Why Self-love is More Important than You Think

Why “self-love muna” is more important than you think

Sarili mo naman ang pillin mo.” (Choose yourself.) This is a constant reminder of Mary Jane, 24 years old, to herself. Her recent break-up with her boyfriend has turned her world upside down. Picking up the pieces is tough but Mary Jane realized that focusing on self-love will help her move forward. 

What is self-love?

  • Psych Central defines self-love as believing in yourself and treating yourself with kindness and respect. Self-love is not limited to physical actions, but it also extends to your thoughts and feelings about yourself. In addition, self-love is learning to appreciate your worth and consciously choosing your wants and needs for your growth and well-being. 

    When you love yourself, you recognize your strengths, and at the same time, you’re aware of your shortcomings but you’re not too hard on yourself. You focus on your growth by owning up to your mistakes and motivating yourself to learn from tough experiences.

How do people practice self-love?

Self-love means a variety of things to different people. To give you an idea, we asked a few individuals how they express self-love. 

  • Journaling is my way of practicing self-love. I use the blank pages to reflect on my thoughts and feelings. I acknowledge every small win by recognizing my efforts and the good decisions I made. At the same time, I also contemplate my shortcomings so I can improve myself. – Kat, 21 years old

  • When I need a dose of self-love, I paint or sketch because I find art both fun and therapeutic. The canvas is a safe place for me to express my thoughts and emotions without being judged. – Richard, 38 years old

  • Isa or dalawang beses sa isang taon, umaakyat ako ng bundok kasama ang mga mountaineer friends ko. Nakakapagod yung pag-akyat pero ‘pag nasa taas na ako, ang sarap ng feeling at napaka-peaceful. (Once or twice a year, I climb a mountain with my mountaineer friends. The climb is challenging but rewarding, and it’s very peaceful at the top.) – Dom, 32 years old

  • When I wake up in the morning, I say this to myself: “I am worthy of all the good things life has to offer.” This positive self-love affirmation has helped boost my self-esteem, Alta- 29 years old

  • I love being in the water. I reward myself by going surfing in Siargao or scuba diving in Anilao. – Tani, 24 years old

  • I make it a point to prioritize my health by undergoing a complete medical check-up once a year. – Kenneth, 50 years old
  • I treat myself to a pedicure and lash extensions. I also go biking with my husband at least three times a month. I love long bike rides because it relieves stress and gives me mental clarity. – Khristina, 41 years old

  • I read the bible and spend time with family and friends. – Weng, 48 years old

What are the benefits of self-love?

  1. Establishes self-awareness

The journey of self-love begins with self-awareness. To be able to love yourself, you have to realize your worth and potential. The process involves understanding your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and how they affect you. Self-awareness also means acknowledging and accepting your strengths, as well as your weaknesses, which provide you a more realistic assessment of your capabilities. According to More Self Esteem, self-awareness also benefits your relationships because it enables you to give more of yourself to others. 

  1. Lowers stress and promotes resilience

A sense of self-love gives you the strength to face life’s challenges. Without it, negative feelings and self-doubt can easily overcome you. Whereas, when you feel good about yourself, you become more capable of dealing with the obstacles in front of you. Self-love also infuses you with a positive outlook in life that makes challenges seem like temporary setbacks. This ability to endure tough situations helps lower stress and build resilience. 

  1. Builds courage to try new things and take risks

One of the difficult things about navigating through life is having the courage to try new things and take risks. Although some risks may be seen as dangerous, taking calculated risks can drive you to achieve your goals and propel you forward. Moreso, going out of your comfort zone by trying new things can help you unlock new opportunities. When you love and trust yourself, you’re more likely to take risks that you believe will be good for you. 

  1. Develops self-compassion

According to Medical News Today, the desire to succeed and do things right all the time can make people overly critical of themselves. Studies have shown that too much self-criticism can make you prone to several illnesses, both physical and mental such as irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorders, fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety.

When you cultivate self-love, you understand that failure is not synonymous with defeat, but an opportunity for growth. Thus, self-love entails being kind, understanding, and forgiving toward yourself when you don’t succeed or feel inadequate. As you develop self-compassion, the practice transcends to how you treat others.

  1. Sets boundaries

Sometimes the desire for social acceptance makes you feel obliged to say yes to things you do not want to do. A vital part of self-love is knowing what, when, and whom to give your energy to — and when to set boundaries for things, situations, and people who don’t deserve your time.

Glow with self-love

Putting self-love muna into practice drives you to engage in activities that promote your overall happiness and well-being. It’s your ticket to establishing self-awareness, boosting self-esteem, lowering stress, building resilience, developing self-compassion, and last but not least, setting boundaries. 

Sources:

Psych Central

More Self Esteem

Medical News Today

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