When, in Psychology, what we may some times also refer to as "social comparison" takes place among friends, it is likely to further take the form of peer pressure over time. At present, one of the things compared most commonly is romance, also known as one's "love life". 7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, academic performance and relationships with those around them. We often envision the surreal kind of love that we witness in movies; however, reality contains things beyond what we see in the reel world. It is when we expect romance to lovingly hit us in the face, and eventually lose ourselves to it, that we begin to belittle the love we had for ourselves - the love that is most important; above and beyond all other kinds of love.
In order to comprehend the concept of ‘self love’, learning more about it’s value, as well as the importance of its presence in our lives is crucial to our understanding of it.
Love for Oneself
In simple words, self love refers to the appreciation an individual has for oneself. It is the constant regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. This includes acknowledging and accepting one’s positives and negatives, as well as taking periodic initiatives to let yourself know how much you love you.
The Value of Self Love
Loving oneself is critically important to ensure a person’s emotional health and strength. People who love themselves may not necessarily be self-obsessed, or one with an inferiority complex. An individual practising self-love can absolutely be a person with optimum levels of self-confidence and self-esteem; somebody who does not carry a grand persona, but is simply content with themselves.
The reason I say self-love is an essential aspect of our being is because it impacts how we project ourselves everywhere - be it at work or within our social circles, how we view ourselves against the perception that others have about us, the kind of partner we would choose to be with, as well as our ability to cope with life’s day-to-day stressors.
What Self-love does to You
It is only when we begin to practise self-love, that we come face to face with the positive impacts of it. Some of these are:
Self-confidence & Self-esteem
You will never come across a person indulging in self-love who is low on confidence. Self-love promotes things people do to improve their own well-being, which means that they value themselves. Those who know the importance of their being and happiness are always found to have good levels of self-esteem and self-confidence.
When we begin to love ourselves is when we put in conscious efforts to understand who we truly are - right from our likes to dislikes, to our tastes and preferences. As a result, self-awareness goes on to becoming a by-product of an individual who practices self-love on a timely basis.
At times, the process of taking accountability for our actions may cause us to be too hard on ourselves. People are known to ‘punish’ themselves in ways of their own for the mistakes that they make. People with self-love, however, have a clear understanding of the fact that they are human enough to make errors, both in judgement and in action, and hence accept their imperfections while continuing on their path towards growth and development.
Self-love is known to make people take conscious efforts towards taking care of their basic needs. Such individuals feel better both emotionally and bodily owing to good physical health, proper sleep, as well as positive interpersonal interactions with those around them.
A person who engages in self-love is fully aware of the kind of people that would promote their emotional wellness, and so they live a life free of toxic relationships that would state otherwise. Self-love enables us to understand the impact our relationships with people have upon our growth and development, and hence empower us to invest wisely in people.
Finding Happiness becomes Easy
It is common for one to feel happy about their own achievements. How many of us, on the other hand, feel genuinely happy over the achievements of others? Self-love encourages a person to find happiness in the accomplishments of those around us, since one is truly happy for another when they have zero complexes existing between them. The possibility of comparison is less to none, which in turn helps us to feel happy even if the achievement isn't our own.
Freedom from Worldly Pressures
People often adopt habits or set goals because many others they know are doing it, or because their parents desire it from them, or simply because they wish to gain acceptance within their respective environments. A person practising self-love accepts themselves for who they are, and hence does not feel the need to think or behave a certain way because others are doing so. They know their boundaries, and also find it relatively easy to say ‘no’ when it’s required, because they realise that denial will not lower their worth in any way.
Accepting the Highs and Lows
Self-love makes people reality-oriented. As a result, a person is better able to accept the fact that we as humans will have our good days and bad days, and both are fundamental pillars of our existence. By doing so, have the stress an individual undergoes will have been avoided.
The state of mindfulness is one wherein an individual’s thoughts, words, and actions are in sync with each other. This means, that a person will speak and do as they think in a positive and optimistic manner. By being mindful, one can easily attain peace and harmony.
Self-love is one of the most beautiful things you can do to yourself. It is, however, a constant process, and takes one time to master it. What really matters here is the initiative and effort that should come from none but us in order to maintain our state of contentment and serenity, because that is the key to a fulfilling life!