Have you ever been told you need to love yourself enough, but never understood what it means — let alone how to do it?
Well in today’s article, I’m going to demystify self-love and share 31 hacks that will help you love yourself more.
Let’s get started.
What Does It Mean to Love Yourself More?
Self-love is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it actually mean?
To understand what it means to love yourself enough, let’s start with what self-love isn’t.
Some people confuse self-love with self-care, and while self-care may be a loving act toward yourself, it isn’t the whole picture.
Another common misconception is that to love yourself means to prioritize your own needs and desires at the expense of other people’s, even if it causes harm.
Again, this is not an accurate reflection of self-love.
Loving yourself is about making yourself whole — lovingly stitching back together the parts of yourself that got separated every time you felt unloved or unworthy.
It’s about looking at the parts of yourself you find less desirable and accepting them as they are, while also striving constantly to be the best possible version of yourself you can be.
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Is It Healthy to Love Yourself?
The short answer — yes!
Many people believe that they should put others before themselves, and while that is a noble intention, it’s not the recipe for wellbeing or a happy and satisfying life.
People who put others first while ignoring their own needs are likely to feel burnt out or resentful.
What’s more, they miss out on living to their full potential — which is bad for the very people they care for.
Think about it — can you take better care of others when you are healthy, balanced, and well-rested, or when you’re exhausted and cranky?
And when you’re exhausted and cranky, do you show up to the best of your abilities, or do you procrastinate and cut corners?
Self-love, when done right, can fulfill your needs in such a way that it spills over into your life and everything you do, touching the lives of everyone around you.
Not only is self-love a win-win, it’s actually selfish not to love yourself.
How Do You Begin to Love Yourself?
Loving yourself enough can seem like a daunting task if you never learned how to do it growing up — which most of us didn’t.
In fact, we learn in early childhood that the love of our parents — the love we depend on to survive — is conditional.
We received praise and attention when we did things our parents valued and celebrated, but the love was withdrawn whenever we misbehaved.
This taught us that certain aspects of our personality are worthy of love while others aren’t.
Embracing self-love is about teaching that inner child that it is safe to be your whole self.
Here are 31 self-love hacks to help you get started.
#1: Tell Yourself You Are Enough
One of the biggest blocks to self-love is believing you are not enough as you are.
This is a belief that your parents instilled in you (albeit unwittingly), and that you internalized and accepted as truth.
The first step to self-love is to remind yourself of your worth every day by telling yourself “I am enough.”
#2: Read Self-Love Quotes
If you’ve never learned about self-love, it can be hard to understand the concept — that’s why I like to read quotes about self-love for inspiration.
One of my favorites is this one by Lucille Ball: “Love yourself first and everything else falls into place. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
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#3: Embrace Your Inner Child
That inner child I mentioned before lives on in all of us, but we mostly learn to ignore its needs to fit in better with society.
But embracing your inner child is an important element of the self-love healing process, so get into the habit of checking in with him or her, and do something every day that your inner child would enjoy.
#4: Prioritize Self-Care
Self-care is a fundamental act of loving yourself — but it’s not all spa days and bubble baths (although it can be those, too).
Self-care requires discipline, as it involves taking care of every aspect of your life — from your physiological needs to your finances.
#5: Do Things That Make You Happy
It might sound obvious, but it’s important to do things that make you happy and fill you with joy.
People-pleasing is a sign of a lack of self-love, so if you always do things others enjoy but sacrifice your own interests, it’s time for that to change.
#6: Accept Yourself
If you want to be loved and accepted by others then you must learn to love and accept yourself first.
This can be difficult, as it requires you to look at the less-desirable parts of yourself that you prefer to ignore.
But it can also be incredibly freeing, as it gives you permission to be your whole, authentic self.
#7: Believe in Yourself
Most of us grow up believing the criticisms aimed at us by parents, teachers, siblings, and even other children when we were little.
Love yourself enough to believe in yourself, and you will be amazed at what you can achieve.
#8: Remember Your Value
Sometimes it can be hard to see your own value.
In this case, try to see yourself through the eyes of someone else — perhaps a partner, friend, or even a trusted work colleague.
Thinking about the value you add to that person’s life can help you see yourself from a different perspective.
#9: Embrace Your Feelings
It’s natural to feel a wide spectrum of emotions — that’s what makes us human.
But we tend to judge ourselves for experiencing emotions that we consider “negative”, such as anger or sadness.
Accepting and embracing these feelings without judgement can help you move through them more quickly.
#10: Let Go of Resentment
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
While the origin of this quote — often falsely attributed to Buddha — is unknown, the sentiment is crystal clear.
