Being loved is one of the most basic human needs. This fundamental truth is the starting point of understanding the root of many psychological problems that we face both as teenagers and adults. In many cases, it is also closely connected to why some people fall into addiction traps more easily than others. We all crave love languages. We all want to feel safe, admired, cared for, and when this basic need is not being met for a very long time, it causes several behavioral problems that affect a healthy, fulfilling life.
Love fills you with warm feelings of happiness, joy, belonging, safety, hope, positive energy, enthusiasm. When we lack all those elements in our daily lives, we begin to search for alternative solutions and get those feelings from artificial sources such as drugs or alcohol.
The Importance of Self-Love
Everything starts INSIDE you. This philosophy is probably one of the most important statements to understand and fully absorb. Without self-acceptance and self-love, you will never achieve true happiness and won’t form a healthy, stable relationship with another person.
The first step to self-love is understanding who you are. It’s crucial to fully get to know yourself and accept all your flaws and imperfections. Nobody is perfect. We all struggle with our insecurities, bad habits, and things we would like to improve, and that applies to both our personality and physical appearance. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you navigate life and accept yourself for who you truly are—a valuable human being full of unique capabilities.
Self-love is not easy. So many times, we wish we were different. Slimmer, more pretty, stronger, more intelligent, talented, and the list goes on. We see people on TV or social media platforms who seem to have perfect lives and perfect families, and we feel like such failures trying to keep up with our own lives where so many things sometimes fall apart. And that’s precisely why loving yourself first is the starting point to everything else. Once you accept who you are, nothing from the outside world can threaten your confidence or identity.
Self-love doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a complex and often time-consuming process where you will encounter several ups and downs. But keep going and keep pushing. It’s worth it.
Once you establish a confident and secure relationship with yourself, nobody will be able to take that away from you.
The process of acceptance and self-care is based on a solid belief that you are worth a good life. One without limitations caused by addition, without guilt, and without the vicious circle of trying to break the substance abuse and going back to it in the moment of weakness. You will begin to develop a new you: stronger, more confident, and worth not only yours but another person’s love as well.
The concept of love languages (5 different ways of expressing and receiving love) was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman, a Southern Baptist pastor, and introduced in his 1992 book aimed mainly at married Christian couples. “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” has sold over 11 million copies in English and translated into 49 other languages.
Let’s have a closer look at this interesting concept. According to Gary Chapman, five universal love languages get used by all people. However, a person will usually relate to one primary love language:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
All five languages are important and express love in their way. A healthy relationship would use a mix of those languages making sure that none of them is missing.
Since we are talking about self-love as the foundation of all other relationships and the key to establishing good mental health and fulfilling life. it is worth noticing that we can also apply love languages to other people and ourselves.
Let’s see a couple of examples below.
If you want to establish a positive relationship with yourself, you should have a couple of daily affirmations to make you feel confident and good about yourself. A simple but effective task to try is to find something that you like about yourself. Focus on that feature every time you see yourself in the mirror.
Have something uplifting written in your bedroom; a little reminder to have a great day every single morning when you wake up. You will be surprised how valuable those little things can be if repeated regularly.
Quality time and receiving gifts are all about treating yourself how you would like to be treated. Make sure you get enough rest, meditate, take an hour or so every day, and spend it doing what you genuinely enjoy. When you are stressed and tired, you won’t see anything (including yourself) in a good light.
Physical touch is an essential element of your relationship with your body. Learn to listen to what it needs and focus on all aspects that you like about yourself. Take care of your mind and body by exercising a couple of times per week and spending enough time outdoors.
Loving Your Life
If you are not happy with your life circumstances, you will keep looking for various ways to escape reality. This process can be gradual and includes several coping mechanisms, one of them being substance abuse.
To feel good and forget about your daily problems, you start searching for substances and behaviors that give you the feelings of joy, excitement, or quite the opposite—the feeling of peace, calmness, to the point of being numb and not feeling or thinking anything at all.
Once you discover that you can get those states of mind simply by using a particular drug, it’s tough to stop the vicious circle and break the forming addiction.
Meditation, relaxation techniques, and daily exercise are part of a healthy lifestyle; they provide natural ways to control your emotions, keep you balanced, and get rid of accumulated negative energy or stress.
How to learn to love your life?
The first big step is acceptance and responsibility. Then you will slowly learn how to like it. Step by step. Put enough effort and energy into working on a positive mindset and keep improving your circumstances one day.
You will get into a very blissful state of loving your life, with all its challenges and imperfections.
Just like everything else, it’s a process and for sure not an easy one. The reward at the end of this journey is worth it, though—it’s a peaceful, healthy life where you are in control of both your body and mind and you don’t need to rely on any substances to make you feel good.
There will be no constant need to escape, no guilt, hate, sadness, or despair. It’s a beautiful state of confidence and balance, and with a strong belief that you can get there one day, nothing can stop you. There is a fascinating theory saying that love is already inside us. All we need to do is awaken it. Start this journey today. Small steps, choosing love every single day and discovering the inner strength that you didn’t even know existed. You can do it.
A Place for Women to Heal
Anchored Tides Recovery is an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment facility that is by women, for women. We believe creating this gender-specific environment allows an optimal opportunity for growth. Come create your support group of peers and see how much better can be when you’re sober and being lifted up by other women. Contact us today for a free consultation.