Written by Emma GillHow does it help? And where does it come into the running picture? Well, first things first, never doubt the power of positivity (cringe). If your thoughts are always focused on negative aspects of your life, such as a bad race or training session, then your brain will be in a constant cycle of negativity. Expecting the worst for each training session and race and eventually, after repeatedly realising these bad experiences, you will lose your motivation and begin to dread running. By teaching yourself to self-love, you'll learn to forgive yourself more readily for those below-average runs, and this forgiveness will empower you as a runner. It will allow you to channel this disappointment into positive energy that you can use to push yourself harder and achieve those goals of yours. Furthermore, it's in the name: self-love. By practising it, you begin to learn to stop focusing on others and how they're improving quicker than you, training more and achieving your goals before you, and start focusing more on yourself. I've said this before, but it's okay to be a bit selfish when it comes to running - your body and mind will thank you later. Yes, comparison can add an element of competition which might, in the short term, help to motivate you more, but in the long term it can severely impact your running and turn a stress-relieving activity into a stress-inducing one. Rather than distracting yourself with other peoples PBs and successes, focus your attention on your PBs, however small they may be, and remember to appreciate them when they do come because they're a demonstration of your hard work paying off - which will then motivate you to push yourself to achieve another one, a spiral upwards rather than downwards. Finally, self-love will help to ensure your health and happiness, which go hand - in hand towards making a better, faster and stronger runner. Why? Because if you can love yourself, it means you can accept yourself for who you are which is a key step towards optimal mental and thus physical well-being. Remember that unhappiness outside of running will seep into your training and negatively impact it, giving you the wrong mind set for improvement. If you are happy and healthy then all you need to add to the equation is hard work and the rest will come in its own time.