In this article we are going to cover this first expert tip – Love Yourself for a happier you. Okay so you may be thinking this sounds so self-centred but only when you love yourself can you be truly happy. By loving yourself you can be more giving, more present in the moment, more productive, more focused, more positive, more optimistic, more willing to take calculated risks. Loving yourself means being able to love more. Loving yourself will not make you self-obsessed in fact it will do the opposite. You will be less caught up in your own critical self-talk and more able to be there for other people.
Myths about loving yourself
You love yourself if you talk about yourself all the time
You love yourself if you spend hours in the mirror
You love yourself if you constantly post selfies on social media
You love yourself if you are always on a diet and exercising
You love yourself if you spend lots of money on clothes, makeup and grooming
These actions do not represent love for yourself. All of the above can be a defence mechanism and mask for low self-esteem. We are constantly told by the media to love and treat ourselves by buying this or that, or going on the latest diet/workout to love our bodies or buy the latest beauty product to make ourselves happier but this doesn’t work. It prevents us from loving ourselves for who we are and can make us more needy. We may seek constant reassurance that we are loveable by posting on social media, talking about ourselves or needing compliments about our beauty and bodies. When you love yourself you won’t need reassurance from others or from buying things. When you love yourself you may still buy things, be on a diet, exercise, talk about yourself, look at yourself in the mirror, post on social media but it will be because you want to not because you need to to feel loved and happy.
The Negative Voice In Your Head
When you love yourself you can be yourself fully without being controlled by your negative self-talk. This is the critical voice in your head reminding you of all your faults and flaws. Some of us have a very strong negative self-talk which keeps us believing that there is something wrong with us. Our negative self-talk might tell us that we are not good enough, or that we are a bad person, or stupid, or ugly, or unloveable. You might not even be aware of how strong your negative self-talk is. You may just consider it normal to hear your self-criticism. You may not even question what it is doing to your self-esteem or how it impacts on your choices. Our negative self-talk can sabotage our happiness. It can stop us from believing in ourselves to do what we really want to do in life. It can stop us from going for that promotion or career change. It can keep us in destructive and abusive relationships. It can prevent us from meeting new people and trying new things. It can stop us from developing meaningful relationships and letting others love us. It can stop us from loving ourselves.
Our negative self-talk can make us believe that we need something other than ourselves to be happy. We may believe that we will find happiness once we win the lottery, or lose that stone in weight, or move into that bigger house, or get married, or have children, or get that promotion, or win that race. There are many goals we may have that we pin all our future happiness on. Some of our goals can be so unlikely that we can be waiting our whole lives to be happy. If we are unable to love ourselves now, we still won’t love ourselves when we achieve our goals and so it won’t bring us longterm happiness. There may be a short period of increased happiness immediately after reaching our goals but ultimately it won’t make us happy if we don’t love ourselves.
5 Ways To Love Yourself And Be Happier
Develop self-compassion and disempower your negative self-talk
Show yourself loving kindness and give yourself praise
Look after yourself – listen to what your mind and body need
Spend time getting to know yourself, understand what makes you happy or sad
Trust your own judgement and live true to yourself
Learning to love yourself can be a long process and many of us learn to do this with help from a coach, therapist, self-help books, courses.
5 Expert Tips for a Happier You
- Love Yourself
- Love Your Body
- Love Your Mind
- Love Others
- Love Your Life
You will find happiness when you love yourself, love others and let others love you. I hope this article has encouraged you to love yourself for a happier you. Please join me for the remaining 4 Top Tips for a Happier you over the next four weeks. Next week I will post Tip 2 – Love Your Body. Until then I hope you have a brilliant week.
With thanks to Luke Bennett Photography for this week’s feature image.