Loving Yourself Reduces Stress and Anxiety

render fractal model - red heart

February is the LOVE month.  I want to challenge traditional views on Valentine’s Day so you can become your own Valentine, your own Beloved.

Volumes have been written about the critical importance of loving yourself.  Here are a few thoughts about what loving yourself means:

  • Treating yourself with loving kindness, compassion and grace
  • Honoring your needs, desires and opinions as valuable and important
  • Believing you deserve that
  • Accepting yourself exactly as you are – are you good enough!
  • Letting go of self-criticism and self-judgment
  • Forgiving others – because unforgiveness harms YOU
  • Forgiving yourself for mistakes you think you have made
  • Valuing yourself and seeing all the gifts you bring into this world just by who you are, not by what you do or how much you do
  • Allowing yourself to receive from others, not only give
  • Treating yourself well, with respect

Can you see how loving yourself in these ways could dramatically reduce your levels of stress and anxiety? 

How to Love Yourself More – Loving Is a Verb

Love is a feeling, but it’s also a verb which implies action.  Sometimes it’s easier to start loving yourself more by starting with some action.

How long has it been since you did something loving for yourself?

Not sure what you could do for yourself that would be loving?  Try this:

  • Think of 5 things that others have done for you that felt really good. Remember how good that felt. Find a way to do one of those things for yourself.
  • Think back to your younger days. What did you enjoy doing for fun or relaxation when you had more time and less responsibilities? Remember how good that felt. Find a way to do one of those things for yourself now.

In December I wrote about How to Give to Yourself, starting with the gift of permission. 

*****************   Now here’s my favorite way of loving yourself… **************

Love Yourself by Learning to Say No

Hand writing So Many Things in To Do List with red marker isolated on white.

Saying yes to everything often means you do many things half way. You don’t mean to, but with a never-ending To Do List you end up with too much on your plate…

Does this sound familiar?

Then you feel constantly pressured, and beat up on yourself for not getting it all done.  Perhaps you feel guilty or inadequate.  So you skimp on your sleep or your relaxation in order to get everything done so you can feel better about yourself.

This is NOT loving yourself.

Over-scheduling your time by saying yes all the time leads to stress, overwhelm and even anxiety.  If this is the result, you really aren’t doing yourself or anyone else any favor by saying yes to everything.

Saying No Gives You the Opportunity to Say Yes

This may sound counter-intuitive but it’s true. If you learn to stop automatically saying yes to things that others want or expect from you, you will have more time to say yes to what you want.  Ahh, that’s loving yourself.

Are you feeling “crazy busy” with no time for yourself?  Practice saying no. Saying no gives you the chance to say Yes to YOU.  You can also make more intentional choices about what you say yes to, which leads to more happiness and less anxiety even on busy days.

This is your invitation to make this February the month of loving yourself!

 Will you accept the invitation?