The difference between self-love and self-indulgence (and how it influences your life)

the difference between self-love and self-indulgence

You know that self-love is the answer. It’s written everywhere. You know it, your mother knows it, your dog knows it, your neighbor knows it. But when it comes to having a real self-love practice, the struggle starts. You are questioning the process because you haven’t been used to the practice of self-love. You can feel like you are loving yourself when you eat that third piece of cake while you are truly self-indulging. And I am not saying that it is wrong, but I say that having a balance between what is best for you and what feels best for you is important for your emotional well-being.

the difference between self-love and self-indulgence

But before you can find balance between loving and indulging yourself, you need to know what is best for you, meaning you need to connect to your Truth. Watch out how you react to situations in your life. Are you having addictive behavior as a result of being upset or frustrated? Are you comforting yourself with food, alcohol or social media? We are not being judgmental here, we just offer you a chance to notice how you are reacting as life happens to you. Self-love is a journey, and every step you are taking towards yourself will bring you closer to real contentment.

Serotonin VS Dopamine

As weird as it may sounds self-love doesn’t always feel like self-love. So how can you tell what belongs to loving yourself and what belongs to indulging yourself?
Well… that’s actually very simple. Self-love doesn’t trigger your reward system as self-indulgence does. Self-love actions offer a long release of serotonin, are not related to any addiction, and feel enough. Self-indulgence actions release dopamine, are addictive, and call for always more. In a nutshell, the difference between self-love and self-indulgence is also purely hormonal.

For example:

the difference between self-love and self-indulgence


Also read:

You cannot love yourself too much, but you can indulge yourself too much. 

Sure, it is ok to have relapses, it is ok to have comfort food after a bad day, it is ok to numb yourself in social media once in a while. But since human beings function through their reward systems, those self-indulgent activities become unhealthy habits that can cost you your emotional and physical health. We are creatures of habits that have a very small ability to change. That’s why real self-love seems hard because it requires you to drop some of the habits you built that constantly get your reward system activated. The first step of loving yourself is actually replacing the instant gratification with a consistent commitment that will bring you closer to your desires. 

How to find a balance between self-love and self-indulgence?

Of course, there is a gap between quitting instant gratification and self-deprivation. I believe in healthy impulses and even more: I deeply believe in the power of following your joy and intuition. Depriving yourself of what you want just for the sake of it is not loving yourself. Like basically everything in life, it all comes down to your intention. Are you depriving yourself of a self-punishment process or as a better choice for your emotional and physical well-being? Are you doing this in alignment with taking more care of yourself or because you feel obliged to?

In order to take more actions that are aligned with self-love, it first has to be a priority. If you haven’t committed to loving yourself you are probably still unconscious about your habits and how they are impacting your life. And I am not saying that this is easy to face the reality of our actions nor to quit an addiction, as twisted as it may seem.

The addictions you are having are a way of avoiding dealing with unprocessed trauma and emotions. And here I am not talking about addictions to substances but emotional addictions. Self-indulgence allows a quick hit of satisfaction when you are facing anger, sadness, frustration. It seems like the quick fix will resolve everything while self-care and self-love are what you need most. The fact is you won’t be able to run away from the emotions you are facing forever so let’s at least acknowledge what is going on emotionally when you enter into a self-indulging circle. That’s how you find the balance between the moments you are treating yourself and the moments you are bypassing.

the difference between self-love and self-indulgence

Loving yourself more, not less

Self-love is a real process of choosing what is best for you. It doesn’t happen over-night and requires getting to know yourself. But that is also by loving yourself that you are going to accept life as it unfolds, without trying to constantly solve or fix something in it. That’s how you are going to accept to be where you are at and value your journey.

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I am Héra, Spiritual teacher and intuitive healer and the Creator of Love Is the First Step. My purpose is to bring joy and peace in your relationships through a journey to self-love. 

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