Learning How to Love Yourself

self-love, love yourself written on small chalk board

By Cristina Utti

Learning how to love ourselves may sound like the easiest thing in the world. But the messes we find ourselves in–addiction, bad relationships, unfulfilling jobs, etc.–stem from not loving ourselves enough to do what is right and healthy for our own well-being. Some people may think that loving oneself is conceited, but the opposite is true. People who act conceited are putting on a front because they do not like themselves. Loving yourself gives you inner peace so that you don’t have to try to prove yourself to the world.

One strategy for developing self-love is to keep an ongoing “love” list. Every morning, write down at least three things that you love about yourself–without any repeats. This may feel very difficult. We are our own worst critics.

What we are at our core is Love. Love is the connecting spirit of all humanity. Reaching within to find this love for yourself and then letting that love emanate out toward others is what life is all about. But it can take a long time to get to that place of self-acceptance. We are all a work in progress from the day we enter this earth until the day we leave it. Here are some tips to help you on your journey of self-love.

  1. Learn to appreciate your body. Set aside images our culture puts before us as “perfect.” Strive to develop healthy eating and exercise habits not because you “should” but because you want to care for yourself. Talk with your doctor about your diet and how to best supplement it.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others. We are all unique. Appreciate and love the good things about yourself.
  3. Listen to your feelings. Most of us are attuned to the feelings of everyone around us but get confused by our own feelings. Get to know yourself. Allow yourself to feel and trust that your feelings are normal.
  4. Find work that you love. Most of our daily hours are filled with what we do to earn a living. Find work you love, even if it means a pay cut. Making a lot of money may be nice, but what good is it if we are miserable?
  5. Balance is the key to life. Find a balance between spending time doing things for yourself and doing things for others. All work and no play, or all play and no work can create anxiety. Find a balance between work and nurturing your body and soul.
  6. Take responsibility. Be responsible for creating love in your life, beginning with yourself. If we are seeking some kind of outside love to fill us, it will never work. The saying is true—we cannot truly love another until we first love ourselves.
  7. Do things you enjoy. Give yourself permission to do the things you love to do. Time is something that we can never get back. If you prefer reading a book or taking a stroll instead of cleaning the kitchen floor, go ahead and do it! If you strive for balance and responsibility, you won’t have to worry that you’ll end up living in filth.
  8. Give yourself a break. No one is perfect. If you set a goal and at first don’t succeed, try again.

Love yourself. Be grateful for every day. Life is short. Fill yourself with love, and more love will come your way!

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or addiction, please contact us today at 800.218.6727. Help is available 24/7.