How do i start to love myself

13 Habits of Self-Love Every Woman Should Adopt

By Alison Rachel Stewart — Fact checked by Steven O'Brien — Updated on Sep 18, 2018

Last year was a difficult one for me. I was really struggling with my mental health and was suffering from depression and anxiety. Looking around at other beautiful, successful women, I wondered: How do they do it? How do they manage to feel so good?

I wanted to find out, and I wanted to share with other women who, like me, wanted to feel happy — wanted to feel well. Tapping into my creative energy, I set out to compile a resource anyone could use. I asked women I knew: What are your mantras and habits of self-care?

What they told me was both revolutionary and a total no-brainer at the same time. If I can practice them, I know you can, too. Here are 13 recipes for self-love that are simple in practice and multifaceted in their benefits.

We’re socialised to be competitive, so comparing ourselves to others is natural. But it can be dangerous. There’s just no point in comparing yourself to anyone else on the planet because there’s only one you. Rather, focus on yourself and your journey. The shift of energy, alone, will help you feel free.

In that same vein, don’t worry about what society thinks or expects of you. You can’t make everyone happy, so this is a waste of time and will only slow you down on your journey to being the best you.

We’re told again and again from a young age “nobody’s perfect, everyone makes mistakes.” But the older you get, the more pressure you feel never to fail. Cut yourself some slack! Make mistakes so you can learn and grow from them. Embrace your past. You’re constantly changing and growing from who you once were into who you are today and who you will be one day.

So, forget about that voice in your head that says you need to be perfect. Make mistakes — lots of them! The lessons you’ll gain are priceless.

This is fundamental! So many things in the world want to distract you from this powerful truth. Sometimes even your own internalized sexism affirms your thoughts of inadequacy. You are valuable because you are you, not because of your body.

So, wear what makes you feel good. If it’s a lot or if it’s a little, wear what makes you feel confident, comfortable, and happy.

Not everybody takes responsibility for the energy they put out into the world. If there’s someone who is bringing toxicity into your life and they won’t take responsibility for it, that might mean you need to step away from them. Don’t be afraid to do this. It’s liberating and important, even though it may be painful.

Remember: Protect your energy. It’s not rude or wrong to remove yourself from situations or the company of people who are draining you.

Like erring, feeling afraid is natural and human. Don’t reject your fears — understand them. This healthy exercise can really help with your mental health. Interrogating and evaluating your fears helps you to gain clarity and unmask issues in your life that were causing you anxiety. That, in turn, can help alleviate some — if not all — of your anxiety.

We so often doubt ourselves and our ability to do what’s right, when most of the time we do know in our hearts what’s best. Remember that your feelings are valid. You’re not losing touch with reality. You know yourself better than anyone else, so be your best advocate.

The timing is never going to be perfect for that next big step in your life. The set up may not be ideal, but that shouldn’t hold you back from reaching to meet your goals and dreams. Instead, seize the moment because it may never come back.

Don’t feel bad about doing this. Women, especially, can grow accustomed to putting others first. Although there’s a time and a place for this, it shouldn’t’ be a habit that costs you your mental or emotional well-being.

Find the time to decompress. Without decompressing and recharging you can put serious strain on yourself. Whether it’s spending the day in bed or outdoors in nature, find what helps you decompress and dedicate time to this.

Allow yourself to feel things fully. Lean into pain, revel in your joy, and don’t put limitations on your feelings. Like fear, pain and joy are emotions that will help you understand yourself and ultimately realize that you are not your feelings.

Get into the habit of speaking your mind. Boldness is like a muscle — it grows the more you exercise it. Don’t wait for permission to take a seat at the table. Join the conversation. Contribute your thoughts. Take action, and know that your voice is just as important as anyone else’s.

Try to notice at least one beautiful, small thing around you every single day. Make note of it, and be grateful for it. Gratitude not only gives you perspective, it’s essential to help you find joy.

The world is full of harsh words and critique — don’t add yours to the mix. Speak kindly to yourself, and don’t call yourself mean things. Celebrate yourself. You’ve come so far and grown so much. Don’t forget to celebrate yourself, and not only on your birthday!

Even if you don’t feel particularly powerful, think about how far you’ve come, how you’ve survived. You’re here, right now, alive and powerful beyond your knowledge. And be patient with yourself. Self-love may not happen overnight. But with time, it will settle itself into your heart.

Yes, you may struggle, but you’ll look back on these moments and see how they were stepping stones on your journey to being the best you.

