How to make this valentines day extra special
It’s February, the month of love, and you are totally focused on the amazing relationships that you have with your loved ones. In fact, I want you to make a mental list of all these people right now…I’m not psychic or anything but you missed the most important person in your life and to be honest, you have probably forgotten this person on every valentines day thus far. This person is none other than you! Yes, YOU!
You may think that this is selfish, but the level of love that you have for yourself influences everything in your life – the quality of all of your relationships with friends and mates, the image that you project at work, and how you cope with stresses. Simply put, if you want to live the best life possible, you better start showing yourself a lot more love and here is a good place to start…
10 ways to fall in love with yourself
1. Live with intention. Life will be more joyful if you live with purpose. This purpose or intention doesn’t have to be super clear, it just has to be extremely meaningful to you. For example, it could be as general as staying healthy and happy or as specific as running the Boston Marathon. Once you have created your intention, you will make both subconscious and conscious decisions that support your intention. Hyperlink the previous blog post to” intention”.
2. Focus on your long term goals rather than your short term desires. Have you ever eating a bunch of junk food and then followed it by a big dose of regret and self guilt? These frustrating moments are caused by the blinding effect that temporary stimulation and satisfaction has over your long term intentions and goals. By clearly identifying your intentions and making small steps towards this intention everyday, you will slowly put an end to these automatic behaviour patterns that inhibit self love. For example, making a rule of allowing only healthy, unprocessed food in the house.
3. Practice good self-care. Taking care of your basic needs, such as food, exercise and sleep is absolutely foundational for self love.
Food – Obviously eating a whole food diet and avoiding the processed crap will help to make you look and feel like a million bucks. But there are also certain foods that can help to increase your mood and self love. For example, foods that contain a high concentration of tryptophan – the precursor to the “feel good” neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain – such as whole milk, yogurt, kefir and cheese, free range turkey and poultry, wild fish and beans should be regulars in your diet. Carbohydrates and fat are needed to metabolize and utilize tryptophan, so it is important to consume these foods with a serving of carbohydrates and fat, such as rice, potatoes and vegetables cooked in olive or coconut oil.
Exercise – Not only does exercise result in a rockin’ body, but also stimulates the release of the “feel-good” hormones, including serotonin and dopamine. Just 15 to 20 minutes of moving and grooving is enough to boost your mood for the day. So rock a natural high all day by starting every morning with your favourite form of exercise.
Sleep – It’s all about quality over quantity here. If you wake up feeling groggy and are tired throughout the day, you may want to reassess your sleep health. Avoiding electronics within the hour before bed and dimming the lights after sunset are two ways to drastically help get more quality sleep.
4. Go towards the light. Exposure to bright light everyday is key to feeling amazing. Sun light is the best form so ensure that you show some skin when out in the sun for at least 20 minutes a day.
5. Revamp your social world. You know those people that rub you the wrong way or make you feel bad about yourself? Well I have good news for you, my friend; today is the day that you make the commitment to do something about it. You have two options:
1) Lay it all out on the line and have a truly authentic conversation with this person about how they make you feel
2) Cut them loose by avoiding communication with them, even if it means making a few sacrifices
6. Stop comparing yourself to others. Seriously. Comparing yourself to others is the biggest waste of mental space, yet one of the hardest feats imaginable. This is because the media’s emphasis on materialistic and superficial indicators of self worth are engrained into our heads from the moment that we start to retain memory. But it is important that you realize that true self love comes from within and NEVER from looking good to other people or possession of material things. Remind yourself of this reality by regularly reading books or watching documentaries on self-love and happiness. I recommend the book “The happiness hypothesis” and the movie “The Happy Movie.”
7. Compliment yourself and smile in the mirror everyday. This may sound a bit cheesy but it works like a charm. Every time that you look in the mirror, smile and tell yourself one simple compliment. Some examples include “your look so good when you smile,” Wow, you look amazing for your age,” ” you have beautiful eyes,” or ” damn, look at those curves.” Keep doing this and you will notice a massive shift in your attitude towards yourself.
8. Treat yourself once in a while. It could be as simple as scheduling a massage, buying a new sweater, making a delicious meal, or something big like scheduling a vacation. Whatever it is, make it something that you would absolutely love for a gift from a friend or loved one. Tell yourself that you deserve it.
9. See mistakes as lessons. We all do it – replay past mistakes. Making mistakes is a part of life and the best way to learn anything, so stop beating yourself up for them! Seriously. Learn from it, let it go and move onto bigger and better things.
10. Practice self love meditation everyday. Before you get out of bed and when you rest your head on your pillow at night, practice self love meditation for at least a couple of minutes. Breathing deeply through your nose, inhale love and joy and exhale any negative thoughts or energy that is inhibiting self love. Call it placebo effect if you want, but this works for most people.
Make this valentines day the one to remember by taking the plunge and falling deeply in love with yourself through these ten practices. You will not only make your own life better but also the lives of every single person around you. There is truly no other gift in existence that spreads more love than the simple act of loving yourself.
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