Want To Be Loved? Learn To Love Yourself First—Do These 5 Things Now
Valentine’s Day may be over, but as a single person trying to find the love of your life (or not) seeing lovey-dovey couples left and right may make you feel lonely from time to time. Couple that with others’ expectations that you should already be sharing your life with someone, you end up with that dreaded question “What’s wrong with me?”
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When you ask yourself this Q over and over again, you unconsciously tell yourself that there is indeed something wrong with you, even when there’s none. Unknowingly, these thoughts are translated to actions and body movements called "ideomotor signals." And you unconsciously send these negative vibes off to potential mates, telling them that something’s amiss, even before they get to know you.
If that’s not the message you want to convey, then it’s time to ward those negative vibes away. Instead, be kind to yourself and look at yourself as someone worthy of love. Simply put, learn to love yourself, and show it. As you learn to love yourself internally, it will gradually show in the way you speak and behave, making people see you in a different light.
When you’re ready to embrace this change, you may want to start by doing these 5 things that would make you feel special, loved and appreciated by the most important person of them all: yourself.
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1. Practice good self-care. Take that warm bath, brush your teeth, walk, get some rest and nourish yourself daily through healthy activities. When you take better care of your basic needs, you’ll automatically love yourself more.
2. Shower yourself with gratitude. At the start and end of each day, thank yourself for being "you." Look for little things that you appreciate about yourself throughout the day. You may also keep a gratitude journal as a simple reminder that you are awesome and #blessed.
3. Be mindful. Living in the present and being aware of what you think, feel, and want will help you know yourself better. A good sense of self can help you act more based on what you want rather than what others want from you. It’s all about you now.
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4. Set boundaries. It’s OK to say "no" to work, love, or activities that do not nourish you. If you find that certain things deplete your energy or, worse, harm you physically, mentally, and emotionally, then by all means, let them go. Remember, there isn’t enough time in the world to waste on toxic stuff when you could avoid them in the first place. And yes, this includes people! (i.e. those who ask why you’re still single.)
5. Live with purpose. If you consciously and intentionally live a meaningful and loved-filled life, you will make decisions and behave in a way that support this intention. When you find that you’re succeeding in whatever it is that you intend to be, you will start feeling good about yourself and love yourself more. If you’ve never given yourself a pat on the back, now is the time to start doing so.
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It may sound odd at first, but practicing self-love isn’t just a construct that came out of thin air. In fact, self-love takes its roots from centuries of Buddhist tradition, however, it’s just in the past 10 years that it has been studied and deemed crucial to our overall well-being. Scientific evidence proves that those who practice self-love are less likely to be depressed, stressed and anxious. It can also lead to increased levels of happiness, self-confidence and even a stronger immune system. Consequently, when you’re happier, healthier, and more confident, you tend to give out more positive vibes saying “Hey, it’s fun to love me!”
OUR LOVE & SEX EXPERT
Rica Cruz-Evangelista is a Licensed Psychologist with the Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychology Services, and a faculty member at the Ateneo de Manila University. She trained in sex therapy and counseling at the University of Guelph.
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