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Posted 02/13/2024 in Christian Mental Health Tips

In a Relationship with Myself: Love Yourself First with These Tips

In a Relationship with Myself: Love Yourself First with These Tips

The most enduring and crucial connection you'll ever build is the one within – the bond you forge with yourself. This isn't about neglecting other relationships with your family, but rather establishing a secure, loving foundation from which they can flourish. When this "inner garden" thrives, we radiate confidence, kindness, and joy outward, enriching every aspect of our lives. As Proverbs 4:23 wisely states, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

This isn't just about self-improvement or self-esteem; it's about cultivating a healthy relationship with ourselves, anchored in the unwavering love of our Creator. Just as James 1:23-25 reminds us, "Being a doer of the word and not a hearer only, you deceive yourselves. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law of liberty and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing."

Our childhood experiences, like gentle sun on a young flower, profoundly shape this inner bond. Loving words and acceptance nurture self-worth, while harshness and neglect can leave shadows of doubt and insecurity. Yet, even in those shadows, God's love beams, offering healing and hope. As 1 John 4:8 declares, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

12 Tips to Have a Healthy Relationship with Yourself.

Below are ten tips to build a healthier relationship with yourself: 

Find Acceptance in Yourself

Start by embracing yourself with the gentle compassion of Christ. As Romans 12:3 encourages, "think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Forgive yourself for past shortcomings and embrace your current imperfections as stepping stones on the path towards wholeness and self-compassion.

This grants you permission to be content with who you are as a person without passing judgment. It's essential to recognize that a good relationship with oneself is the cornerstone of acceptance. You cannot expect others to accept you if you don't first accept yourself. Embracing yourself as you are provides the necessary space for growth, evolution, and increased confidence. Therefore, foster a good relationship with yourself, and from that foundation, initiate any changes that contribute to your self-improvement.

Love Yourself Unconditionally

Extend this love inward, showering your soul with unconditional affection. Accept that mistakes are part of the human journey and treat yourself with the same kindness and patience you offer others. 

Loving yourself unconditionally comes before loving any other person which is why Matthew 22:39 says love your neighbor as yourself. It is important to show kindness and compassion to yourself if you expect it from other people. If you are hard on yourself, how can you expect other people to love you unconditionally? Make the decision to love yourself even if you make mistakes.

Accept those mistakes without judgment or shame and move on towards improving on them. By loving yourself unconditionally, you set the precedent for other people that you are worthy of being treated with kindness and respect.

Learning to love yourself is a journey that requires patience and practice. For more guidance on embracing yourself with kindness and understanding, consider the strategies outlined in how to love yourself more. This article offers practical steps to deepen your self-love in a way that reflects God's love for us.

Prioritize Basic Self-Care

To improve self-love, you should be focusing on self-care activities to nurture your relationship with yourself and honor your body and mind as instruments of God's grace. These include proper sleep, focusing on your nutrition, ample rest, recreation, and mental health check-ins or mindful meditations to keep yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. As Proverbs 24:13-14 states, "Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb drips sweetness. Know that wisdom is like honey to your soul, if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." 

By taking care of yourself, you will be able to build routines, trust, and reliability in yourself over time, and such habits of self-care lead to improved mental health and relationships with oneself.

Self-care is not just a modern concept but is deeply rooted in biblical teachings. To understand how self-care aligns with scripture and how to implement it in a way that honors God, read more about self-care in the Bible. This will provide you with a spiritual perspective on nurturing your body and soul.

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Set boundaries

Setting boundaries is crucial to maintaining a healthy self-relationship and fostering meaningful connections with others. In Proverbs 4:23, the Bible reminds us, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." This biblical wisdom underscores the importance of establishing clear, fair boundaries to protect our well-being and guide our interactions with others.

While it may initially feel uncomfortable, embracing this practice over time serves two purposes: it attends to your needs and establishes predictability, fostering stronger relationships both with yourself and those around you.

Find Purpose in Meaningful Activities

Find activities and hobbies that make your life meaningful and give you a sense of accomplishment. This could be work too but not everyone has a job that they love, hence it is important to seek meaning and purpose outside of work too. Meaningful activities could include hobbies, recreation, volunteer activities, exercising and so much more including meaningful relationships.

