Many cultures and societies have different ways of expressing and thinking about love. In ancient Greece they had 8 different words to discuss different types of love. Eros referred to romantic and passionate love while Philia meant affectionate love or friendship. Agape is selfless universal love, Storge is familiar love or love of family, and Mania was obsessive love. Ludus was playful love and Pragma means enduring love. The type of love that we are going to explore today is Philautia, or self-love.
Definitions of Self- Love
According to Merriam-Webster, self-love can be defined as “1) An appreciation of one’s own worth or virtue and 2) Proper regard for and attention to one’s own happiness or well-being.” In short, it is the art of accepting and recognizing yourself. There are many ways to start your self-love journey and below we have put together some ideas to get you started.
How to Practice
There are a multitude of ways to practice self-love. The examples below are merely a starting point as you work to find the ways that ultimately work best for you. So try a few out and see how they feel. These are all designed to help you better practice self-love of your mind and body.
Give Yourself Permission to Love Yourself
This is an important starting point. With work, stress, and any number of societal stressors and pressures, when was the last time that you felt that you were allowed to love yourself? Have you ever given yourself permission to do so? Giving yourself permission to feel that you are allowed to love yourself, can allow you to push past that initial barrier of self-doubt.
Find More Reasons to Laugh
Laughter can be a powerful medicine. Physically, and mentally, it works to soothe tension, offer some pain relief, improve your mood, and assist your immune system. Laughter leads to positive thoughts which can trigger a chemical response in your body that works towards fighting stress.
Declutter your physical surroundings and online surroundings. Tidying up your physical space can help improve mental space. Working in a cluttered environment can lead to an increase in stress and a decrease in focus and mental energy. Tidying up, even just a little, can help provide some breathing “room”, pun intended.
If you have social media, when was the last time that you went through and really looked at what you were looking at? Are there certain topics or friends on there that are only stressing you out? Are there different sites that only cause you stress every time you log on? If so, its okay to cut all that loose. If it makes you unhappy and less satisfied with yourself, give yourself permission to say goodbye to that.
Make a List
What are some things that you love about yourself? It is all too easy to think about the things that we dislike about ourselves mentally and physically but harder to stop and think about the things we actually like. When you make your list, it does not have to be a long one. Start small. Try writing 3 things that you like about yourself. The trick is making sure that you are writing things without qualifiers.
Find what makes you happy. Take yourself out on a date to your favorite restaurant or find a park that makes you smile when you see a particular view. Take some time to read a book and enjoy some self-care. Whatever it looks like for you, find ways to recognize and acknowledge the greatness of you. You are worth it.
Wherever you are on your self-love journey, our licensed therapists are here to listen and assist in any way they can. Call us at 513-846-5283 or check out our Contact Us page and we will respond as quickly as possible. We look forward to meeting you!
A, G., Gct, Martin, N., Antonopoulos, P., Bureau, A., & Mazonakis, S. (2020, February 14). The 8 ancient greek words for Love. Greek City Times. Retrieved January 17, 2023
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, July 29). Stress relief from laughter? it’s no joke. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 17, 2023
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Self-love definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved January 17, 2023
Nyx, J. (2022, November 3). 34 ways to practice self-love and be good to yourself. Lifehack. Retrieved January 17, 2023