Why Self-Love Is The Key To Your Best (And Most Productive) Workout

How to start with your heart.

Why Your Best Workout Starts With Self-Love And Compassion Getty 

Self-compassion is loosely defined as showing softness and forgiveness for oneself in times of perceived failure or inadequacy.

It happens to all of us — we let someone down or we disappoint ourselves in some sort of way.

But instead of wallowing, we find the essential key of compassion to keep our spirits high and remain on the upside of a positive cycle.

Self-compassion is inherently natural, even if loving ourselves is not, yet the effort behind it can seem grandiose sometimes. Often it requires conscious awareness and actively creating a loving mantra towards ourselves that we can actually feel the positive effects of self-compassion.


But as the positive effects of self-compassion and self-love start to take charge, the feelings trickle into each and every fiber of our beings, including the mental, neurological, nervous system and muscular bodies.

As these positive feelings integrate, we are able to produce stronger, more efficient energy.

The result?

A revolutionized pathway towards better health and better workouts, perfect for the weight loss you've been hoping for.



But how does that work?

Try this: Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and think of an uncomfortable situation. Perhaps it’s an encounter with a person you don’t like or a situation that had a negative outcome. Try to sit with this for just a couple minutes.

You may notice you feel tired, energetically drained, anxious, or short of breath. Your heart rate is probably higher.

If you tried to work out under this duress, your effort would be completely unproductive and strenuous.

Now, try sitting again, but this time with a positive situation, where you can feel compassion towards yourself.

Notice how maybe your breath is smooth, you’re energized, or you maybe feel calmer.


When you influence your being with compassionate feelings, your entire system reciprocates with a positive flow of energy.

Deeper, more mindful breaths create a more streamlined process of blood oxygenation. In turn, oxygenated blood fuels for stronger digestion and higher energy. The systems work hand-in-hand, not separate from each other. Digestion is the place for renewal and cleansing. If you build strong digestion, the cleansing process for your body becomes efficient, strong, and healthy.

Think of a finely tuned car — when it’s taken care of, it just runs smoothly.

This systematic flow gets triggered through working out, and that euphoric “high” post-workout carries you through after you’ve stopped lifting weights or running, which creates the groundwork for sustainable health.



Start off simply.

You don’t have to have lofty goals to positively and accurately practice self-compassion and self-love.

Start small! Little moments of just paying attention to how you’re living can do wonders. A simple acknowledgment of “Hey, I am breathing deeply right now. It feels great!” can send you on your way.

If you don’t work out on a regular basis, or even at all, you can find little exercises in your everyday life. Everyone walks. Try just counting your steps from place to place. You’ll be surprised how quickly those steps add up! “Look at how many steps I took today. I had no idea!”

The element of positive surprise could create self-compassion, which builds on the fueling process for strong energy.


Each day, just give yourself a metaphorical pat on the back as you take notice of the little steps you take towards self-compassion.

Give yourself a break! Watch the moments of how your energy transforms.

If you’re still not sure how to start, well guess what…you already have.

Just by taking a couple of minutes to read this, you’re well on your way to self-compassion and a revolutionized way of life.

It’s that simple. Enjoy every step!

Amy Leigh Mercree counsels women and men in the underrated art of self-love to create happier lives. Check out AmyLeighMercree.com for articles, pictures, quotes, and quizzes. Amy's new book, The Compassion Revolution, will be in stores everywhere on July 8.