A woman giving herself a hug.

Find Self-Love With These 4 Tips

How to Learn to Love Yourself

Being able to cultivate and practice self-love is a great starting point towards keeping yourself well and healthy. It usually ties into building self-confidence too. Everything starts and ends with loving yourself, then others. The term self-love is a term that is thrown around in everyday conversations, yet we all still struggle to treat ourselves in a loving way. It’s a term that is for sure easier said than done. But why are we so great at criticizing ourselves yet so poor at showing ourselves the love that we need? No matter, here you will find out how to learn to love yourself.

Understanding Self-Love

Self-love is basically love directed toward yourself. Whatever your definition of love – feelings of kindness, care and acceptance – it is important to take this and aim internally.

Some might argue that love is not a feeling, but instead a choice or action, and still this perfectly aligns with the practice of self-love where we now become the target of our own intention to love. Self-love is how we view and treat ourselves.

It sometimes becomes associated with vanity, but the two could not be more different. Vanity is inflated pride in oneself, but with self-love comes great benefits for one’s well-being. Self-love activates your body’s soothe system and works to counter the effects of difficult emotions we tend to have, like anxiety and anger.

On the other hand, the opposite of self-love is self-criticism, which is an all too familiar thinking style. We can often get caught in a cycle where a small issue triggers a negative response, turning it into a larger issue, only to be followed by self-criticism and self-hatred. This cycle keeps us stuck within the problem, instead of being able to see it for what it is and being able to accept ourselves for what we feel and who we are.

Knowing how to learn to love yourself can be challenging, but when done consistently, it can lead to many benefits for ourselves and the people around us.

1. Self-Nourishment

There are many ways in which we can nourish ourselves, and if this is something that you have not intentionally done in the past, it can be a daunting task. A great place to start is your body. Pay attention to what your body needs. Is it sleep? Connection with others? More nutrition? Nourishing your own body is the most basic form of loving yourself.

2. Self-Acceptance

To love yourself doesn’t mean never having a negative thought. All thoughts are there for a reason, but self-love and acceptance means being aware of the moments when you are being critical of yourself and putting yourself in the place of someone you love who might be struggling with the same issue. What would you say to them? It’s far easier to show love and compassion to others compared to yourself. Whenever you are feeling self-critical, imagine how you would treat a loved one in the same situation.

3. Self-Expression

Expressing your thoughts and feelings can be a great way of showing yourself the love and time you deserve. Think about an activity that makes you feel like yourself and go for it! Don’t judge yourself for what your passions are and make steps towards rekindling your former interests. As children, we are often encouraged to do things we enjoy, and as adults we should encourage ourselves to do the same. So, book that salsa class and buy the origami kit, and don’t forget that part of your self-love practice is giving yourself permission to be your truest self.

4. Self-Evaluation

Once you feel safe and secure enough in your self-love practice, you can evaluate where you are and how far you have come. Make it a point to check in with yourself regularly, so you can narrow down the actions or activities that make you feel most loved – those that bring you a deep sense of worth. Over time, you might discover that these things change as you change, and that is okay! What’s important is that you are constantly improving the ways in which you show yourself love.

Be Compassionate

Loving yourself is a never-ending quest to find what makes you you. The moments that you feel most unlovable are the moments that you must send yourself all the love and compassion. The best thing that we can do for the world around us is to start with self-love, so that we can understand what it truly means to love other people.