Self-love is fundamental in developing good health – both physically and mentally. How we feel is impacted by many aspects, not just our physical health, but more importantly, how we feel about ourselves. You can be in great, physically beautiful shape, but still feel ugly, lonely, and miserable.
On the other hand, your body might function differently, but you feel like you are the happiest person on the planet and people will perceive you as beautiful, attractive and strong.
Some of the experiences we made left a huge imprint on us: unless we consciously work through them, these experiences will define how we perceive ourselves today and the world around us. Even if our physical body might not heal, mentally we will feel stronger, healthier, often lighter and in more peace than ever before.
Thoughtless words or actions, even if from a long time ago, may have hurt us in a very deep manner and maybe even destroyed our trust in people or the world altogether. Whether it’s growing up with violence or abuse, absent parent(s), disrespect as an ethnic or religious minority, bullying at school etc. all can leave scars on our hearts. Some of us have been faced with death, lost a loved one and never really got over it, terrible things were done to us or we did to others.
We are only able to push away uncomfortable memories or upcoming decisions until we are ready to face them. If we ignore these uncomfortable feelings because it’s just more fun to go to a party, shopping or keep ourselves artificially busy with work in order to not feel the emotional pain, the emotion is going to manifest somewhere in the body, we start to feel physical discomfort, and, if left unresolved, disease can slowly develop over time.
Many of us go through life with emotions such as loneliness, sadness, guilt, anger, anxiety or a feeling of not being good enough. To open your heart after if has been broken requires a lot of courage and strength, and will temporarily be unpleasant and painful. It’s like cleaning up an old box of photographs – they bring back some unpleasant memories, but you will feel lighter afterwards. If we keep our hearts closed to protect ourselves, we also exclude love from our life – and this is what makes us feel lonely, unhappy and miserable.
It’s about changing the dynamics within your relationships and becoming an adult emotionally
We are so set in our own ways that we don’t even realize how negatively we look at ourselves! This is not about being selfish or arrogant either. It’s about compassion. What used to be other people’s words became a voice in our head, making us feel small, ugly and not worthy of love.
If we start to treat ourselves the way we would treat our very best friend, we can often observe a shift in our personal and professional life. The more we respect ourselves, the more respect we will receive from others. If we value ourselves more, chances are that this will be reflected financially as well if you have been struggling with money until now. Other times we have to lose everything before we can really appreciate the value of what we had, and start over from scratch…
If you can be your own best friend, there is no need to feel lonely or abandoned. You will not take other people’s actions (or lack of them) so personal. Spend your precious time with people who want to be with you for the right reasons – not because there is no one else and you or that other person don’t want to be alone or because a person fulfills a certain purpose.
Taking time for yourself is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself, particularly, if your job or your role as a parent, spouse or caretaker requires you to constantly give and be there for others. Taking care of yourself and not requiring your friends or family to carry you emotionally is a huge step towards emotional independence and personal growth. By no means it means your loved ones shouldn’t care about you – it’s about changing the dynamics within your relationships and becoming an adult emotionally.
If we start looking at what is the real message behind a seemingly negative event or health crisis, we can often shift our own perception and derive incredible strength and wisdom from it, which will nourish us for the rest of our life.
Jennifer Eisenecker is an ex-banker, German-certified naturopath, and business owner. Knowing how limited time and mind space often are, her recommendations are practical, easy to follow, and as simple as possible.
Jennifer’s multi-disciplinary approach involves going back to basics, looking at health from a trauma-aware perspective, and achieving health by calming down the nervous system to optimize your body’s innate ability to rebalance itself. She loves herbs and natural remedies.