There has recently been a discourse among the youngsters about the need for loving ourselves, accepting ourselves and being ourselves. We go on Instagram and find uploaded photos of people captioned with love my self, self-acceptance, self-love and other self-approving quotes. Now the real question is where doe self-love stems from?

How do we go on to say or to preach this self-love?

Self-love means respecting one self and is inevitably linked to self-acceptance. It doesn’t mean to hold yourself in high regards as compared to others, rather it means to consider yourself in the same regards as those around you. If you love yourself, you need to learn to accept yourself with all your faults. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect for it to happen. Change is better, growing up is required, you just need to believe that your best and worst are your own.

One may go on to chant a few words or write some hashtags claiming that they love themselves, but the real question is how? How do we go on to love our self in a positive manner which not only builds a positive image of ourselves but also does not build arrogance so that we may appear conceited or high-headed? 

You can learn to love yourself by investing your time and efforts on personal growth and development rather than belittling yourself. Positive criticism can do wonders but it is different than being too hard on yourself.

As a human, you are bound to have faults, but the confidence that you have the ability to conquer the obstacles if you focus towards your growth is the first step to loving ourselves. You need to care about your body, mind as well as your spirit.

Your body needs a balanced diet and nourishment. Give it the rest that it needs.

Your mind should be filled with positive thoughts. Stimulate it by learning new and interesting things.

Your spirit needs to be fed too, otherwise there will be a mis-balance. Meditation can be a great tool.

Since we have always been told to love and be kind to others, loving oneself and putting oneself before others can be perceived as a selfish task to do. But that’s where everything went wrong. We were never told or taught to learn ourselves. Our main motto of life has always been to work hard, gain success, earn money and live a decent life. But something major was neglected in that process. We never understood how it felt to enjoy the journey because it never mattered. But after attaining the society’s set list of success, we often find ourselves feeling empty because for us that was our only goal. And now we don’t know what to do after that. We were always so focused on the goal that we forgot to be happy.

Our happiness is not only limited to ourselves but also with those around us. When we love ourselves, we also gain the power to spread love to others. The moment we begin this journey of loving ourselves, we will experience positive changes and maybe learn to see the world in a much different way. Not everything in life has to be dark and deep to have great meaning. Warmth and comfort come even from the slightest of gestures, even form the kindest of smiles and the tightest of hugs.

When you will internalize or channelize your efforts towards something positive, things will improve. Relationships will improve. It may seem a very vague thing to say but it can be concrete if you are willing to put your efforts into it.

In order to be loving, you need to prioritize your needs and pay attention to them. Don’t be dismissive of them.

Learn to be independent in loving yourself. Believe that the first love in your life is love towards your own self. It is always good to have people to provide you with support, comfort and strength in your difficult times but your self-worth can not and should not be measured by someone else’s criteria.

Recognize what is good for you and set boundaries accordingly. Getting out of your comfort zone is a step towards growth but not enough where people can walk all over you without an ounce of guilt or regret. You don’t want to be a pushover.

One more thing that is essential is not using the victim card. Many people feel helpless towards their conditions and choose to play the victim in situations even where they could do something to improve it. You need to own up to your actions.

Another thing that comes with self-love is often appreciating even the little steps because the progress matters.

We always end up aiming to reach higher but let’s focus on going farther. Maybe that will help us better.

Stop seeking happiness from exterior or materialistic things. They will never be enough.

Find things that make you happy. Don’t try to isolate yourself sub-consciously. Hang out with people who turn out to be of great moral support, whose company you dearly enjoy. Read, travel, listen music, dance, draw, talk or do whatever you feel like.

Realize that you can’t always be filled with positive thoughts. There are going to be times when you are going to be lazy, selfish and jealous, own up to your actions and move forward. You can act on these feelings if it is in a form of safe outlet without harming anyone else. The worst idea is pretending that you don’t have nay feelings. Ignorance won’t help in this case. Being apathetic and indifferent doesn’t add value to anyone or anything.

Learn to love your company. Don’t fill your mind with out worldly things to ignore what goes on in your mind. If you find yourself sitting in silence with no one else beside you, learn to not let it bother you.

And if you still find yourselves slipping into a dark space, never fail to seek professional help if it is possible for you. Everyone can’t afford to seek help of professionals or even a safe space for emotional outlet, this is where NGOs can hold various campaigns to actively spread awareness about this growing need.

Accepting that you don’t love yourself currently as much as you would like to is the beginning and making efforts to run down the journey of self-love is progress. This is an ever-going process, a fruitful journey in itself. You will end up finding things about yourself that you never even knew existed.

All the poems and quotes may sound superficial and seem false if you can’t apply them in real life. Trust that you are the source of many wonderful things. Everything requires constant efforts, so put efforts into yourself as well.