Home psychology Self-love: how it works!

Self-love: how it works!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 176 views

The hair is too thin, the nose too big, the career progresses too slowly: many people focus on apparent flaws. They often find it difficult to accept themselves and their lives. But self- love is one of the most important prerequisites for a happy life. What exactly is behind it and how it can be learned can be found here.

What is self love?

Self-love is not a new phenomenon that only affects people today. The philosopher Erich Fromm also dealt with it in the 20th century. But what exactly is self-love? Why is it so important and how is it different from pathological narcissism and exaggerated selfishness?

One definition of self-love reads as follows: “Self-love, also self-love, denotes the all-encompassing acceptance of oneself in the form of an unconditional love for oneself. The term is synonymous, but not entirely synonymous with terms such as self-acceptance, self-esteem, self-caring, self-confidence, and self-worth. ”

Accordingly, it can be said: Whoever loves himself

  • he usually treats himself well.
  • is considerate of other people.
  • experience mental freedom.
  • exudes more radiance.

Self-love means taking care of yourself and your needs, taking care of yourself, treating yourself lovingly and accepting yourself. So it determines how a person is towards themselves, but also how they deal with other people. The latter criterion is the greatest distinction to narcissism and egoism. Because with these characteristics, positive behavior towards other people has no meaning.

Lack of self-love: origins and signs

One’s own self-image develops primarily in early childhood. A loving environment in which love and appreciation play a central role helps to develop a positive self-image. However, if a person experiences little appreciation and affection at a young age, this may lead to a lack of self-love in adulthood.

The psychological theory of the “inner child” also assumes this. The philosopher and psychologist John Bradshaw dealt with this in detail. According to the scientist, people in particular who received little love in the first few years of their lives and have little self-love later have a great desire for confirmation from others.

However, that doesn’t mean everyone who lacks self-love had a bad childhood or bad upbringing. Likewise, not every child who has received too little appreciation becomes an adult who does not feel self-love. A lack of self-love can also be caused by traumatic events, bullying or a painful separation.

Signs of a lack of self-love include:

  • dissatisfaction with yourself
  • constant comparison with other people and jealousy
  • Worry about what other people think of you
  • self underestimation
  • critical comments are often taken personally

Learn and strengthen self-love

However, those who feel little self-love in adulthood can still learn it – through conscious action. With these tips you can actively work on it:

  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Discuss your strengths and weaknesses and focus on your strengths.
  • Express your wishes and needs openly.
  • Celebrate yourself and your successes – even the small ones.
  • Take enough time for yourself and spoil yourself.
  • Be grateful for what you achieve and have every day.

Self love through mindfulness

Everyday life is often so packed and exhausting that we no longer even notice the condition of our bodies. We only notice symptoms such as headaches , weakness or nausea when we get to rest in the evening or at the weekend .

Short breaks of a few minutes help to feel yourself again. To do this, close your eyes for a moment, breathe in and out deeply, feel inside yourself. This special kind of attention is called “mindfulness”. It specifically relates to the perception of one’s inner and outer state and the ability to accept it without evaluating it.

Mindfulness forms the basis for self-love. It enables you to focus on yourself and understand yourself better. Because often there is simply not enough time to deal with one’s own person.

Strengthen self-love with meditation

Another method to train self-love and mindfulness is meditation. You sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and begin to perceive your own body, your surroundings and especially your breathing movement. Important: Accept everything without evaluating it. This is difficult at the beginning and requires some practice. But as time goes on, the mind wanders less and less.

Beginners can try introductory courses. You can also find guided meditations on video platforms or streaming services. In this way they learn the basics and different variations. Apps for smartphones or books also make it easier to get started.

Self love through positive affirmation

An affirmation is a positive, self-affirming statement formulated as an I-message. It is a form of autosuggestion, the process of training the subconscious. Examples of affirmations are:

  • i am valuable
  • i am good enough
  • I am beautiful.

These and similar sentences are said several times in a row, either mentally or out loud. The reason: Negative thoughts and beliefs are replaced by positive ones.

Teach children to love themselves

Parents want their children to develop a healthy self-image and self-confidence. However, children do not learn this attitude on their own. The social environment has a serious influence on the later expression of self-love – especially in early childhood. Therefore, pay attention to the following points when training.

Lead by example

Parents, grandparents and siblings have the most important influence in a child’s life. The youngsters learn from their immediate social environment how people treat themselves and others and internalize these messages.

So the best way to instill high self-esteem in children is to value themselves more. Talk positively about your body and your accomplishments. Also, make it clear that flaws and mistakes are okay too.

Point out stereotypes

Even the media for children is full of stereotypes and unrealistic body images. Explain to your child that pictures are obviously retouched or overdrawn and have little to do with reality. In this way they learn to recognize unrealistic representations and are much less influenced by them.

Children also need to be sensitized to stereotypical thinking. Question relevant statements and help your child to refute them if necessary.

Dealing with failure in a healthy way

Defeat is part of life, even if losing doesn’t feel good. Show your child that it’s okay if they fail. Commend their efforts and make it clear that every challenge and failure is an opportunity to learn and improve.

Improve body awareness

When it comes to feeling good about your body, you can’t avoid sport. If you only go to the gym to lose weight, then children will learn that exercise is torture. If the child realizes early on that exercise is part of life and can also be fun, nothing stands in the way of a healthy body feeling. Integrate movement and sport into everyday life in a playful way and set a good example by participating.

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