How healthy is your relationship with yourself? People often consider their relationships with others but rarely seek to improve the most important relationship of their lives, the one with themselves. The attachments you form with people may grow and crumble. You are with yourself for a lifetime, though. It’s wise to create a compassionate, caring connection filled with self-love. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at self-love; why we need it; how to increase self-love by various practices, and 20 powerful self-love affirmations and loving yourself quotes that build self-esteem, and ignites self-nurturing.
What is Self-Love?
It’s helpful to define self-love so you know what it is and can see how it may benefit you. When you love yourself, just like when you love anyone else, you are caring. You devote quality time to yourself and aim to be a loving presence. You want the very best for yourself because you understand you are valuable and worthy.
For some people, this description of self-love comes with a heap of problems. To begin with, they might see self-love as narcissistic. It’s common for individuals to imagine it’s egotistical to give themselves the attention and care they give to others.
Another problem people who lack self-love might have with devotion to themselves is the belief they are unlovable. After all, how can you do the impossible? But everybody is valuable and deserves affection.
Note that what you want from others, you need to get from yourself. If you seek admiration, recognition of your value, affection, kindness, quality time, or a myriad of other positive signs you are worthy, look to yourself rather than anyone else. Until you do, you’ll experience a sense of lack and insecurity.
Giving yourself loving-kindness empowers you because you learn to self-soothe and heal your emotions. You stop relying on others to do the job for you and become more independent. This doesn’t mean you don’t want relationships anymore. It means you are no longer needy, clingy, or any of the other terms used to describe someone who depends on other people to provide the love they lack.
Once you realize the benefits of self-love and affirmations of self-love, you can drop any negative assumptions about it as a taboo idea and embrace it as a new practice with a place in your life. You will also see it as the key to self-care because, without it, you aren’t likely to be mentally and physically healthy.
How to Practice Self-Love
Increase interest in your inner experience
Although people sometimes talk about their problems and what delights them, they rarely settle into their experiences and find out what they really feel about what happens to them at the moment. They avoid painful emotions, berating themselves for feeling them and beating themselves up with shame.
When you love someone, you help them uncover their emotions so they don’t get trapped inside and bubble to the surface to cause damage later. You accept them as lovable, valuable people, no matter what they reveal about themselves. Apply loving acceptance to yourself too, and your mental health will improve.
Learn to self-soothe
Self-soothing is about using positive self-talk the way you would with someone you love. At first, telling yourself you are lovable and worthy might feel awkward and even distasteful. But the discomfort you experience when you self-soothe shows how you feel about yourself.
If you can’t stand to entertain the thought you are valuable, what does that say about the way you see yourself? Hence, a powerful reaction against self-soothing might mean it’s exactly what you need.
Approve of you
People who don’t love themselves seek external approval, often crafting personas for others to enjoy. It’s normal to want people to like you because connecting with them can increase your well-being. But when approval-seeking goes overboard it’s unhealthy. Individuals who people-please do so to fulfill their need for love. But people-pleasing results in a loss of self-respect and respect from others.
Increase self-approval and you won’t need to get endorsement elsewhere. See yourself as a self-contained unit, not separate from others, but self-generating. The idea is to be a powerhouse of positive energy that fuels your wellbeing.
The first step to enhanced self-approval is to validate your emotions and desires. Stop critical self-talk that puts you down and recognize it’s okay to be you. The same goes for affirming your actions. When you approve of yourself, you assume your intentions are positive, even when you don’t achieve a desirable outcome. So what if you make mistakes? You can do better next time. Forgive yourself when you screw up and don’t get the results you wanted.
Match your behaviors with your needs
Another way to stop people-pleasing and validate your unique nature is to match your behaviors with your views. So often, people who lack self-love follow a dualistic practice. The outcomes of their actions differ from what they really want and need. Rather than behave in ways that fulfill their requirements, they do what people expect of them or what makes others happy. It’s terrific to help people and improve their wellbeing, but not when you must reduce your own mental or physical health to do it.
You know when your heart disagrees with your behaviors. You feel uncomfortable, at odds with what you do. Your discomfort shows you are downgrading your needs and devaluing yourself. This might happen when you use sarcasm to impress your friends, say yes when you want to say no, or when you pretend to support people’s views when you actually disagree with them.
