Can you learn to love yourself more?
You’ve probably heard before that the most important relationship you will develop throughout your life is the relationship you have with yourself. You’ve probably also heard that you need to learn how to love yourself first before being capable of truly developing loving relationships with others. While both statements sound like cliches, they are, in fact, true.
As you might have guessed, learning how to love yourself has numerous benefits. In fact, research shows that self-love is associated with lower levels of anxiety, better recovery from stress, and a more positive perspective on life.
However, practicing self-love is easier said than done, and too many women are more focused on their flaws instead of their strengths. Luckily, self-love is something that can be learned. Let’s explore some of the strategies you can use to love yourself more:
Start a Gratitude Journal
Journaling can be a very beneficial habit that can help you clear your mind, understand yourself better and relieve stress. To practice self-love, I recommend you start a gratitude journal.
How does that work?
In a gratitude journal, you should regularly write down the good things in your life. For example, you can end every day by writing down three good things that have made your day better. This practice will help you acknowledge the positive aspects of your life, and you might end up discovering things that you previously took for granted.
Take Care of Your Body
Women often feel insecure about their physical appearance. In fact, around 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies. That’s why you need to learn how to accept and love your body.
The first step towards acceptance is taking care of your body. Here’s what you can do:
- Exercise: Go to the gym, exercise at home, practice jogging, go swimming, or find any other type of physical activity that brings you joy. Getting your body moving will not only help you become more fit but will also significantly improve your mood.
- Stick to a healthy diet: What you eat has a huge influence on how you feel. Therefore, try to avoid food that is not good for your health. Do not skip meals, add fruits and vegetables to your diet, and avoid processed food.
- Get enough sleep: I’ve talked before about the importance of sleep for your mental and physical health. Getting enough rest is crucial for performing all your daily activities. When you stick to a healthy sleep schedule, you become more focused and energized.
- Relax: Make a habit out of pampering yourself from time to time. Take a long bath, do your nails, get a massage, or meditate. These activities will help you relieve stress and will teach you how to love and appreciate your body.
Keep in mind that you should take care of your body because it makes you feel good and it helps you maintain your health, not because you need to live up to the unrealistic beauty standards you see on social media or on TV. Exercise and keep a healthy diet out of love and respect for your body, not out of frustration.
Practice Mirror Work
Mirror work is a great exercise for developing a better relationship with yourself.
The exercise is very simple and it can be practiced by anyone, as it doesn’t require any special equipment. All you need to do is to sit in front of a mirror and focus on your reflection. It is important to make eye contact and to maintain a positive attitude.
The purpose of this exercise is to help you get to know yourself better, to accept your flaws, and to boost your confidence.
Once you are comfortable with just looking at yourself in the mirror, you can start practicing positive affirmations.
While the process might make you feel exposed in the beginning, you will get used to it. I strongly recommend you try to practice this exercise regularly, as it can work wonders for your confidence.
To find out more about mirror work, check out this article.
Give and Accept Compliments
Can you accept compliments with an open heart?
Unfortunately, many people are unable to truly accept compliments. In fact, studies show that 70% of people associate recognition with embarrassment or discomfort.
While being humble is great, it’s also important that you learn to accept compliments. Receiving recognition for your positive traits can boost your confidence and can help you discover qualities you didn’t know you had.
At the same time, giving compliments is equally important. Be supportive with other women and help them improve their self-esteem by telling them what you appreciate about them. Giving compliments will not only make others feel good, it will also contribute to your own happiness.
Learning how to love yourself is life-changing. How you treat yourself is reflected in everything you do, so if you want to change your life, you need to start by changing how you feel about yourself.
For more tips on how to work on your self-esteem, download the Beautiful You app and join a community of supportive women.