As a health and wellness expert, public speaker, author and practitioner of alternative medicine, the most common concern I hear from people is about their health. They want to improve their health; they want to feel better and look better. Well, the best thing you can do to improve your health and feel better is to love yourself more: being kind to yourself translates to optimal health, and science shows that happier people are healthier people.
The way I see it, when we truly love ourselves and wholeheartedly honor who we are and what we desire, we live life from a place of self awareness and alignment with our core needs. When we're present and in alignment with those needs we intuitively take actions that support our health. For instance, when we're in tune with our emotions—we don’t overeat or drink. When we're self aware—we know how the food we eat affects us. When we honor our needs—we know we need ample sleep to feel fresh and clear the next day. When we're true to ourselves—we can say no and exercise healthy boundaries. When we're present in the moment that’s right here, right now—we keep ourselves from stressing about the future.
Here are my top three healthy habits to cultivate more self-love and optimize your health:
1. Be grateful. Every morning upon waking (and before getting out of bed), I run through a list of at least five things that I'm grateful for. You can keep it super simple, such as: I'm grateful for how comfortable my bed is; or: I'm so grateful for how good that morning cup of coffee is going to taste. Or you can go deeper. If you’re feeling really grateful, then share your gratitude with someone you love.
2. Ask yourself: Does this feel good? In the moment, when you're about to eat something or respond to an email or deal with a situation—ask yourself that question. If the answer is a resolute YES, then do it. Otherwise, take a few breaths, get centered, and reassess. One of the keys to self-love is being present enough to honor your emotions and do what feels good to you. Of course, there are things in life that we have to do that don’t always feel so good…when you're faced with such situations try to find that silver lining. For instance, when paying your taxes perhaps find a way to be grateful for where that tax money goes or take a moment to appreciate your accountant who did his or her best to save you money this year.
3. Chill out. Take time each day—even if for only a few minutes—to sit and breathe and check in with yourself. Some call this meditation, but for those of you who are a little overwhelmed at the idea of a daily meditation practice then just take 3-5 minutes each day to take some deep breaths, chill out, and check in. When you do so, you can really get to know yourself and your desires better and listen more to your heart and less to the noise in your head. This will help you on your path to optimal health.
Author, acupuncturist, and herbalist Aimee Raupp is a women’s health and fertility expert. Her mission is to educate and inspire women, improve their health, celebrate their beauty, prevent disease, and reconnect them to their optimal health. She is the author of Chill Out And Get Healthy, and Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: How to Improve Your Fertility Now & Into Your 40s, which was endorsed by Deepak Chopra. Aimee is in private practice in Manhattan, the Hamptons, and Nyack, NY. For additional information, please visit AimeeRaupp.com.