One of the main things that happy people have in common is that they love themselves first. This may be because loving yourself is essential for mental wellness.
A major reason to love yourself first is that it reduces how much you stress or worry about things that don’t matter a few days or weeks after. When you meet a toxic person that tells you something insulting or shows some macroaggressions, knowing and loving yourself prevents you from letting other people's insecurities affect you.
We have all heard some people refer to loving yourself first as selfish.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” - Buddha
Think about what is recommended if a plane loses cabin pressure. Oxygen masks are released, and each adult needs to put on their own mask before assisting others. Similarly, if you don’t give yourself enough love you would not be able to help others effectively. Hence, loving yourself should not be confused with selfishness as people who love themselves provide lots of their love to others.
“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” - Brigham Young
Have you forgotten how to love yourself?
Let’s be realistic. Loving yourself is difficult. Maybe you don’t see loving yourself as a priority, as you may have so many other demands on your time and life. Or maybe you don’t feel “successful” compared to fellow classmates. We can sometimes be very terrible to ourselves. Everyone is unique, and we cannot compare ourselves to others. Everyone is equally important and deserving of love (no matter what some social media suggests). We all have distinct talents and skills, although many people don’t know they have these talents.
“Once you embrace your value, talents, and strengths, it neutralizes when others think less of you.” - Rob Liano
Who do you spend the most time with? Yourself. If you don’t enjoy the company, then how can you be happy.
Shouldn’t you get the same love that you give to others? Yes, falling in love with yourself is a part of the secret to happiness.
So how do you love yourself?
Please write down your successes and watch them often. You are fantastic and you should remember that.
Celebrate small and big achievements. Small successes lead to big successes.
Accept that some people will not like you no matter what you do.
Add fun back to your life. Schedule time each week for fun. You can put it on the calendar. Do what you like. If you like dancing, then dance for 15 minutes to your favorite songs, and dance like no one is watching.
Be honest with yourself. This allows you to take responsibility and make changes
Stop comparing yourself to others. You are unique.
Start a gratitude journal. We all have things to be thankful for.
Eat nutritious food and sleep well.
Associate with kind and respectful people.
Start a hobby. Ever wanted to paint? Just do it.
To summarize, loving yourself is one of the most important things you need to do.
Written by Aldrin V. Gomes, PhD, FCVS, FAHA