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Gift of Love: The virtues and obstacles to self-love

Posted on 12-30-15 in Mental Health

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Love is more than just the large romantic gestures but also the small moments in each day contributing to sustained mental health. Presenting affection for family, friends and even the small moments can be the key to living a fulfilled life, according to Kate Siner. Ph.D., author of “Make it Happen,” a book for helping readers achieve their true desires.

Treating love as a priority could create physical benefits, as touted by Jodi Prohofsky, Ph.D. She said that this positive emotion releases oxytocin, which lowers the levels of stress in the body. This chemical also plays a hand in battling depression, increasing intimacy and other positive actions.

Due to these benefits, Siner recommended that each person keep in touch with their feelings for better self-love. By doing so, the person can better prepare for potentially challenging aspects of the day.

Siner also recommended viewing life with a level of excitement. Whether it is looking forward to spending time with friends, seeing a new movie or taking a trip, pleasant experiences are to be celebrated rather than taken for granted. Loving daily experiences makes it difficult to self-hate.

She acknowledged that life often does not unfold as expected. In these cases, Siner told readers to get curious and follow new paths with less dread. “When you’re preoccupied with comparing what you have against what you think you should have, you’re not able to appreciate what you have for what it is,” she wrote.

Leslie Becker-Phelps, Ph.D., accentuated the importance of accepting life as it is in the Psychology Today article called “Accept Your Pain; It Will Hurt Less.” She brought up the Buddhist formula, “pain x resistance = suffering.” In other words, unnecessary struggling against the unchangeable makes the coping process difficult, not to mention the negative impact the regret makes on daily life. Regret also sustains negative self-talk, a practice opposing self-love.

“Rather than resisting your pain, and so creating your own suffering, you would be wise to learn to accept your authentic self—your experience of who you really are and what you are really struggling with,” Becker-Phelps suggested. She also echoed the importance of self-awareness opined by Siner and finds the quality critical to self-love, compassion and other aspects of healthy daily life.

Becker-Phelps also brought up the balance of self-esteem and looking to improve upon character flaws. Doing both can be difficult but necessary for an affectionate self-image.

The Sovereign Health Group teaches patients to love themselves while thriving in consistent self-improvement. Our counselors also know the importance of providing support in mentally difficult times. Call our 24/7 helpline today to find a high level of care and a more loving life.

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Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer