Have you ever paused to ask yourself, What really makes me happy?
In our sometimes frantic world, happiness often feels elusive. We chase external factors, forgetting the internal key – self-love.
My exploration into happiness led me to uncover 7 reasons why nurturing self-love is essential.
These insights are not just from my own experiences, but also from seasoned happiness experts.
You’re here because you want to know what makes you happy!
Here’s how embracing self-love can transform your search for happiness into a fulfilling discovery of joy, deeply rooted in who you are.
1. A more positive self-concept
Self-love usually means that you have a positive self-image. You accept yourself, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
When you love and accept yourself for who you are, your authentic self, you’re more likely to feel greater peace with yourself, which can lead to overall happiness.
2. Being authentic
When you love yourself, you’re more committed to living your truth, living authentically.
A soulful person is committed to one’s truth and deeper meaning.
As you commit to being your authentic self, you’re more likely to be happy because you’re doing what you enjoy, you’re self-compassionate, and you give yourself enough space.
3. Greater resilience
Self-love can make you stronger and build resilience.
When you have strong self-worth and feel deep compassion for yourself, you’re better equipped to deal with life’s inevitable challenges and setbacks.
I teach high-vibe thinking in healthcare to help clinicians with well-being and resilience.
As you see that you can handle what life throws your way, it can lead to increased emotional well-being and happiness.
4. Healthier relationships
As you love yourself more, you’re more likely to have healthy boundaries, make choices that are in alignment with your values, and surround yourself with good people.
Positive people with good vibes are more likely to bring out the best in you and increase your overall sense of well-being.
5. Less self-criticism
When you have less self-criticism and negative self-talk, you feel better about yourself. Positive self-talk makes you happier.
In What You Say When You Talk To Yourself by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. he writes, “The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about you, it will create. It has no choice.”
As you’re kinder and more forgiving about your mistakes, you’re less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors that can lead to unhappiness.
Self-forgiveness creates greater happiness.
6. Increased motivation
Self-love can be a big motivator for personal growth and self-discovery.
When you love yourself, you may be more likely to care about personal well-being and pursue your goals.
When you believe you deserve love, you’re more likely to be motivated to try new things because you’re willing to fail to express yourself fully.
7. Not letting outside factors get in the way
In my course, Metamorphosis, the road to finding yourself includes finding self-love.
There are 12 Principles of Metamorphosis and the eleventh principle is Love Yourself.
However, while self-love is important, we also need some structure in our lives that support us like the support of friends and family, financial stability, and having access to resources that support mental health.
Self-love alone may not bring happiness when your external situation is challenging.
According to the American Psychological Association, life satisfaction “is the extent to which a person finds life rich, meaningful, full, or of high quality.”
This practically defines soulfulness!
As you grow in self-love, you’re more likely to find happiness. Here are 7 ways that Self-love contributes to happiness.
Beware of overthinking
In coaching people for over 25 years one common mistake people make is overthinking their lack of happiness.
However, we transform our lives by feeling our way through life while thinking high-quality.
That’s the secret sauce.
Feel. Heal. Think high vibe.
When we overthink our problems we can get stuck.
Overthinking is a waste of your time!
Then again, if you feel the need to think, think, think and process things over in your mind, then that’s where you’re at! That’s what you’ve gotta do!
However, as you grow in self-love and emotionally heal your life, you have less patience for overthinking.
Overthinking relationships can be a sign that the relationship is not working for you or that you need to become more confident.
Instead, lean into the emotion in a way that feels safe and secure.
The soul is here to heal and grow. And as you do so, you help heal the planet!
Do the inner work
Do the emotional and personal work. There’s no easier way to say it. Show up each day for healing your life.
Here’s a framework I’ve created for doing the work for finding yourself.
Even though the article is about finding yourself again after loss, the same four stages apply: 1. Embark on an inner quest to your true self, 2. See yourself clearly. 3. Feel what is real. 4. Be who you’re meant to be.
Mental health considerations
Mental health is an expansive and complicated topic, but mental health can be served by taking care of your deeper needs for love, security, and connection.
There’s no magic pill for finding happiness.
However, a regular spiritual practice keeps you grounded and focused on your connection to a large universe that has your highest good and greatest healing in mind. This kind of connection with the world can 100% increase happiness levels.
What makes me happy?… additional strategies
Here are some additional strategies you can use to increase your happiness…
What makes you happy?
Pay attention to your emotions
We are emotional beings.
And even though some emotions sting and make us feel horrible, the only way past is through.
So, build your tolerance for being about to feel your emotions fully and release them.
Emotions are the body’s way of telling us to take care of our energy.
If you’re sad, take time to be alone, quiet, and soothe yourself. Or, be with people you trust and talk with them about it. (If they feel safe to you.)
If you’re angry, express it in constructive ways like journaling for self-love, writing a letter that you’ll shred, punching a bag, speaking your truth, etc.
And, when you’re afraid… try asking yourself: What am I afraid of?
Then ask: Is this situation I’m afraid of likely to happen… or not?
Is the thing you dread, fear, and worry about something you can take action on?
Facing your fears in this way can help calm you and mobilize you into action.
Sometimes fear is helpful in getting you DO something. Other times fear is an energy drain that’s not serving you.
Practice an attitude of gratitude
As I’ve written in my post, How to Create an Attitude of Gratitude for a Better Life, practicing gratitude will help you enjoy life.
An attitude of gratitude is spending time thinking about all of the people, situations, circumstances, etc. that you’re thankful for.
I suggest a gratitude journal to remind you of all the things that you’re grateful for in your life.
Furthermore, gratitude can shift negative emotions like fear. And fears younger cousins: anxiety, worry, and nervousness!
Emotions are energy and gratitude is higher vibration than fear.
Put inspirational material often. Read books that boost and empower you and help you feel positive emotions.
Spending time reading content that boosts self esteem and creates lower stress is very helpful!
Like this article for example!
This includes getting plenty of rest, enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising, and managing stress.
Self care needs to be one of your habits, not just a week a year! And, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting enough sleep.
Remember, you can’t help those you love from an empty cup! In my experience, happier people have regular self-care routines.
NOTE: If you’re struggling with persistent negative thinking and your self esteem is low, consider speaking with a therapist or counselor. I’m a big fan of therapy. Professionals can provide additional guidance for your mental health.
Spend time with family and friends
Your relationships with friends and family play a significant role in your happiness.
Spend time with people who support you and bring out your best. Relationships can lift your mood and increase your sense of belonging.
Don’t spend money on things you don’t need
Spending money to fill a void within you will cause more unhappiness. More money will not automatically make you happy!
Nothing will drain your happiness more than not having enough money. Note I’m saying “enough money”. This doesn’t mean a lot of money… but enough to pay your bills and have extra to care your yourself and your responsibilities.
Site an authority about stress over money… Blank says, that money stress is a zap to happiness more than about any other stressor.
So the advice here is to not spend money you don’t have on things you don’t need.
Spending too much money can be a clue that you’re distracting from something important. So take a closer look at why you might be doing so.
Buying a lot of material things to fill an inner void will not create a happy life!
Everyday life can be happy. While life is challenging… it can also be filled with joy and a sense of wonder.
Plus, add healthy habits and a daily routine that put in in your happy place.