Every February on Valentine’s Day, we are reminded about love.
Canadian poet, Rupi Kaur reminded us of the importance of self-love when she shared:
“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you”
Self-love is important!
Psychology studies have proven that it is essential and significantly contributes to our mental health. We know that mind, body, and spirit interact. Our relationships with ourselves are spiritual, and when they are healthy, they contribute to the health of our minds and belief systems.
Self-love – or self-compassion – can be difficult to learn if it hasn’t been modeled to us within our families of origin.
One way to mindfully cultivate self-love
Kristin Neff Ph.D. from the Harvard Medical School has written a book called Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. In her book, she shares several proven ways that help us to develop self-compassion.
One of these proven ways is a simple exercise based on three important components: self-kindness, recognition of one’s place in shared humanity, and mindfulness. In this simple exercise, a person experiencing emotional distress repeatedly speaks out the following three statements:
- This is a moment of suffering
- Suffering is a part of life
- May I be kind to myself
Other ways of loving yourself include:
- providing for your own needs, including good food, sufficient sleep, rest and creative expression,
- spending time with like-minded people who respect you,
- disconnecting from technology for a few hours,
- reaching out to people you trust when you need support.
So this Valentine’s Day, on February 14, when you are appreciating and acknowledging the people you care about.❤️