“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” – Buddha.
Self-love is an important thing to have in all aspects of life. Valentine’s Day can be a time of sadness for some who perceive that their life is incomplete, but this should not be a time to focus on what you don’t have, rather than what you do. So, whether you are single or not, this is a great time to practice more self-love.
So what does this actually mean and does it have any benefits, or is it just another hippy mantra??
Having more self-love will lessen depression anxiety, enhance recovery from stress, increase optimism and will help you in sticking to different lifestyle such as changes in exercise or diet. Focusing on the good things in your life and being grateful for them can boost your mood and increase your serotonin levels.
Serotonin is known as body’s natural ‘Feel Good Hormone’ and in the body it helps to make us feel relaxed, happy, and confident. It also has many other uses such as appetite control, mood and behaviour regulator, it impacts every part of your body.
Other practical things you can do are;
- Take 5-HTP, a naturally occurring compound that increases serotonin in the body, your feel-good hormone
- Add raw cacao powder into your diet, yes, it is true, chocolate is good for you. See the amazing Cacao Energy Balls at the bottom of this page. Not only do they increase energy, as well as being a healthy food source, the raw cacao will also boost serotonin levels.
- Probably the easiest thing you can do is just go outside and turn off your phone. Going for a walk and taking in fresh air and day light will improve serotonin levels, it helps you to reconnect the nature and gives you a break from all the facebook posts of what we see as ‘everyone else’s happiness’.
Self-love isn’t only about boosting your mood though. There are other ways in which to practice better self-love like, such as becoming more mindful. This means recognising your different feelings and when you are experiencing emotional distress or mental suffering. Never try and ‘push down’ negative feelings as this does not work. If you can allow yourself some quiet space and let the feeling come. Sit with it and ask yourself the question, ‘ I wonder why I am feeling ……..’. Do not judge yourself or this feeling. We are supposed to feel many different emotions, not just happiness. Try and be happy and content wherever you are, rather than just always wanting to get to the end result.
Self-love is also about acting on more of what fulfils you and sometimes this means turning away from saying ‘yes’ to everything and supporting the needs of others and putting yourself first. Practicing good health care is also practice of self-love, like exercising, having a healthy, nutritional diet, getting proper sleep and having healthy social interactions. Further to this, set boundaries. We’ve all heard of the phrase, too much of the good stuff is bad stuff, so limit yourself on certain things to not overwhelm yourself.
Practicing meditation is also a very useful tool to making yourself feel good and clear your mind. There are several scientifically proven ways in which meditation can be of benefit:
- Reduces stress
- Improves concentration, which can also help with mindfulness.
- Encourages a healthy lifestyle.
- Increases self-awareness.
- Slows aging.
- Benefits cardiovascular and immune health.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Wayne Dyer
We all know that we are suppose to drink it and most people say, ‘I don’t drink enough’ , but why is this??
Most of us are fortunate enough to have water whenever we want it, we normally just have to get up and walk a couple of steps to the nearest tap or water machine and we probably don’t think for one minute what it would be like to walk miles and miles to get the thing that we so freely disregard.
So why do we need the clear stuff?
We are made of 70% water, every chemical reaction that takes place in our body, needs water (hydration). We are supposed to be fluid beings, constantly moving, not stuck, stagnated and toxic. So lets start there, water helps are body to Cleanse. It is the first step in healing and if your body has enough hydration it can removed the toxins from your system, if you are dehydrated your body wants to keep hold of the water in fear that you are not getting enough, so it doesn’t let go of toxins, fat and all other elements that should just be passing through.
We are a nation that has moved away from drinking water, replacing our fluids with caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and the dreaded energy drinks. People have got very confused about how much water they need, but 8 glasses is a good guideline (don’t ask how big a glass !!)
But as well as knowing how much water you need, you have to think about what you do within your lifestyle that dehydrates you, so do you do any of the below;-
- Coffee – for every one cup, 5 glasses of water to rehydrate
- Tea – for every one cup. 4 glasses of water to rehydrate
- Stress – you breathe from your upper chest, not lower so you expel twice as much water, just from breathing
- Air conditioning, sat in-front of a computer all day
- Sugar, salt, saturated fat, alcohol … The list is endless
So all of a sudden those 8 glasses doesn’t seem that much, when your body is trying to replenish everything else. When you are making any changes in your diet, you want to do it gradually, so going from 2 glasses of water to 8-9 glasses is not advisable, you need to build it up slowly otherwise you find it goes in one end and straight out the other!
There are many places that you can obtain your daily water intake :
- Raw foods
- Food which absorb water such as brown rice and lentils
- Drinking water 15 minutes before you eat; not to fill you up, but to have water in your stomach to help break down the food rather than taking it from elsewhere in the body
So start to be more concuss of how much water you are drinking. A good guide is to fill up a water bottle and make sure that you get through this on a daily basis, once your body starts to receive more water your thirst will start to increase; so just listen to your body and give it what it needs.
The Bath Life Awards celebrates the very best of Bath living and business. This year’s revamped and improved event was held on September 20th at the Assembly Rooms, Bath. The theme was decadence, from the footmen greeting guests at the door, to the goddesses bearing grapes and Adonis’ bearing wine. It was an evening of sumptuous food, great entertainment and, of course, recognition of Bath’s most respected businesses.
The awards were voted for and chosen in a three stage process by the people who matter most – those that live and work in Bath. The final stages were decided by an independent panel of judges.
Lisa won the category for Health Business of the Year 2007.