Self-love – loving yourself for better health?
Self-love makes you strong - that's definitely true. But what exactly does self-love mean for our health and how can you learn to love yourself?
Depression is on the rise. This is the assessment of the World Health Organization, according to a report by Ärzteblatt (a German medical journal) (https://www.aerzteblatt.de/nachrichten/73297/WHO-Millionen-leiden-an-Depressionen). More than 4.1 million People are therefore already affected in Germany – with a tendency that is increasing. Modern medicine thus faces a major task. Many People are looking for a natural alternative to chemically-produced medication. As extensive studies have now shown, alternative medicine actually has a promising approach at hand: self-love.
How does self-love affect our well-being and how can we encourage more self-love within ourselves?
Depression - lack of self-love? Learning to love yourself can help
Kristin Neff is regarded as an important fundamental researcher for the scientific observation of self-love for health. In 2003, she sketched out self-love in two papers in accordance with objective criteria, thereby drawing attention to the positive effects on depression and anxiety disorders that she discovered during the course of her research (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15298860309027).
Since then, research in this area has already become more advanced and is able to prove that there are new, positive effects on mental and even physical health - such as the possible reduction of stress or the lowering of the heart rate.
Christian Rüger, a naturopath at Naturheilzentrum Bottrop (‘NABO’ for short), also sees great opportunities in self-love: "Loving yourself can be an enormous source of strength for us. We often start to think more positively about ourselves and our lives. One relatively immediate effect of this may be that we feel more comfortable in our own skin, which in turn has a positive effect on our stress levels."
Self-love as an alternative
For Rüger, the naturalness of self-love, above all, is an important factor here: "The great advantage of self-love is that it completely dispenses with chemicals. You don't have to fear any side effects and it’s also prescription-free. In a way, we are exploiting our own potential. The positive energy of self-love is within us all. And, as science shows, it can even have a positive impact on our health in general."
One way to make better use of self-love is meditation based on goodness and kindness. A meta-analysis has been able to determine a positive effect on depression, among other things, via this process (https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fa0037249). "However, it remains the case that anyone who suspects they have depression or a similar emotional disorder should first go to the doctor. Getting a diagnosis is very important for treatment," explains Rüger.
"I love myself" - more about self-love and its effect
Christian Rüger goes deeper into the topic of self-love in the new video on the Naturheilzentrum Bottrop YouTube channel. Together with his colleague, Farid Zitoun, and the team at Bottrop’s naturopathic practice, the lifestyle vloggers concern themselves with the concrete value of self-love in a practical test with the example of how to do something good for his own birthday.
"Self-love feels great and can help us gain a new perspective in our lives when we don’t feel good. The fact that it can even measurably affect our well-being and our health in a positive way is another great reason to be aware of this topic," says Rüger with conviction.
Tips and information on this can also be found on the NABO Tumblr blog: Learning to love yourself. In addition, guest blogger Peter Schneider goes into more detail on how to do something good for yourself in the blog section of the Naturheilzentrum Bottrop website.