9 min read

How to Love Yourself: Tips & Tricks to Build Self-Confidence

Fitness & Nutrition Editor
Undine is currently studying fitness, health, and wellness to become a certified trainer. She writes articles for foodspring about nutrition and fitness. She also creates free food programs.

Learning how to love yourself can be one of the most difficult tasks in life. It’s also essential for feeling happy and fulfilled. In this article you’ll find easy ways to boost your self-esteem and feel great ASAP. 

What does it mean to love yourself?

“Loving yourself” is a broad phrase that can be interpreted in many different ways. Generally speaking, it refers to accepting oneself and being at peace with one’s decisions. When we love ourselves, it means that we have recognized and are aware of our own worth. As a result, we’re able to achieve more and feel better about it.

Obviously, loving yourself isn’t just something you can decide to start doing out of nowhere, but there are small ways to make progress over time. For example, accepting yourself as you are is often the first step towards loving yourself more. That doesn’t mean that you have to love everything about yourself, but just that you accept your own flaws as you would your partner’s or friends’. To love oneself simply means to know one’s own worth and to treat oneself with kindness.

Loving yourself and exercise

“Loving yourself” is even a recurring theme in the fitness world. Some people tie their self-worth to how thin or how muscular they are, and sometimes have a hard time loving themselves because of the way they appear in the mirror.

But working out doesn’t have to be about losing weight or gaining muscle. When you are aware of your self-worth even before you decide to head to the gym, it’s different: it’s a conscious choice for your own health. And that kind of self-acceptance and commitment the health sounds best of all.

Whatever your goal is, it’s important to ask yourself why you’re pursuing it in the first place. Are you influenced by outside factors, like societal or professional pressure? It’s not uncommon to hear people say that it wasn’t until they were wrapping up a successful weight-loss diet that their weight was never the problem – it was their outlook on life or the people around them.

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Learning how to love yourself

Many people have real difficulties loving themselves. That might be because we often give a lot of attention to our flaws. Making a change to your lifestyle, like going on a diet or starting a new workout, may temporarily cause you to feel more worthy of your own love. But self-love should be unconditional, and you deserve it whether you think you’ve earned through things like exercise and healthy eating or not.

If you’re always aware of your own worth and your decision making doesn’t depend on others‘ opinions, you’ll find that you’re consistently able to make the right choices to lead a happy and fulfilled life. And when you do make a wrong choice (hey, you’re only human!), you’ll find that it’s easier to forgive yourself, too.

The Psychology of Self-Love

Self-love is not always an easy task. The road to increasing your self-love can be a long one, because people often have a sense of self-loathing deeply rooted in themselves.

One way to boost your self-love is to take care of your “inner child.” Your inner child symbolizes the feelings, memories, and experiences from childhood that are stored in your brain.

There’s always a possibility that a lack of self-love could be directly linked to your childhood memories, as that’s a key stage in your emotional development. Even if your parents did the best they could, certain offhand comments they made or actions they took could have left more of an impression on you than you might have originally realized. A loved one may have done or said certain things that penetrated deep into your subconscious mind and remained stored there as negative beliefs. Even though you’re now a rational adult, these ideas can still greatly influence your daily life and the way you perceive yourself.

It’s a process to learn how to love yourself. In order to strengthen the love you have for yourself, you must take into account your values, your goals, your wishes and your fears, among other things.

For people who really want to know more about their inner child and subconscious, we recommend consulting a professional to give you the personalized information you need.

How can I learn to love myself?

Without realizing it, many of us give more love to someone else than to ourselves. You might be ready to uproot a tree for a family member, but totally unable to even pick a bouquet of flowers for yourself. But people should be able to love themselves as much as they love others.

Making it easier to love yourself means you need to work actively on yourself. Just saying “I love myself” is simply not enough.

Luckily, there are a few easy self-love exercises that can already help increase your awareness of your own worth. These exercises show you how to give yourself more love, little by little. Before we dive in, it’s important to note that we are not psychologists, and it may be in your best interest to consult a professional depending on your situation. If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out.

5 Exercises for Loving Yourself

Stay positive!

A positive state of mind is paramount to loving yourself. Your thoughts are the basis of, well, everything. They are what influences your emotions, and if you take control of them, you’ll have an easier time taking control of your life.

Positive Thinking Tip

Pay attention to how often you only think about the things you don’t like about yourself. Whether it’s your weight, your lack of motivation, or your looks. Now write all of these things down on a piece of paper. Then write down at least as many things you like about yourself. It could be your sense of humor, your eyes, or your talent for cooking. Take your time. Maybe take a good look at yourself in the mirror. The focus is on finding more good qualities than faults.

Speak to yourself with kindness

When was the last time you paid yourself a compliment? Or recognized a talent? A very long time ago, wasn’t it? Learning to communicate with yourself in a caring way is extremely important. A positive mind set will help you focus on doing what’s right for you.

