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How to Achieve Lasting Wellness: Embrace Self Love

November 16, 2012

A common misperception among those who strive for better health and happiness is that once you reach a certain goal, such as a lean body or a romantic relationship, you will be satisfied and all your frustrations will disappear. But what about the day after you accomplish a point of success, or a month after that? Does time suddenly come to a halt once you reach your goal, or is there more to the big picture?

Anyone who has faced health challenges, or has worked with those who do, understands that health maintenance is an ongoing effort requiring daily thoughts, decisions, and actions to continually propel yourself towards positive mental and physical balance. Simply jumping from one health goal to the next based on the latest batch of symptoms does nothing to prevent new ones from continually popping up.

For example, if your goal is to lose 30 pounds and you remain focused and motivated enough to reach your ideal weight, then the consequent absence of a more rooted intention than merely physical appearance could leave you feeling uninspired. With time, the weight may slowly creep back, perpetuating an endless cycle of yo-yo dieting.

Rather than treating healthy behavior as a short-term means to getting immediate results, the key to lasting wellness is to embrace healthy habits as a form of self love that doesn’t depend on external markers of success.

Research supports this claim by showing that those who exercise regularly do so not because they are focused on losing weight or preventing disease, but because it improves their overall quality of life here and now. Additional studies reveal that most people are motivated by optimistic messages that convey a sense of proactive empowerment, rather than guilt or shame.

Whether you’re already in tip-top shape, or in need of help with addressing your health concerns, making wellness and loving self care your ongoing priority will benefit all areas of life and will create a ripple effect of positivity that touches the people around you. It will also provide a more solid foundation to influence your motivation and daily behavior.

Here are a few tips for embracing self love on an ongoing basis:

Accept yourself as you are right now – you are beautiful.

Do at least one thing for your health every day.

Pamper yourself by getting a massage or facial.

Communicate openly about how you feel.

Surround yourself with positive people who make you happy.

How do you love yourself on a daily basis?