Whether you are focusing all your energy on others or holding yourself up to high and unrealistic standards, it can be very easy to beat yourself up without being aware of it.
If you want to cultivate a healthy body and mind, you need to stop beating yourself up by integrating habits that inspire and encourage self-love.
Feeling inadequate and beating yourself up all the time will not only wreak havoc on your physical and mental health, it can also affect your career and relationships.
Self-love can come in various forms and can mean a lot of things.
However, it will all boil down to feeling great about yourself even if things are not going your way.
For psychoanalyst Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., self-love is all about building your self-esteem and self-image.
For Lauren, the bottom line is to look at your ideal self as your guide and use it to give you a hopeful outlook and direction.
Sadly, most people depend on others for validation.
However, it is crucial that you have your own internal compass.
Everyone struggles with self-esteem and self-love issues here and there.
If you want to develop self-love, you need to put in some work to achieve said objective.
Encourage self-love by integrating these powerful habits into your daily life:
Powerful Habit 1: Practice Mindfulness
Research from Australia’s Griffith University indicated that practicing mindfulness regularly and being present in the moment can help develop self-esteem.
Having a non-judgmental attitude and letting emotions and thoughts leave without reacting to them can also help.
Powerful Habit 2: Prioritize Self-Care
Make it a point to set aside time each day to do something just for you. Thankfully, this does not mean you need to visit the spa everyday.
Even 15 minutes reading a favorite book or a quick bubble bath can already do wonders.
And yes, it is considered self-care.
In essence, do whatever it is that you think is nourishing for your body and soul.
Powerful Habit 3: Respect Your Body
Those who practice self-love honor and respect their body by exercising and eating healthy.
They see their body as a sound board, a place they should regularly tune into and listen.
Doing this can help them avoid activities that are detrimental to their soul and body.
Powerful Habit 4: Take Things One Day at a Time
Change doesn’t happen overnight.
The same is true when working on cultivating self-love and self-worth.
Take each day one at a time.
As you move through life, celebrate small and big wins and pat yourself on the back.
Powerful Habit 5: Create Long-Term Plans
Make no mistake about it, loving yourself is a process.
It’s not something you achieve in a day.
That said, allow yourself ample time to achieve this objective.
Create some long-range plans towards things and activities that can encourage self-love and self-care.
Powerful Habit 6: Forgive Yourself
Many people need to remind themselves that nobody is perfect.
One thing that can hinder true self-love is holding onto regrets and feeling shameful about past mistakes.
Forgiving yourself for past mistakes and finding ways to be a better version of yourself can surely increase self-love.
Powerful Habit 7: Stop Comparing
Time you spend thinking and believing you are inferior to others because you look different or have less can decrease self-love significantly.
A study from the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology revealed that constantly comparing yourself to others can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.
That said, make a decision to hold yourself up against others, whether on social media or in real life.
Powerful Habit 8: Focus on Your Self-Talk
If you notice that you are constantly beating yourself up in your own head, zero in on the thoughts that lead to the behavior.
Find ways to counteract them in a way that is compassionate and loving.
What would you say to a friend in a similar situation?
What advice would you give your younger self?
Powerful Habit 9: Relish Your Alone Time
Many people fear being alone as they find themselves dwelling on the negative aspects of their lives.
However, rather than doing that, learn to use your alone time as a tool.
Spend the time in sheer contemplation.
Those moments of introspection and easing into a comforting place can motivate you to move forward and develop self-love.
Powerful Habit 10: Do More Things You Love
Engaging in hobbies that make you feel good can activate the part of your brain that controls how you feel about life.
What are your interests, hobbies, and things you love doing?
Do more of those.
Powerful Habit 11: Surround Yourself With Positive and Loving People
If you are working on loving yourself, it would be impossible to sustain the practice if you are constantly interacting with negative people.
Are you surrounding yourself with friends and family that treat you (and themselves) with compassion, love, dignity, and respect?
If not, it’s time to change your circle.
Over to You
There are many ways you can learn and develop self-love. Start with the powerful habits we have outlined above and take it from there. The more you love yourself, the happier you will be and the more motivated you will be to accomplish whatever it is that you want in life.