Most of us seek someone to love or to love us. We don’t think about cultivating self-love or realize that love originates within.
You may be seeking a relationship, but research suggests that singles are actually happier than married people, with the exception of happily married people. But even that dwindles over time. A new study shows that on average, after the first year, spouses return to their baseline state of happiness prior to the marriage. Thus, similar to the conclusions reached in the studies done on lottery winners, after marriage and after winning, we eventually return to how happy we are as individuals.
Thus, our self-esteem matters. Research has well-established that it’s a big factor in the health and happiness in marriage. In fact the level of our self-esteem before the relationship can predict its longevity. Low self-esteem can prevent us from reaping the rewards of love in a relationship.
We think about ourselves based on things we were told, incorrect inferences, and false beliefs informed by trauma and the parenting we received. These learned beliefs, defenses, and habits are not who we are, not our natural, true self. How can we reclaim it?
Cultivating self-love is a worthwhile endeavor for ourselves and to have happier relationships. Science has shown these remarkable benefits associated with love:
- Better stress management
- Better sleep
- Better heart health
- Longer lives
- Improved self-esteem
- Greater happiness
- Lowered risk of depression