Numerous studies link self acceptance to increased happiness. While people are often kind and compassionate to others, they may find it more difficult to extend that same love to themself. These studies suggest that people who accept their inadequacies and practice self-compassion are less likely to suffer from anxiety or depression.
By practicing intentional self-love techniques, I have lessened the stress in my life and have become more at peace and happier. Below are some of the practices that have helped me feel better about myself and more optimistic about my life. Acceptance of yourself is something you can create with some practice, if you know what to do.
Habits Associated with Happiness
After doing some research, I learned to live with intention and to make more of an effort to incorporate the following habits into my life to live a life of greater acceptance.
- Do things for other people.
- Exercise regularly and eat right.
- Notice the good things in the world.
- Commit to learning.
- Get involved with a bigger purpose.
- Be positive and reject negative thoughts and behaviors.
- Don’t stay down, choose to bounce back after disappointment.
Why Acceptance of Who You Are Can Be Difficult
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with images of what we should look like, and glamorous lifestyles we should be living, it can be impossible to feel like you measure up unless you are grounded emotionally through self-love and a healthy self-image. Children who grow up in homes with highly critical parents may find it hard to accept themself as they are.
One of the first things you need to realize is that you have to forgive yourself for not being perfect. This sounds easy enough on the surface, but true forgiveness means changing the way you think about life and all that you’ve been taught about striving for excellence. The programming we’ve all endured in recent decades can be harmful. Success has many definitions. Decide on what your definition is and don’t worry about unrealistic goals and definitions.
Do Things that Are Important to You
A challenge that we all face is aligning our values and interests with the rest of the world’s. If you love jazz, but it is out of favor and not a money maker, then you have to come to terms with the fact that you are currently out of favor with the trends. That doesn’t mean you should not continue loving what you love.
More importantly, you need to realize that you don’t have to justify what you like to anyone. If your tastes are not currently in vogue, so what? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you’re happy and involved in things that are meaningful to you. Being brave enough to be who you truly are is an important first step to self acceptance and a happier life. Don’t try to fit in, just accept who you are and never apologize for being different.
Celebrate Your Accomplishments and Write Them Down
Acceptance can be difficult for people who are always striving to do more and meet new goals. The achievement-oriented society that we live in often focuses on achieving material goals while forgetting other equally-important objectives like happiness and mental health. Acceptance is dependent on recognizing your value system and honoring it over what your boss says and what everybody else tries to tell you.
Always remember that you are the most important person in your life and that nobody has the right to tell you how to be happy or what you is important to you. That is your decision to make.
It is easy to become distracted by the world, focusing on things that you are told should be important to you. But, if you want to be happy, you need to focus on what makes you feel satisfied and complete. Self acceptance means honoring who you are and what is important to you, regardless of what the world is saying. In a noisy world where we are constantly bombarded by societal expectations, it is important to remind yourself that you are unique and you have the right to be your authentic self, even if you are different from the norm. The world needs your unique gifts and voice.
Harvard Medical School reminds us that we are all different. Accepting yourself means you must accept this fact and stop trying to “fit into the world.” Your unique gifts are needed. Focus on what works for who you are instead of trying to be like everybody else according to the media and the world at large.
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