As Valentine's Day is approaching, I thought it would be nice to write about the health benefits of love. Yes, love makes us healthier.
And, if you're not in a romantic relationship–don't stop reading here as you can still benefit from love. You see it's all about feeling love. You can love just about anything and it will make you healthier. But, most importantly, when we are talking about feeling love–I want you to focus on feeling love for yourself and your life–no matter what. No exceptions.
Each and every day it must be your priority to find ways to feel love about your life.
Well, researchers have found that feelings of love trigger the brain's release of the dopamine. Dopamine is the body's pleasure neurotransmitter so the more dopamine in your system, the happier you feel. And, science shows that the happier you feel the healthier you are. Aha.
OK, so back to the loving YOU part.
In a relationship or not, your life and your health will be better if you learn to love YOU. Believe me, I know some days finding feelings of love for yourself and your life can be hard. But, even if you find a happy, loving, kind place for 5-10 minutes each day it will do you so much good.
Here are my top three favorite loving-happy-positive-my-life-rocks tips:
1. Focus on feeling good: Feeling good is your primary goal. So, stop feeling bad. Stop looking for things that aren't “going well” or things that “just don't work” and start looking for things that make you feel good.
Start looking for the potential in things. Every time you feel a not so good feeling make yourself flip it and see the upside. Feel good. That's it. You deserve it. When you are having yourself a pity party, follow these three steps:
A. Catch yourself
B. Stop and take a deep breath
C. Ask yourself: what would make me feel good?
Even if feeling good is having a thought completely unrelated to situation at hand, focus on the feeling good thought. Once you're in that “feel good” place, the world becomes a better place and it's easier to see the upside. It's easier to get to that heart-fluttering-oh-my-goodness-I-feel-good place.
2. Mirror talk: This is something I talked about in my book, Chill Out and Get Healthy. Check out this excerpt from my book and make mirror talk happen–it's so refreshing and kind. And, you deserve it!
I want you to get used to looking at yourself in the mirror, beyond what it takes to put makeup on. I want you to look into your own eyes and see YOU. Honey, this is harder than you think. Many people have a hard time with this, because the truth is, a lot of people don’t like themselves. So first things first, stare deeply into your own eyes and then say sweet, confidence-boosting and loving things like “I love you,” “You rock” and “You’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever met.” Do this until you believe yourself. It could take longer than you think. Practice every day. Do this every day for the rest of your life.
3. See it, feel it: As my mother would say, “fake it 'til you make it”. Again, this is a topic I talked about in my first book. Let's revisit what I said in Chill Out and Get Healthy:
“Go on, pretend you’re happy; fake happiness until you find it. Like attracts like, and happiness—even if it’s all an act—will attract happiness into your life. Do it. Put on a happy face and walk down the street.”
Someone once said to me, when I was talking about a relationship, she said, “stop focusing on the relationship you want–instead, focus on how you want to feel in your relationship.” Wow. What great advice! I challenge you to do the same. Ask yourself, “how do I want to feel?” and then write down your answer. The longer the answer the better. The more adjectives the better. Hint: using words like inspired and alive and giddy and excited and love will get you to that good feeling, lovey, happy place really fast. So do it! See the life you want, feel the way you want–even if everything you want in your life hasn't yet come to fruition, keep focusing. Keep finding that feel good place and just expect what you want to come to you.
Try and practice one of these tools each day. Find a way to love yourself and your life each and every day and let your health flourish. Don't you deserve to feel good? I think so!
Now, take a moment–breathe in a deep breath and say the following to yourself, “I love you, you are awesome. Happy Valentines day to you, you are the love of my life and I am so proud of you.”
All you need is love. So, love and love and love.