“Love yourself first and everything falls into line.”                               Lucille Ball


Stuart Smalley got the message, even if his delivery was funny:

Is the chatter in your head critical? Do you find yourself doubting your abilities? Stop what you are doing for a moment and just listen to your thoughts. Chances are that you have been saying more negative than positive things to yourself.  Studies have in fact confirmed that we do 300-400 evaluations per day and the majority of it is negative.

It is time to stop the constant flow of negative self-talk and begin to appreciate you. You will get plenty of knocks and bruises to your ego from co-workers, bosses and even total strangers who are having a bad day and want to share the poison. You don’t need to buy into it or pile on top of it. In order to be healthy, you want to learn to love yourself. When you make a decision to love yourself, you are really saying that you want to come alive.

Self-love is important for a healthy mind and body.

It might not seem that important at first glance, it may even seem selfish to some, but it has a huge impact on so many aspects of our lives. It influences our relationships, our choice of friends and romantic partners, how you are perceived at work, and the choices you make in your daily life. It impacts your inner health as well.

When you fill your mind with negative and/or hateful energy, you can actually make yourself physically ill. The body hears everything the mind tells it. Stressing about lack of progress in the gym and beating yourself up mentally for the way your body looks for example, can increase the hormone cortisol. An increase in cortisol can put your body in a catabolic state. A catabolic state is the destruction of cell life. This can cause muscle loss, tissue destruction, bone loss, and a weakened immune system. High cortisol levels can also make it harder to lose body fat, specifically in the abdominal region.

self-love cycle

Learning to love you starts with making a conscious decision, an intention to become happy and lead a fulfilled life. The next step is to take inventory of your thoughts and begin to adjust them. Notice when you are saying those mean comments that you would never say aloud to others and change the pattern. Ask yourself if you would say such things to your best friend, if not, then you don’t want to say them to yourself. Period. End of mean comments.

You might, however, want to take a moment to examine those negative thoughts and figure out where they originated in you. Did an over tired parent say something similar when you were a child? Perhaps they were said by a coach, mentor, sibling? As a child you may have been unable to defend yourself and helplessly learned to accept those comments as gospel. But now, the older and more mature you knows them to be wrong. So stop believing lies!

People who love themselves tend to be more mindful, they tend to know what they think, feel and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them. They listen with their heart instead of the constant inner critic. It helps to start each day with a few minutes of quiet meditation, followed by writing in a journal. I often have my clients keep a notepad in their lap during hypnosis. As they emerge from trance and pick up the pen to write, more information will flow onto the page. Sometimes tears will flow as well. It is powerful to find out that you really do deserve love. You are worthy of a good and happy life.

Remember that loving yourself isn’t a one-time event. It is an endless, ongoing process. Start today practicing self-love and enjoy the benefits of better health all around!