Many people feel that to keep their healthy habits consistent, they need to develop a strong sense of self-criticism — that inner voice telling chastising them whenever they eat a sugary treat or skip a workout. But a new study suggests that the best way to make healthy choices is to practice self-love.
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 15 studies to determine the role self-compassion plays in making healthy choices, including those involving eating decisions, exercise, sleep and stress management. They found that self-compassion was associated with healthier choices in all 15 studies.
It's a concept we at MindBodyGreen have supported for a long time: if you want to lose weight, counting calories and beating yourself up for not rigidly sticking to a plan isn't the best way to get results. The same goes for getting in shape, or quitting a bad habit. Allowing yourself some room for mistakes improves your self-worth, which can help you bounce back if you have a bad day.
So if you want to be healthy, start loving yourself! Not only is it a good idea that probably won't hurt you, but science backs it up!