Self-Love Benefits

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Every human being requires love, but most of us probably concentrate a great deal of energy on loving others, including friends, kids, and spouses. But where does that love of yours come from? In most situations, we expect that love will come from the people we care so much for in our lives. The problem is that we are not in a position to influence certain individuals, which explains why most individuals end up dissatisfied because they depend only on external sources of love (Abbey, 300). The best thing is, without depending on other individuals to do it, there is a way to fuel our lives with the love we need. This is when it comes to self-love. Self-love refers to the instinct through which an individual’s actions are directed to the promotion of his or her well-being or welfare, mainly an excessive regard for one’s advantage. The term can also be used as a belief held by individuals that they are valuable and worth people. In the current fast-paced world, it is very easy to neglect the thing that matters most-ourselves. Between appointments, family schools among other million things, our focus is mainly divided among numerous stressors. This paper aims at explaining the advantages of self-love in our daily lives.

Discussion

Apart from making us feel good, self-love benefits our lives in many ways. To start with, it is worth noting that in the current culture that put much value and meaning on wealth and physical appearance. It is very easy to confuse self-love and narcissism. However, by definition, narcissism can be said to be an excess that results in unhealthy self-absorption. Additionally, it leads us on a never-ending quest for fulfillment found through greed or vanity (Cote, James & Charles, 45).Instead, fulfillment should always arise from a place of gratitude and peace which is also the origin of self-love.

Loving yourself involves appreciating oneself for who you are as an individual. It is also the capability to view yourself from an internal point of view instead of basing your worth on exterior value. Different research works have indicated that self-love is all about understanding one’s deep depths as well as being grateful for who you are and who you are not (Jacoby, 119). It is about being in a position to take criticism positively and using it to better oneself instead of blaming your shortcomings on other people.

Through self-love, we are always able to deeply connect with other people as well as the world around them. This is so because; self-love fosters psychological, emotional and physical health. If one is not able to appreciate his or her depth of beauty through self-love, then it goes without saying that one will not be able to appreciate the depth of beauty of in the people around him or her as well as the world around them (Blackburn, 56).Unlike narcissism, self-love is about vitality, not vanity. Moreover, self-love involves getting to the internal core of our human existence as well as locating the sweet spot where one can be himself and happy for whom he or she is. Self-love also helps us to accept who we are. Through self-love, we are always able to carry ourselves with dignity as we can accept who we are.

Different research works have also indicated that self-love leads to greater life satisfaction. Life satisfaction is mainly associated with individuals who always practice self-love. This is so because when we appreciate our self, we are also in a position to appreciate our lives too. Additionally, when human beings hold themselves in high esteem and understand that they are fulfilling their purpose in life, they always tend to have more enjoyment as well as positive attitudes towards the future (Cote, James & Charles, 15).

Moreover, through self-love, human beings can deal with adversity. Research has indicated that individuals who practice self-love are always able to rebound from adversity faster as compared to those who wallow in self-loathing. Despite the fact that we are not able to control what life throws at us, we can manage our responses. Individuals who always feel good about themselves can handle life crises better than those who don’t, which means that they can move on to the good times at a faster rate (Jacoby, 101).

Another benefit of self-love is that it leads to emotional security (Blackburn, 86). Emotional stability is a critical foundation for most of the life aspects. When one is focused on self-love, there is no need to seek approval or validation from other people or the society. This means that one will be able to live according to his or her rules and despite the fact that other people will impact the way one feels at times, one will not spend his life reacting to as well as being dependent on the desires of other people.

Interview

The interview involved Roy Baumeister who is a professor of psychology at the Florida State University. Roy is well known for his research on the self, self-regulation as well as the need to belong. According to Roy, the first step to improving one’s quality of life is realizing the value of self-love. “The second step and the most important one is adding more self-love to one’s life”, Professor Roy. The professor explained the basic tips that can help one to practice self-love which include the following:

Changing one’s self-talk- According to the professor, “it is not advisable to wait until you make things the way they are supposed to be to love yourself” Professor Roy. Instead, the professor insists on changing the focus on what is important. For instance, one can start with just a small feature and love that part first. It is not a must for the part to be perfect; however one needs to understand that he or she is unique in his way. For example, one can start by loving his feet as they always carry you through life in sneakers and heels. The feet can be attracting abuse from different people, but the fact remains that they continue to hold you up.

