Mental health is an aspect of our lives that used to be disregarded, misunderstood, and undiscussed. Maybe, one of the silver linings of the pandemic is that people are starting to talk and learn about it. One of the steps to combating mental health problems is practicing self-love. Though we have been taught that it is admirable to put others above ourselves, we also have to put ourselves first.
Here are some things you can do to practice the art of self-love:
Many people cannot move past the wrong decisions they made and the bad experiences they went through. Sometimes, it is even easier to forgive those who have wronged us and even shift the blame to ourselves. Of course, we must determine which aspects of our lives to work on. But constantly fixating our attention on the times we didn’t measure up, or we did or said something wrong would never result in anything good.
Research shows that those who practice grace and forgiveness towards themselves have better mental health. These individuals also have more positive attitudes, healthier relationships, and better well-being. Self-compassion—as a result of forgiving oneself—is also tied to higher success, productivity, and concentration levels.
Let go of people and things no longer serving you
The author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, Amy Morin, has also written an article on why we should choose our friends wisely. Having a smaller circle increases the tendency to take financial risks since emotion is usually the driving factor. On the bright side, if we struggle with self-control, hanging out with strong-willed friends can help.
So if we constantly hang around negative, complaining, unhappy people, we’ll eventually adopt the same mindset. Thus, we have to select the people we hang out with. The same applies to the media we expose ourselves to. Seeing some funny memes once in a while and watching movies on the weekend is okay but make sure that most of the information you are absorbing will benefit you.
Invest in yourself
Research shows that individuals with a large network of friends outlived those with fewer friends by 22%. However, having too many social media connections creates higher stress levels since people tend to be caught up in the comparison trap.
Although it is important to have several friends, we should also focus on investing in ourselves first. It is easy to compare when you see your friend spending her vacation on a white sand beach wearing bikinis, and you are working from home in your pajamas. Instead, focus on yourself and your progress since we have to make the best out of the cards we’re dealt with.
Know where you are headed and invest in yourself so you can at least inch your way towards it day by day. Investing in both personal and professional development will yield high returns and can also ease your present life. Most successful people attribute their success to investing in their well-being and personal development. Having a strong foundation is the key to achieving the results you want in any endeavor.
Speak your love language
Dr. Gary Chapman identified in his book The 5 Love Languages the different ways that people feel love. Having other love languages is why gifts do not please a person whose love language is quality time, encouraging words on a person who loves with acts of service, and physical touch on someone who likes receiving gifts. Thus, you have to know yourself and the language you feel loved the most. Here are some ways you can do to practice it towards yourself:
- Words of affirmation — Be your number one fan and start cheering yourself on. Build yourself up. You will never talk to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your mind. Talk to yourself as you would to someone you love.
- Quality time — Spend time with yourself doing the things that you love. Enjoy your own company.
- Receiving gifts — Buy the things you love and gift yourself with self-care products.
- Acts of service — Take care of your physiological needs. Declutter and tidy up your space. Form good habits.
- Physical touch — Visit a wellness center and undergo nutritional treatments. Do your skincare routine, take long showers, sleep on cozy beddings are also other ways. Find out what suits you.
The more we invest love in ourselves, the better it would be for us and the people around us since we love others the way we love ourselves. The more people who practice self-love, the better it is for the entire world. Practicing self-love is not selfish, after all.