Self-Love: Your Guide To A Happier You

The mindset of the average person is that self-love is simply another word for selfish. We are encouraged to sacrifice for our kids and careers, put in long hours, and put ourselves last in everything we do. Anything else is considered downright narcissistic, but is that right?

The truth is that self-love is an important part of taking care of yourself and others. If you ignore your own health and well-being in your effort to take care of everyone else, you will end up getting sick and being unable to help anyone. Just like a flight attendant tells you to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping a child, you need to love yourself before you can possibly expect to love others. If you’re not sure how to begin loving yourself, here are some great tips on how to get started:

Be mindful of how you treat yourself

It’s easy to fall into the habit of extreme self-criticism. You spill your cup of coffee on the floor, and as you are wiping it up, you dwell on it. I can’t do anything right. I can’t even get a cup of coffee without messing it up. This stain is never going to come up, and it’s all my fault.

Even if you only think this in your thoughts, you are causing yourself unneeded stress by constantly criticizing yourself. Instead, change how you think about things so that you stay positive no matter what the problem is. Even if the negative self-talk is true, it can cause needless stress, self-esteem issues, and even lead to depression and anxiety.

When your inner monologue turns toward the negative, catch yourself as often as possible and switch to encouraging yourself instead. You’ll feel better and may get more done, too.

Don’t compare yourself with others

With social media highlighting everyone’s best moments (and minimizing their worst ones), it’s easy to find out what other people are doing with their lives. It’s tempting to scroll through your friends’ successes and question what you’re doing with your life when you haven’t achieved nearly so much.

Maybe you didn’t get that college degree you always dreamed of, or haven’t visited Paris like your bestie has, but you’ve probably done plenty of things that are on their wish list, too. Instead of comparing yourself with others, remember that these are the highlights of their lives and only a glimpse of what is really going on.

Love your body

This is a hard one for nearly everyone, but it is an important part of self-love. Your body is a part of you, and it needs caring for as much as your mind. Feed it good, nutritious rich foods, don’t skip out on your annual exams, and don’t be hard on yourself if your body has a flaw or two. Those flaws are part of life, and loving your body anyway is a good step toward taking care of your whole self.

When you start to love yourself, and to take care of yourself as if you truly do, everyone else will benefit too. You’ll be able to care for others or nail your career just like you always have, but better.

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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