Is there proof to how self love works?
Self love has had a bad name for years, in your life. You’ve been told that self love is…
- Being full of yourself and self centered
- Being bossy, demanding, and “high maintenance”
Those are lies. But thanks to the decades of listening to those lies, believing those lies, and feeling not worthy, you’re ready to break free.
The great news is that it’s never too late with self love. The idea is supported by science; brain science to be exact.
What does science tell us about self love? Does science make convincing arguments in favor of self love?
The research out there stacks miles high. Self love has countless benefits, but we’ve narrowed it down to 5 of the most important science-backed benefits of self love.
1. Self love fosters healthy connections.
Associate professor of Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas Kristen Neff is a pioneer in the field of self compassion. Neff’s research came to the conclusion that your sense of self worth is directly linked to how you see yourself next to others.
People rely on out-competing others because it’s the most accessible “feeling” of success. When you feel like a failure, you become your biggest critic and this makes it easier to fall into slumps of anxiety and depression.
When you give more room for comparing yourself to others, you close out room for self love. When this happens, you aren’t able to foster healthy connections with others because you’re too focused on the competition you’ve created in your mind. But by turning to self love, you give yourself the attention you deserve and you reap the benefits of a loving a community (or network) around you.
2. Self love offers healthy coping alternatives.
Self compassion is the biggest coping skill anyone can have. It’s right there with empathy and sympathy but the big difference is you are caring for yourself.
“Although self-compassion may seem similar to self-esteem, they are different in many ways. Self-esteem refers to our sense of self-worth, perceived value, or how much we like ourselves… In contrast to self-esteem, self-compassion is not based on self-evaluations. People feel compassion for themselves because all human beings deserve compassion and understanding, not because they possess some particular set of traits…”
In health and wellness, you see the coping skills manifest in journaling because it helps you put thoughts of self compassion together.
3. Self love improves your self esteem.
Working on the relationship you have with yourself reduces stress from things that are outside of your control. For example, like with benefit #1, when you have self love in your life, you don’t create competitive environments. You don’t want a competitive environment when it comes to your mental and emotional wellness.
So you focus on doing the inner work: you work through your traumas, you process feelings brushed under the rug, you take care of yourself. You build trust with yourself! When you do this, you build up your confidence to face the world outside.
4. Self love increases strength and resiliency.
Dr. Judith Johnson, a registered clinical psychologist at the University of Leeds, looked into emotional resilience with colleagues.
They summarized, “Self-esteem is an important resilience factor, which can help us to maintain positive wellbeing when we are under pressure or stress. Two ways to boost our self-esteem are to remind ourselves of the values that we hold important, and the things about ourselves that are good. There are specific ways of doing this, and research suggests that when undertaken, doing this can help us to maintain a strong sense of self and to build our self-esteem.”
5. Self love and self talk have positive effects on the brain.
Claude Steele, an American social psychologist and a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, proposed the self-affirmation theory. In the desire to maintain a positive self-image, people overcome specific threats to the self by affirming something equally important, yet unrelated, to restore a sense of self confidence and worth without facing the specific threat at hand.
How do I stay on course with Self Love?
There are various practices you can do to make sure you’re on a mindful track with self love. To name a few…
- Breathing exercises
- Practice gratitude
- Nurture internal values
- Use affirmations
Lovet Planners has a full Self Love Collection built out. For all of the bullet points listed, we recommend picking up the 90-Day Self Love Spark. It’s an undated journal dedicated to helping you strengthen the relationship you have with yourself.
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