There is no universal definition of ‘self-love’ as it may mean different things to different people. But a reasonably acceptable understanding of self-love is “respect for your own happiness and well-being”.
So does self-love mean buying lots of new clothes or going for a luxury vacation? Maybe not. Self-love goes much deeper than these feeble acts which are aimed achieving short-term happiness. Things such as spending time with your dog or sitting by the ocean and listening to the sound of water are truly soul-satisfying acts that ultimately lead to self-love.
Why self-love is important
How you behave with yourself ultimately determines how you behave with others. In other words, your relationship with the ‘self’ lays the foundation of your relationship with others. Spiritual gurus suggest that human beings are their own worst enemies. You will find that you may often criticize yourself in different areas of your life: how you look, your career chart, your relationships, your home and so on. What you’re doing is actually the opposite of self-love and will leave you feeling inadequate and worthless.
On the other hand, self-love, when practiced on a daily basis can lead to the following benefits:
Increased satisfaction: When you start to appreciate yourself, you also appreciate everything in your life. A healthy self-esteem allows you to enjoy all that is present in your life and have a positive future outlook.
Development of healthy habits: Research suggests that people who engage in self-love are highly motivated to develop healthy habits such as exercising, eating a nutritious diet, joining a hobby class and so on. These acts are an expression of self-love.
Improved ability to handle crisis: self-love helps individuals to recover more quickly from crisis. It is difficult to control everything in your life; but it is possible to manage your personal attitude and response to adverse situations. This awareness and strength comes with practicing self-love.
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