To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself – Thich Nhat Hanh

Self love is important to living well. The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself. Loving yourself is an endless process, it isn’t selfish to take care of your own needs. Selfish is projecting it onto others to do it for you.

The greatest gift you can give yourself is self-love.

When we feel good about ourselves everything improves around us. There is a flow on effect. I’m sure you’ve noticed, when you feel better about yourself everything else seems easier, work, relationships, money, your weight, it all falls into place.

No one can fulfill us or make us happy.

You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself your simple presence can make others happy. If you seek happiness from someone or something else, the happiness is short lived. Your happiness should never depend on something you may lose. Take ownerships of your needs. Other people can share happiness, but the happiness must be within us already. If it isn’t, you’re going to be seeking approval constantly and it is a bottomless pit in which you’ll never feel satisfied.

Letting go of needing to have external validation is a weight lifted off your shoulders.

You feel free to be yourself. The only person you need approval from is yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re thin enough, pretty enough, funny enough. If someone is judging you, then that says something about their self-worth. You are you and there is no need to compare yourself to anyone. We are meant to be different, how boring would it be if everyone was identical. We can learn from one another, but don’t go wishing to be another, cause you’ll never be. Save yourself the torment and start being you.

Be emotionally honest.

We tend to be good at distracting ourselves from our feelings. Using food, drugs and alcohol to numb away our feelings. This is damaging because we almost forget what it is we were feeling. Feelings are there to tell us we need to change something. It’s okay to feel angry, it is telling you that something needs to be addressed.

Thoughts affect feelings.

Change your thoughts, change the feeling. Don’t get caught up reliving the same thing over and over again. Sitting there upset won’t change the matter. Breathe in love, talk yourself happy with affirmations and be grateful for what you do have. There is always something to feel grateful for and always someone out there who has it worse.

Grasping and fighting for happiness pushes it further away.

When you think something should be a certain way we get caught up in a tug of war pulling and pulling but getting stuck. Be willing to surrender. You may not see the whole picture now, but you don’t know what the life plan for you is. Sometimes you have to let go of something you think you want because there is something better there for you now.

There is no rush.

Trust that everything works out. Release urgency, fear and panic. Be patient, good things do come to those that wait.

Practice self-care daily.

Nourish yourself daily through healthy activities, eating well, exercising, good quality sleep, intimacy and good social relationships. Self-love isn’t a once off thing, we have to be mindful every day to treat ourselves well.  Create yourself rituals, maybe 30 minutes of walking at lunch or journaling before breakfast each morning.

Forgive yourself.

This can be the hardest thing, but you must stop being so hard on yourself. You did the best you could with the skills and information you had available to you. There are no failures, if you learn from mistakes, there are only lessons.

You cannot enjoy happiness if you are not at peace with yourself. Working toward self-love and acceptance can take time but there is nothing more important.

Blog post courtesy of Elizabeth Pattalis.

Elizabeth is a registered clinical nutritionist, Personal Trainer and a Pilates instructor for YogaBar. Her mission is to make healthy living simple, realistic and achievable for all her clients. Visit her at www.elizabethpattalis.com