Self love is critical for our mental health and well-being, yet so many of us struggle to truly love ourselves. A recent survey found that one in two women feel more self-doubt than self-love, with 60% wishing they had more respect for themselves. In this post, we'll explore 21 reasons why self love is important and offer some practical tips on how to incorporate it into your life. By making self love a priority, you can improve your mental and physical health, relationships, and overall happiness. So let's get started!
What is self love?
Self love is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it actually mean?
Put simply, self love is the act of caring for oneself – both mentally, emotionally, and physically. It means having a positive relationship with yourself, taking care of your own well being, making choices that support your personal growth and treating yourself with kindness, compassion, and respect.
Self love means making yourself a priority. It means taking the time to do things that make you happy, and choosing not to do things that don't.
It means setting boundaries and saying no when you need to.
It means putting your own wellbeing first, and recognizing that your happiness is just as important as anyone else's.
It means realizing that your voice is just as important as everyone else's.
When you start to practice self love, you may find that other areas of your life improve as well. When you take better care of yourself, you tend to have more energy and focus to put towards your relationships, your work, and your hobbies. You may find that you're finally able to stick to those New Year's resolutions, or that you're able to let go of unhealthy patterns that no longer serve you.
When you truly love yourself, you create a life that reflects your deepest values and desires. You nurture your relationships, both with others and with yourself. You accept yourself unconditionally, flaws and all. And you radiate an inner confidence that comes from knowing you are worthy of happiness and success.
Simply put, self love means treating yourself with the same kindness, respect, and compassion that you would show to others. It means making choices that reflect your own needs and wants, instead of always putting others first. It means giving yourself permission to pursue your dreams and live a life that brings you joy.
Related: Self Love: The Key to Happiness
Self love isn't selfish
Self love is often thought of as an act of vanity or narcissism, but there's nothing selfish about self love.
Dr. Maya Angelou famously said, “You can only give what you have.” The same is true of love. In order to truly love others, we must first love ourselves. It may seem selfish to focus on our own needs, but in reality, self-love is the foundation upon which all other forms of love are built.
When we take care of ourselves emotionally and physically, we are better able to show up for the people in our lives. We have more patience, more energy, and more compassion to offer when we are coming from a place of self-love. When you practice self love, you are filling up your own cup, so that you're able to give more of yourself to others without becoming depleted or burned out. You meet your own needs so that you don't have unrealistic expectations for someone else to meet your needs. You're able to see your own worth and your own insecurities so that you don't project them onto someone else.
Additionally, when we model self-love for others, we give them permission to do the same. By loving ourselves, we open up the possibility for everyone around us to live with more love.
Self love is about taking care of yourself so that you can be the best possible version of yourself – for yourself and for the world around you. When you love and respect yourself, you are better able to love and respect others. When you think of self love in this way, you realize that it's quite the opposite of being selfish!
Self love is an essential ingredient to a happier, more fulfilling life, and a more compassionate, empathetic you.
Why Self Love Is Important
85% of the US population has some kind of self-esteem issue that keeps them from living happy, healthy, successful and prosperous lives.
Self love is an underrated necessity. It's what allows us to truly be happy and gives us the ability to love others without needing anything in return. Here are 15 reasons why self love is so important:
It allows you to have a positive relationship with yourself
When you love yourself, you create a positive relationship with yourself. You have high self worth and see yourself as worthy of happiness, respect, and love. You appreciate your own company and are your own best friend. You feel a deep sense of inner peace because, instead of seeking for external validation, you're able to accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all. You treat yourself with kindness, self respect, and compassion. You set boundaries in order to take care of yourself emotionally and physically. And you nurture your relationship with yourself by taking time for yourself, pursuing your interests, and investing in your own happiness.
It helps you to know yourself
When you love yourself, you get to know yourself on a deeply personal level.
By that, I mean really get to know yourself-not just what you like and don't like, but your deepest hopes and fears, your strengths and weaknesses. You learn what makes you happy, what brings you joy, and what is truly important to you. You become attuned to your own needs and wants. Once you become comfortable with who you are, it becomes so much easier to be kind and forgiving towards yourself. It also allows you to set realistic expectations for yourself-if you know your weaknesses, you can work around them instead of always beating yourself up for not being perfect.
It allows you to be more authentic
Self love gives you the courage to be yourself.
