Did you know that as many as 85% of all Americans suffer from low self-esteem?
Finding healthy self-esteem is a tricky game. It's about accepting your imperfections, but also having enough confidence to recognize that you're still amazing despite them. And there's one thing that cannot be understated here: the importance of self-love.
The term self-love has been around for over 2,000 years, but the term has risen in new popularity over the past decade. And with all the other terms thrown around that seem to have a similar meaning, it might just seem like another synonym for taking care of yourself.
Not sure what is self-love? We're here to help. Keep reading as we discuss why it's so important--and how you can cultivate it.
What Is Self-Love?
Self-love can be defined as appreciation, respect, and care for yourself. One could describe it as a mindset, a lifestyle, or just another tool in your mental health toolbox. It exists not just to benefit you specifically, but to make you a better person in the world that you inhabit.
Okay, But What Are Some Specific Examples of Self-Love?
We get it, the definition is very vague and lovey-dovey. But self-love encompasses everything from beliefs, to practices, to habits. Let's discuss just a few of the ways that you can express self-love:
- Setting healthy boundaries in your work and personal relationships
- Taking breaks, whether from work or other stressful life situations
- Believing in yourself, and acknowledging that what you are capable of is enough
- Setting healthy goals that don't hold you to impossible standards
- Taking it easy on yourself when you make mistakes
- Giving yourself what you want
- Being comfortable and happy with being alone
- Using positive self-talk and congratulating yourself on every success, no matter how small
What Is NOT Self-Love?
Given the name, it's easy to see why some misinterpret self-love. Self-love is all about positivity and does not include unhealthy and disruptive behaviors. Here are some things that do not fall under the umbrella:
- Having an extreme, unhealthy view of yourself
- Believing that you are better than everyone else
- Prioritizing yourself at the expense of others
- Taking more than you give
Narcissism and self-love are not the same thing. Anyone can practice self-love while still being a selfless, caring, and considerate person. In no way will a life that is driven by self-love harm those around you.
How to Love Yourself: Cultivating Self-Love
How does one cultivate self-love? It's not as hard as you might think. Let's cover some simple ways you can love yourself.
Create a Habit of Self-Care
Whatever your life situation, you need to take time for yourself. Practicing self-care means setting time aside for yourself to de-stress and do the things that matter to you.
Self-care can be sleeping in, going shopping, getting your nails done, or going out to eat. It can be small things you do throughout the week or a big thing at the end of the month.
Cut Out All Forms of Negativity
Negativity can arise from toxic relationships, degrading jobs, or bad living conditions. Remove these things from your life as much as you possibly can. That includes bad habits, like negative self-talk!
Setting healthy boundaries is essential when it comes to self-love. Unfortunately, many of us let our personal and work relationships go too far. We fail to tell these two groups where we draw the line.
Our society loves to make us feel guilty for doing "selfish" things. But understand that it is NEVER selfish to take care of yourself. Sometimes, you need to step away from people and things for a moment to prioritize your mental well-being.
Do the things that you need to obtain self-love no matter what others may say--within reason, of course. Don't fall victim to the mentality that this makes you weak.
The Benefits and Importance of Self-Love
Self-love has the obvious benefits of improving your mental health and relaxing you from unnecessary stress and tension. But it also has some important scientifically proven benefits to your life overall.
Stress is possibly the most detrimental factor to your mental health. Self-love can reduce the influence that stress has on your life. In the long run, it can make you more resilient.
Self-love may seem to many like a form of selfishness. But in reality, it makes you more empathetic. After all, if you can see the good in yourself despite your weaknesses, can't you do the same for others?
Better Success With Personal Goals
A big issue with many people when they set goals is the shame and guilt that comes with not fulfilling them. When you fail to achieve your goals, your first thought is how weak and impotent you are.
Self-love changes the way that you interact with yourself. Now, you will see failures as normal and expected. You will no longer seek perfection, but rather a healthy attainment of your goals--and healthy goals to begin with.
The sad reality is that many of the people in your life won't like it when you set boundaries. If you've never set them before, then toxic people may attempt to step over them. However, these boundaries will make your relationships better with those who really matter.
Boundaries ensure that no one takes advantage of you. However, don't forget that these boundaries are ones you set for yourself. Making it clear what you will or won't do ensures you never do more than you can handle.
Wear Clothing That Demonstrates Your Commitment to Self-Love
The importance of self-love cannot be understated in a society where self-care is often seen as selfishness. Practicing self-love means acknowledging your flaws, knowing your limits, and loving yourself despite all of these things. Self-love not only gives you increased confidence but also reduces overall stress and creates healthy relationship boundaries.
At One Love apparel, we're all for self-love no matter what form it takes. So share the message of self-love everywhere you go. Get t-shirts, hoodies, and tanks to share a positive message everywhere you go.