This past week we celebrated Valentine’s Day. It’s a day when we honor and recognize the important people in our lives; the people we love. Many of us have purchase something special for a loved one or go out of our way to do something that demonstrates our affection. Flowers, chocolate, greeting cards are frequently given to those we adore to let them know just how much we care. And we truly enjoy showing our affection to the special people in our lives.
It’s great to be in love! We have more energy and enthusiasm for life. We have a more positive outlook for everything, even the most mundane tasks. Research clearly shows that being in love has many health benefits including lowering stress and blood pressure. It increases our dopamine which improves our mood and motivation, and it also stimulates oxytocin which helps eliminate pain.
It’s a well-documented fact that being in love is good for us. But what about loving ourselves?
According to author and healer, Louise Hay, ’After years of individual counseling with clients and conducting hundreds of workshops and intensive training programs across the country and around the world, I found that there is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to know how to love yourself. When people start to love themselves more each day, it’s amazing how their lives get better. They feel better. They get the jobs they want. They have the money they need. Their relationships either improve, or the negative ones dissolve and new ones begin.’
Because loving ourselves is essential for our overall well-being, happiness and success, it seems obvious that we need to focus our energy and intention on falling in love with ourselves. It sounds simple. To the contrary. I would venture to say that most of us, men and women alike, find it difficult to love ourselves.
Louise Hay defines love as a deep appreciation. With that definition in mind, how do we nurture this deep appreciation for ourselves?
Certainly, we need to accept ourselves as who we are with all our flaws, weaknesses and failures. But here’s where the demons step in and take over. For its one thing to say we love ourselves, but believing it, acting on it, and demonstrating that deep appreciation for ourselves is in reality much easier said than done.
Read the full article on Forbes.com.