We all hear from people we know, as well as on social media that we’re supposed to ‘love ourselves’. But, how exactly do we do that? How does focusing and celebrating who we are as individuals help us find more happiness? Trying to figure out how to love ourselves can be confusing, but in this BIT we break down self-love, so you can have more happiness on the daily.
Firstly, self love isn’t selfish or narcissistic. Loving ourselves doesn’t mean that we think we are better than others, or that we don’t care what others think. It simply means that we appreciate ourselves. Self-love means that we take note of our own accomplishments and see our own strengths and capabilities. As we realize our strengths, we celebrate them. Think about it, if we don’t celebrate ourselves, who will? We can’t always depend on exterior validation, we must clearly see our own value.
Celebrating small daily accomplishments is an important habit leading to creating and maintaining a confident you. It is very fascinating that looking inwards on our wins can help us not only feel better about ourselves, but also improve our relationships with our friends and family. As we become more confident in ourselves, we become more caring. This allows us to start to see the positivity in our lives, as well as in the lives of other people. By this, I mean that you are confident and happy with yourself and your life, not feeling jealous of others. Instead, you feel happy for them and their wins too!
Celebrate your small wins by taking some time at the end of each day to think of three things you’re proud of yourself for! These could include making your bed, taking the dog for a walk, doing well on a test or assignment, helping cook dinner, donating clothes or old toys, organizing a drawer, cleaning up your room, reconnecting with an old friend, or anything else. As you can see, these don’t have to be major wins! Every small bit matters, and it’s important to stop and recognize the small wins that occur often. Perhaps make this into a fun activity, and go around the dinner table, with everyone listing their small wins of the day. Or, use this as a way to reflect and unwind at the end of the day; physically writing these three small wins in a journal or your notes app. Even brainstorm as you brush your teeth!
As we understand who we are, we become less dependent on other people’s opinions to feel good about ourselves. Through self love, we can really grow as people and feel less diminished personally during hard days.
Self love has many facades. Don’t hesitate to try a new self love activity! Simply telling yourself positive things can be a form of self love. However, it can be hard to tell yourself positive things, especially on a bad day. According to body image expert, Teri Hofford, even if you don’t believe in the positive affirmations you tell yourself at first, by repeating them frequently, you will eventually see the truth in them. Some examples of positive things you might tell yourself include: “I am beautiful”, “I am strong”, “I am healthy”, “My body keeps me strong and alive”, “I can do great things” and “I am not determined by how my body looks”.
Other forms of self love can include asking for help, setting realistic expectations for yourself, taking breaks, prioritizing yourself, spending time with people who make you happy, practicing gratitude, forgiving yourself for mistakes, celebrating your uniqueness, and challenging your negative thoughts. Self love should be fun, not a chore. If you find yourself falling into a negative mindset, try one of the above activities. Not all things work for everyone! I recommend trying different self-love activities, and seeing which ones help you reset, feel more confident, and love yourself best.
One of our favorite ways to practice self love is to notice all the things that are good about yourself. For example, ask yourself, “what do I like about myself?” Is it how you always support your friends when they need it? How you help someone if they need help? Are you always looking at life through a glass half full perspective? Perhaps you are good at staying calm in a stressful situation. Do you have a smile or a laugh that can light up a room? Maybe you always help with chores without being asked?
Remember that different self love strategies work for different people, however the end result is worth the journey. An important fact worth noting is that habits take 21 days to create. So, once you experiment with different self-love activities, try doing one (or a few!) daily for three weeks. This repetition will help form a habit of doing things that help you love yourself! Eventually, after those 21 days pass, this activity will become a much simpler part of your routine. It takes some time, but life is a journey, and it’s never too late to add a habit that creates positive change.
Self love is important as it steers us towards empowerment, greater confidence, positive behavior, and helps us say no to things that we don’t want to do. By focusing on all our strengths and celebrating who we are on the inside, as well as all our small wins throughout the day, we can increase our love for ourselves.
We hope that this encourages you to love yourself, and find a happier you through doing so.
For more happiness check out our Mood Boost page.
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