Self-love – the movement that’s taken the world and social media by storm. You can’t pick up your phone these days without seeing messages and IG photos telling you to “love yourself.” Don’t get me wrong – there are many pros to self-love, and the positive impact it can have on your life is cosmic. But is self-love toxic? Or have the people swearing self-love is toxic just not come around to the #self-lovemovement yet? Let’s discuss.
Is self-love toxic? Here are the interesting pros and cons of the self-love movement.
Firstly, What is Self-Love?
Before we discuss the pros and cons of the self-love movement, it’s important to understand what self-love means. Can self-love be achieved by reading a self-help book? By finding a new love interest? By listening to motivational podcasts? While these activities make us feel good, self-love is something that takes time. And as cheesy as it sounds, it often comes from within.
Self-love is the regard for your wellbeing and happiness. It is tending to your needs, be it emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually. It is accepting yourself, flaws, shortcomings and forgiving yourself for your mistakes. It’s knowing your worth, setting boundaries, and living intentionally. With that being said, self-love is dynamic, and it will carry a different meaning for each of us.
Pros of the Self-Love Movement
You Become More Mindful
A wonderful benefit of practicing self-love is becoming more mindful. Mindful of how you speak to yourself, mindful of how you spend your time, and mindful of your thoughts and feelings. If you notice that something is stressing you out, you will take the time to tend to your needs. You could unwind through meditation, exercise, journaling, or a relaxing bubble bath.
Being mindful of our emotions helps us prioritize our well-being and make sure that our needs are met. Plus, it reduces stress, anxiety and improves sleep!
For more on the pros of self-love and how it can change your life, click here.
You Set Healthy Boundaries
Self-love helps you recognize your worth and not settle for any less than you deserve. By practicing self-love, you are setting a standard for how you want to be treated. This can help you set healthy boundaries in relationships, friendships, and even professionally.
An example of a boundary in a relationship could be “I need time to myself every day.” Or professionally, it could look like telling your boss you won’t answer work emails outside work hours. Without boundaries, it becomes easy to give away our time energy.
You Forgive Yourself
While we readily show compassion and forgiveness to others, it’s extremely difficult to show that same grace to ourselves. Although it may take time, self-love helps you become more compassionate towards yourself and forgive yourself for your mistakes and imperfections. You’ll no longer obsess over the times when you said the wrong thing or dwell over what you should have done.
Self-love helps you be kind to yourself and replaces those critical, judgmental thoughts with tender and understanding ones. You begin to realize that you also deserve the same grace and empathy that you show the people in your life.
Cons of The Self-Love Movement
It Can Be Unrealistic
It’s often easier said than done to cut ties with things or people that no longer serve you. Yes, it would be awesome if everyone could quit jobs they hate! But unfortunately, those jobs pay the bills, and not everyone has an emergency fund.
What if the person that no longer serves us happens to be a family member? Do we announce we are cutting them off and ignore them at family dinners and Christmas? I get that cutting ties with things/people that no longer serve you is for the best. But sometimes, it can be a little unrealistic and even impossible.
Your Circle May Get Smaller
This could be perceived as both a pro and a con. But when you begin practicing self-love, your circle may inevitably get smaller. Self-love can help you see things more clearly, and you may start to notice that your BFFs toxic behavior is bringing your down.
Or perhaps your crew is struggling to accept the new you who proudly promotes self-love. If your self-love talk is met with eye rolls and grimaces all around, you may find yourself taking a step back from your circle. Even though it may be for the best, it can be extremely difficult to end friendships. Especially with those that have been in our lives forever.
When we think of self-love, being positive and surrounding yourself with positivity often come with it. But can that be taken too far? Can positivity turn toxic? Toxic positivity is when people feel they have to put a positive spin on all aspects of life, even the horrible, tragic moments.
That can push down emotions and make people feel like they need to put on a happy face, even in moments of grief. The self-love movement does encourage positivity. And that could potentially make a person feel the pressure to be positive 24/7. Just remember, it’s okay to experience a wide range of emotions, negativity, and anger being some of them.
Is Self-Love Toxic?
Is self-love toxic? Could the movement that encourages us to love ourselves really be toxic? In the end, it is up to you. Yes, there could be such a thing as taking the #self-lovemovement too far.
But, there is no denying that self-love can positively impact all areas of your life. It can help you recognize your worth, forgive yourself, practice mindfulness, prioritize your needs, and set healthy boundaries.
Remember, we’re all human, and we won’t always be positive, happy, and full of love, and that’s okay!
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