If you want to build up a loving, healthy relationship with yourself, you have to understand why you’re not feeling self-loving and do habits to build up your self love. Read on…
Do you sometimes feel like you’re locked in a boxing match with your thoughts – with regular jabs of self-doubt and whacks to your self-esteem.
If so, you’re not alone in the ring. Many of us grapple with an unloving relationship with ourselves, where we are our own harshest critics, constantly downplaying our achievements and magnifying our faults.
Thankfully, there’s a way to build a more loving self-relationship – where your self-compassion drowns out self-criticism. And I’m here to help explain how to get to this happier place of inner acceptance.
Coming up – learn how to cultivate a strong, healthy relationship with yourself.
A loving, healthy self-relationship is one where you view yourself through a lens of positivity, recognizing your strengths and embracing your flaws not as failures, but as facets of your unique human experience.
You celebrate your victories, however small, and view setbacks not as defining your worth but as opportunities for growth and learning. You set boundaries with grace, understanding that saying no to others can mean saying yes to your well-being.
Here, kindness and compassion towards yourself aren’t occasional acts, but habitual responses.
On the flip side, an unloving, unhealthy self-relationship is characterized by a relentless stream of negative self-talk, where you become your own worst critic, constantly belittling and doubting your capabilities.
In this state, personal needs are often ignored, not out of selflessness, but from a belief that you don’t deserve care or attention.
Here, your habitual inner voice is not one of encouragement, but of criticism.
Unloving, unhealthy self-relationships don’t emerge in a vacuum. They are the result of different factors.
The seeds of self-perception are often sown in our earliest years. How we were treated by parents, caregivers, and peers can profoundly influence how we view ourselves.
Neglect, over-criticism, or even excessive pampering can skew the development of a healthy self-image.
We live in a world saturated with messages about how we should look, act, and feel. The pressure to conform to these standards can lead to unloving, unrealistic ideals, creating a gap between who we are and who we think we should be.
Traumatic experiences, whether physical, emotional, or psychological, can leave deep imprints on our self-esteem. These experiences can lead to feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, and a distorted view of self-worth.
The regular stressors of life, from work pressures to relationship issues, can chip away at our sense of self. When we’re constantly in survival mode, caring for ourselves can take a backseat, leading to a neglectful self-relationship.
An unhealthy self-relationship often perpetuates itself. Negative thoughts lead to negative behaviors, which in turn reinforce negative thoughts. It’s a vicious negative thought cycle where each negative self-perception acts as a brick, building a wall that separates us from a healthier, more positive view of ourselves.
It’s about time we treat ourselves with the same empathy and understanding we reserve for our friends when they’re having a rough day.
Assignment: Start each day by affirming your worth and embracing your imperfections. Repeat affirmations that resonate with your inner self. For instance:
Self-reflection is a powerful tool for understanding your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It helps you to connect with your inner self, recognizing your desires, fears, and dreams.
Assignment: Maintain a journal, but don’t just log your day. Regularly reflect on your experiences. Ask yourself questions like:
Setting boundaries isn’t about building walls. It’s about laying out your personal ground rules in a world that often tries to overstep them. It’s about knowing your limits and communicating them effectively.
Assignment: Reflect on areas where you feel overwhelmed or taken advantage of. Practice saying no, and remember, it’s a complete sentence. Remember, it’s okay to say no to things that don’t serve your well-being. At first it might be hard to speak, but overtime and with practice you will feel comfortable with asserting yourself in a firm manner.
Investing time in things you are passionate about is vital for a fulfilling self-relationship. It’s about honoring your interests and talents, giving yourself permission to pursue what truly lights you up – and do a little happy dance. The more you do things you love, the more you appreciate and love what makes you unique and wonderful. And all this self-appreciation leads to more self respect and a healthier self-relationship. The reverse is also true. The more you do habits you’re not proud of – like addictions – the more you feel bad about yourself, and the more tarnish your self-relationship.
Assignment: Carve out time each week to do something you love, something that reminds you of your uniqueness – whether it’s painting, hiking, coding, cooking, etc. Schedule time in your calendar for this hobby or activity – so you actually do it.
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment – – even when your mind wants to time travel to the past or future. It’s about observing your thoughts and feelings – without judgment – and fostering a deeper understanding and acceptance of yourself.
Assignment: Set aside a few minutes each day for mindfulness practices, be it through meditation, mindful walking, or simply savoring your coffee without the distraction of your phone. Focus on your breath and observe your thoughts as they come and go. This practice can help ground you in the present, enhancing your self-awareness and inner peace.
Building a healthy relationship with yourself is a continual process of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and self-growth. Remember that each step forward to more self-love, no matter how small, is a step closer towards a more respectful and fulfilling relationship with the most important person in your life: you.
If you need further support to boost your self-love, let’s chat.
Plus explore my bestselling and therapist recommended online program: The Anxiety Cure Online Course.