Top Five Side Effects of Extreme Self-Love

By Keri Nola, MA, LMHC

I’m often speaking, writing, teaching and practicing all things “self-love,” including ways to do it and what happens if and when we don’t. However, it recently occurred to me that I have never talked about the side effects of embarking on the self-loving journey. Before making a potentially life-altering decision, it’s always responsible to consider the possible impacts such a choice can have on our lives.  If you are ready to make an informed decision about filling your self-love prescription then read on…

Warning:  Always consult your inner wisdom before choosing to engage in self-loving behavior.  Some side effects of extreme self-love may not be reported, but most commonly people under the influence of self-love have reported the following…

5.  Increased feelings of Joy. How can we not be joyous when we’re loving ourselves!? If feeling joyful becomes overwhelming, consult your inner self-soothing department and take a deep breath, reminding yourself that you are worthy of infinite joy!

4.  Decreased experience of chaos and conflict in personal and professional relationships. We’re often so accustomed to chaos and conflict that when it goes away, we can freak out a bit and even begin to recreate it. If your self-love prescription leaves you waiting for the drama, pause, breathe, and know this too shall pass as you spend some time in your “new chaos-free normal.”

3.  Increased experience of peace, calm and relief. Watch out, folks … this side effect can really throw us for a loop! Do we even know what to do with ourselves when we are peaceful, calm and relieved? The good news is, you can get used to it, if you’re willing to let yourself. When you notice this side effect, consider leaning in and allowing peace and calm to fill the nooks and crannies of your experience.

2.  Increased productivity and prosperity.  Yup! You read correctly. Are you willing to give up self-judgment in exchange for increased productivity and prosperity? The truth is, we are all love, so when we align ourselves with that which we are, then we are able to welcome increased abundance as we remember that we deserve every bit of it. Don’t rely on my word though … try it for yourself!

1.  Extreme forgiving and loving others.  As we love ourselves, we realize we are one with others, and it would be incongruent to love and accept ourselves but not others. Beware that those you may have struggled to love and forgive before may soon be receiving your pardon. Choosing to love and forgive doesn’t mean we agree with what has or hasn’t happened, or what we perceive others to have done or not done. It simply means we agree to free ourselves and others from the past so we can be present now.

**This is not a complete list of side effects and many others may occur. In the event of a self-love overdose, beware of miracles and call on your highest self to celebrate as you express gratitude and appreciation. 

Keri Nola is author of “A Year on Your Path to Growth: Daily Inspirations to Reconnect with Your Soul,” and founder of Path to Growth LLC, a Central Florida-based integrative healing center that blends traditional and holistic techniques for journeys to peace. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Nola provides psychotherapy and facilitates therapeutic retreats for those seeking to reconnect with their inner wisdom, particularly after trauma or loss. She also offers heart-inspired business consultations for healthcare professionals. For more information visit, on Facebook and Twitter @pathtogrowth.

NOTE: Picture of Keri Nola by Monica Alfonso



Self-Nurturing: The Key to Holiday Harmony

By Amy Leigh Mercree

For many of us, snow is falling and holiday cheer abounds, but what do you do if the season of celebration leaves you feeling flat and empty? Does the thought of more small talk at parties, and finding a New Year’s Eve date make you cringe and want to hibernate? You’re not alone! If you asked your friends their real feelings about this season some people would express emotions of obligation and wariness at the busy schedule, often imposed by well-meaning family and friends.

So how can we find a balance this season and give ourselves the message that we are worth having an enjoyable, joyful, relaxing time – and also take action to make that happen? A few simple changes in thinking and a couple self-nurturing actions will make a massive difference in your experience of the holidays.

First, ask yourself, “What does the holiday season mean to me?” Really delve into that. It might mean time off from work where you want to relax and have fun. It might signify spiritual renewal or have poignant religious significance for you.

Next ask yourself, “What holiday rituals are fun and meaningful for me?” This could be when just your immediate family lights the menorah together or decorates the tree. It could also be the couple hours you set aside to go surfing before family celebrations begin. Look at what part of those experiences really fuels you and prioritize that in your plans.

Lastly, ask yourself, “What do I wish I could do?” Go to Tahiti? Hibernate in a bubble bath with a romance series? Play touch football with my most relaxed friends? Go out for sushi? While you might not have the time or money for a Tahiti trip this year, you could set that as a five- or 10-year goal, and you could certainly carve out the time for bubble baths, a football game or sushi if you made your enjoyment a priority.

Why should your enjoyment a priority? Because you are an amazing, sacred, beautiful treasure just as you are!  And you matter. 

You must be the one to assert your importance in your life. It is important that you have fun. It is important that you are rejuvenated. It is important you get to relax this season if that is what you need.

Dating and Love
Everyone wants to throw dating in the mix at holiday time. You will see messages all over the media this season of mistletoe, romantic snow covered moments, and the mythical kiss at the stroke of midnight from fairy tales being enacted on New Year’s Eve. The reality of holiday time is many people are harried and rushed and trying to find meaning amid a storm of consumerism. So what if you just choose to be open to the heart energy that does get stoked at this time of year? What if you just let that flame warm you and allowed life to bring you whatever is for your highest good? How would that feel? Would that ease a pressure within?

If family members ask you about your love life, what if you said, “I am blissfully in love with myself, thank you for asking,” with a huge smile on your face?

Here is my “Survival Kit For the Holidays.” Do these things and you will be relaxed, centered, and happy this season!

1)  Be kind. Firstly, to yourself. No negative self-talk, no admonishments for forgetting to send out cards. Just kindness in everything you say to yourself. And be kind to others 100-percent of the time  Even when you are in the slowest line on the planet at the grocery store, practice serenity and be kind to the cashier instead of impatient and grouchy.

2)  Open your heart to love. And that is it. Have no expectation about dates and such this time of year. Just give yourself a pass. Simply open your heart to the love from your nieces, nephews, pets, friends and grandma, and focus relentlessly on that love.  Share your love. Say, “I love you,” to every family member and friend this season and deliver the words with a big hug and watch people soften and tension ease before your eyes.

3)  Create and uphold at least two self-nurturing rituals on crucial days in your season.  For example, for many years I have had a delicious Christmas morning breakfast in bed. When I was single, I would get up and make my waffles with berries and cream, and then bring them back to bed on a pretty tray that morning before turning the ringer on the phone back on. Now that I’m married I do the same thing, but my husband gets to enjoy the breakfast in bed too! You could have a favorite Christmas movie you wrap presents to on Christmas Eve while enjoying hot chocolate after giving yourself a peppermint oil foot massage. Or a home spa day on December 26th that is non-negotiable. You get the idea!

You have the power to nurture yourself, care for yourself, and through that focus, open your heart to real love. Then you will find yourself spiritually dating!

Happy season of self nurturing!

Amy Leigh Mercree is the author of “The Spiritual Girl’s Guide to Dating: Your Enlightened Path to Love, Sex, & Soul Mates,” a Spiritual Dating & Relationship Coach, and a Medical Intuitive. For more fun articles and her dating advice column visit her blog and