The second tip as explained by the professor is pampering oneself. “One needs to be more aware of his or her physical condition and should always do things that offer comfort” Professor Roy. For instance, when one is tired after a long day at work, it is always important to sit down and take a break. Through these small things, one gets aware that comfort and well-being are of great importance.

When asked the question of the benefits of self-love, the professor indicated that self-love could lead to better and improved mental health. According to him, “there are high chances of resolving the mental problems, and in some cases, they can be avoided altogether by people who truly love themselves”. This is so because self-love keeps you from getting lost in your head as well as taking a downward path towards negative feelings and thoughts (Weaver, 59). The professor also indicated that those who frequently struggle with issues like addiction needs to cultivate a stronger positive relationship with themselves. Through the relationship, they will be able to understand that self-love can lead them out of their disorders.

Secondly, Roy indicated that self-love could reduce stress while increasing performance. The professor made it clear that self-love reduces procrastination, stress as well as performance anxiety around deadlines. He further indicated that without the last minute doubts concerning yourself, you could complete any work or project with all your energy instead of wasting some on preparation for failure as well as procrastination.

The professor was also quick to indicate that self-love is among the important aspects of a successful life. This according to him is the reason as to why self-love should always be the top priority for every human being. Through loving ourselves, we can show more love towards other people as well as to be among the happiest people in the world (Morton, 77). Additionally, Roy indicated that it is through self-love that human beings learn how to be the best version of themselves and ways of making the most out of their lives. This means that if any human being wants to be happy with his or her life, then self-love should be a priority.

Lastly, the professor indicated that self-love could motivate one to engage in healthy habits as well as to take good care of one’s physical self. This according to Roy does not imply that one is not in a position to see room for improvement; instead, it means that one cares enough to value all parts of him. He concluded by stating that we always express self-love by doing things that make us look and feel our best.

Critics of Self-Love

The critics of self-love maintain that it is natural for every human being to have the natural admiration for oneself. However, in some cases self-love shifts to new extremes where it ends up being more elevated and heightened so much so that it ends up becoming an illness (Ho, 66). For instance, when something is wrong with our physical organs, we are supposed to detect the problem through spotting the symptoms. This according to the critics is not the case in most of us as we always fail to pay attention o cognitive and behavioral issues such as self-love. Therefore, this means that self-love can be intoxicating.

Additionally, self-love means accepting and celebrating ourselves as we are instead of encouraging people to strive for change to improve on their fundamental nature. Moreover, self-love leads to the assumption that our main goal is to look within with aims of finding our true selves and then trying to be as true and authentic to ourselves as we can be (Abbey, 384). This should not be the case as it assumes that we have a stable self which we don’t.

However, the advantages of self-love always outweigh the disadvantages. This means that it is always advisable to practice self-love and to only engage in activities that guarantee our comfort (Lippitt, 99). Through self-love, we will always be in a position to love others and to understand their world which leads to a peaceful coexistence.

In conclusion, it is clear from the discussion that self-love has numerous benefits. Self-love is as important as the love dedicated to the world as it increases optimism concerning the world around us as well as other people. It is also clear that self-love boosts our confidence and helps us to understand that despite what other people drills in everyone’s head, we can influence the public opinion and to make different changes.

Work Cited

Abbey, Ruth. “Swanton and Nietzsche on Self-Love.” The Journal of Value Inquiry 49.3 (2015): 387-403.

Blackburn, Simon. Mirror, mirror: the uses and abuses of self-love. Princeton University Press, 2014: pp. 23-88.

Cote, James E., and Charles G. Levine. Identity, formation, agency, and culture: A social psychological synthesis. Psychology Press, 2014.

Ho, Lok Sang. The psychology and economics of happiness: love, life and positive living. Routledge, 2013.

Jacoby, Mario. Individuation and narcissism: The psychology of self in Jung and Kohut. Taylor & Francis, 2016. Pp. 99-123.

Lippitt, John. Kierkegaard and the Problem of Self-love. Cambridge University Press, 2013. Pp. 54-101

Morton, Carole J. Meisner. Entering Your Own Heart: A Guide to Developing Self Love, Inner Peace and Happiness. Archway Publishing, 2014.

The Interview with Professor Roy Baumeister

Weaver, Darlene Fozard. “Self-Love in Christian ethics.” Self-love and Christian Ethics, pp. 44-80.

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