Sure Valentine’s is just an invented day by Hallmark, but for some, it’s a dreaded, in-your-face reminder that while others are receiving obligatory roses, you are single. Instead of secretly resenting other happy couples and not so secretly wallowing in some serious self-loathing, why not instead take this day as a reminder to focus on cultivating self-love. Instead of making this day about not having romantic love from someone else, make this day about falling in love with yourself and spreading that self-love with people you care about. For all the singles out there, I encourage you to reclaim Valentine’s Day as your day. Here are some suggestions on how you can have a loved filled, happy Valentines, regardless of your relationship status.
Start a gratitude practice
“The difference between happy people and unhappy people is their level of gratitude.”
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, or what you’re not getting, use your energy towards feeling grateful for what you already have. Studies show that you can actually rewire your brain for happiness by practicing gratitude on a daily basis. Research by author, Shawn Achor, suggests that you can train your brain to be more positive by spending two minutes a day writing down what you are grateful for. Do this for a period of 21 days in a row for 21 days in a row and at the end of that, your brain starts to retain a pattern of scanning the world for the positive and not the negative.
Make someone else feel loved
For the last few years, I spent my Valentines taking my mom and grandmother out on a date. I would spoil them with flowers, a nice dinner, and pampered them as if I was a gentleman trying to court them for their affection. I made them feel special, taken care of and loved. Making someone else feel loved was incredibly satisfying. Do something special and surprise someone that you care about. Send a card with a note of why you love the person. Take your mom out for a date. Instead of using your energy thinking of the love you’re not getting, divert that energy into sharing your love with someone who deserves it. When you are a source of love for others, love will flood into your life.
Change your state of being
There has been a lot of hype around positive thinking, and a predominant school of thought is that if you’re not happy, it’s because your thoughts are negative. This isn’t entirely true.
“Positive thinking itself does not work”
Positive thinking itself does not work. Many scientists argue that 95% of our decisions, actions, emotions and behavior are a result of our subconscious mind. For example, if you’ve spent your entire life feeling anxious about rejection and abandonment, and a moment arises where that anxiety is triggered, having a positive thought will not change your physical reaction – it’s automated due to decades of programming. In order to change the outcome of what you are attracting into your life, you need to break the habits that are hardwired into your way of being. Change your thoughts (conscious) + change how you feel (subconscious) + set an intention (what you want to draw into your life) = change of state of being = change of outcome.
“95% of our decisions, actions, emotions and behavior are a result of our subconscious mind.”
The way I do this is by starting my day with a meditation and visualization practice. If love is what I want, I visualize myself already having love, emitting love, and allow myself to feel it as if it’s already reality. There are many studies that show that your body doesn’t know the difference between what you are visualizing and what is actually happening. I then give gratitude to the universe for the abundance of love in my life. The idea here is to visualize something by using your mind, to trick your body to actually feel it, which will change your energetic output, in order to ultimately draw that energy into your life.
Holidays can be tough. If you’re not feeling in high spirits this Valentine’s Day, I hope my suggestions will help remind you to be gentle with yourself, and focus on the love that matters the most – self love. I hope you have a happy heart day, everyday.