The Art of Loving Yourself
There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first.
Are you too stressed to actually feel blessed? The pandemic, work/ college deadlines, uncertainty about the future or a never-ending to-do list, are all valid reasons to get you feeling down in the dumps and in the need of a Lil bit of self-love. In the current age of social media dominion, it is not just models or famous industry leaders that we compare ourselves, we are forced to compare ourselves to our friends, family and colleagues. Thus, in this constant state of comparison with others, its no wonder that we forget to look and appreciate ourselves.
Phrases like you cannot love another person till you love yourself are overused, with the actual meaning of self-love lost. It’s more than you just feel good. It’s you showing appreciation for yourself by engaging in actions that will fuel your physical as well as psychological growth; it shows maturity. Self-love means accepting your shortcomings and amplifying your strengths; it is showing the courage to find fulfilment through your efforts.
Below are a few ways to practice self-love:
- Stop comparing yourself
We tend to not be nice when we compare ourselves to others. We fail to keep in mind that everyone has different flaws and strengths; we take our biggest flaw and compare it to someone’s success- it’s no wonder we then fail.
Every person has their own unique story, what is our strength maybe others’ weakness. Moreover, you can never really understand how another person feels or perceives lives- no matter how well you may know them. Thus, instead focus on yourself and build your own path.
- Be mindful
Being mindful involves you being aware of what you think, feel and want. It involves sticking to your own volitions, rather than paying heed to influence from others. You are aware of who you are, what defines you and what makes you, you. You act on these facts, as opposed to what others want from you.
- Cut the self-criticism
Have a little faith in yourself and cut yourself some slack instead of continually thinking that I wish I were better at this or I wish I did not do that, how stupid of me. The thing about self-criticism is that we criticize ourselves and think or say thing to ourselves (say, about weight) that we would never say to anyone else. Thus, if you would never tell anyone else this, why lower the standards for yourself then?
- Live intentionally
It involves having a set purpose in life, living knowing that you will leave your mark in this world. The purpose need not be clearly defined, it could be something as simple to live a meaningful life. With this purpose in mind, you make decisions that support this resolution and grow to appreciate yourself when you work towards this purpose.
You tend to accept yourself more when see yourself working hard towards meeting this purpose.
- Surround yourself with good people
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, says American entrepreneur Jim Rohn. Which is why, being around people who make you feel good, who inspire you to do better; is uplifting. Stay away from ‘friends’ who feel better about themselves and revel in your loss and pain, rather than be happy for your success. Be with people who push you to be a better version of yourself.
You need not follow all of the above actions to experience self-love, even following one or two is alright- as long as you begin to accept yourself. Oscar Wilde correctly said- to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. Self-love is not a luxury, its more of a necessity given the current times. It won’t happen immediately, persistence and patience is key; because after all, practice makes perfect.
Khoshaba, D. (2012). A seven-step prescription for self-love. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-hardy/201203/seven-step-prescription-self-love
Other Important Articles
- What Self-Love is?
- How to Find the Meaning of Life
- How to Develop a Fulfilling Relationship
- Mindfulness and its benefits