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Alison Rachel Stewart is an artist and the creator of Recipes For Self-Love, a collaborative initiative that celebrates habits, practices, and meditations for self-care and wellness. When she’s not creating personalized items for her Etsy store, you can find Alison writing songs with her band, creating illustrations, or exercising her creative energy into a new project. Follow her on Instagram.

6 Ways To Actually Learn To Love Yourself


Step 1 is mindfully following your breath to become present in your body and embrace all of your feelings. It's about moving toward your feelings rather than running away from them with various forms of self-abandonment, such as staying focused in your head, judging yourself, turning to addictions to numb out, etc. All feelings are informational.


Commit to learning about your emotions, even the ones that may be causing you pain so that you can move into taking loving action.


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Step 3 is a deep and compassionate process of exploration—learning about your beliefs and behavior and what is happening with a person or situation that may be causing your pain.

Ask your feeling self, your inner child: "What am I thinking or doing that's causing the painful feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, jealousy, anger, loneliness, or emptiness?" Allow the answer to come from inside, from your intuition and feelings.

Once you understand what you're thinking or doing that's causing these feelings, ask your ego about the fears and false beliefs leading to self-abandoning thoughts and actions.


It's not as hard to connect with your higher guidance as you may think. The key is to be open to learning about loving yourself. The answers may come immediately or over time. They may come in words or images or in dreams. When your heart is open to learning, the answers will come.


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Sometimes people think of "loving myself" as a feeling to be conjured up. A good way to look at loving yourself is by emphasizing the action: "What can I do to love myself?" rather than "How can I feel love for myself?"

By this point, you've already opened up to your pain, moved into learning, started a dialogue with your feelings, and tapped into your spiritual guidance.

Step 5 involves taking one of the loving actions you identified in Step 4. However small they may seem at first, over time these actions add up.


Once you take the loving action, check in to see if your pain, anger, and shame are getting healed. If not, you go back through the steps until you discover the truth and loving actions that bring you peace, joy, and a deep sense of intrinsic worth.

RELATED STORY: A 6-Step Process To Actually Learn To Love Yourself


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Over time, you will discover that self-love improves everything in your life—your relationships, your health and well-being, your ability to manifest your dreams, and your self-esteem.

Loving and connecting with yourself is the key to being able to love and connect with others and create loving relationships. Loving yourself is the key to creating a passionate, fulfilled, and joyful life.


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How to learn to love yourself: working tips

How to learn to love yourself: Gettyimages

People who truly love themselves - who are they? Narcissistic egoists who do not have friends, or happy and self-sufficient individuals? Psychologists Mikhail Labkovsky and Veronika Alexandrova will help you understand this issue and tell you how to develop healthy self-love.

1. Realize your self-sufficiency and accept yourself

Many parents teach their children to love themselves for something, they say that it is important to constantly prove something, to be good. The famous psychologist Mikhail Labkovsky argues that you just need to love yourself. Repeat every day: "I like myself." Looking in the mirror, repeat: “I like everything. Everything I see suits me.” Remember that you are not better or worse than anyone else, you are you. nine0005

Start the path of self-love by recognizing and accepting your shortcomings and forgiveness for past mistakes. This does not mean that you do not need to strive for development, just stop scolding and condemning yourself.

2. Track down negative beliefs and change them

Self-dislike is often rooted in persistent negative beliefs. So, a person can think that he is a crooked clumsy, and bring thousands of evidence to support this. However, this property is not innate, but acquired, and, therefore, it can be changed. nine0005

Psychologist Veronika Alexandrova explains that the human psyche is designed to pay attention to what confirms deep-seated beliefs and at the same time ignore any refuting cases. To love yourself:

  1. Observe yourself and identify your own beliefs about yourself. For example, when you forget something, you think that you are stupid and unreliable.
  2. Every time you catch yourself thinking this, look for another explanation for the situation. Do not take all the blame and responsibility only on yourself. nine0020

Pay attention to your successes and praise yourself for them. This will help you develop a positive attitude towards yourself.

3. Do not compare yourself with others

If you constantly compare yourself with others, then there is a feeling of inferiority. A person gets into an endless wheel of suffering and chasing someone and his success. Each of us can only be ourselves and live our lives.

The only person worth comparing yourself to is yourself. At the same time, it is important to compare not only the results achieved, but also the new knowledge and understanding gained. Ask yourself these questions daily:0005

  • What have I become wiser than yesterday, what have I learned new things?
  • What lessons have I learned today?

