Why Self Acceptance is Essential for Your Health and Happiness

By Laura Ceppelli

October 22, 2019

I often get asked the question “What is the single most important thing I can do for my health and happiness”? … And I’ve given the roots of emotional and physical wellbeing a lot of attention in my life and work.

Logic goes to practical things like drinking water,  sleepling more, Pilates (of course) , movement and meditation but, while all these a really important part of your day for your physical and emotional wellbeing, there is a foundational piece from which the rest is built on.

You can drink as much water as you can, sleep 10 hours and meditate for days but if you do not accept who you are, and continue to internally criticize everything you do, or the world around you, then you will not experience optimal health and happiness.

Self Acceptance is where is all begins. Be mindful of how you talk to yourself as you go about your day. Do you berate your self constantly? Do you compare yourself to others? Do you call yourself names even?

Would you talk your child like that?  Or your best friend?…. I didn’t think so.

Be really kind to yourself. You are doing a great job and are perfectly imperfect just the way you are. You are enough and don’t have to be anymore or do any more. 

Catch yourself when you do feel bad about yourself. What do you say to yourself? Is what you are saying to yourself actually true? Probably not- change the words - give yourself a bit of compassion.

It goes deeper than this of course, and you need to know that your thoughts, needs, values, desires are valid and all have a place. Critical self talk is often someone else’s but it’s all okay, and you are worthy of love and belonging. Accept yourself.

Life, and raising a family is not always easy, so be on your own team, right from the heart. More than just a cheerleader but a deep knowing you’ve got this. 

Acceptance of others is also important to be balanced and happy. If you don't accept what's going on for you, past or present, then you get stuck in judgements and resentments and the stress these emotions have on your body can wreak havoc and illness can manifest..

"To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee"  Anonymous

You can't make good, new choices for yourself when you are unaccepting. Accepting doesnt mean condoning or saying “it's okay”, not at all, so many things are "unacceptable" but accepting allows you to take constructive action or move forward and make your peace.

In accepting people and situations around you, including your stress levels, your crazy boss, your challenging kids, it's absolutely essential to accept yourself.

Studies have shown, one in particular by Harvard Medical School that self-acceptance has physical and emotional benefits.

So how do we do it?

We have to accept others.  When you accept others you can accept yourself. You will feel light and free. Let that stuff go!

Acceptance exercise.. 

Just for one day try and notice how you are judging and when you do catch yourself breath deeply and choose to Let it go. You can even say "I let you go".. Then consciously go through your mental list - accept your parents, your boss, your spouse, and people who have hurt you in some way. There might be things you cannot accept, but that's okay, just accept that you aren’t ready yet. One day you will be and you will feel light and free and alive. You can decide if you its worth doing again tomorrow, no pressure - self acceptance all the way. I talk you through it in my live.

We have to take responsibility that our feelings about people and stuff are our own construct, and we have a choice to feel better about things.

"There is nothing good, nothing bad -thinking makes it so" Yogi Bahjan.

True acceptance can transform our lives.