The Science of Self-Care

You start off with good intentions every Sunday evening — with plans to eat healthier and get to the gym a couple of times during the week. Before you know it, your alarm is going off & it is Friday morning. Self-defeating thoughts start to creep in of what you should have done and didn’t manage to do — AGAIN! Sound familiar?

Stop with the “should haves” and the defeating self-talk! Did you know that the average person has about 50,000 thoughts per day? Negative thoughts create stress. Stress causes the adrenal glands to release cortisol, which affects the brain and the body. Chronic stress impairs memory, creativity, the ability to problem-solve. It can cause you to have difficulty sorting out what is important from what isn’t. Your immune system and self-esteem become compromised which can lead to feelings of helplessness. Helplessness can make you anxious, depressed, and afraid of change.

Imagine how much better you would feel if you could replace the negative thoughts you have with thoughts that improve your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. It’s time for a change, and it’s time to make self-care a top priority.

This is how to do it:

1) Make a list of your strengths: List all the things that you like about yourself – include your successes, achievements, positive traits, and qualities for which others have recognized you. Accepting yourself is one of the most important steps you can take.

2) Give yourself the attention you deserve: Are you surrounded by negative or positive influences? It helps to surround yourself with people who are positive and accepting instead of negative and resistant. Pay attention to your physical health. Don’t put off starting to exercise until next week or next month — start today. Fifteen to twenty minutes of a physical activity (such as walking) per day is a great start. If you need a break from work-related stress, take a mental health day. Listen to your body and the signals it gives you. If you have been putting off a physical or a check-up with your doctor, stop procrastinating and make the appointment today.

3) Ask yourself questions: Do you have what you truly want in life? Are you happy with your relationships, your community, and your career? Find a way to thrive doing what you love using all of your strengths and talents.
Do this exercise, and I promise it will give you the tools you need to start living a happier and healthier life today.

Wishing you wellness,
Karen

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