Many people believe loving yourself sounds so selfish. Yet we have found in the work we do, the less someone loves themselves, the harder it is to love others. As mentioned previously, it's not a narcissistic love. It's just the same care, nurturing, and kindness that we want others to give us. We give that to ourselves when we have self love.
Here are a few more ways to help with loving yourself.
Accept everything about you- even the things you don't like!
All of us have things we would like to change about ourselves. No one is perfect (thankfully!). If we can only love the positive things about us, we will ultimately have self hate. We all experience pain, challenges, and have things about our body or minds that we wish were different. In reality, think about your best friend or your spouse. Are there things about them you don't like? Probably. But you still love them. You may not like those things but you still love them as people because you accept them good and bad. The same can be true for you. You can accept the negative things about you as well.
Take care of your physical self
Our body truly is the machine that keeps everything going. When we treat it poorly with no exercise, bad eating habits, and drugs/excessive alcohol etc. we don't keep the machine going very well. Then we start to get angry at our body and ourselves. In order to love yourself, take care of yourself. Do things for your body that are good for it.
Be positive when you look in the mirror
How many times do you look in the mirror a day? What do you say to yourself when you walk by? If you said those same things to your BFF or spouse when you saw them, would you still be friends? Probably not! Say positive things when you look in the mirror. I know...it sounds cheesy. But it works! Try this for one week. The first 2 days, notice what you say to yourself when you look in the mirror. This is just to bring awareness to you. Then on day 3, only say positive things in the mirror (or in your head if you're worried about saying it out loud ;) )Try it for one week and see if you start feeling some love. It's as important to say kind things to ourselves as it is to say them to others.
I hope these things have been helpful this week. What can you do to love yourself this week?
Have a great week. Thanks for reading!
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville