For so many, cultivating and developing self love is not something that comes naturally. To develop a love of your self often requires intentionality and effort.
How to Learn to Love Yourself
So how do you learn to love yourself? The first step is to think about others that you truly love. This could mean your family, a partner, friends, a mentor, a pet, etc. How do you treat them? Probably with kindness and compassion. Happy to do things for them. Wanting the best for them. Even if you feel frustrated or hurt by them, that does not change your love for them.
How would you talk to this individual if they were feeling sad or having a difficult time? Would you berate them for feeling this way or tell them that they deserve it? Would you ignore them or tell them they need to ‘get over it’ or ‘do better?’ Of course not. You may say something like, ‘This is so hard right now. I’m here with you and you’re not alone through this. I care about you so much- how can I help you right now?’
Now imagine speaking those same words to you. If that feels too difficult, imagine your loved one saying this to you. You can visualize this, speak it out loud in front of a mirror, or write it down. How we speak to ourselves is immensely powerful and creates our reality. Even if you do not believe or feel it yet, speak it anyway. To say that we are worthy of love and care establishes that it is possible and that we are capable of loving and caring for ourselves.
What to do to Increase Self-Love
Other things you can do to increase self-love include:
Taking care of yourself - Regularly eating, sleeping, moving your body, and resting are all ways to take care of yourself. Whatever habits you have or are working on- recognize these as small ways that you are already loving yourself.
Affirmations - Write down or research a list of affirmations that you would like to believe about yourself. Say them outloud, or put them somewhere you can read them everyday.
Create a daily ritual - Take time just for you by establishing a self-love ritual. This could be journaling, meditation, your affirmations, gentle movement, or doing something you love. Establish your intention for increasing self-love during your daily ritual.
Crystals - Crystals like rose quartz has an earthly energy that fosters self-love and self-acceptance. Keep rose quartz in a place you frequent, or set it up as part of your self-love ritual.
Mindfulness - Check in with yourself throughout the day to notice how you are feeling physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Listen to what your mind, heart, spirit, and body are needing. When possible, try to meet that need, showing yourself through action that you are worth caring for. Even if you cannot do what you need in that moment, at least listen to what you have to say and commit to meeting that need later, or offering comfort and compassion to yourself.
Why is Self-Love Important
Self-love is the foundation that we build upon for to further our own growth, development, and to create the life we want to live. Self-love is important because you are with you 24/7. You can go through life with a negative or distant relationship with yourself, or one of connection, compassion, and confidence.
You are worthy of love and belonging because you exist. You are apart of a common humanity that is deserving of loving yourself and living your richest and fullest life.