Such a comparison motivates, helps to understand what needs to be worked on and where to strive for.

4. Take care of yourself

Self-love: Gettyimages

Psychologist Sara-Len Mutivasequa recommends paying attention to this aspect. First of all, it is connected with the body, but not only with it. Self-care is in everything we do for health:

  • Eat a balanced diet and drink enough water.
  • Get enough sleep and rest.
  • Give up bad habits.
  • Go in for sports.

In addition, it is important to watch interesting films and listen to your favorite music, engage in hobbies, communicate with people who like you and treat you well.

5. Stand up for personal boundaries

Many children are taught to be obedient, to give up desires and to endure what they don't like to please other people. So a person gets used to the fact that for love you need to do not what you want, but what is expected of him. nine0005

Psychologist Marina Travkova advises you to determine what is acceptable and unacceptable for you personally in relationships with relatives, loved ones, friends, colleagues. Don't tolerate behavior you don't like. Be polite and correct about it right away.

By setting personal boundaries, people will understand how to behave with you, and communication will become more comfortable. In addition, it will help to understand people.

6. Act according to your desires

Stop looking at the opinions of others. Often people do not fully express themselves, “hide” their personality, because they are afraid to offend other people or hear unflattering opinions about themselves. For example, they are embarrassed to sing or dance in public for fear of arousing the disapproval of others or becoming the object of their sarcasm. nine0005

Get rid of this fear and learn to say and do what you want. Start small: choose your own clothes and dishes, express your wishes about joint leisure. The more you trust yourself and act on your desires, the more self-love will unfold.

7. Be in charge of your life

Whatever happens, ask yourself, "How did I create this situation?" and write down the answers. Try to find as many answers as possible. This will help you stop blaming others for what you have and the life you live, stop complaining about others and whining. nine0005

With acceptance of responsibility comes the realization that your life is in your hands and only you can change it. Make a list of your strengths and, based on it, choose a life path.

8. Give up judgment and envy

The path of self-love: Gettyimages

Judgment of others, envy, constant grumbling and dissatisfaction with life take a lot of energy and strength. This negativity comes from within, that is, a person keeps it in himself. The more you condemn other people, the more you drive yourself into the framework, strive to be like everyone else, not to stand out from the crowd. nine0005

Let life, instead of condemnation and grumbling, contemplation and a sober look at people and situations. Do not judge or envy those who have achieved something. Remember that a self-sufficient person who loves himself will never treat another worse than himself. Do useful things, learn to admire people.

9. Do not try to change others

It is easier to love and accept yourself if you treat others the same way. Don't try to change people, especially if they don't ask for it. Think about the fact that the people around us are our reflection. As we see them, we are ourselves. Therefore important:

  • Accept your own and others' emotions.
  • Be sincere.
  • Say more kind words and compliments.

10. Love yourself like it's your job

Self-love is not a luxury or a genetic gift that confident people are born with. Love can be called both a journey and a destination.

Set aside time each day to analyze your feelings and desires. Keep a diary for this. Pay attention to the emotions that arise throughout the day. Take breaks from work and find time for activities that bring pleasure. Speak words of encouragement to yourself, be your own best friend. nine0005

Self-love develops gradually, as a person learns to decide what will remain in his life and what will leave it, what to say "yes" or "no". Take these questions seriously, give them time. Love yourself because the quality of your life depends on it.

Original article:

How to learn to love yourself? 15 steps to caring and acceptance

Olesya Akhmedzhanova

Every day tests and tests us for self-love: when we look in the mirror, communicate with a partner, meet friends, go to work. Every moment of our lives, we can feel the support within ourselves or scold our poor self. Together with the book "You Are the Guru" we tell you how to stop hating yourself and learn to accept.

Where is our love?

If you think about it, you can see how many of us take care of ourselves for years: exercise, diet, massage, spiritual practices and various forms of meditation. nine0005

But when life really begins to test us, we never find true self-love to lean on.

This is what the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron says about this: “... all these years, it seems, have not added anything to their inner strength and kindness to themselves that would help them cope with what is happening ... When we allow ourselves unconditional acceptance of ourselves, it is then we really take care of ourselves in a way that pays off."

You are the guru


This approach forces us to look deeper into our own soul to find answers. It's time to stop looking for "signs from above" that we are loved and start looking for signs that we love ourselves. Here are some ways to do it right now.

