In my work as a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) educator, I meet people for whom stress has taken the upper hand in their lives. One of the things we discover as we learn how to meditate and observe our thoughts and emotions is that everything we say, and do, and feel is connected to other things. Often at the root of the stress vortex is not just a lack of self love, but a harsh and judgmental narrative that throttles the self regularly. You are connected to everything around you. If your interior landscape is habitually harsh and critical, your outer landscape will reflect the same quality. It’s like a law of nature. Many of the new students that I meet are plagued by a harsh inner critic. The most important thing you can do to transform your life is to start a new habit of treating yourself with kindness. Make it a practice and watch how things begin to change. Here is a great little article by Wendy Strgar that explains how and why kindness to yourself is so fundamental.