Compliment yourself regularly

We compliment ourselves too rarely. Luckily, that’s an easy fix, and here’s how to start doing it right now: make it a point to compliment or congratulate yourself at least once a day. It doesn’t even have to be for something special. Did you take out the trash? Pat yourself on the back! Did you take a walk? Good for you! Have you been drinking enough water today? You’re doing great! Consider every time you give yourself a compliment an act of self care.

Keep a diary

Though we might have had an easier time journaling our most intimate and negative thoughts as children, it can be much more difficult to do as an adult. The more you write about what you’re feeling, the more naturally it will come. And for some people, getting their thoughts onto a page can be exactly what they need to have a personal epiphany.

Free Writing Exercise

Take 10 minutes in the morning or evening every day for a month to write at least one page of your thoughts and feelings. You can do it digitally or manually, but absolutely don’t focus on self-editing or nitpicking your work. Let your heart speak and pour the words on the paper. If you’re more into drawing, a sketchbook may be a better option for you!

Eating well will also make you feel better.

Eating a balanced diet with an array of foods – both the nutrient-dense and purely delicious – will help you feel good as a result, both mentally and physically. If your brain has all the nutrients it needs to function properly, you’ll be able to process information more quickly and develop more clarity on your feelings and thoughts.

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a stack of Protein Pancakes drizzled with rich brown Protein Cream and berries
©foodspring
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Eat what you love and you’ll love yourself more!

Observe your eating habits for a few days. How do you eat? Do you like to snack? Do you rely a lot on fast food? And what about alcohol? Or do you cut calories religiously and live on a diet of juice? Take notice of what you’re eating too much or too little of and balance it out. Get rid of extreme eating habits, whether “healthy” or “unhealthy,” as these can often lead to negative physical and mental side effects.

Put on your shoes and dance, dance, dance!

Do you remember how it feels to move your body to the beat of music at a club or party? It feels good, right? When we dance, our bodies release endorphins². That’s why we feel free and happy. Dancing allows us to break free from our inhibitions and live fully, even if just for a moment. And doing it regularly can be a way to bring rhythm and structure into your everyday life. Break out your favorite beats and have a dance party at home.

Move your body!

The best thing about dancing is that you can do it anywhere – even at home. If dancing is something you enjoy, try to give yourself a short dance session every day. Put on your favorite song and shake your body like no one’s watching, even if your partner (or neighbors!) is around to catch a glimpse. They’ll probably just think it’s cute. The goal here isn’t to turn your living room into the next best dance floor, just to unblock yourself and release any negativity that’s accumulated in your body.

Why is it so hard to learn how to love yourself?

The reasons why we don’t like ourselves differ from one person to another. Some people have difficulty loving their bodies, others feel like failures, and other’s problems with love extend far beyond themselves.

Extreme difficulty loving yourself has something to do with deep-rooted negative beliefs. Every person has both negative and positive beliefs that were developed during childhood and reinforced through various events in their life3. And some of those beliefs can prevent us from loving ourselves.

Often, liking ourselves is a problem that we address only superficially. If someone is unhappy with their weight, for example, they might go on a diet. But the reason you may feel that way might not have anything to do with weight at all. It may simply be a false belief that’s deeply rooted. If you don’t confront this belief, you may find that the solution you’re using doesn’t actually solve your problem.

How important is it to love yourself?

Loving oneself is one of the cornerstones of well-being, as emotions have a big influence on one’s quality of life. Loving ourselves changes our thoughts and feelings, improves both our physical and mental health, and allows us to make better decisions as a result – decisions that influence our whole lives.

Loving ourselves is the foundation of life. Loving ourselves influences the way we treat ourselves and others. Learning to love ourselves also helps us make conscious decisions and steer our lives in the right direction.

Conclusion

  • Self-love is an important and complex topic that everyone can benefit from. It refers to being aware of one’s own worth, acting kindly towards oneself, and always wanting the best for oneself.
  • Loving oneself does not mean loving everything about oneself. Rather, it means being self-aware, being able to accept your flaws, and making conscious decisions for one’s own happiness and well-being.
  • Love for yourself is not something that can be acquired overnight. It is much more of a profound process and involves many psychological aspects. You can learn to care more about yourself, your feelings, and your thoughts. Talk to a professional to find out what’s best for you personally.
  • A healthy and balanced diet provides your body with fuel. An optimistic state of mind and self-love fuels your mind. Both types of “fuel” influence your entire life.

¹ Replacing two daily meals with one Shape Shake 2.0 each contributes to weight loss as part of a low-calorie diet. Replacing a meal helps you maintain weight loss. The product fulfills the intended purpose only in the context of a low-calorie diet.  A low-calorie diet must also include other foods. Make sure to drink enough fluids every day. Make sure to eat a varied and balanced diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

² Substituting Shape Shake 2.0 for one meal a day as part of a low-calorie diet helps maintain weight after weight loss. Shape Shake 2.0 must be used as part of a low-calorie diet, which necessarily includes other foods and adequate daily fluid intake. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is important to maintain a balanced and varied diet.

Article sources
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