Let’s be honest — life is sometimes really hard. Sometimes EXTREMELY hard. For so many, the recent Valentine’s holiday wasn’t one of hearts and flowers, but rather one of loneliness and even despair.
You are not alone.
Millions of people feel the same way.
But, it seems to be an emotional snowball, that rolls down the hill getting bigger and bigger. You’re single, so you start to feel unworthy of other’s love. This pulls you away from socially interacting with potential partners, which means less of a chance of developing a relationship. This makes you feel even more lonely and hopeless, which continues to exacerbate the cycle.
So how do you stop this vicious cycle?
Loving yourself is the first step.
Being alone does not have to equal being lonely. And, loving yourself can help you be alone without being lonely. So, how do we learn to love ourselves?
- Appreciate Your Good Qualities – There used to be a skit that ran on SNL – Al Frankken’s Stuart Smalley character. Although comical in the way SNL presented it, there’s power in daily affirmations of one’s self-worth. At the start of each day (pick a regular time, like when you’re brushing your teeth or enjoying that first cup of coffee), mentally list all of your good qualities. EVERYONE has them! Whether it’s something big (your compassion) or small (your nice eyelashes), list them and appreciate these things!
- Stop the Negative Self-Talk – If you hear that little voice in your head saying things like, “Don’t be stupid, they won’t like me.” or “I suck at everything.” etc. this is negative self-talk. It’s hard to love yourself, when this little inner voice is cutting you down at every turn. Instead, when hear that voice – shut it off! Take a moment and consider the positive possible or don’t a mental check about reality. “They won’t like me” says the nasty voice. Think back, “You know, they might like me! I’m smart, funny and caring. And, I won’t know if I don’t try. Plus, worst case scenario, they don’t like me – so what? At least I tried!”
- Allow Yourself to Not be Perfect – No one’s perfect… not even you. Don’t expect perfection from yourself. Instead, love yourself in spite of your flaws and even when you make mistakes.
- Don’t be Afraid to Reach Out for Help – Remember at the beginning of this post I said, “You are not alone.”? You’re not! If you’re having a hard time, you can always reach out to everyone on PEGym, through the forums. The anonymity of the Internet can sometimes be nice, especially when you really want to vent. There’s also no shame in reaching out for professional help. Mental health professionals can help you deal with the anxiety and depression that can develop when we’re lonely. They can also help you develop better responses when things get tough.
The reality is that without loving yourself, it will be very hard for others to love you as well.
Make 2017 the year you learn to really love yourself — because you’re totally worth loving!!