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Why is Self-love Important?

Why is Self-love Important ?

“Stop trying to impress people. Impress yourself. Stretch yourself. Test yourself.” (Vex King, 2018, p. 5).

         Last week we’ve talked about self-harm, let’s talk about self-love today! Self-love contradicts the concepts of self-harm; in the current article, it is defined as a form of positive self-regard that allows us to accommodate the weaker sides in terms of our unfavorable personality and imperfections. There are two core elements for one to practice self-love: self-acceptance, and self-growth. For example, one accepts and appreciates what he/she owns – appearance, personality, learning attitudes, and flaws; while from the self-growth perspective, one can acknowledge that he/she can strive for their excellence which could lead to a better version of himself/herself. Therefore, one can increase self-confidence and self-esteem by practicing self-love.

         Is loving oneself a selfish act? Apparently, it’s not. Self-love is about caring/be kind to yourself as much as how you would care about/be kind to others; it is different from narcissism, where an individual with narcissistic characteristics (e.g. Miranda Priestly in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”) tend to show more love, admiration, and excessive attention to themselves rather than the others. Narcissistic people also have the propensity to look for power and recognition as they extremely value their accomplishments.  

        Given ancient Greek philosophy, oikeiosis (self-love) was referred to the center point of other forms of love, namely, love for one’s child, love for one’s family, and love for all humanity, indicating that one should love himself/herself first to extend his/er love to others. Often, we find that teenagers have the highest argument frequency with their parents compared to the other age groups. A recent study indicates that parents and teenagers spend roughly six times per day (48 minutes in total) arguing about certain topics. It was also shown that children’s self-esteem will be influenced by the family dynamic. To a greater or lesser degree, the connection between one’s self-love and the love for a family might influence conflict resolution between parents and children. Parents who practice self-love would take care of themselves better, and hence they have stable emotional states and positive parenting. Later, we will look through some self-love tips for teenagers, mothers, and fathers. 

Teenagers can practice self-love by understanding the 5 domains of self-love, which are:

 1.   Self-awareness: Being aware of how one’s own emotions, thoughts, perceptions and values can influence one’s behaviour.

Example:   Teenagers often have questions related to their identities and existence in this world. Self-awareness skills help them to evaluate the relationship between their behaviour and their environment, learn from mistakes, and recognize their own strengths and weakness – we celebrate our achievements yet we embrace our weaknesses.  

2.   Self-motivation: It’s hard to stay positive and motivated 24/7, and it’s okay to be unmotivated sometimes. If you want to give yourself some motivation, here are some tips!

Example: – Say something positive and nice to yourself.

                   – Set an attainable goal and focus on it.

                   – Talk to someone you can trust and always

                      support you.

                   – Read/watch inspiring books/movies.

3.   Self-esteem: It’s the subjective response of an individual when one compares/associates himself/herself with others. If someone has high self-esteem, someone has high self-confidence.

Example: – Try something new (should be legal, healthy and                          safe).

                  – Have faith in yourself.

                  – Celebrate the achievements you made.

                  – Help those who are in need.

4.   Self-compassion: It’s one’s ability to be kind to oneself regardless of the failures or inadequacy one has made. It allows someone to be imperfect and comfortable with making mistakes.

Example: – Mindfulness (learn to acknowledge your feelings                      and accept them). 

                  – Self-kindness (learn to comfort yourself to ease

                    the tension).

                  – Common humanity (learn to think about how

                    others might be suffering the same experience as

                     you and how would you react to them).

5.   Self-growth/Self-improvement: One has the desire to strive for their best and develop their capabilities to adapt themselves in this world.  

Example: – Always be grateful. Parents can create an

                     environment with gratitude for the teenagers as 

                     well.

                 – Have a balanced diet.

                 – Join activities that you are interested in.

                 – Keep learning.

Mothers can practice self-love by:

– loving your body shape after giving birth; if you wish to reshape your body, try some proper ways such as do yoga, do post-pregnancy workouts, wear postpartum shapewear etc.

– forgiving yourself when you need to get more sleep at night instead of taking care of your baby.

– realizing that you are feeling tired when you need to handle both work and family.

– allowing yourself to have some “me-time” – hanging out with friends, do some leisure activities, or just relax on the sofa without doing anything.

– knowing you are enough.

Fathers can practice self-love by:

– prioritizing self-care and sleep if needed.

– praising yourself for working hard for your family.

– forgiving yourself if you do not feel like talking to anyone on your bad day.

– planning a short vacation for yourself and your family, take a break! (You can go out with strict SOP or have a role-play with your children at home)

– acknowledging your feelings

– allowing yourself to have some “me-time” – hanging out with friends, do some leisure 

activities, or just relax on the sofa without doing anything

Here’s a quote from Megan @positivityallaroundmee, “Love yourself a little extra right now. You are learning, healing, growing, and discovering yourself all at once. It’s about to get magical for you.”

 

So, what do you love about yourself? 

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