Holding onto anger and resentment does more harm to you than it does to the other person, so it’s time to let them go.
#11: Embrace Change
Many people are afraid of change, but in reality, change is the only constant, and control is an illusion — so you’ll be better off accepting change rather than resisting it.
#12: Love Yourself Enough to Set Boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries is a loving act — both to yourself and the other person.
While it may take time for people to adjust to you setting boundaries if they’re not used to it, in the long run, it will improve your relationships.
#13: Love Yourself Enough to Walk Away
Similarly, knowing when it’s time to walk away from a toxic relationship — whether with a friend, romantic partner, or business relationship — is an important part of loving yourself enough.
#14: Learn Self-Compassion
According to leading self-compassion researcher, Kristin Neff, self-compassion is far more important than self-esteem.
The three elements of self-compassion are self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.
#15: Journal Your Feelings
Writing your thoughts down is a good way of processing them — it’s kind of like therapy or coaching, except it’s free — excluding the price of your writing equipment!
#16: Take Care of Your Body
You only have one true home in this life, and that is your body.
No matter what you think of its physical appearance, it is an incredible vessel, more complex than any computer, that is constantly working to keep you alive and well.
The least you could do thank it is return the favor.
#17: Look After Your Mental Health
It’s equally as important to look after your mind and emotions as it is your physical body.
While still taboo for many, mental health is an issue we should all take seriously.
If you suspect you might be suffering from mental illness, consult your medical practitioner as soon as possible.
#18: Challenge Negative Thoughts
The words you use to talk to yourself matter. If your self-talk is mostly negative, it’s a sign you need to work on loving yourself more.
Use this technique to challenge negative thoughts: when you notice a negative thought, ask yourself whether or not it is true.
Is there any evidence to support it, or is it just the opinion of your inner critic?
Then turn that thought around by replacing it with a more positive and realistic story.
In this way, you will gradually replace negative thoughts with positive self-talk.
#19: Learn a New Skill
Growth is essential for human wellbeing, and what better way to grow than by learning something new?
Embracing a new hobby can help you discover aspects of your personality you never knew existed, leading to greater self-confidence and self-love.
#20: Help Others
Doesn’t it feel great to help others?
Giving someone a helping hand can make you feel better than pursuing your own personal goals and give you a greater sense of accomplishment.
#21: Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, can help you break down the ego and recognize your true nature, which is pure love.
#22: Remind Yourself that You are Worthy of Love
So many of us have been told by others that we are unloveable and unworthy of love.
But you do deserve all the love in the world, just as much as anyone else does.
Remind yourself of this every day, and watch the love flow into your life.
#23: Follow Your Heart
Sometimes, our judgement gets clouded by the expectations of others and what we think we should be doing.
This can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment.
But when you allow yourself to follow your own inner guidance, you will be led to a more loving and satisfying experience.
#24: Spend Time With Friends
Spending time with people who love you and bring out the best in you is a good way to remind yourself of your good, loveable qualities.
#25: Change Your Habits
If you’ve been neglecting yourself in any area of your life, it’s time for that to change.
Loving yourself enough starts with healthy habits, so lace up those running shoes, start drinking smoothies, get up one hour earlier, or do whatever you need to do to start implementing healthy habits in your life.
#26: Figure Out Exactly What You Want
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up nowhere.
Figuring out what you want is the first step in creating a life you love, so get clear on what you want so you can call it in.
#27: Let Go of Past Hurt
Sometimes, a painful past experience becomes a story you tell yourself, and that story becomes part of your identity.
Loving yourself enough means letting go of those stories and allowing yourself to be happy.
Remember — your past doesn’t define you.
#28: Be Careful What You Read
A lot of the content out there on both traditional and social media is designed to make you feel insecure about yourself.
Love yourself enough to be selective about what you feed your brain, as what you read influences how you feel about yourself.
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#29: Learn to Enjoy Being Alone
Many people are afraid of being alone because they don’t like their own company.
If that’s you, it’s time to spend some quality time with yourself.
Take yourself out on a date and get to know yourself — you might be pleasantly surprised.
#30: Follow Through on Your Ideas
Imagine what your life would be like if you stopped talking about your dreams and started taking action instead.
People who love themselves enough have the confidence to pursue their goals, no matter how crazy they may seem to others.
Instead of talking about all those things you’re going to do “one day,” take a step toward them now — before it’s too late.
#31: Focus Less on What You Don’t Have…
…and more on what you do.
Practicing gratitude can help you train your brain to focus more on positive things and less on negative ones.
Remember, self-love is not selfish — it’s actually an act of service.
I hope after reading this list, you feel inspired to bring more self-love into your life.
Which tip will you try first? Let me know in the comments.