updated 08/31/2010 AT 12:45 PM ET
•originally published 08/31/2010 AT 3:50 PM ET
Some dread turning 30. Kristen Bell, on the other hand, discovered the birthday milestone was anything but daunting.
“I love 30 more than I’ve ever loved anything. I feel like I was born on my 30th birthday,” the actress, who celebrated the big day on July 18, tells Parade magazine. “It’s finally the time where I’ve fully accepted and loved myself, which I’m realizing more and more each day.”
For a long time, Bell says she went through a phase where she beat herself up trying to be perfect. But, “I just thought, ‘What’s the point?’ … I’m not going to be as rough on myself as I used to … I think now I’m just happy.”