Tag: self care

Overcoming self-hatred

Have you ever felt unloved as a result of attracting the wrong people? This could be in intimate relationships or friendships. When a person has had a dysfunctional upbringing, seen or felt a lot of emotional pain, they may develop a learnt behaviour which demonstrates self loafing or self-hatred. This could be also triggered by negative experiences later in adulthood. A person could internalise what they have heard or seen during infancy. For instance, when parents continuously put their children down as a result of their emotional issues, family dynamics or insecurities, it can deeply hurt children and have an adverse effect. Many contributing factors could enforce self-hatred, such as;

  • childhood trauma
  • poor family environment
  • low self-esteem
  • sexual, emotional, or physical abuse
  • domestic violence

We all want to feel loved, but a lot of the time we look for others to give us the love that we deeply crave. You may be jumping from one relationship to another and still having fruitless results, or even attracting the wrong people.

You may also consciously or subconsciously avoid being on your own. Although it may seem like you are spending time alone, you could be avoiding connecting with yourself by spending excess time on social media (comparing yourself to others), watching TV but not fully engaging, or spending countless hours on the phone.

There is nothing wrong with doing all these things, however, the problem arises when we avoid connecting with ourselves and continuously looking externally to be fulfilled. Imagine if you have a best friend and you are always looking for ways to avoid him or her. Do you think the relationship would be an intimate or a distant one?

Relationships like these are likely to be distant and detached which could eventually become nonexistent. Similarly, it’s the same with the relationship that we have with ourselves. If we are always looking for ways to distract ourselves, then we subconsciously begin to create a distance relationship with ourselves.

In some cases, people could begin not to like their own company and enjoy other people’s company rather than their own. This type of dependency is known as codependency.

When we don’t like ourselves we begin developing behaviours that demonstrate self-hatred, indulges in behaviours, or belief patterns such as;

  • not feeling good enough 
  • highly critical of ourselves
  • drugs/alcohol dependency or even codependent
  • eating disorders/ problems 
  • being highly stressed and overwhelmed 
  • lack of self-care / chronic self-neglect
  • self-sabotaging behaviour 
  • toxic relationships

We all have a desire to have successful relationships. It’s possible to begin that process of establishing that when having a more healthy relationship with ourselves. Having a relationship with ourselves enables us to learn about ourselves and our emotions, set boundaries to be more assertive, and feel more fulfilled.

We all have an inner child. In some cases where our inner child has experienced trauma, abuse, or negative experiences during infancy or later in life, our inner child becomes wounded. Any wound needs to heal, so we need to heal ourselves from our past so that it does not impact the present.

If you have had a negative childhood or have been treated badly in your relationships, it’s important to begin the healing process by not treating yourself the way the adults who were responsible for caring for you treated you.

When you begin to treat yourself in a similar way to the way that you were mistreated during your childhood, you are repeating the same negative cycle that you had experienced. You cannot always blame others for whatever pain you have experienced, as some of the adults may have treated you based on what they knew (this could be positive or negative).

How to overcome self-hatred

Identify the root cause

In psychology, professionals need to know the root cause of any negative learned behaviour that could be hindering your current behaviour.

Doctors provide a diagnosis for physical symptoms, and psychologists can similarly diagnose psychological issues. When you know the root cause, it will enable you to identify the psychological issues associated with self-hatred. Examples include;

  • low esteem
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • codependency
  • behaviours such as perfectionism, unrealistic expectations from parents, and comparing yourself to others

You cannot change what you don’t know but can change what you know.

Be kinder to yourself

We all mistreat ourselves at some point in lives. However, when we continuously treat ourselves badly, it can be self-destructive. Look at ways that you can be kinder to yourself. One of the best ways to be kinder to yourself is by treating yourself as you would your best friend. Became more self-nurturing. We all have an inner child, so begin to nurture him or her as a loving parent would nurture their child.

There’s a saying that “people treat you how you treat yourself”. Being kind to yourself helps you to boost your self-esteem. Set small daily or weekly goals of things that you could do to be more kinder to yourself. Here are some examples;

  • Stop criticising yourself or putting yourself down. You can begin to stop self-criticism by using positive affirmations. For instance, if you normally tell yourself you’re ugly, start looking in the mirrors and telling yourself that you are beautiful or handsome. Remember that what you tell yourself can negatively affect you, so positive affirmation can boost your self-esteem.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to others only makes you feel inadequate. This can then negatively impact your self-esteem.
  • Forgive yourself for things that you have done consciously or unconsciously which may have caused you emotional pain or things that you did in the past that you are not proud of.
  • Set some goals, so you can begin to live the life that you have always dreamed of. If you are struggling to do this on your own, then get a mentor or a life coach to help you.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Negative people only connect with negative people, as they always want to be reminded of how terrible their life is. Positive people, on the other hand, look at the positive in most situations and learn from them.

