“I practice smiling to myself. I do this to be kind to myself, to take good care of myself, to love myself. I know that if I cannot take care of myself, I cannot take care of anyone else.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Learning to love ourselves can feel like a daunting task. Yet the benefits are well worth the effort. My experience has been that we tend to attract people like ourselves. We will attract people who only treat us as well as we treat ourselves. If we want better quality relationships the place to start is with loving ourselves. Treat yourself as well as you would your very best friend. The benefits of loving ourselves are worth it.
Ten Benefits of Loving Ourselves
1. We treat ourselves with the love and compassion we generally reserve for a set friend.
2. We take better care of our bodies because we believe that we are worth it.
3. What others say about us no longer matters, we no longer feel judged by others.
4. We teach our kids that they are okay when we believe that we are okay by our example.
5. We can stop our people pleasing, perfectionistic and procrastination behaviors because we no longer have to prove to others that we are good enough.
6. We are free to be our authentic selves. We can stop being who we think other people expect us to be.
7. We can make mistakes and it’s okay. We are willing to try new things, to have an adventure, to take risks because no longer do we have to do them perfectly.
8. We attract other people into our lives who also love themselves so relationships are no longer based on our need to be loved.
9. We see ourselves as whole, we can accept all aspects of ourselves as okay. we see ourselves as works in progress and that is just fine.
10. The world becomes our ally instead of our enemy. We wake up each morning glad to be alive.
How to Start Loving Ourselves
When we love ourselves we no longer need to prove to others that we are okay. The belief that we are okay radiates from deep within us. People will see us differently. We will feel different about ourselves. It’s not always easy to shift from beating ourselves up and feeling we have to take care of others or to be perfect in order to be loved.
Don’t know where to start? Start by facing any unloved part of yourself. Put a drop of love on that unloved part of yourself. Give yourself the same compassion, love and empathy you would a best friend or a small child. It’s a different way of thinking, a different mindset. Yes, the benefits are well worth it.
Read More: Discouraged? Love Yourself