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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we wanted to celebrate by sharing a few tips on how to love the most special person in your life: YOURSELF!

Unfortunately, we tend to be our biggest critics. Most of us probably think that when we’re hard on ourselves it’s good for us—that it makes us work harder at moving from “not good enough” to “good enough”. Unfortunately, this harsh, angry and tense outlook on life will not bring long-term happiness.

Instead of focusing on the negative, we need to cultivate our own support, acceptance and loving care in order to truly feel good about (and love) ourselves.

Here are five tips on how to love yourself:

  1. Change Your Posture. If you lack confidence in the looks department, simply stand up a little straighter! In less than 10 seconds, you’ll look thinner and appear WAY more confident.
  2. Let Go of the Negative. Make a conscious decision to be a more positive person. You’ll be amazed at the change in how you see yourself, and the change in how others perceive you.
  3. Exercise. Not only does exercise help you physically look good, it releases endorphins (which are the feel-good brain chemicals) to help improve your emotional well-being.  Exercise has also been shown to help with your immune system and prevent disease.
  4. Meditate. Meditation doesn’t have to be a big, overwhelming process. Just use a quiet moment you already have (like in the shower), close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. This will give your mind and body a chance to reset.
  5. Have Fun! Although changing some of your habits can be difficult, you can still have fun doing it. Be silly! Don’t take yourself too seriously and let go of caring about what others think of you. Remember: Laughter really is the best medicine.

Remember: Love yourself and yourself will love you back!