Self love quiets self criticism, and welcomes self acceptance. This means that you're able to love yourself as you are creating the courage to be who you are. You have the strength to stand up for what you believe in, even when others may not agree with you.
When you love yourself, you are able to be your authentic self. You no longer feel the need to put on a façade or pretend to be someone you're not. Instead, you will be able to show the world the beautiful, unique individual that you are because you are comfortable in your own skin and confident in who you are.
It gives you inner strength and resilience
Self love makes you more resilient to stress and adversity. When you have self-love, you are able to handle anything that comes your way--the good, the bad, and the ugly. With a higher sense of self compassion that quiets your inner voice, you have the self trust to believe that even if you get knocked down, you'll get up again.
When you know and love yourself, you know that you will eventually feel happy again. When you make a mistake, you forgive yourself and learn from the experience. You are compassionate with yourself, understanding that you are human and imperfect. And because of this self love, you have the inner strength and resilience to face whatever life throws your way.
It allows you to accept others
When you love yourself, you can accept yourself for your flaws which gives allows you to empathize with others. Because you're able to own your insecurities, you are no longer projecting your stuff onto other people allowing you to accept others for who they are. You no longer feel the need to change or control them. Instead, you can appreciate them for their unique qualities and differences.
It enhances your relationships with others
Because you're able to accept others for who they are, as mentioned above, self love has a profound impact on all of your personal relationships. When you have a healthy relationship with yourself, you are more likely to attract healthy relationships into your life.
When you love and appreciate yourself, you bring that same energy and attitude into your personal relationships. You are able to give and receive love more easily, you set boundaries more effectively, and you are more authentic. When you love yourself, you also become more forgiving and tolerant of others. You are less likely to take things personally, and more likely to see the good in people resulting in less relationship issues.
When you fill your own cup first, you can overflow into the lives of those around you and enhance all of your relationships.
It helps you to develop healthy coping mechanisms
Anxiety, depression, stress, and frustration are all common. When you love yourself, you develop a better relationship with your thoughts and emotions so you're able to better understand and manage your triggers. You develop healthier coping mechanisms for when times get tough instead of turning to negative things that don't align with what you want for yourself. Some unhealthy coping mechanisms include turning to drugs or alcohol to numb your pain, or binge eating or restricting your food intake. However, when you develop self love, you are aware enough to know that these things are unhealthy, and choose not to engage with things that could be detrimental to your well being. So, instead, you may choose to engage in healthy coping mechanisms like talking to a trusted friend or to practice self care.
It leads to improved physical health
The benefits of loving yourself also extend to your physical health. Self love motivates you to make healthier choices that lead to improved physical health. You want what's best for yourself so you are more likely to exercise, eat healthy foods, get adequate sleep, and take care of your body when you have a strong foundation of self love. These decisions not only lead to improved physical health, but also lead to a better relationship with your body.
It helps you to achieve your goals
When you love and believe in yourself, you are more likely to achieve your goals. When you have self doubt or a negative inner voice, it's harder to stay motivated and take action towards your goals. But when you have self love, you trust yourself and your abilities. You know that you are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to. You know that you are worthy of happiness and success, and you go after your dreams with passion and determination. Self love gives you the power to create your own reality, and to shape your life exactly as you want it to be.
It boosts your self-confidence and self-esteem
Self confidence doesn't come naturally to a lot of people, and thats partially due to many childhood factors. But when you love yourself, you accept yourself for who you are and have a high level of self appreciation. You appreciate your strengths and weaknesses, and you know that you are worthy of love and respect. This positive relationship with yourself leads to positive self talk, which leads to improved self-confidence and higher self esteem. You believe in your ability to achieve your goals, and you feel good about yourself. As a result, you are more likely to take risks and to put yourself out there. You know that you are deserving of happiness and success, and you go after what you want with confidence instead of listening to your inner critic or what external sources are telling you to do.
It helps you set healthy boundaries
When you practice self love, you work on setting boundaries from a place of self respect. You know your own limitations, and you don't allow people to take advantage of you. You also know when to say no, and you are not afraid to put your needs first. You set boundaries not to have more control, but because you understand that it is essential to make healthy choices for yourself. You do so without fear because you trust that the right person will respect your boundaries. As a result, you end up having healthier relationships with others because you are not codependent or an enabler. You are able to be honest and open with others, and you expect the same in return.
