13 Signs You Know How to Love Yourself

Updated May 3, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

It may be easy to feel and express love for a family member, partner, or friend. In fact, it can be so easy to have these feelings for someone else that you might forget how important it is to love yourself, too. The mental health effects of self-loathing vs self-love can be substantial. 

Do you know if you love yourself? Do you feel loved and understood or do you live with yourself negative thoughts that you don't deserve to love and be loved? This article will explore 13 signs that you have a healthy relationship with yourself.

Practicing self-love can be a life-long journey

13 signs that indicate you love yourself 

Self-love may be a trending phrase on social media, but it’s more than a buzzword. Self-love means looking out for your physical and mental wellbeing, treating yourself the way your best friend would treat you, holding yourself up with positive thoughts and feelings about yourself, and fully accepting yourself as the person you are today. 

If you love yourself, you might not always feel good, but you’ll find you have an overall positive perspective on yourself.  The following 13 signs may indicate that you have a high degree of self-love, but even if none of these things resonate with you right now, there are steps you can take to better accept and love yourself for who you are:

You speak your mind

When you can tell others what you think, you show that you value your own thoughts. You understand your opinions are important, and you have confidence in your ideas. Letting others see what is going on in your mind means you know that what you have to say matters. You appreciate that no one else thinks as you do, and that means you have self-worth. The higher your self-worth is, the more you might find yourself naturally thinking, “I love myself,” so keep speaking your truth.

You practice self-care

Self-care can be an important tool to de-stress and manage the negativity around you. Self-care can look different for everyone, encompassing anything you do to improve your physical health and/or mental health. 

Despite its importance, not everyone realizes how important it is to have that time to themselves. If you take vacations or spa days or spend a few minutes meditating, reading your favorite book, cooking a nutritious meal, getting a little exercise, or tidying up your home, you are already taking advantage of just some of the ways self-care is possible. Your ability to unwind means you understand the role balance plays in your life, and your commitment to keeping a clear mind means you are doing something to promote your well-being.

You set boundaries

If you love yourself, you will more likely know where to draw the line between what serves you and what does not. Maybe you refuse to work on weekends, or you will not answer the phone for non-emergencies after 8:00 p.m. 

Healthy boundaries look like saying “no” to people, obligations, or the ideas of others that are harmful to your wellbeing, overburdensome, or unaligned with your values.  Self-love requires you to know how much you can handle. Your insight into your limits means you believe you should put your own needs first without feeling guilty or selfish for doing so.

Your health matters

Trying unique ways to practice self-love is not something that happens only in your mind or heart. Eating nutritious foods, exercising, living a healthy lifestyle, and taking care of your body are all signs that you know you matter. Caring for your physical health can reduce the likelihood of experiencing physical and/or mental illnesses and help you achieve a long, fulfilling life. Fitness can boost your mood and optimism, reducing the amount of negative self-talk you experience, and increasing your self-confidence and sense of being capable of tackling the challenges you face.

You acknowledge your challenges and ask for help

Mental illness and mental health challenges can impact anyone, whether they have high regard for themselves or not. If you see no shame in sitting with a licensed mental health professional during times of change, challenge, or struggle, you have a realistic sense of what you can handle. Your ability to advocate for yourself through different stages in life means you know you are greater than your obstacles.

You hold true to your values

People who lack self-love often let the ideas or opinions of others sway their beliefs about the world around them or, worse, about themselves. 

But what about you? Do you live by what you think is right? If so, you may be demonstrating a form of self-love by living in a way that aligns with your values. Standing your ground and committing to your morals may show that you have a high amount of self-respect and don’t feel as though you need to bend your beliefs to meet the expectations of others. Your regard for yourself is proof you do not tolerate anything that makes you feel less valuable than you know you are.

You avoid black-and-white thinking

Black-and-white, sometimes called all-or-nothing, thinking is something that most people do on occasion. It is the type of thinking that leads us to believe that everything will be a disaster if something goes wrong. Or, if we fail in some way, we will never have success again. But if you love yourself, you may find that you engage in negative self-talk, perfectionism, and unrealistic thinking less frequently. 

The universe does not work with such rigid rules. In fact, as someone with high levels of self-love, you may find that you understand that the things you do and think or that the things that happen to you do not define you (especially in such a small box). You see that you can live without limits proves that you believe you have unlimited potential.