Love what you can already now

Bit of a mouthful, but surprisingly effective advice - start small. Love yourself just the way you are, now. Some days you will have to be content with loving the color of your eyes or tidying up your desk. Wonderful. Choose at least something - just to divert your mind from hatred. There will be days when you will be shocked by the realization that you are an incredible, whole person. Believe me, gradually this feeling will become your protection and meaning in difficult times. nine0005

Remember good manners when talking to yourself


Oh, those words that we use so often about ourselves. They are often unnecessarily cruel and harsh. Would you treat someone else this way? For example, would you talk to a child like that? Remember: love is patient, love is kind. Love says, “Oh, poor thing. No wonder you feel this way. It wasn't easy." That's what your best friend would say after you poured out your soul to her. You don't need a motivational speech or meditation to take your mind off things. All you need is a little empathy for yourself. nine0005

Seek love for yourself in others

If you cannot find compassion for yourself, find it in your friends and those you admire. This is the beauty of the fact that we all go through the same thing together. We can share the ability to love with each other. Your close friend can tell you something that will inspire and support: “You are incredible, resourceful, kind and very attractive…”

Connect with those who love you


This is not arrogance or snobbery in the name of self-help. This is the minimum condition for maintaining a healthy environment. You develop most actively when you feel kindness, receive feedback and you have someone to laugh with. You don't view relationships as a spiritual training camp (even if they are). Let only love seekers like you be in your close circle of friends (by the way, one person is enough for a close circle).

Prioritize pleasure

After years of self-abuse, doing something for pleasure is quite a feat. Pleasure heals. Pleasure makes it easy to cope with all the (seemingly) insurmountable difficulties of ordinary life. Pleasure gives you strength, and you know it.

Reward yourself for every effort


Reward yourself for more than just achieving your goals. And don't punish failure. Sometimes it's important to just be, because love is an endless process, not a path to the finish line. nine0005

No need to endure - you need to accept

You can consider that tolerance for your weaknesses is already an achievement. But tolerance is not the same as acceptance. Tolerance forces you to be on guard all the time: in fact, you only cope with the level of dissatisfaction with yourself. Instead, you accept that from now on, no matter what happens, you work only with the following: strengths and weaknesses. This decision allows you to create a close connection with your inner self that nothing can destroy. nine0005

Make friends with your loneliness

The ancient philosopher Plotinus claimed that on the path to enlightenment you go through stages of loneliness from "lonely" to "Exceptionally Lonely". The latter is what a person feels who has made himself the center of his universe. This is not an easy task. But the flip side of this sense of isolation is that it makes us more responsible and able to connect with the world. We care about our own loneliness and about others. And we are more aware of what we are giving to this world. nine0005

Set personal boundaries


It's simple: say "yes" when you mean "yes" and "no" when you mean "no". You do love yourself.

Say what you mean

Don Miguel Ruiz puts it better: “You can measure the perfection of your promises by the level of your self-love. How much you love yourself and how you feel is in direct proportion to how strong your word is.” You value your time, you value your word. You love yourself enough to know that every commitment you make - from the time you promise to appear somewhere to the vows for life - is sacred, because you are also sacred. nine0005

Take risks

Love expands the personality so that you are ready to do bold things. You see what you are really capable of. You not only trust yourself more, but you are sure that life will insure you when you dare to grow.



Loving yourself does not mean that you are always right. If you are close to yourself, you see where and when you did something wrong and hurt other people's feelings. You know that your integrity will not be broken when you admit your shortcomings. You have a foundation of self-compassion and awareness that you stand on so confidently that you can say, “I'm sorry. I know that I can fix everything, and I will." nine0005

Don't give up

Don't give up doesn't mean passively waiting. This is the kind of endurance that comes from self-respect. Self-love gives you the strength to say “no thanks” and to walk away and be comfortable with the status quo. Or you are able to admit that the situation annoys you - and while this is normal. All your standards are determined by self-love.

Love yourself like it's your job

Unconditional self love
Loving yourself is not a luxury or a genetic gift that confident people are born with. Love is a journey and a destination. It's how you decide what stays in your life and what leaves. Love is the reason you decorate your body and invest in your ideas. Your life force, the decisive factor and your greatest knowledge. Love yourself as if your life depended on it. Well, because it is. nine0005

Love more more people

This is the best part. Self-love expands the scope of love for others. It's so flawless, beautiful and right. You are not trying to achieve your own isolated happiness. You look into your heart and see how it is connected to all other hearts.

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