Asian woman taking a selfie on the beach

There are many forms and manifestations of self-love. Self-compassion and self-acceptance are part of the whole package that can bring all sorts of positivity into your life. Apart from creating feelings of empowerment, fulfillment, and growth, the benefits also include improvements in physical and mental health. Here are some science-backed perks of being kinder yourself.

Decreases Stress

Choosing yourself is one form of self-love that, in itself, can come in various forms. It can mean walking away from a pointless argument or saying “no” to a new project when you feel you won’t be able to give it your 100%. In a way, it’s self-preservation and valuing your well-being and happiness.

Some may think it’s selfish, but it sure would be a great service to mankind if more people practiced it, since one of the benefits is decreased stress, and therefore, stress symptoms. These include irritability, mood swings, and self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse. You’re not overwhelmed, you're in control, and you feel good about yourself about being so.

Harvard Health notes that this even engenders physical changes in the brain, increasing serotonin transporter (SERT) availability. According to the Journal of Advances in Clinical Chemistry, a decrease is linked to mood and depressive disorders. 

Improves Emotional Well-Being

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation defines self-love as “a state of appreciation of oneself.” It doesn’t just happen once or twice but grows from consistent actions that contribute to various aspects of growth. It means putting your physical, mental, and emotional well-being first until it becomes a habit that infiltrates every aspect of your life.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, choosing yourself is a sign of healthy self-esteem. It decreases the risk of depression, increases empathy, and improves relationships with others.

A Healthier Heart

A 2019 joint study conducted by the University of Exeter and the University of Oxford found proof that being kind to yourself has literal physical health benefits. According to their research, self-critical individuals have an increased heart rate and higher sweat response than those who practice self-compassion.

Imagine what having this mindset day in and day out can do to your heart! According to the study, being kind to oneself switches off the threat response and puts the body in a state of relaxation, encouraging regeneration and healing. 

Positive Body Image

Self-love also encourages self-acceptance, which means embracing yourself fully — even those bits of you that you may perceive as flaws. This can lead to a healthier relationship with your body and an improved approach to diet and fitness. Once you stop seeing your excess weight or stomach rolls as flaws, you start feeling beautiful in your own skin.

The American Psychology Association notes that have always been linked and that individuals with poor body image are more likely to diet and are susceptible to eating disorders. Your body image will change through different life stages, and self-love and self-acceptance can help you through this lifelong process.

Glowing Skin

. Choosing yourself isn’t just about not choosing others. It’s also about making it a point to remove your makeup even when you’re too tired or relishing the process of cleansing your skin in the morning.

The obvious benefit of practicing self-care through a is, of course, great skin. But according to a 2018 study published in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal, having this consistent self-nurturing habit can prevent mood problems and contribute to happiness. This, in turn, adds to your glow because it puts your body in a regenerative, balanced, and self-healing state.

Make your a pampering one by using products that nourish your skin and hair while encouraging positive feelings. For example, Dove Go Fresh Sakura Blossom Body Wash invigorates the senses with a light floral scent while softening the skin with Himalayan sea salt. For your hair, use Dove Weightless Repair 1 Minute Foam Conditioner to smoothen and detangle your locks even when you’re pressed for time. Pamper your teeth with closeup All Around Fresh Cool Mint Toothpaste, which gives you the confidence to go all out with your smile.

Choosing yourself may not be easy to do, but daily acts of self-love can help turn it into a habit that improves your overall health.