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Image / Editorial

Treat Yo’self, It’s Good For Your Mental Health

by Holly O'Neill
21st Feb 2017

Start your day the best possible way and go boost your dopamine levels by buying yourself a coffee right now, because science says that treating yo’self is good for your health.

The only reason I get anything done is by envisaging the reward I will treat myself with?afterward. When you finish this list, you can eat chocolate. When you finish this task, you can eat chocolate. When you finish writing this, you can eat chocolate. Basically, I’m living my life around excuses to eat chocolate. Maybe the consistent supply of chocolate is not good for my health, ?but self-care and the idea of treating yourself is.

No, I did not need an impractically minuscule?Chanel perfume bottle clear-clutch that my iPhone didn’t even fit in – and not because, as my sister asked, what would I do when I had my period and everybody could see tampons in my clutch? (Not wear it that day, obviously.) No, I have never worn the perfume bottle tampon-exposing clutch bag. But I have had it on display like artwork in my bedroom for several years and every time I see it, it is not only a balm to my soul but a warm and fuzzy memory of that time I hardcore treated myself.

Read on for more reasons to justify that you deserve treats, whether that treat is a coffee or five minutes away from your desk. Maybe pause reading momentarily and look after your mental health by making tea and eating a slab of Dairy Milk.


In 2012, Scientific American??found research from Psychological Science that found newly divorced people who spoke compassionately toward themselves adjusted significantly better in the following 10 months than those who spoke more harshly. Self-compassion outperformed self-esteem and optimism as a predictor of good coping.?Kristin Neff, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and the leading researcher in the growing field of self-compassion also found that self-compassion and treating yourself kindly helps you to achieve your goals.

Self-care is also an important step in those who suffer from depression.


We’re not saying you need to go buy yourself a Birkin – ?breaking the bank to treat yo’self will cause you financial stress and then you’re not treating yo’self anymore, duh. Just a small, inexpensive luxury, like a coffee or a cupcake or an M&S meal deal. It’s why we love mid-range cosmetics.

Leon Seltzer, a psychologist who wrote for Psychology Today on the distinction between excessive indulgent gifts and nurturing treats ?Self-nurturing treats refocus the real purpose of the treat to be “loving, respectful and prudent”. As Seltzer puts it, “We’re not looking for a quick fix to alter our mood or consciousness so as to escape the boredom, drudgery or pain of our existence, or to drown out nagging doubts we have about ourselves. Rather, we’re addressing our inborn needs for self-succor?but in an adult, responsible fashion.”

We deserve good treatment, it reinforces better self-esteem and lower stress levels, and also, like a dog, perhaps reinforcing your good behaviour?is likely to make you repeat it. ?Now, go nurture yourself and your mental health with some chocolate.

Featured image from Instagram.

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