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6 Useful Tips For Loving Yourself More
By Ghia Vitale
If you want to work on loving yourself and don’t know where to start, that’s totally okay. Self-love doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Still, making the effort to love yourself will benefit you more than you think. Here are 6 self-love tips I wish I’d known about earlier that you can use to propel your own self-love journey forward:
1. Interrupt Negative Self-Talk
Part of loving yourself involves being kind to yourself. Many people have an inner-critic that scrutinizes them more than others. Negative self-talk includes any negative inner-dialogue you have going on. Negative inner-dialogues often manifest in the form of limiting beliefs about yourself and thoughts that diminish you or your potential. I learned about my negative self-talk tendencies because my therapist pointed them out to me. However, she also told me how to interrupt counterproductive self-talk with more neutral or positive thoughts. Since then, interrupting negative self-talk has become an important part of my self-love journey.
Whenever you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself, catch yourself in the act and replace that thought with a more positive one. It takes conscious effort to identify and interrupt negative self-talk, but once I got in the habit of interrupting it, the process began to feel more natural after a while. I have this practice to thank for boosting my confidence and positive attitude.
2. Start Writing
Use writing as a tool to appreciate yourself more. Create a gratitude list of all the things you write about yourself. Harvard Health’s Healthbeat says that “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness” in positive psychology research. For this reason, gratitude can be a powerful force for improving your relationship with yourself. At first, you might struggle to name multiple things you like about yourself. But as your appreciation for yourself increases, you’ll have an easier time pointing out the traits that you enjoy about yourself. Even better, when you compile a self-love gratitude list, you can look at it whenever you’re feeling down about yourself as a reminder that you are awesome.
Once you feel comfortable naming the stuff you like about yourself, it’ll be easier to write yourself a self-love letter. A self-love letter is when you write a love letter to yourself. Don’t lie to yourself: You deserve to appreciate yourself with a love letter.
If you’re struggling with body image issues, writing about your feelings helps. Journaling is what helped me when I was struggling with body image. It’s also helpful to write down any goals you have in relation to self-love. Fun fact: You’re more likely to accomplish your goals when you write them down.
3. Give Yourself Credit and Compliments
If you want to feel better about yourself, start owning your accomplishments. As I progressed in my writing career, I felt detached from my accomplishments. It’s as though I felt that someone else had achieved them for me. It took a lot of effort to understand that these accomplishments are mine and truly own them as manifestations of my success.
Whenever you do something great, give yourself credit and compliments. If you achieve something, pat yourself on the back and tell yourself that you did a good job. Giving yourself compliments lets you focus on your positive traits and encourages you to continue being great in your own way. Your achievement could be something as mundane as finishing a day at work, being patient with someone, or setting boundaries for yourself.
Speaking of boundaries:
4. Uphold Your Boundaries
It’s okay to have boundaries. In fact, it’s good for your mental health to maintain boundaries. Boundaries are guidelines or limits you set for how people should behave towards you in order for you to feel safe and respected. The purpose of boundaries is to distinguish reasonable and acceptable behavior from when actions/words are disrespectful, insensitive, selfish, or mean. According to PsychCentral, there are at least 5 forms of boundaries: material boundaries, physical boundaries, mental boundaries, emotional boundaries, and sexual boundaries.
Upholding your boundaries is an act of self-love and self-care. It takes a lot of strength to uphold boundaries because there are so many people who will try to make you seem like you’re unreasonable for having boundaries in the first place. Make no mistake: The people who have a problem with your boundaries are usually the ones who are trying to break them. Do you really need someone like that in your life?
Try writing down some boundaries you’d like to hold for yourself. Then practice upholding those boundaries by roleplaying what you’d say if someone crossed that boundary in the mirror. This helps you psychologically prepare for if/when someone actually crosses any of your boundaries.
5. Make Time For Your Pleasure
Honor yourself by making space for your pleasure. Making space for your pleasure means setting aside time and resources for pleasure purposes. For some people, making time for pleasure means relaxing with a face mask on. For others, it’s being creative, reading a book, watching a favorite show, making memes, or anything else that gives them pleasure. Personally, I make room for my pleasure by writing, burning candles/incense/essential oils, and watching anime or reading cute manga.
What brings you pleasure? Give yourself permission to pursue that pleasure. Indulge in this pleasure as frequently as you need to in order to satisfy your soul. Pleasure brings you joy and personally, I think that taking the time to indulge in pleasure is a form of self-care. Of course, I don’t advocate for becoming so consumed by your pleasure that you neglect other areas of your life. But based on my experience, pleasure makes life far more enjoyable.
“Blisscipline” is a word for that mixes “discipline” and “bliss.” To engage in blisscipline is to be disciplined in your pursuit of bliss. Having pleasure in your life will bring you more bliss, so feel free to pursue your pleasure without shame.
6. Take Selfies
Taking a selfie isn’t a mere act of vanity. Taking selfies helps you appreciate your appearance. Many people who don’t like how they look or aren’t conventionally attractive (especially those of us from marginalized communities) often hide from pictures and dislike looking at pictures of themselves. I used to be this way. I once dreaded seeing myself in pictures and I only liked pictures of myself that were taken from a high angle.
However, taking selfies without the high angle and getting used to seeing myself in pictures helped me feel more embodied in my appearance. Looking at these pictures awakened me to my own beauty. Now, I take selfies and appreciate my personal beauty for the heck of it. Sure, if you want to doll up and snap selfies, that’s great. But it’s also cool if you want to take a #nomakeupselfie and appreciate how you look that way.
I remember I used to be self-conscious about how I looked in the morning, so I started going out of my way to take pictures of myself in the morning. Then I’d look at the pictures and devote conscious effort toward appreciating my face, body, hair, and general appearance. Now, I love the beautiful disarray of how I look when I wake up. I simply acknowledge it as one of my aspects that has its own charm.
It’s hard to love yourself in a world that wants you to change. But you deserve to love yourself as much as you’d love another person. I hope these self-love tips help you shine on and love yourself harder than you did before!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.