail. It is an experience that you learn from and it helps you grow as an individual.