“Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.”
– L. Hay
With Valentine’s Day almost here, love in the air. And some people are concerned about spending it home alone, without anyone to love. But the actual worry that should reside in your heart is not how much someone else loves you, instead of how much you love yourself.
It feels natural to run around town trying to find the best gift to give your romantic interest or to plan the perfect date. It is entirely reasonable to want to give love to the person who means so much to you. But that begs the question, “Why doesn’t it come as easily to treat ourselves with the same love?”.
We have no problem giving credit where credit is due unless it is to ourselves. But why? Research tells us that if we were all to give ourselves the same love and praise that we provide to others, we would live a much happier, healthier, and more fulfilled life.
So, why do we hold back? While you are buying flowers, planning an extravagant dinner, or plotting an evening for someone else this year, don’t forget about you.
Science tells us that loving yourself will lead to a better quality of life, which is something you deserve. And the good news is that easy habits you can implement this Valentine’s Day will show you the love that will significantly improve your happiness year-round
Accepting Yourself is the Key to Happiness
Self-acceptance is the key to finding happiness and peace in your life, but it is something that we rarely practice. It is sometimes difficult to see all the beauty and talent that we possess.
So this Valentine’s Day, ask your Valentine what they see as your strengths, and offer them a list of theirs. Not only will you hear the goodness that others see in you, but you will also feel good voicing what you love to your mate.
Have Self-Compassion to Stay Physically Healthy
Often we have way more compassion for everyone in our lives besides ourselves. A study published in the journal Health Psychology found that when you boost yourself, instead of tearing yourself down, you engage in healthier decisions about how you care for yourself.
So one way to keep up with your goal of a healthier new you, this New Year, is to have some compassion and pat yourself on the back, now and then. Write down your accomplishments, goals achieved, in writing, so that when you have your doubts about your self-worth, there is something to look at.
Self-Compassion can Also Help you Stay Mentally Healthy
According to the New York Times, people who engage in self-compassion are less at risk for developing depression and anxiety. Other studies conclude that being more compassionate to yourself helps you have a more optimistic outlook on life. And it also helps to reduce stress and perform better both professionally and academically.
Self -Love Can Stop Procrastination
Nothing feels better than getting things done…well, besides binge-watching Netflix when the task is stressful. When you give yourself a little compassion, you experience less stress.
And if you are feeling less stressed, you tend not to procrastinate or feel overwhelmed. Lacking self-compassion is a negative cycle that makes us put off things we have to do, which only leads to disappointment in ourselves, making it a vicious cycle.
Studies show that a little self-affirmation goes a long way at motivating yourself to have a “can-do” attitude, instead of a “do-later” one.
Loving you Can Help you Overcome Adversity
Life is a series of peaks and valleys. Sometimes the valleys can be challenging to ride out, especially if you have very little self-love.
A recent study in the journal Psychological Science found that people who spoke more positively about themselves were able to rebound much more quickly after divorcing than those who engaged in negative self-talk. So giving yourself a little encouragement and a big hug is sometimes what you really need to get through the rough times.
Although Valentine’s Day is typically thought of as a way to show love to others, this year, consider how you treat yourself. Since happiness comes from within, if you don’t see all the greatness that you possess, it is difficult to find true happiness around you.
If you show yourself the love, it will come back ten-fold. Just remember, you are human too, and you deserve the same compassion for yourself that you give to everyone else around you. So make this Valentine’s Day the day you fall in love with you – and see your life transform into a happier place.