It gives you the power to heal yourself
When you love yourself, you also develop a healthier relationship with your thoughts and emotions. Because you want what's best for yourself, you're constantly trying to uplevel your life - whether that entails setting boundaries, learning to quiet your inner critic, unraveling your limiting beliefs, or changing unhealthy patterns. You become more aware of your thought patterns, and you learn how to manage your emotions in a healthy way. As a result, you develop improved mental health, and you are better able to cope with stress and anxiety.
It allows you to be more compassionate towards yourself
When you love yourself, you are more likely to be there for yourself emotionally. You have less negative self talk, are not as hard on yourself when you make mistakes, and you give yourself grace and understanding. You know that you are human and that you are doing the best that you can. As a result, you develop a stronger emotional foundation, which leads to self compassion and emotional resilience.
It enables you to forgive yourself
When you love yourself, you are better able to bounce back from setbacks and failures. You know that making mistakes is part of the human experience, and you don't take things so personally. You learn from your mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth. As a result, you develop increased emotional resilience, and you are better suited to handle difficult situations.
It helps you to move on from your past
When you love yourself, you are able to let go of your past experiences and move on with your life. You don't dwell on your mistakes or the hurt that you have experienced. You understand that your past does not define you, and you are not defined by your mistakes. As a result, you are better able to live in the present moment and to focus on the future.
It allows you to be more present in the moment
As mentioned above, with better mental health, you have less anxiety that takes you away from the present moment. You are not as wrapped up in your thoughts and emotions, and as a result, you are more present in the here and now. This allows you to savor the good moments, and to be more mindful of your choices. As a result, you develop increased awareness and a greater sense of peace. A person who has loving feelings for themselves will find it easier to be happy with what they have.
It gives you the strength to face your fears
When you love yourself, you are less afraid of failure. You know that making mistakes is part of the human experience, and you are not defined by your mistakes. As a result, you are more likely to take risks and to pursue your dreams. You are also more likely to take risks when you have self love because you have a deep level of self trust. You believe in your ability to handle whatever comes your way. You know that even if you fail, you will be able to pick yourself up and try again.
It allows you to be more open to new experiences
Self love gives you the confidence to pursue your dreams and live life on your own terms. When you have self-love, you don't need validation from others in order to feel good about yourself. You are content with who you are and are confident in your own skin. This allows you to live life on your own terms, take risks and follow your heart without fear of failure or judgement. You trust your own intuition and are able to stay true to yourself, even when others may not understand your choices.
It helps you to appreciate your own unique qualities
When you love yourself, you are able to appreciate your own unique qualities and quirks. You know that you are special and that there is nobody else quite like you. This allows you to have a deep level of self respect. As a result, you are less likely to compare yourself to others and to focus on your own weaknesses. Instead, you focus on your strengths and the things that make you unique. This allows you to have a more positive self-image and to feel good about yourself even if you're not the best version of yourself yet.
It allows you to let go of perfectionism
Perfectionism is the enemy of self love. When you love yourself, you accept that you are imperfect and that you are perfectly okay just the way you are. You know that trying to be perfect is an unattainable goal, and that it is okay to make mistakes. As a result, you are more likely to take risks and to pursue your dreams. You are also more likely to accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all. This means that you don't try to change yourself to fit someone else's standards or expectations, or try to mold yourself to other people's ideas of perfect picture life. You are comfortable in your own skin and proud of who you are.
It helps you create a life that you love
When you love yourself, you are more likely to do things that make you happy. You know what brings you joy and what doesn't, and you make choices accordingly. You also understand the importance of taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally, and you make self care a priority. As a result, you develop a greater sense of wellbeing, and you are more likely to lead a more fulfilling and happier life.
So why is self love important? It's important because it is the foundation for a healthy relationship with yourself. When you love yourself, you are more confident and secure in yourself, open to new experiences, and appreciative of your own unique qualities. You set healthy boundaries and prioritize your self care so that you're no longer pouring from an empty cup. You are also less likely to be a perfectionist, and you are more likely to create a life that you love and deserve. All of these things contribute to a happier, rewarding life.
I hope this encourages you to embark on your own self love journey! If you are, add our Self Love Kickstarter to your daily self care! With over 20 pages of content, affirmations, and actions steps, it will give you all the tools you need to start loving yourself more deeply and completely.