Learning to love and approve of yourself is one of the hardest things to do

Everyone wants to be loved and we often think that means we need to seek it from other people. But when you seek love from external sources you are allowing it to be taken away from you, which can leave you feeling empty and broken on the inside. Speaking of inside, why don’t we look inside ourselves for love?

Learning to love and approve of yourself is one of the hardest things to do. It requires you to take the time out to put yourself first, focusing on your wants and needs over those of others.

It might seem selfish at first, but after a while, you will realise that before you can truly take care of others, you have to first take care of yourself. This could include engaging in activities that make you happy or spending time alone with your thoughts. You could even practise stating positive affirmations or reading uplifting quotes to help you view yourself in a better light. Nobody will stand to lose from you choosing to do so.

When you love yourself, you will have a more satisfying life as you feel good about your circumstances and your ability to change them at any given moment. In doing so you are able to spread that positivity with the people around you and encourage them to pour love into themselves as well. You will realise that there are no limits to what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it and you will make healthy choices that will guarantee that you achieve your goals.

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Having self-love allows you to have a more fulfilling life

Having self-love allows you to have a more fulfilling life because you learn that your happiness isn’t dependent upon anyone but yourself. You don’t mind spending time alone and you are comfortable with where you are in life at any given moment. As a result, you are able to genuinely love other people and be happy for their successes as a result. The more satisfied you are with yourself the more you can share your light and positivity with others.

There is no “right” way to go about loving yourself more. All you must do is make an active effort to do so and from there find the way that works best for you. It is not the “how” that matters, but the “why”.

Here are 10 reasons why self-love is the best kind of love, and why it’s important to love yourself first, before focusing on loving someone else:

1. Loving and knowing yourself makes it easier to say “no” when you really need to

When you love yourself, it becomes easier for you to say no to people and things that don’t align with your values. You realise that your time is valuable and that it is better spent on doing the things you love. You stand firm in all of your decisions without fear of how others will respond.

2. It gives you room to heal

Loving yourself makes you more open and aware of the healing process. You come to terms with the fact that in life you will get hurt, but that doesn’t mean the pain has to last forever. You acknowledge and accept your bad emotions and then let them go so that you can move forward and fully enjoy living life in the present.

3. Self-love makes it easier to openly communicate with others

Self-love is taking the time out to figure out who you are and what you want. Once you know this you are able to have honest conversations with anyone and everyone. You understand that being upfront about how you feel and what you believe can only improve your relationships with others. You have standards and are comfortable getting rid of anyone who can’t rise up to them.

There is no “right” way to go about loving yourself more. All you must do is make an active effort to do so and from there find the way that works best for you

4. Learning to love yourself prevents you from seeking approval from others

When you truly love yourself, you realise that confidence comes from within and that no one can make you feel as good or as happy as yourself. You become less likely to feel pressured to do things just to be liked. Caring less about the opinions of others gives you the freedom to walk your own path and be your genuine self.

5. You become more comfortable with the bad days

You understand that every day isn’t going to be the best day, where you feel like you can conquer the world. However, instead of wallowing in self-pity, you accept whatever mental and physical state you are in. You find light even in the bad days because you know that even in the down moments there is an opportunity to learn and grow.

6. If you love yourself first, then you know that you can count on yourself first

When you count on yourself, you limit the amount of times you have to depend on other people which limits the amount of times they can let you down. You learn to trust yourself and your ability to be great even when no one else is around to help you or witness your hard work. You become your own cheerleader, encouraging yourself to stay motivated and to break boundaries as you chase your dreams.

7. Loving yourself allows you to make healthier choices

When you put yourself first, you make choices that will only improve your quality of life. You eat better and sleep and exercise more because you realise that taking care of your mental and physical well-being are essential to your success. When you look better you feel better, and when you feel better, you do better.

8. It grants you the gift of forgiveness

Holding on to grudges can really keep you down. When you love yourself you see the power of forgiving yourself and others for things that already happened and therefore can no longer control. You are able to accept responsibility for you actions while still releasing the blame you place on yourself for the harm others have caused you. In doing so, you release the hold others have on you.

9. Giving yourself love and being selfish helps you take charge of your life

Feeling more in charge of your life comes with realising the power of choice. You choose when and how you want to live your life. This means that you weigh more heavily on the benefits and consequences of making certain choices that will affect your future. You are then more likely to only make choices that align with your values and will help you honour them.

10. Loving yourself can help achieve the best emotional relationships with other people too

When you spend time processing your emotions, you are digging deep inside of yourself and getting to the core of who you are. As you work to love and accept yourself and be honest you encourage other’s to do the same. This allows you to open up and connect with others on a deeper level, unafraid to show the parts of yourself that are rough around the edges and see the same in others.

This article was first published on YourTango.

Alexis George is a writer who covers love, relationship advice, astrology and personality topics.