If We Can’t Love Ourselves, We Sure As Heck Can’t Be Present For Anyone Else

Hello, I am Stacy and I am a recovering perfectionist. I was a robot teenager, not scoring an A did not compute….I was rigid, serious, deemed “proper” by my oh-so-kind classmates. 

Through various healing practices, I sent my metal exterior to the scrap heap and at 34 (better later than never), I have TRULY learned the importance of self-love

Because let’s face it: If we can’t love ourselves, we sure as heck can’t be present for anyone else. Not only does self-compassion benefit others, it benefits YOUR body and mind and here’s why.
 
Self love is like sex, self-deprecation is you beating yourself up (literally).
 
I got your attention didn’t I? 

Well it’s the truth. Studies indicate when we exercise self-compassion, the hormone oxytocin is secreted, which is the same hormone that is secreted during sex and when we get hugs.
 
Contrary to this, when we are self-critical, our body goes into fight-or-flight mode or stress response mode, a physiological response that dates back to prehistoric man. Many moons ago, this response was used to help defend us against tigers and bears while hunting for food. 

Today, there are no tigers and bears, but you are your own predator when you beat yourself up! If you are constantly self-critical, that can lead to chronic stress and eventually illness. According to the Benson Henry Institute of Mind Body Medicine, 60-90% of illnesses are stress-induced.
 
Self-love means a happier, more optimistic you. 

Multiple studies have indicated that people who exercise self-compassion are:
  • Happier
  • More optimistic
  • More satisfied with life 
Sign me up for that, right?
 
Self-love means a fit, healthy, bod. 

Not only does self-love have mental benefits, but research indicates that people who exercise self-love are making healthier food choices and are keeping up with their doctor visits.
 
I will depart from the research which supports the case for self-love and leave you with this:
 
For all of those out there who deal with pesky perfectionism, know you are not alone. Have faith that when you can let some of it go and learn to love yourself, you can access this sense of peace within that no boss, lover, mother, father, can ever take away from you and that’s a beautiful thing. That won’t show up in any study but I know it to be true, because I have lived it.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


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