“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha We’ve all been told that we need to love ourselves more at one time or another, but what exactly does that mean? Self-love is “a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth,” says Dr. Deborah Khoshaba, a clinical psychologist and Director of Program Development and Training at the Hardiness Institute. “When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts,” she says. Loving yourself isn’t always easy, though. So, we’re sharing some simple ways you can work on expanding your self-love and feel happy and confident in your own skin. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others Too often, we compare ourselves to others and use their accomplishments and shortcomings to measure our own. People succeed and fail at different rates, so you need to let go of this habit. Rather than focusing on other’s successes, focus on your own. Do Something You’re Good At and Enjoy Maybe you enjoy painting, or perhaps it’s working with kids. Whatever makes you happy, make time for it! Let Go of the Past This is certainly easier said than done, but it’s something we all need to work on. Don’t dwell on your past, and instead focus on your future. This means not only forgiving yourself for your past mistakes, but also forgiving others who may have hurt you. Guilt and anger will only bring you down. Give Yourself a Compliment Give yourself a compliment every day, whether it’s telling yourself you’re beautiful or congratulating yourself on a job well done at work. Be Active There are so many reasons to exercise regularly. Exercise releases endorphins, a chemical in the brain that triggers a positive feeling and enhances your happiness. Not only does it help you feel your best, but also exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight and clear skin and keeping your body healthy. Take Care of Your Body We all know what we eat has a huge impact on how we look and feel. While you shouldn’t follow a restrictive diet, you should pay attention to what you’re putting in your body. A big part of loving yourself is taking care of your health, so keep processed foods and sweets to a minimum, and eat a diet rich in nutrient-packed foods like fruits and vegetables. Know How to Relax It’s easy to be consumed by the stresses of daily life, but you need to know when and how to relax. Set aside at least 20 minutes every day solely for de-stressing. You can use this time to meditate, practice yoga, relax in a lavender bath, or even color. Utilize these tips to embark on a journey of self-love! Let us know how else you can love yourself by posting in the comments below. For more health and wellness news, visit our Wellness section. One Response Cynthia funegard May 26, 2016 This is a great article! Accessible and simple and practical! All of the articles are easy to understand and to apply to our lives and I greatly appreciate it! Reply Start a Conversation Cancel a Conversation Connect with Enter your WordPress.com blog URL http://.wordpress.com Proceed Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.