At Rocky we like to say “self-care isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.” Since it’s the season of love we wanted to remind you that before you love someone else, you gotta love yourself! We’re not the only ones who think so. Research has shown that people who practice self-compassion experience lower levels of anxiety and depression. It’s more than a trend — it’s about self-esteem, your health, and self-value.
If you’re suffering from low self-esteem, look for acceptance from yourself instead of others. Those who practice self-affirmation have been proven to have lower levels of cortisol(the stress hormone) and catecholamine—a neurotransmitter also associated with stress. One effective way to practice self-affirmation is by writing a values essay, something that’s been tested on college students who are notoriously under pressure and hard on themselves.
First, make a list of 5-10 core values for yourself. You can come up with these on your own, but if you need inspiration, there are tons of lists online. Rank those values from most to least important (they’re all important, of course). Some examples could be creativity, integrity, or freedom. Next, take your top value and put aside only 10 minutes to write about why that value is important to you. Values affirmation have been proven to help fight the effects of low self-worth.
If you have a tendency to be hard on yourself, learn to let go. Did you make a mistake at work? Lose something? Forget your filter for a moment and maybe offend someone? Stop beating yourself up. Think about what you would tell a friend who was going through the same thing. You would probably tell them to not be so hard on themselves, that everything will be okay, and that they’re doing their best. So be your own best friend.
We’re not saying to go off and marry yourself (unless that’s your thing, in which case we’ll send our RSVP in the mail), but people are no longer waiting for the right person to come along. They’re finding happiness in themselves and we’re here for it. The term self-partnered was popularized by actress Emma Watson. Take yourself to the movies, don’t be afraid of being single, celebrate it!
Loving-kindness meditation is guided meditation rooted in mindfulness that is focused on nurturing compassion and love. It’s rooted in mindfulness practice. When you practice LKM, studies have shown that you can actually enhance parts of the brain that are related to processing emotion and empathy. Incorporating LKM with other treatments, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is an effective way to cope with social anxiety and other psychological challenges. There are tons more science-based reasons to try this type of mindfulness, and easy to follow guided LKM meditations online for you to give it a go. Here’s one from Berkeley University.
Do you have trouble taking a compliment or accepting praise? This can be directly related to low self-esteem. If you get uncomfortable when someone pays you a compliment, learn to work through that discomfort. If your reflex is to deflect compliments when they come to you, take a breath and say a simple “thank you.” It will be uncomfortable at first but the more you practice it the more you will get used to it. It’ll also save time more than arguing about why you think you don’t deserve a compliment.
Bonus tip: For a little extra, tangible self-love, give yourself a massage! Learn all about how to give yourself an incredible massage from the pros with these tutorials.
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