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Learning Self-Love: How to be Good to Yourself and Why it Matters

self love how
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Hassan Ouajibi

The definition of self love is the regard for one’s own happiness – it has become very trendy, however, it isn’t always easy to implement in reality. We’ll show you some tips on how you can learn to love yourself as you are.

How Can You Learn Self Love?

Most of the time it’s relatively easy for us to show our love to children, partners, parents, or friends. But when it comes to loving ourselves, we often find ourselves at a dead end. Self love is essential for overcoming problems, dealing with stressful situations, and ultimately loving other people. You will also be more self-confident, more relaxed, and freer in life if you know and appreciate your self-worth.

But can you really learn self love? And how does it work? There are some tricks you can incorporate into your everyday life that can help you become more self-aware, accepting, and appreciative. That being said, the foundation of all these practices is the principle that by definition, self love comes from within and is not triggered by external influences.

Self Love Through Mindfulness 

self love definition
Mindfulness is key to self love. Getting in tune with your body will allow you to give it what it truly needs. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Noelle Otto )

By definition, self love is all about self. It starts with noticing feelings and signals of the body. We often rush through everyday life in a way that we disconnect from the condition of our bodies. Once the evening hits and we start to slow down, we notice headaches, weakness or nausea that we can’t explain.

To avoid this and reduce stress, take several 2-3 minute breaks throughout the day. Close your eyes for a moment, breathe deeply in and out, and observe how you feel at that moment. This special kind of attention is called mindfulness. Mindfulness refers specifically to the awareness of inner and outer state and the ability to accept it without judgment.

In a way, mindfulness forms the basis for self love. It helps us to get to know and understand ourselves better. Often we know far too little about our own personality because we don’t take the time to get to know ourselves. Mindfulness exercises can help you recognize weaknesses and limitations while teaching you to accept them with calmness.

Finding Yourself with Meditation

One way to get better with self love and mindfulness is meditation.

There are different ways to do this. In the beginning, guided meditations help give you a foundation and different variations. Later, you can also do the exercises on your own and adapt them to your needs.

For each meditation, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and begin to notice your body, your surroundings, and especially your breathing. The important thing here is that you register things without evaluating them. 

Another method that you can incorporate into your meditation is the “body scan”: lie down on a soft surface and consciously notice each part of your body individually. 

  • Start at the left little toe and work your way up to your forehead.
  • Notice which areas of the body feel loosened and which may feel tense.
  • The main point is to feel and register without making a judgment.

Learning to Love Yourself Through Yoga

self love how
Yoga is a great way to get in tune with your body and learn your limitations, both mentally and physically. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Elly Fairytale )

Yoga is a dynamic variation of meditation that brings mind and body into harmony. You can choose from a variety of yoga forms. The spectrum ranges from powerful vinyasa power yoga to calm yin yoga.

Read on: How Hatha Yoga Works: Poses, Sequences, and Goals

“Anything can. Nothing must.” is a main principle of yoga which also refers to accepting your (physical) limitations. Maybe you’re not that flexible yet and can’t manage a split or headstand. Accept this condition with composure, and then you will be able to expand your limits through mindful training. Don’t force yourself into a posture that doesn’t feel good and treat your body with the care and respect it deserves. 

If you manage to transfer this thought process to your everyday life, you are already a lot closer to self love.

Self Care: Dealing with Your Own Ego

When you start noticing and accepting your body’s messages, you may automatically feel the need to act on them. This is where self care comes in. You recognize the need to take care of those close to you – care for yourself the same way. 

This can manifest itself in different ways. For some, it may be taking the time to cook a healthy, balanced meal for yourself, lighting a candle, and watching your favorite movie. For others, taking a relaxing bath, going to the sauna, or taking part in a yoga class after a stressful day. The definition of self love is whatever you choose it to be.

We often neglect the things we actually enjoy, in addition to our jobs and everyday responsibilities. But an essential part of self love is consciously taking time for yourself to do things you love to do and are good for you.

Body Image and Self Love

self love definition
No matter what your body type, it deserves to be loved. The more you choose to love it and embrace it, the happier you’ll be! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Antonius Ferret)

Stop comparing yourself to others! You have your own hereditary factors and personal history that shapes your body.

  • Expand your aesthetic horizons! Instead of always being swayed by the same models that set the tone in the media, look for other inspirations. There are many strong men and women who exude beauty and confidence with a wide variety of figures.
  • Be grateful for what your body does for you every day: it carries you from point A to point B, allows you to try new things, to exert yourself, and to relax. Work with your body, not against it!
  • Focus on your inner self. While our society is focused on looks and external factors, inner values like helpfulness and compassion that make us who we are.

Read on: Body Positivity: 5 Steps Towards A Positive Body Image

If you try to integrate these suggestions into your everyday life in the long term, you will notice how much more relaxed and loving you are with your own body. Be patient with yourself. Learning to love yourself takes time.

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Selbstliebe lernen: Tipps und Übungen für das geliebte Ich

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