You care about your future

If you can see that what you do today will matter tomorrow, you might have high self-love. If you are always planning for tomorrow, you may be doing so because you know it’s just as important to show up for yourself then as it is to be there for yourself now. Being good at saving money or creating goals to work toward are just a few ways you show that you care about what happens to you in the future. Appreciating what you have today while always setting yourself up for “someday success” is a skill everyone needs.

You invest in yourself

Do you take opportunities to advance your career? Do you further your education? 

Showing up to improve your knowledge, career opportunities, and self-development can demonstrate self-love. Investing in yourself can lead to a more well-rounded and capable version of yourself.

You feel your emotions

Do you let yourself feel all your emotions? Happiness? Sadness? Anger? Guilt? Many people do not, and instead automatically think of emotions as either “good” or “bad” and do everything they can to avoid the “bad” ones. But if you have self-love, you may find that you let yourself feel everything at full capacity. This is because you know that is what your mind and heart need to maintain your emotional health.

Giving yourself the gift of working through all your emotions means you realize no “bad” part of who you are. You know that nothing lasts forever and that your self-love will triumph over any temporary negative experience.

You follow your passions

Self-love requires you to put yourself first sometimes. If there is something that speaks to you, and you are brave enough to follow it, you prove that you have what it takes to show up for yourself. Think of how difficult it would be to see the most important person in your life not follow their dreams, especially if you knew they were fully capable of achieving them if they applied themselves. 

Being bold enough to reach out and get what you want means you know that your dreams are important and worthwhile.

You play an active role in shaping your life

Bad things happen all around us every single day. But, if you love yourself, you wake up every day and choose to see the positive. You find reasons to be grateful for all the wonderful things around you and go out of your way to spread joy to others. Your happiness comes from within and is not dependent on other people or things that reflect an even higher level of self-love. Happiness feels good, and your commitment to finding it for yourself every day means that you know you deserve all the good the world has to offer. 

While you may not be able to control whether bad things happen or if you’re happy all the time, you can take steps to shape your thoughts in a more positive way and focus on the things you’re grateful for.

You treat yourself

Practicing self-love can be a life-long journey

We are always quick to treat our loved ones to something special. This echoes the idea that it is important to love your neighbor as you love yourself (not always more). Do you go on vacation? Do you take time each day to simply appreciate the present moment? Do you prioritize the things that are important to you? Many people think that treating themselves as a monetary investment, but you can also treat yourself to things that are completely free, like sitting outside without earbuds in to listen to the birds, listening to a podcast you’ve wanted to try, or picking up an art project just because. While these treats may sound self-indulgent or selfish, people who prioritize self-love learn to recognize the difference between selfishness and self-love because you truly value yourself.

How therapy can help 

Talk therapy—cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in particular—is often recommended to help people manage low self-esteem (a term meaning you have low levels of self-love). Low self-esteem, which commonly contributes to disorders like depression and anxiety, can lead to a wide variety of mental health challenges. Through talk therapy, clients can learn how to develop self-love and compassion, which in turn can improve their quality of life. 

Though in-person therapy can be an effective option, it’s often cost-prohibitive and inconvenient to schedule sessions, making online CBT a desirable option. A peer-reviewed study published in 2022 found that online CBT can be an effective option for low self-esteem, and it can improve self-compassion and quality of life, while reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

Platforms like Regain can be a good option for people interested in trying online therapy from a licensed cognitive behavioral therapist, and the cost of sessions is typically comparable to what you might expect from an insurance co-pay. 

Counselor reviews

“I don’t know what I would have done without Harry. I was in a super low place, and I was not sure what my problems were or how to solve them, but he was able to help me get to the bottom of my problems and work through them. Today I am happy and feeling like myself again. He was so easy to talk to and worked with me whenever I needed him. Even on vacation, he took time to call me and talk through whatever I was going through. I would highly recommend him.”

“My experience with Priscilla has been immensely helpful in better understanding myself and providing me with the tools to see my life and relationships with more clarity and compassion.”


There can be a huge difference between the mental health of someone who accepts and loves themselves just as they are, and someone who is their own worst critic. 

Loving yourself fully can be easy to say and more difficult to implement in real life, however. If you’re not feeling positive about yourself and want to reach a new, more compassionate place, it might be time to try online therapy.

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