How to love yourself this Valentine’s Day

WELL_Loveballoon_0211

The question:
“I know my self-esteem is pretty low, and it especially gets bad around Valentine’s Day because I’m the only one of my friends without a boyfriend. Sometimes I feel like a loser and think something must be wrong with me.

There’s a sad irony that a fifth-century holiday designed to honor love has become synonymous with torture for singles. Surely it’s not easy being the only unattached one among your circle of friends when the world is painted hearts and roses. But without knowing your history, I can tell that your problem isn’t with the holiday; it’s with the way you feel about yourself.
All loving relationships begin with loving yourself. Calling yourself a “loser” and wondering what’s “wrong with you” will not help you feel better. It will only make you feel worse.
Studies show that our thoughts affect our feelings. According to cognitive behavioral therapy, thinking of yourself as a “loser” is an example of “labeling,” one of 10 common thinking errors attributed to the causes of depression and anxiety. Thinking errors are distorted ways we’ve been conditioned to interpret what happens to us. Labeling, for example, is defined as making a character judgment about yourself (or another), instead of looking at behaviors that may be contributing to your problems. And because of the way our brains are wired, one negative thought often leads to another — i.e., “I’ll never be loved” — which can spiral to depression.

You can see for yourself how negative thoughts affect your self-esteem. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and pay attention to what it feels like when you tell yourself, “There’s something wrong with me.” Do you feel good, or do you feel sad and ashamed? Whatever your answer, that is the energy you’re putting out.
Now close your eyes and notice the bodily sensations when you silently say to yourself several times, “I am loveable and I accept myself unconditionally.” Even if you don’t fully believe these affirmations yet, you may still notice a subtle shift in your mood.

Ways to feel better
A good cognitive-behavioral therapist can challenge entrenched patterns of distorted thinking. But short of seeing a professional, there are some things you can do to love yourself on Valentine’s Day.

  • Pamper yourself. Buy yourself some flowers or get a pedicure.
  • Write yourself a love letter.
  • Make a gratitude list.
  • Connect with other singles and remember that you’re not alone.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.