Do you want to be happier? The best way to start is by simply being good to yourself. This may sound overly simple, but many people skip this and try to make themselves happier by holding themselves to unreachable standards of perfection and by chasing unreachable goals.
Ironically, being good to yourself will bring you closer to reaching such lofty ambitions. The higher you value yourself, the more self-confidence you build.
Happy people report going out of their way to treat themselves right. They do a nice thing for themselves every day. They take care of themselves by setting appropriate boundaries and by saying “no” when they need to. Loving yourself means that you understand saying “no” to things you don’t want to do is an act of self-kindness. Also, you won’t end up having negative feelings about the person who wanted you to do something that you really didn’t want to do.
Here are 10 simple acts of self-kindness you can perform to make yourself happier.
- Do one nice thing each day for yourself.
To help you do this, sign a one-month pledge to yourself to do something loving for yourself every day, whether it’s big or small. Signing the pledge serves as a daily reminder that you’re committed to treating yourself with love and kindness.
Keeping this commitment will reap real benefits. It will motivate you to care better for yourself, to follow your dreams, and to expect people to treat you well.
- Listen to how you talk to yourself.
All of us constantly criticize ourselves in our heads. This reduces our self-confidence. So, start paying attention to your internal tone of voice. Stop negative self-talk. This will help you love yourself and help you realize that you’re good enough.
- Forgive yourself.
Forgiveness is difficult because most of us have spent our whole lives getting angry with ourselves over all of the things we’ve done wrong. People get into trouble when they try so hard to be perfect, but they beat themselves up when they realize that they’re not. Loving yourself means coming to an acceptance that you’re not perfect.
To start forgiving yourself, simply try looking in the mirror and saying, “I love you, and I forgive you.” This will help you be happier.
- Accept yourself just as you are.
This begins with accepting your physical self just as it is today. Things like body image and age are significant stumbling blocks when it comes to happiness. When you start being the best person that you can be with what you have, you’ll love yourself more.
Accepting yourself also means being satisfied with your success and income levels as they are. It’s okay to not be making a certain, set amount by the time you reach a certain age. It’s more important to be happy with what you’re doing.
- Avoid toxic people.
This is probably easier said than done. Don’t tie yourself to business partners, clients, employees, or investors if they’re making you unhappy. And it’s even harder to do this with family members and friends. But there’s no reason to tolerate people who consistently do or say things to you that aren’t kind.
- Tune in to your health.
Staying current on your medications and supplements, exercising, and making healthy dietary modifications are all acts of self-love. It’s common for people to be so busy that they don’t take time to eat. That’s not a very loving thing to do. Take time for something, even if it’s just a snack. But be careful–don’t let watching your diet turn into a reason to beat yourself up if you slip.
- Don’t forget to breathe!
When you feel upset, overworked, or stressed, simple breathing exercises can dramatically increase your happiness quotient. If you practice deep breathing throughout the day, you can keep yourself calmer. Stress won’t get to you and you’ll be healthier and happier.
- Create welcoming spaces for yourself.
Ordering your home and your workspace will help you feel calmer and more in control. Neaten up your workspace and get rid of things you don’t need. But don’t stop with decluttering. Be sure your home and office spaces are just the way you like them, and that they’re pleasant places for you to live and work.
- Get natural light.
Many people work in dark spaces. That’s unloving and very unhealthy. Try to work in a space where you’ll have exposure to natural sunlight. If this isn’t possible, use full-spectrum bulbs in your light fixtures. Either way, make it a priority to go outside, even just for a short walk, as often as you’re able to.
- Purchase premium items for yourself.
If you prefer a pricier brand of something, you should treat yourself and go for it. We often spend top dollar for luxury brands when shopping for others, but we’re cheap and choose the store brand for ourselves. The premium brand is probably just a few dollars extra, but every time you buy it, you’ll reinforce to yourself that you’re worth it.
Being kind to yourself is good for you, for your personal relationships, and for your career, too. The more self-love you build, the more love you’ll have to give to others.