What is self-love and why do we need it?

by Christine Belino

Self-love is the most important thing in the world because if you don't love yourself, you can't love anyone else either. It's not selfish to love yourself, it's necessary. If you don't respect who you are and what your needs are, how do you expect anyone else to?

Loving ourselves isn't always easy. We're constantly being told we shouldn't. We shouldn't feel the way we do, and we shouldn't want what we want. But at some point in life, everyone has to learn how to love themselves anyway.

How can we learn to love ourselves more deeply and completely?

Making time for ourselves is key. We so often outsource our own needs because we think taking care of ourselves is "selfish." But the best thing you can do for yourself, your family, your friends, and everyone around you is to take care of yourself first. You can't pour from an empty cup! Take at least one day a week and make sure you're doing something just for yourself. That could be going to a movie alone, taking a long walk in the park by yourself, or having some quiet time at home. You can even use that day just to play! Think of what brings you joy and do it.

What are some techniques for practicing self-love on a daily basis?

Take time every day to tell yourself how amazing you are. Give yourself some encouraging pep talks while you're in the shower, driving in your car, or doing some other mundane task that doesn't require much thought. Let yourself know that you believe in yourself and that your actions matter! You can also do things like stop comparing yourself to others, be your own cheerleader instead of putting yourself down, and fill your life with more positivity.

What are the benefits of having a healthy relationship with oneself?

Aside from the fact that a healthy relationship with oneself makes us happier and more productive, it also keeps us from taking advantage of others. If we don't love ourselves, we might not respect other people's boundaries and put them in uncomfortable situations. Learning to love yourself gives you a better perspective on what is acceptable behavior and what isn't. You know what you deserve and what makes you feel good, so there's less room for manipulation.

Can self-love be taught, or is it something that comes naturally to some people?

Self-love is definitely something that comes naturally to some people. Some of us are just born more confident than others, and that's okay! Some people might need to work at it a little harder than others, but the important thing is to keep practicing. Start loving yourself today by taking care of your needs while ignoring what everyone else says about you.

Your health is your most important asset. You are not selfish by taking care of yourself, you are actually being the best version of yourself for everyone around you. So take some time every day to tell yourself how amazing you are! It's something that comes naturally to some people and doesn't come so easily for others--but it’s ok because self-love will keep us from taking advantage of other people in our lives. Start appreciating and loving yourself more; after all, if we don't love ourselves first then who will?

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