A Healthy Relationship with Yourself is the Best Way to Have Healthy Relationships with Others
What does it mean to have a healthy relationship with yourself? It means not changing the way you live your life, or who you are as a person, just to make other people happy. It means allowing yourself to be seen for who you really are and to be proud of it. It means letting go of feelings that you have to be someone that you’re not.
Many of us have been told that we need to fit in “the box” in order to find the right partner, or job, for instance. In fact, what we need is to be unique, to be outside the box, and to accept our individuality.
When you don’t love yourself, you stop caring for yourself, both emotionally and physically. That lack of self-acceptance and self-love increases your attention on your own negative thoughts about yourself. You need to turn down the volume of those thoughts and begin to consider how you can change things to be more comfortable with yourself. Becoming your true self and accepting the total you, leads you on a path to a happier, healthier place in life.
But creating a healthy relationship with yourself doesn’t happen overnight. Daily practice is necessary at first, to change your mindset. Maintaining a healthy relationship with who you are requires several steps:
Being Grateful for Who You Are
Take a look in the mirror every morning and look for things for which you are, or should be, grateful. Notice how beautiful you look, how soft your skin is, how “cool” your hair is, or what great fashion sense you have. It has been demonstrated that people who are actively grateful are healthier, less depressed and more resilient in times of adversity.
Be Kind to Yourself
Take care of your body. Get a massage, exercise regularly, eat healthy. This is known as the practice of self-care. The more you treat your body the way you should, the more it will help you to develop healthy relationships with yourself, and, over time, with others.
Stop Judging Yourself, and Others
Often we are hard on ourselves, harder than we need to be, and definitely harder than we would be on others. Catch yourself the next time you notice yourself judging the way you, or other people, look or behave. That is not healthy, and certainly not the way you develop friendships of any kind. Try to be kind and accept yourself and others as they are.
Do you spend a long time getting ready to leave the house? Do you obsess over tiny details, or insist on looking a certain way? Past studies have shown that perfectionism is strongly linked to depression. Use some of the time you spend feeling bad about yourself to accept yourself for who you really are. Learning to accept and love yourself, inside and out, will attract more positive healthy-thinking people to you.
You are your Own Worst Critic
Ease up on yourself about all of the negative feelings running around in your head. Start talking yourself out of them. Swap your negative statements for positive ones, and start being your own best friend. Practice saying, “I love myself,” to yourself. The happier you are with yourself, the healthier the friendships you make will be.