To love and be loved are some of the greatest feelings that can ever be felt; but before you can properly give and receive love, you must first learn to love yourself. This is easier said than done — so here are 16 things to help with that:
1. Compliment yourself daily
If you do something awesome, tell yourself you are awesome. If you do something you are not proud of, fix it, and then compliment yourself for that. If you look especially good that day, let yourself know.
2. Focus on your strengths
Know what you are good at and capitalize on those things. Don't focus on what other people can do better than you. Every one of us has unique talents and interests. Love yourself for what you are good at.
3. Don't put yourself down
Never, ever, ever tell yourself you aren't good enough — or smart enough or pretty enough. Tell yourself you are good enough, every single day.
4. Take the time to self-reflect
Know who you are, know your purpose, know your dreams and desires. Take the time to sit quietly for a few minutes and reflect on who you are and who you want to be each day. And then stick to it.
5. Choose happiness
When you are tempted to put yourself down or feel bad about something, choose instead to be happy. It is easier to love yourself — and others — when you choose to have a joyful attitude.
6. Be honest with yourself
Be honest with your emotions. If you are sad or angry, figure out why, and then choose to remedy it. Let yourself feel, but be honest enough with yourself — and strong enough — to do what needs to be done.
7. Try something new
When you are stuck in a rut, it's easy to get mad at yourself or hate your life. So help yourself out of it. Do something you have always wanted to try, or make the time to pick up an old hobby. Do something for you, and you may surprise yourself.
8. Pull yourself away from technology
Technology and social media make it easy to self-loathe and sink into depression. If you spend too much time on social media, pull back a little. You don't have to cut it out entirely, but be smart about its use. Also, try following more uplifting, inspiring accounts so that when you are online, you are seeing more positive than negative.
9. Be patient with yourself
It is impossible to be perfect at everything. Give yourself the time to grow and learn before you beat yourself up about it.
10. Find your purpose — and write it down
Find your purpose, whatever it may be. Write it down, reflect on it and let it guide your life.
11. Let go of your mistakes
Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes. So when you do, apologize, fix it and genuinely try to be better moving forward.
12. Be comfortable being you
Take the time to get to know the real you and embrace your quirks. Be comfortable with the fact that not everyone is going to think you are the greatest thing to ever grace this planet; loving yourself isn't about them.
13. Have fun!
No one likes a Debbie Downer, so get out there, have fun and enjoy your own company.
14. Surround yourself with love
Surround yourself with people you love, music that uplifts and television that is positive. Push all negativity out of your life.
15. Be confident
Some people are naturally more confident than others, but confidence is only a state of mind. If you are confident in who you are and what you love, then it will be impossible not to love yourself. Don't sell yourself short.
16. Get enough sleep
Do what it takes to be healthy. You will feel better about yourself, about life and everything around you.
Some of these abilities may come easier than others. But each can be achieved with genuine effort, and will make a noticeable difference in your life.