You might have heard me talk or write about it before, but one of the things that makes you the most productive, the most successful, and the most joyful, is to always have a healthy dose of self-love. If you don’t first take care of and love yourself, it’s very difficult to truly love others or be a good friend, good spouse, or anything else for that matter.
I’m not talking about conceited love, but the kind of love God has for us and parents have for their children.
This Thursday the 14th is valentine’s day around the world. The flowers, chocolate hearts, and Hallmark cards are everywhere. Many of us will choose to express our love to someone in one of those ways.
This past week I’ve compiled a list of 10 things both from my own experience and from others that will help lead to both healthy self-love as well as true love for others.
1) Good Brain Diet – Eat a balanced diet that is higher in vegetables to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
2) Reduce Negative Thoughts – Your mind is always eavesdropping on your self-talk, so keep it empowering and positive!
3) Exercise – Engage in regular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body. Several studies have found an association between physical activity and reduced risk of cognitive decline.
4) Brain Nutrients – If you are not getting all your nutrition from your diet and busy lifestyle, consider adding the key brain nutrients like Omega 3’s, B vitamins, etc through supplementation.
5) Positive Peer Group – Buddy Up. Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Find ways to be around people that inspire, challenge and you can learn from. As they say, “if you are the smartest one in the room, you are in the wrong room!”
6) Clean Environment – Take time to organize your surroundings. A reminder to stay away from environmental hazards, such as smoke. Smoking increases the risk of cognitive decline. And quitting smoking can reduce risk to levels comparable to those who have not smoked.
7) Catch Some Zzz’s – Not getting enough sleep can result in problems with memory, focus, and thinking.
8) Brain Protection – Head injuries can raise the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seatbelt and use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike.
9) New Learnings – Hit the books. Keeping your brain active will help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Maybe take a class online.
10) Stress Management – Anxiety puts you into fight or flight mode, which is not the ideal state to study, learn, or remember. Higher anxiety is a symptom of lower self-esteem, and the resulting chronic stress is bad for your brain.
My friends, when we can have more love both for others and for ourselves, only the best is yet to come. Happy Valentine’s day to all!