If you love yourself and you know it clap your hands!
I am such a massive advocate for all things self-love, so yes, I clapped after I wrote down the title of this post (insert cheeky smile emoticon here).
Can we all just take a moment to realise that there is no one else in this massive world that is exactly like you? Your uniqueness is what makes you so valuable, irreplaceable, and rare! Unless you’ve been living under a rock your entire life, you probably know that anything by the description of ‘valuable, irreplaceable, and rare’ goes a very long way in terms of WORTH. I encourage anyone reading this to take a moment and reflect on their present being – tell yourself how freaking valuable and amazing you are!
Many have often heard the phrase, “in order to love another person, you must love yourself first” – as cliché as it sounds, it’s very true. Want to know what else is true? Unless you are happy with yourself, you’re likely to not be very happy or content at all (in your life overall). So what am I suggesting here? Well I’m suggesting what many mental health professionals out there suggest; self-love and the overall sense of gratification of being you, is the foundation to a healthy sense of mental wellbeing. When we engage in self-pitying behaviours, well let’s face it; they make us feel a whole lot worse in the long run, don’t they? Not practicing behaviours that cultivate self-love ultimately diminish your sense of self-fulfilment on the view you have of the world (i.e. I hate this ,I hate that, I hate, I hate, I hate…). Because you aren’t happy with yourself, you tend to not be happy about anything… at all.
You’ll probably see by now that I have attempted to draw a picture with an aim to demonstrate the importance of self-love, and what cultivating self-love can do for your wellbeing.
Let’s get a proper vibe for what self-love is, shall we?
My subjective stance on what self-love is is anything you do that is in harmony with your wants, desires, and needs. Self-love can come in the form of exercise – it betters your physical health, and may better your emotional health. Self-love can come in the form of yoga or meditation – it calms the nerves you have experienced throughout the day, and allows your muscle relaxation (and mindfulness!), which ultimately gravitate towards healthy mental wellbeing. Self-love can come in the form of reading affirmations to yourself daily. Self-love can come in the form of getting your hair done because it makes you feel amazing. Self-love can come in the form of talking to yourself, reminding yourself of what a wonderful creature you are on this planet Earth. Self-love can cultivate itself through being your own cheerleader. Self-love can cultivate itself through the form of nourishing your temple – your body – by avoiding substance-use (smoking, excessive alcohol, drugs, etc.). Self-love can be seen as investing in a massage once a month. Self-love can be seen as investing in food that helps balance your body systems, even if they are more expensive than a fast-food takeaway meal. Clearly, this list can go on and on. But I feel like you’ve probably got the picture already!
What’s so freaking important about this ‘self-love’?
Self-love, as previously mentioned, creates the basis for a healthy mental wellbeing. But that’s not where the benefits end. In a day and age where we are constantly faced with hurdles, it is hardly true to say that we aren’t confronted with stressors (threats to our mental wellbeing) on a daily basis. What self-love helps us do is persevere through all that is ‘bad’ by shifting our focus on all that is ‘good’. Self-love can give us the energy and in some cases the motivation to go out and actually tackle hurdles. Self-love can also increase your self-efficacy (the belief you have that you are capable of successfully completing a certain task). Self-efficacy is a whole other topic, but it should be highlighted that having good self-efficacy can improve almost all domains of your life by aiding your productivity levels (because you are programmed with the inner belief and confidence that you can and will conquer the task at hand)!
Although it might already be very clear to some, there is one thing that I think is necessary to highlight. Self-love is not the same thing as narcissism or self-centredness. Self-love includes things like gratitude; things that harmonise your body and soul so that you can be the best version of yourself, ultimately attracting positive experiences into your life. It is OK to spoil yourself. It is OK to say, “I’m stunning” in front of a mirror. It is OK to compliment yourself regularly. It is OK to spend money on yourself. It is OK to spend your money on a gym membership. Notice one thing – these are all things that we frequently do for those around us whom we love and care for, yet there seems to be a lack thereof when it comes to ourselves!
There’s one more thing I feel is necessary to be outlined – loving yourself more, does not mean that you should love others less! Learning to self-love actually helps your current relationships thrive; let’s bring ourselves back to the awareness of “in order to love another person, you must love yourself first”.
Self-love is of utmost importance when regarding your mental wellbeing, relationships, and even your self-efficacy when regarding productivity levels! It is absolutely imperative! Let’s all clap 3 times now to symbolize the commencement of your journey of self-love.
*Clap clap clap*