Christopher Smith MD Author


Learning to Love and Accept Yourself: A Guide for Adults and Children

Dear Dads,

The ability to love and accept oneself is one of the best skills a person can acquire in life. It lays the foundation for healthy relationships, greater confidence, and improved well-being. However, for many people – adults and children alike – it can be hard to learn how to do this on their own. But with patience, determination, and the right tools, anyone can teach themselves, and their children, how to make self-love a priority.

One of the first steps in learning to love yourself is to examine your thoughts and feelings objectively. Tune into your inner dialogue: Are your thoughts mostly positive or negative? Do you often find yourself speaking harshly to yourself, or berating yourself? This type of dialogue might feel normal, or even necessary, but it’s not helpful in cultivating self-love. Instead, practice replacing those negative thoughts with words of affirmation that are rooted in truth. For example, rather than telling yourself “I’m ugly,” tell yourself “I have features I like about myself.” Acknowledge that while we all have flaws, they don’t define us as people.

Having a strong sense of self-worth is also essential when it comes to learning to love ourselves. Everyone has unique gifts and talents; identify yours! Make a list of everything that makes you special – whether it’s your empathy, intelligence, creativity – and focus on these things rather than any shortcomings or areas of weakness. Keeping this list handy can serve as an emotional pick-me-up whenever you’re feeling down or inadequate.

One final tip is to remember that loving oneself doesn’t mean being egotistical; it simply means taking care of ourselves both mentally and physically:

  • Spend time doing activities that bring you joy.
  • Carve out moments each day for relaxation.
  • Prioritize sleep (especially for kids!).
  • Make sure you’re getting adequate exercise as well as eating nutritious meals.
  • Practice gratitude by writing down three things you’re grateful for each day.
  • Set boundaries with others so that you’re not overextending yourself
  • Take time away from social media if needed.
  • Seek professional help if needed so that you have a safe space where you can talk through issues or concerns without judgment or criticism.
  • Remember that mistakes are inevitable but they don’t define who we are as individuals – they simply prove that we’re human!

Ultimately, learning how to love and accept ourselves takes time. While there will be setbacks along the way, by making small changes every day we can start cultivating greater self-compassion which serves as the basis for true self-love!


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1 Comment

  1. I just finished your remarkable book which made me cry. It is incomprehensible to think of what you overcame to achieve greatness. As the parent of a physician, I know how rigorous the road is. She had gifts you did not and it was still arduous. I applaud your strength, wisdom and indefatigable energy in persevering. Thank you for sharing your incredibly inspiring story with us.

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