“All of Me” John Legend

Valentine’s Day is approaching.

You are reminded of the desire to love and be loved.

You reflect on your self-esteem.

At times you think you’re not “good enough.”

You want to overcome it.

To feel good enough is beyond your reach.

You know that healthy self-love offers more joy and successes in life.

Ready to learn the secrets to love you more? You can. Read on to make the greatest love of all work for you.

Love is like a song. Some have lyrics (affirmations) and all have a rhythm (your flow in life).

Love streams through the brain with Oxytocin and vasopressin that heighten a sense of pleasure and security.

It awakens the brain’s pleasure center.

Many studies validate how self-compassion unlocks higher potential.

What can intensify self-compassion? Music.

When we listen to music that makes us happy, dopamine is released. It is strongest when we feel the chill of the music.

One study found that when we listen to music, our brains release dopamine, which in turn makes us happy. The dopamine release is strongest when we feel that emotional chill.

Melodies can be magical.

How can you make this happen for you? First write THE LYRICS. The lyrics are the affirmations needed to send the message to you and from you.

The Lyrics: Why Affirmations are Important  

“All we need is love”  The Beatles

Remember those times you’ve felt good about yourself for who you are and what you do.

Those are the times you transmit a love. Maybe unknowingly. Others see it in the way you carry yourself.

So, where does this all come from? It comes from the words you say to yourself.

Emile Coue, a French pharmacist believed in self-improvement through positive affirmations. He introduced a method of psychotherapy that included repeating the phrase “Every day, and in every way, I am becoming better and better.” After 6 months, it was confirmed that patients did not need as much medication.

Secret #1 is to consistently chant positive affirmations. They alleviate stress, create happiness, good health, and positive changes.

Repetition works!

Watch out for the inner critic

The inner critic comes from years of putting yourself down. It morphs into becoming a part of you. It can be relentless in throwing judgements your way. You believe them even when they’re not true.

Maya Angelou says that “The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.”

When the inner critic raises its ugly head to remind you that you are not good enough, do you lower your head in belief or rise up to recite a positive affirmation?

Let’s say you’re in a blah mood. You’re at work. Your hair is having a bad day, your outfit doesn’t motivate you, and your expression says, “Don’t bother me.” You’ll get one or two different reactions. People will distance from you and not be supportive, or they will say, “Are you ok?” (insinuating that something is wrong) What will you do? Mope even more. The critic is at work.

Positive repetition can beat the inner critic like a drum roll in a small auditorium. That’s why practicing them are important.

Are you listening to the inner critic or developing self-compassion?

Now write the lyrics that you will use to inspire you. Use one of your favorites, or use those you create.

Your words are special, and they are yours. You can make them rhyme or not. In some way they say “I LOVE ME.”

Let’s Play that Tune: Building Your Self-Compassion

“Just the way you are” Bruno Mars

Science has demonstrated the value of music on the brain. It can relieve pain, change mood, reduce seizures, and boost your immune system. It even has an impact on people with Alzheimer.

Choice of music is personal. Preferences come from cultural and background experiences.

There’s nothing like a melody to change a mood.

Music alters your mental states.

Music can give you confidence.

Music can be calming or uplifting.

Different kinds of music offer different emotional outcomes.

Gregorian chants reduce stress.

Slow baroque creates mentally stimulating environments.

Classical music improves concentration and memory.

Romantic music enhances a sense of sympathy and love.

Jazz, blues, soul, calypso, or gospel uplifts and inspires, or releases a sadness.

Impressionistic music opens unconscious thoughts and belief systems.

Spiritual music instills a spiritual warmth and belief.

Salsa, rhumba, merengue and South American music are both relaxing and awakening at the same time.

Big band, and country music engage emotions.

Rock music stirs passion and activity to release daily tensions.

Ambient or New Age music creates relaxation.

Heavy metal and hip-hop music arouse our nervous system.

Find the music or chants that forces you to sit upright, have confidence and smile.

Does the tune in your head speak to what you can’t achieve or to what you are becoming?

The voice is important in developing self-love. It guides you into any direction you want to go.

Listen to the love from your voice.

Secret #2 is to select your kind of music. Add your lyrics. Then feel the positive rhythm motivating you.

Sing to the Choir: Finding the Chords that Last

“I found the greatest
Love of all inside of me”
Whitney Houston

Your desire is to love and be loved.

Too often It is easier to love others than to love yourself.

You wonder if you can fully love you?

“It’s surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you’re not comfortable within yourself, you can’t be comfortable with others.” – Sidney J. Harris

Learning to love yourself is like a song. You make the lyrics (affirmations), you discover your music (your rhythm), and you sing your song (new way of feeling and believing in yourself).

Move on from the noise that says you are not good enough.

Your voice is paramount in how you feel about yourself. Like the thunderous vibrations of a trombone, your positive voice needs to breathe in and echo “I AM LOVE.”

Secret #3 Is how you Sing your song.  

Allow the words to create a melody, a flow, with rhythm and beats. Add meaning and expression.

Strengthen your voice and sing your song. Turn up the sound to drown out any negative voices. Hold your head up and let your voice express every word, every melody of what you are.

Now sing your song.

Believe the voice that says you are good enough.

Sing it over and over.

For You are the Greatest Love of ALL!

“The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.”  Helen Keller

Carole Stokes-Brewer, PhD