Exploring Self-Love: Affection Towards Self Before Others
People are more inclined to be open to expressing love during special occasions like Valentine’s day. Normally associated with romantic love, others celebrate the day by showing affection towards their family and friends. Ideally, people should not wait for a special occasion or event to show love. It is good to express your feelings to your loved ones, but it is also important to practice self-love, too. After all, you can only love someone as much as you love yourself.
“Self-love” is a term that’s been thrown around, but most are not aware of what it really means. People have the misconception that practicing self-love means treating themselves to nice things, but it’s not just that; everything about ourselves grows from a foundation of self-love. It stems from many acts of love we do for ourselves that promote our physical, psychological, and spiritual development, as well as our happiness and wellness. This, in turn, is also an act of kindness toward others since the practice of loving oneself helps to love others in the same manner.
The importance and practice of self-love
Self-love is critical in life because it influences a person’s decision on the people they surround themselves with, the way they present themselves publicly, how they deal with challenges in life, and their overall lifestyle. It provides self-assurance and confidence in every decision or choice that an individual would have. It also brings happiness and tranquillity, helping one to avoid toxic relationships and choose someone who sees and respects them for who they are instead.
Self-love is a fluid concept. It develops as a result of an individual’s actions, guiding them to make choices that foster their wellbeing and serve them in life. Similar to how people express love to one another, there’s no need to wait for a day like Valentine’s Day to do some self-love. Here are a few things you can try to explore and practice self-love every day.
- Be mindful. Your thoughts, feelings, and desires influence how you act and behave toward yourself and others. Try to pay more attention to what you’re thinking and how you feel in a certain situation and how you react based on those thoughts and feelings. People with self-love are more aware of these factors and act on this knowledge rather than on what others expect from them.
- Focus on your needs rather than your wants. The key to happiness is realizing your physical, emotional, interpersonal, and spiritual needs. Be sentient of what is essential and necessary for you compared to what you would like to have but do not really need. Make a self-assessment to figure out what you need in each aspect of your life and distinguish that from what you think you want.
- Practicing self-care. Once a person learns how to take better care of their basic needs, that is when they will start to love themselves more. People who have a high level of self-love nurture themselves on a daily basis by engaging in healthy activities such as good eating, exercise, adequate sleep, intimacy, and positive social connections.
- Set boundaries. Learn how to say no to things that can possibly deplete or damage you physically, emotionally, spiritually, or even negatively impact your character. This may include taking part in activities that you do not like, hanging out with people who do not respect you, working for a job that you hate, or simply rejecting someone’s affection that you know you cannot reciprocate. Setting these limits will help you protect and love yourself more in the long run.
- Schedule a “me time” session. Regardless of your relationship status – single, in a relationship, engaged, or married – it is important to still make time for yourself to do the activities you enjoy. This will allow you to appreciate the things you enjoy alone and love yourself better.
- Forgive yourself. Taking responsibility for your actions has the possible drawback of making you unforgiving yourself. People punish themselves far too hard for the mistakes they make as they grow and learn. Accepting your limitations and being kinder to yourself when making a mistake is a good habit to develop. Remember, there are no failures in mistakes, only lessons learned.
Practicing self-love might not be as easy as it sounds. Begin by treating yourself with kindness, patience, gentleness, and compassion, just as you would someone you care about. Make an effort to work on it on a regular basis. Over time, this will help change your ability to accept and love yourself.