Listen to your heart and aim to behave in ways that correlate with your needs. People will recognize you are authentic, and you will feel at ease from your genuineness too.
Recognize your inner misguided advisor
Everyone has their own well-meaning, yet unhelpful advisor inside of them. It appears as a guiding voice that aims to help them improve. Yours might say you need to change your appearance so you look more acceptable, for instance, or criticize your actions. It means well, but often exaggerates your flaws or sees them where they don’t exist.
When a critical thought pops up, question its validity. Ask if it’s an exaggeration or untrue. Recognize your inner advisor isn’t your enemy, it’s mistaken, and put it straight. The more you practice, the more self-love you will create.
Mindfulness about staying present can help you develop self-love. When you stop worrying about the past and future, you’re more aware of self-talk and can react in empowering ways to what happens in the moment. It takes practice to remain present for lengthy periods, so get into the habit of returning errant thoughts to here and now. When you are used to being present, you will find it easier to recognize unhelpful self-criticism and identify your needs.
Self-love offers a firm foundation on which to build every other relationship in your life. When you know how to love yourself, you recognize how to give other people similar reverence. You are also better able to receive love because you accept you are worthy of affection.
Self-love is the key to building a healthy relationship with yourself. It stems from the acknowledgment and validation of your needs, self-compassion, and following your truth. Practice self-love daily and your wellbeing and capacity to nurture all of your relationships will grow.
50 Affirmations of Self-Love
The below are effective self-love affirmations. Give them some thought and better yet, apply them on a daily basis. Saying them is one thing, but believing affirmations of self-love is where the real magic 🦄 starts to happen.
1. I am valued.
2. My capacity for love is infinite.
3. I let go of my past and live in the present.
4. I send love to my fears and doubts.
5. I am exactly who I need to be at this moment.
6. I am whole.
7. I choose to deflect negativity.
8. I forgive others, as this serves my inner peace.
9. I forgive myself and learn from my mistakes.
10. My mind is filled with loving thoughts and gratitude.
11. I practice self-love and self-compassion when I do not succeed, and do not shy away from trying again.
12. I let go of negative self-talk.
13. I have achieved great things and for these, I am proud.
14. I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.
15. I attract love and light.
16. I am compassionate with myself when I fail.
17. Courage starts with showing up and allowing myself to be seen.
18. I am the healer of my own life.
19. The perfect moment is this one.
20. My natural state is peace and love.
21. I respect my own boundaries.
22. I deserve good things to come to me.
23. I choose to stop apologizing for being me.
24. The only approval I need is my own.
25. Happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy.
26. I am beautiful, inside and out.
27. My inner world creates my outer world.
28. I honor and respect my limitations.
29. I stand up for myself.
30. I receive all feedback with kindness but make the final call myself.
31. I am conquering my illness; I am defeating it steadily each day.
32. I accept and love myself as who I am.
33. Today, I abandon my old habits and take up new, more positive ones.
34. Life is good!
35. I love my own company.
36. I nurture my mind and body.
37. The universe supports me, always.
38. I care for my health, not to look a certain way.
39. I am grateful.
40. I replace my anger with understanding and compassion.
41. I am a unique and very special person and worthy of respect from others.
42. My body tells me what it needs, and I am willing to listen.
43. Today, I choose me.
44. I trust myself.
45. My nature is Divine; I am a spiritual being.
46. I have so much to celebrate in life.
47. I live my life for me. Not for what others think.
48. I allow myself to feel deeply.
49. I was born to love and be loved.
50. I am love and believe that love expands.
7 Powerful Loving Yourself Quotes
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”
~ Oscar Wilde
“The love you seek is seeking you at this moment.”
~ Deepak Chopra
“Love yourself through it. Realize that you’re doing the best you can right now.”
~ Lalah Delia
“It’s not your job to like me – it’s mine”
~ Byron Katie
“Loving yourself means being your own best friend, standing by yourself at all times, including times of failure being there for yourself no matter what.”
~ Anita Moorjani
“It’s important to talk about loving yourself and looking at your tragedies and the stuff that makes you grow.”
~ Anne Heche
“I’ve finally stopped running away from myself. Who else is there better to be?”
~ Goldie Hawn
Photo credit: Caroline Veronez via Unsplash