Whenever Valentine’s Day approaches, the idea of LOVE  comes in and out of our minds more often than any other time of the year. The word LOVE itself holds different meanings and may bring up a range of emotions for every one of us. For some, it is something longed for, foolish and unattainable, or a doorway to a range of hurtful emotions. But more often we forget, we may be missing out on the one person who has some amazing LOVE to give – the person looking back at us in the mirror.

Ask anyone who lives their life in LOVE and they will tell you it is not something that happens by chance. It comes from taking actionable steps in how you CHOOSE to feel about your Self, other people, and your environment.

Studies* show that when you have positive feelings (love, joy, appreciation), your DNA becomes extremely relaxed and the immune system is enhanced and strengthened. The opposite is true of the emotions of anger, hate, etc. The DNA tightens and shuts down and depletes the immune response. This principle especially applies to how we feel about our Self.

How does the general U.S. Population feel about their bodies? The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics discovered :

  • 91.8% of women believe they are overweight

  • 83.4% of men believe they are overweight

Not only do many Americans struggle with weight problems, but they often harbor misperceptions about their weight—considering themselves overweight when in fact they are not. Almost twice as many women as men who are not overweight think that they are. 25.3% of men and 47.9% of women defined as within their normal weight range think they weigh too much. How do you see your Self? You can download and take our short questionnaire about Self-Image here.

Love Starts With You

The truth is, LOVE isn’t something to look and search for. It does not cost any money and does not have restrictions. It’s something that we open ourselves to – it starts with how you feel about your Self. In other words, until you’re 100 percent into YOU, no one else will be. Think about it, if you’re not connected to who you really are, how are you going to connect with someone else?

Here are a few simple things to think about that will increase the LOVE you have for your Self.

  1. Meet the interesting person within you. Close your eyes for a few minutes and look within — what are you like? What is good about you? What do you like to do, to eat, to play? What music do you like? What are your interests, your passions, your accomplishments? Don’t be critical at this point — find the interesting in you. It’s there, if you look.
  2. Get to know this cool person. It’s possible you don’t know the answers to some of the questions in the previous step — so find out! Over the next few days (and weeks), explore yourself. Find out what you like, what music you like, what your passions are. Look within and find out your desires, dreams, fears, strengths, weaknesses, and all that’s good within you.
  3. Appreciate the little things. You might not be “perfect” but even the little imperfections can be perfect. Start to learn to accept this interesting person, greatness and flaws alike, and appreciate all of it. This might mean putting aside the judgments of yourself, and saying, “This is what makes you … you. And because of that, it is perfect and great.” – http://zenhabits.net/falling-in-love/

Remember that we have a choice in how we feel about our Self. We don’t need to strive for what the media tells us beauty is, but we have the option to define our own ideals of  beauty.

Change our world by changing how we see ourselves – one emotion, one molecule at a time.