5 Simple Ways to Increase Self-love (Backed by Research)

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”


 A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval, so saith Mark Twain. And below are five effective and science-backed tips that will help you love appreciate yourself more. Here they are:

1. A little pampering doesn`t hurt

“Respect your body’s needs. Give your body excellent care to promote its health and well-being. Give it everything it absolutely requires, including healthy food and drink, dignified clothing, and a warm and comfortable home.” From Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus.

Pay attention to your “Me Time” and reward yourself regularly. There`s a fine line between self-indulgence and self-care and it`s the same difference between a cheat meal and binge eating all day long. My advice is to set weekly and monthly goals for yourself, then reward

I like setting goals on monthly and weekly basis for two reasons. First, because I enjoy the rush I get after achieving them, and second, because I get to reward myself regularly and guiltlessly —which I encourage you to do.

You can treat yourself in so many ways; a weekly massage, kinky sex, a movie night, a cheat meal or a nice pair of boots. These things, if done consistently, will increase both your self-discipline and self worth.

2. Ask the what-if question

All self-love books talk about the concept of talking to yourself the way you deal with your closest friend when they make a mistake. We often handle our friends` mistakes and flaws

Whenever you make a mistake or feel insecure, ask yourself “what would I say to my mom, friend or lover if they were in the same situation?” Once you realize that your kinder to them than you are to yourself, you`ll begin to change.

3. Burn your F list

Write a list of the worst 5 people in your life. Put any toxic, manipulative, unapologetic friend or family member on this list and burn it, then plan to distance yourself from at least three of them this month.

This is challenging and you may feel great guilt especially if this person is very close to you, but still, staying away from negative, non-supportive, emotionally-draining control freaks will free you and increase your sense of independence and self respect.

Studies have shown that each one of us needs eight types of friends/people to be happy:

The builder: A great motivator

The champion: Someone who accepts you for who you are

The Collaborator: Someone with similar interests.

The Companion: The first person you call when you have an issue.

The Connector: A great networker who can expand your social circle

The Energizer: Someone who makes you laugh

 The Mind opener: A risk taker who encourages you to embrace new ideas

The Navigator: A mentor

Make your goal this year to replace your toxic friends/family members with people who fit any or all of these eight categories and you`ll win massively. You owe it to yourself.

4. Be consistent with how you praise yourself

The fastest way to self acceptance is to CONSISTENTLY remember the things you like about yourself.

Take just one minute every morning to list three things that you like about yourself. This can be anything from a facial feature you have to how you handled a certain situation.

The key is to make this exercise a lifelong practice because if you do, I promise you`ll see yourself in a whole new —and positive— way which will neutralize, or at least lessen, the effect of any labels you give yourself like “I`m lazy/stupid/ugly/always late…etc.

5. Take care of your health (Appreciate your body)

I was watching some YouTube videos for people who`ve lost a huge amount of weight and not a single one of them said he didn`t hated himself for how he looked.

Food is delicious and numbs a lot of bad emotions but if you think you`re carrying more weight than you should be, then most probably you`re not feeling that good about yourself.

Weight loss is a journey that teaches you a lot about discipline, acceptance and self-love, and if you do it right, you`ll take your self-worth to the roof. My advice? Start slowly and make no more than two changes at a time:

Move more often

Exercise in its simplest movement is nothing but movement. Start at your favorite pace and don`t make things complicated. If you`re someone who hates exercising, then maybe a light jog or even a walk in the park is a good start for you.

I once read about how Darren Hardy —the entrepreneur and author— helped his personal assistant lose a lot of weight by setting her a daily goal of walking an extra 5 minutes every single day. She lost a ton of weight in less than eight month and ran her first full marathon a year later. You can do this with a little patience.

Sleep well

You must get enough sleep. According to studies, good sleep can help you eat less, exercise better and be healthier. On the contrary, insomnia can lead to anxiety, high blood pressure, low sex drive, bad memory and heart problems.

So, how to improve the quality of your night sleep:

  • Consume less caffeine before your bed time
  • Reduce blue light exposure during the night
  • Wear comfy clothes to bed
  • Reduce long day-time naps
  • Have a bed-time routine and try to sleep and wake up at fixed hours
  • Exercise regularly

Replace one bad food with a healthier one

Eating healthy isn`t an easy thing to do with all the options we have now. In fact, I know a lot of people who can exercise regularly but don`t look fit because they`re addicted to artificial sugar and cheeseburgers.

However, it`s possible that you change your relationship about food —and thus increase your self-worth— if you ease your way into healthy eating and adapt and lifestyle (not a diet) that you can sustain for a very long time.

I started my health-eating journey by learning how to cook. I learned a lot of recipes that taught me that healthy food can be delicious. I also understood why all fitness gurus say meal prepping is key to weight-loss because it eliminates many bad decisions you could`ve made otherwise. So, here is some stuff you can make to shed off some weight pretty easily:

  • Chew your food well
  • Learn 3 new healthy recipes using a type of food that you love ( try chicken, fish, or lean meet if you`re not vegan)
  • Try intermittent fasting. There isn`t so much to eat in a 4-8 hour feeding window.
  • Eat whole foods
  • Choose a slightly healthier option when you`re eating out like substituting pizza for chicken
  • Substitute soda for tea or coffee. Even if sweetened, you won`t add the 10 spoons of sugar that a regular can of Coke has. Also, and unlike soda, coffee and tea are extremely good for your health.