Loving myself has been a bit of a trial and error experience for me over the years. Deep within me seems to be an intrinsic feeling of inadequacy that no matter how hard I try, I find difficult to shake. Now, I’m not a fan of self-deprecation. I know there are people out there with real struggles in life; people who wake up every day knowing that life will be a struggle, yet find the strength to greet the day anyway. Those people make us realise how lucky we are to be us, to have the life that we have and be the person that we are.
Yet even so, like everyone, I have those days. You know the ones, right? The days where getting out of bed seems like a chore. Those days where you look into the mirror and despise your refection. Those days where every action you make seems to hinder your progress. Those days where nothing you do feels enough. Those days where someone can utter one constructive criticism and you feel your insides shrivel into a painful, crushing ball of hopelessness.
But why should we live through those days a victim of our insecurities? Why should we wish the day over so that we may wake up hoping that tomorrow goes well enough to forget? Life is too short, too fleeting to accept unnecessary negativity. In order to live a happier life we must purge ourselves of toxins that take up the room that positivity should reside.
How to Love Yourself and Be Happier in 14 Easy Steps
- Switch off your phone. Too many of us sacrifice hours of sleep, hours of mental rest, through our addiction to technology. Switch off your phone and let your body relax from the agitation and overstimulation for at least an hour a day.
- Accept that the only person whose life you are entitled an influence to is your own. It doesn’t matter what anyone is doing, or whether or not you agree with it; their life is their own. Focus only on your own decisions.
- Daydream. I used to think it was just me who did this, but let yourself zone out of reality for a little while and lose yourself in the make-believe. Life can feel like a heavy weight upon our shoulders and sometimes, all it takes is a break from reality to give you the drive and motivation to make it through to better times.
- Purge the negative people and invite in the positive. You can’t change some people, but you can change their influence on your life. Cast them aside and invite people whose outlook on life makes a positive impact on your own.
- Spend a little money. We all seem to be saving our hard-earned dollar for ‘one day’, but the longer we save it, the further that day becomes. You can always make more money; you can’t always make more memories.
- Do one spontaneous thing every day. We live life so restricted by routines, obligations, expectations. But big or small, there is always time to do one spontaneous thing every day to keep your life exciting.
- Let yourself feel what you feel. Happy or sad, frustrated or lonely, let yourself feel your emotions rather than push them aside; not only will this free your mind and relax your tensions, but you’ll begin to accept yourself for who you are, emotions and all.
- Rip off the band-aid. We get setbacks in life, but living in denial won’t make our problems go away, only prolong the effect they have on our lives. Deal with things immediately and watch yourself heal quicker.
- Remember the things that you love. Writing, reading, gardening, cooking… Our hobbies are the first things we sacrifice when life gets busy. It’s important to make time for the things that you love; one day, you’ll need them.
- Be your own person. You might want to compare yourself to another out of jealousy, envy, insecurity… But every other person in the world has their own challenges and insecurities that are concealed from you. Be your own person, because you are enough.
- Remember that there are no time limits in life. We might aspire to achieve something within a certain time period, but what happens when we do achieve that thing we focus our whole lives on? Take your time to enjoy the journey rather than focusing entirely on the destination.
- Spend time with your children. Perhaps you have your own children. Nieces. Nephews. Cousins. God-children. Spend time with the younger generation. Lord knows, their innocence is a blessing in this cynical adult-world.
- Pamper yourself. No one feels their best when they’re in need of a shower, a good sleep and an over-due haircut. Make time for your outward appearance as the little things can go a long way in giving you confidence.
- Be nice. Most of us don’t mean to, but sometimes, we act impulsively and sell our worst selves to others. Being nice goes a long way in leaving great lasting impressions and helping you feel happy in yourself.