What is Self-Love? (& 3 Self-Love Tips from a Therapist)
As you get closer to Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to feel like you need to focus on romantic love - but it’s important to remember how much of an impact self-love can have on your life.
Here at KMA Therapy, we know how important it is to grow your sense of self-love - and how difficult it can be. For over 15 years, we’ve helped our clients and community learn about mental health from experts like therapist Andrina Slegers.
After reading this article, you’ll know what self-love is, how it differs from self-confidence, and X tips on building self-confidence from psychotherapist Andrina Slegers.
What is Self-Love?
Self-love is regard for one's own well-being and happiness. It is also loving yourself unconditionally for who and what you are.
What’s the Difference Between Self-Love and Self-Confidence?
There is a difference between self-love and self-confidence.
Self-confidence is believing in your ability to learn, master, and execute a skill. It can vary depending on the situation and is behavioural.
Self love goes beyond self confidence - it is being okay with who and what you are, and is independent of specific circumstances.
Self-love means knowing that you are worthy, for example, knowing that it's okay to be sad, excited, scared or angry.
Self love is being okay with what encompasses yourself, including:
- Your mind
- Your emotions
- Your experiences
- Your physical body
What are the Benefits of Self Love?
So why is self love important? And what are the benefits of it?
When you have self-love, you can be more empathetic, you can be vulnerable, and lead others to be more authentic. You can practice more acceptance and less judgment.
You may engage in more laughter, smile more, and be more spontaneous. You can forgive yourself and forgive others. You can process your emotions, maintain fulfilling relationships, experience freedom, and feel less restricted.
“Self love is unconditional. It's knowing that you have flaws, but practicing non-judgement and acceptance. It's forgiving yourself for making mistakes,” shares Andrina. “It's being real and authentic, and it's allowing yourself to feel all of your emotions and being okay with them.”
There are also relational benefits of self love. A person who has self-love is less insecure, and an insecure person will never be satisfied with another person's reassurance because it will never be enough if it doesn't come from within.
Why is Self-Love Attractive?
Self-love is attractive because you have confidence in yourself. You walk with your head held higher - it's something you can't fake. It's energetic and palpable.
When you love yourself, you have higher:
Your relationships are more likely to be interdependent, rather than codependent. You won't rely on others to make yourself feel good because you already feel good about yourself on a personal level.
“When you love yourself, you value yourself, and you value others. You can receive feedback without crumbling or engaging in defensiveness,” shares therapist Andrina Slegers. “You have a strong sense of self, and can be more compassionate, more forgiving, take things less personally, and be effortlessly more empathetic. You won’t hide yourself and you have less to prove.”
3 Ways to Boost Your Sense of Self-Love
Follow these three tips from Andrina to help boost your sense of self-love.
1. Focus on self-care that feels good to you
Practice self-care, whatever your version of self-care is.
Self-care activities include:
- Spending time with people you love
- Cleaning up your living space
- Eating nourishing food
- Writing in a journal
2. Celebrate what makes you unique
Respect your uniqueness and allow yourself to shine. You can do this by not comparing yourself to others and appreciating yourself.
Give yourself space to feel all of your emotions and to know that all emotions are important and okay.
Try practicing daily gratitude for all you have. You can focus on all the things you love about yourself, rather than the things you don't love about yourself.
3. Connect with others and remember you’re not alone
Remember the common humanity you share with everyone?
We are all our own people, but we are all human and alike in many ways.
Remember that we all feel vulnerable and self-critical at times, and that you're not alone.
Doing something kind for yourself or others can remind you and believe that you are enough.
Next Steps for Boosting Your Sense of Self-Love
After reading this article, you know what self-love is and three ways you can grow your own sense of self-love.
If you ever need some extra support in developing your sense of self-love, our team of therapists at KMA Therapy are here to help.
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