Remember, as Colossians 3:23-24 reminds us, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

Establish Good Habits

Establish routines that foster self-improvement and nurture your inner harmony. Early mornings spent in prayer and meditation, journaling your thoughts and emotions, and setting achievable goals can all pave the way for a flourishing self-relationship.
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Speak Kindly to Yourself

Just as Proverbs 15:1 urges us, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Be mindful of your inner dialogue, replacing harsh self-criticism with gentle encouragement and understanding.

If you tend to speak harshly to yourself, start noticing your patterns, stop yourself, and reflect back on why you are being harsh and judgmental. Notice how that thought made you feel, your heart rate, or whether you feel agitated, anxious, depressed, or angry. Identify and name the emotion that comes up, accept, and feel it, and then decide to let it go and be gentle and kind to yourself.

Forgive Yourself

Holding onto past mistakes and grievances can significantly hinder your journey towards self-love and acceptance. Learning to let go of the past is not only liberating but essential for moving forward with grace and self-compassion.

For those seeking guidance on this journey, How to Let the Past Go offers valuable insights and biblical perspectives on forgiveness and healing. This article can help you navigate the process of releasing past hurts and embracing the freedom that comes with genuine self-forgiveness, aligning with God's promise of renewal and redemption.

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Set Short and Long-Term Goals

Start writing down the goals that you plan to accomplish. This can help you bring them to fruition and lead to feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment. A great practice would be writing down both short and long-term goals and separating them. Start brainstorming small actions for each goal and put the list in a place where you can see it daily.

This can act as a great reminder of your bigger goal, i.e., improving your relationship with yourself as you accomplish all your goals. It is also important to not be too hard on yourself when it comes to goal setting and to set realistic and achievable goals.

Celebrate each milestone, recognizing your progress as a testament to your dedication and God's guidance. Philippians 3:13-14 inspires us, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have attained it; but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Be Comfortable Spending Time with Yourself

A lot of people are scared to be alone with themselves or of solitude. Solitude does not mean being lonely; it means being comfortable in your own company because you have a healthy relationship with yourself. While it is healthy to seek and nurture relationships, one should also learn to love their own company. This time in solitude can tell you a lot about yourself, help you self-reflect, and live mindfully.

You can also disconnect from the distractions of the world and spend time in quiet contemplation, allowing God's voice to guide and nurture you. As Psalm 46:10 declares, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"  

Another way you can practice spending time with yourself in today’s modern world is to do a social media detox (link). It is very easy to get sucked into the comparison game on Instagram or Tik Tok with so many people only posting their highlight reels. Try taking a day or month off from social media, be mindful or living in the present moment and not through your phone screens, and then see how it improves your mental health and your relationship with yourself.

Use Affirmations to Speak Life

Speak life and love into your being through daily affirmations. Look in the mirror and declare with conviction, "I am worthy of love," "I am capable of great things," or "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." As Isaiah 43:7 proclaims, "For everyone called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

Affirmations are a powerful tool for reinforcing self-love and acceptance. For those looking to integrate their faith into this practice, discover how to uplift and affirm yourself with Christian affirmations. These affirmations can help you align your self-view with God's love and purpose for you. By doing so, you heal a part of yourself every time you affirm yourself in the mirror and improve your relationship with yourself by realizing that you are deserving of love and acceptance.

Seek Professional Help

If you struggle with persistent negative self-talk, overwhelming emotions, or past traumas that hinder your growth, don't hesitate to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor. Remember, just like tending to your physical health, seeking support for your mental and emotional well-being is a sign of strength and self-love, grounded in God's unwavering grace. As Proverbs 15:22 reminds us, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed."

Final Thoughts on Being in a Relationship with Myself

Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have; therefore, it is important to keep working on your mental health, self-love, and self-care and nurturing healthy interpersonal relationships that provide value to your life.

Self-relationship has an impact on how you see yourself, talk to yourself, and interact with others and is the foundation for all your reactions, triggers, and emotional regulation techniques. That’s why it is key to keep working on our self-relationship to lead a better and fulfilled life.

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About the Author:Christian Counselor in Maryland, New York and New Jersey Corine Williams, Ph.D.

Corine Williams, Ph.D. is Clinical Psychologist that is currently seeing clients in the States of Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. You can find out more about her practice by visiting www.therapyforchristians.com/corinewilliams. In addition to providing individual therapy, Dr. Williams is also passionate about writing books and designing merchandise that educate, uplift, and normalize mental health subject in the Christian community. You can find out more about her at  www.booksbycorine.com or by visiting her amazon profile here:  https://www.amazon.com/Corine-Hyman/e/B00AWZ5FL2

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