5 Tips on How to Love Yourself

Courtesy of Pexels Photography

Courtesy of Pexels Photography

How to love yourself more is a subject we do not learn about in school. In fact, many people have not even thought of this concept unless they first heard, “You can’t love someone else until you love yourself first.” Loving yourself is a process. It is a process of not only accepting yourself but learning about yourself and appreciating all that you are even your flaws. When you love and accept all that you are, you are also accepting the weaker parts of you. You’re acknowledging them enough to start working on them. Here are tips on how to love yourself.

Finding your True Self

When you are learning about who you are, it can be confusing. Too much time alone can bring up feelings of sadness or anxiety for some. Being along with your thoughts can at times lead to negative feelings. However, finding your true self means getting quiet with yourself even if there are challenging thoughts during that quiet time. Knowledge is power. Getting to know who you are while in a quiet state can be powerful. Think about it. How much time do you spend being quiet with yourself for even twenty minutes per day? Many people avoid it but in reality this is one way to get closer to knowing what is important to you. While, we are constantly adapting and changing throughout our life experiences, honing in on our true self is ever-changing. It takes time and patience. Growth itself comes from working through various experiences. By taking care of yourself, meditating, sitting or walking in nature, practicing self-care and increasing your healthy coping skills you are able to be on a path to finding your true self.

Challenging Yourself

There are a variety of ways to challenge yourself. Some ways are provided naturally for you in life through adverse events while others you initiate yourself. It is important to grow through these challenges in life. Typically, when you are growing, you are going through something challenging. For example, life can present a social situation that is uncomfortable or something more compelling, like the transition of being a teenager. Worse challenges include processing through the death of a loved one, a divorce, healing from sexual or physical abuse or living through a disaster. Whatever the challenge, it is important to work through your feelings and thoughts during that time so you can grow in a positive direction. There are a plethora of life stressors that can lead to growth but those same stressors can lead to becoming stagnant and avoidant of growth. Here are some examples: death of a loved one, illness, divorce, change in job, child being born, miscarriage/stillborn, number of arguments with spouse, retirement, marital reconciliation, starting or stopping school, change in residence, son or daughter leaving home, vacation, change in eating habits, violation of the law, school debts, mortgage payments and the list goes on and on. Stressors, are in essence, life’s challenges or as I prefer to call them: opportunities for growth.

Coping skills

The development of healthy coping skills sounds cliche but this is what is going to get you through the challenges in life. Without healthy coping skills you could come face to face with finding yourself in a worse life position. Although you learn about healthy choices growing up, you oftentimes are faced with other options from peers, parents, media or life circumstances. There are various risk factors involved in whether you are going to develop healthy coping skills or not. Poverty, peer rejection, drug availability, active parents as drug users, untreated mental health problems, low self-worth, physical or sexual abuse are examples of risk factors that can influence your ability to engage in healthy coping skills. The risk factors explained here increase your chance of not growing through a challenging situation gracefully. When you have protective factors such as positive peer influence, high socioeconomic status, less drug availability or education on use of drugs, non-drug using parents, active counseling for diagnosed mental health issues, high self-worth and no trauma or abusive history, then you are more able to succeed using healthy coping skills. This simple notion of using coping skills to overcome life challenges (aka opportunities) sometimes is not looked at from this perspective. If you have a few or more of these risk factors, your chances of growing through a life situation may be harder for you. Nonetheless, humans can be resilient and able to overcome adverse life situations even when there are a high number of risk factors. Choosing to use healthy coping skills include: talking to someone you can trust, reading, listening to music, having hobbies and positive friends, being involved in the community through a church or a social group, meditating, exercising, yoga, listening to podcasts, ebooks and documentaries and there are many, many others. Unhealthy coping skills include: self harm, using drugs or alcohol, stealing, lying, acting aggressively towards others, falling prey to distorted thinking patterns or dramatic relationships, being involved in a codependent relationship, etc. Having healthy coping skills, awareness of self and open-mindedness will help you move gracefully through life’s challenges.

Getting to Know Yourself

There are a few ways I want to highlight about getting to know yourself. There are many ways to start doing this. Some people seek out personality or career inventories and others look to Numerology, Psychics, Astrology Specialists, Reiki Healers, Yoga Instructors or Licensed Professional Counselors and Life Coaches. No matter which one you choose, the message is the same: you are on a path to getting to know yourself. I have done all of these ways and I have never walked away regretting the decision. However, these types of professionals are like shoes. You have to try them on for size to see which one’s fit you. Also, when it comes to relationships, you might want to figure out if it is for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Relationships help us grow. Whether they fail or succeed, either way, we learn from them. The relationship might be for a short period (season) or perhaps you learned something about your love language, codependency versus inter-dependency style or your communication style (reason). Also, in marriage, you continually learn about yourself and your partner (lifetime). Getting to know yourself is a continual process and there are various factors involved.

Putting it All Together

Learning how to love yourself is a real possibility in your lifetime. Are you open to the possibility? Some people choose to go on the journey with the desire to fall in love with themselves and become happier. Others wait to be rescued, choose to feel victimized, blameful, or entitled throughout life. The moral of the story is: be kind to yourself, never stop looking for answers on how to improve your life circumstances and ask for help when and if you think you could benefit from it. Love is the answer.