How often do you say “I hate myself” or “I wish I was dead,” silently or out loud? How do you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror? Do you say to yourself that you are ugly and fat? Do you feel that you don’t deserve your spouse or lover because you are not good enough for him or her?
These are some of the signs of self-hatred or self-loathing.
When self-love is missing, so are self-respect, self-acceptance and self-worth.
You feel unhappy most of the time. Your relationship may suffer not because your partner puts you down but because you put yourself down.
If you want to attract love, think loving thoughts. If you want other people to love you, learn how to love yourself first.
But how do you do that?
How to Love Yourself – 8 Ways to Develop Self-Love.
1. Your Willingness to Heal.
When you admit that you have been unkind to yourself and you are willing to heal yourself from self-hate, you can begin your journey to loving you.
This firm decision is important. When you are determined, your mind is focused. You will find ways to practice self-love and self-compassion.
You may have done foolish things. You felt stupid. Until you forgive yourself, you will feel ashamed and unworthy for the rest of your life. You will hate yourself more and do silly things to compensate.
Self-acceptance is one of the ways to forgive yourself and develop self-love.
Admit that you have done wrong and you are angry and upset. Remind yourself that everyone messes up their life once in a while and you happen to do the same. Admit that you were immature then and now that you know better, you will avoid repeating the same mistakes.
Your parents or other domineering adults who brought you up may have contributed to your present outlook. He or she may have made you feel unworthy too often. Your parents may have been over protective and had instill fears in you. Or he or she may have never complimented or praised you for your good behavior or good grades in school. They have made you feel that you were never good enough.
But it’s over. Release the anger, resentment and hurt. Forgive your parents or anyone else who have caused you to feel the way you do.
3. Eliminate Self-Criticism.
Change your negative self-talk and replace self-criticism with positive affirmations. Each time you hear your inner voice berating or criticizing, stop it. This positive affirmation may help.
Get creative and make your own positive statements and say them out each time negative thoughts fill your mind. Write them down too so that you can imprint the positive words into your mind.
When you change your internal communication, your feelings will also change and so will your focus of attention.
Use emotional freedom technique to release deep issues that is stopping you from loving yourself. EFT is a self-healing tool. It will help you remove the emotional blocks that are preventing you from letting go of your anger, guilt and resentment toward yourself and others.
4. Create a New Story.
Create a new story by changing your mental pictures. If you keep replaying old mental movies of being rejected, unloved and unwanted, those thoughts will make you feel depressed.
Recall pleasant experiences. To help you recall pleasant moments, think of events that made you happy?
If you can’t remember any pleasant thoughts, try harder. Remember positive comments or praises you received from friends, family, co workers and your boss? Otherwise, make one up. Imagine and create mental pictures that will make you feel happy.
5. Acknowledge Your Worthiness.
What would happen if you think that you are not good enough for your spouse or partner? Always remember that you did not force him or her to love you. Your partner saw something good in you that attracted him to you. So, identify your strengths and good qualities and acknowledge them. It is important to acknowledge your worthiness so that your relationship will work out and last.
You don’t need people’s opinions to feel worthy. Ask yourself, “What am I proud about my life right now? Make a list of all your achievements to date.
Remember, you don’t need other people’s consent and approval to feel worthy.
6. Take Care of Your Body.
If you use foods to drown your emotions, it is about time to stop the habit. It can lead to overweight and obesity. If this happens, you will hate your body and yourself more.
Be kind to your body. Don’t injure it. If you feel upset, go out in the open and exercise. Exercise helps your brain releases the feel good neurotransmitters. If you do regular aerobic exercise, you will maintain a healthy weight. Make sure you eat well and eat right.
7. Journal Your Thoughts.
Journaling is a very helpful activity during the process of learning how to love yourself. When you write down your thoughts and reactions to events and people, you are able to recognize them, and notice your pattern of thinking and feeling. It will help you identify what triggers your emotions and why they make you feel out of sort. You can then make the necessary changes.
Journaling is also therapeutic. It helps you release your bottled up emotions. So, pour your feelings on paper.
8. Take Time for Contemplation and Reflection.
At the end of the day, allocate time to meditate or do relaxation exercise. Any mind-body exercise will benefit you because it helps relax and release muscle tension. When your body and mind are relaxed, you can have better control over your emotions. You are able to release stress and anxiety and feel more calm and happy.
Relaxation exercise is able to slow down your brain waves. When your brain waves are in the alpha level, your mind is opened to receive positive suggestions. Consciously create pleasant mental pictures, visualize a new self-image and affirm positive statements and loving thoughts.
It is about time that you stop feeling sorry or ashamed of yourself. It isn’t selfish to love yourself first because if you cannot love you, you cannot love others.
Knowing how to love yourself may also help avoid and overcome depression as well as stop self-destructive behavior and bad or negative attitude.