The final Secret to Happiness Tip #3 has arrived, Self Love. A word liberally used these days – “you need to love yourself more”, “you can’t love another person until you love yourself first”, “you can tell she doesn’t love herself”, “if you loved yourself better that wouldn’t have happened.”

Self love advice is given freely and copiously by friends, loved ones and well intentioned onlookers to steer us back to a happy, fulfilling life.

Self love is foundational to everything, it influences who you pick as a mate, how you cope with problems, how you look after yourself and the image you project out into the world. Self love is a secret to happiness.

What is self love? Firstly, I’ll tell what it isn’t….a beauty makeover, a new set of clothes, being inspired, falling in love. Sure they’ll make you feel good but you can’t grow your self love from here.

Self love stems from appreciating yourself, which grows from actions that support your physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Cultivating self love is a dynamic process that feeds off all the actions and events that mature us. You can tell it’s happening when you start accepting who you are warts and all and rarely feel the need to explain away your short-comings. You have compassion for yourself and others, seeing mankind collectively as on an adventurous journey to find personal meaning. When you’re getting close to real self love you’re more centered in your life purpose and values, and each day you intentionally choose to make the effort to live a full and meaningful life.

Here’s my Six Self Love Tips:

1. Own Yourself. Get clear on what you think, feel and want. Clarity allows you to be YOU regardless of the outside circumstances. You know this has happened when you’re stable, centered, grounded and can weather life’s storms in your stride.

2. Act on your needs rather than your want. You love yourself when you turn away from things that feel exciting and fun in the moment that may not be good for you, to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life. Metaphorically, it’s like junk food – it can taste good now but it’s bad for you long term. Automatic behavior patterns can keep you stuck in the past and erode self love until there is nothing left.

3. Practice self care. You love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. Like nourishing yourself daily through healthy activities, like eating good foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, engaging in healthy relationships and interactions.

4. Set boundaries. Self love shows up in setting limits or saying no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.

5. Protect yourself by bringing the right people into your life. Frenemies says it all, it’s the type of “friends” who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. Get rid of them, life’s too short.

6. Forgive yourself, accept you’re perfectly imperfect. Cease over punishment for mistakes when learning and growing. Ideally learn the lessons, accept your humanness and turn up the love and compassion dial and in the process master your self love.

Now ideally, pick one or two from the tips above and start cranking up your self love meter. It’s true that you can only love a person as much as you love yourself. The more self-love for yourself, the better prepared for healthy relating. And you’ll start attracting people and circumstances that support your well-being and being the best YOU.

Wishing you loads of happiness Julie xxx

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