If you believe that you suffer from low self-esteem, examine the type of people that you surround yourself with. It might be time to start changing your friendship circle to more positive people. Having more positive friends will encourage you to like yourself and support your growth. There is nothing attractive about feeling low and being around people that will bring you down.

Self-care: 6 ways to take care of yourself

Self-care is highly essential since we all want to look and feel good. Self-care is about taking care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

There are many ways that we can take care of ourselves; the best place to start is by finding positive ways to change our mindset. You cannot control your whole being if you are not in control of your thoughts and emotions.

We all get busy working, taking care of our homes, cars, children, pets or family members, but so often we forget about ourselves. It is always good to help others, but we are not truly helping them if we do not start with ourselves. To give the best to people, we have to start by providing the best to ourselves.

Many people may view this as selfish; however, the more you fill yourself up, the more you will be in a better position to help and support others. One of the best relationships that you can invest in is certainly with yourself – that’s the foundation of building relationships. If you do not understand yourself, it will be difficult to understand others.

It’s essential to learn to trust our emotions, as it helps us to detect if something is right or wrong. Trusting your emotions will save you from a lot of misery; it is also the initial step of beginning a relationship with yourself.

Six ways to take care of yourself

1. Be kinder to yourself

We often want to treat others with love and respect, but often don’t apply the same principle to ourselves. One of the best ways to be kinder to yourself is by treating yourself as your own best friend.

2. Ask yourself what you need

You can begin to treat yourself with extra care by asking yourself what you need on a daily basis. This may include;

  • more sleep
  • a healthier diet
  • exercise
  • rest
  • taking regular breaks at work
  • me-time
  • time with family and friends
  • a holiday
  • losing weight or improving your appearance

One of the best ways to provide what you need is by allowing yourself to be more vulnerable to your emotional needs.

3. Listen to your body

Our bodies are designed to help us to detect signs of illness by analysing any pain that we may feel in our bodies. If your body is telling you to rest or eat, it’s essential to listen to those warning signs, as ignoring symptoms could lead to serious consequences and illness that can be avoided in the initial stages.

4. Be more assertive

When you are always saying yes to commitments or demands, even when you’re tired or you don’t feel like doing what others want you to do, it’s essential to be honest with yourself and others so that you are not doing things to make others happy but are at the same time making you miserable. Learn to say no when necessary.

5. Have some time alone

Spending time alone is a healthy way of relaxing, connecting with yourself and being comfortable with who you are. Whether you are single or not, the relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you can invest in. It helps you to understand and get to know who you are. Self-awareness is a journey, and the more you take time out to enjoy yourself, you will discover deeper things about yourself.

6. Boundaries

Life is all about boundaries and self-control. If you believe that you don’t have boundaries with food, money, or authoritative figures, then it will affect your choices. For instance, if you have committed to going to the gym three times a week, then you need to develop self boundaries so you are committed to the decisions and choices that you make.

What causes anxiety

Anxiety is when you feel afraid or overly worried, tensed that something is going to happen in the future.

Most people who suffer from anxiety have been anxious during the earlier part of their childhood. This could stem from living in an environment where one or both of the parents do not talk about their feelings or express their emotions, particularly negative emotions, and often deal with them in a negative way. In addition, early years of anxiety could be a result of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect, drug addiction or alcoholism, parents that suffer from mental health issues and school-related issues like exams or bullying.

When you’re overly anxious it can affect any area of your life such as:

  • Work – you begin to lack concentration and you’re often not present as your mind is busy racing and thinking about other things.
  • Intimate relationships – you may begin to find it hard to be emotionally connected with your spouse as you feel anxious about the status or the future of the relationship.
  • Friendships – it’s important to socialise and have hobbies, but unfortunately, when an individual is highly anxious it affects their ability to be sociable, as they are often worried about different things which could begin to make them feel paranoid. As a result, they suffer from social anxiety.

Everyone can feel anxiety from time to time, however, anxiety is a mental health problem: if it affects your ability to live as fully as you would like to.

Do you often feel like this? Do you feel anxious very often with the feelings being very severe and lasting for a prolonged time? Do you worry constantly or are afraid that you feel out of control regards to a situation?

  • You avoid situations which might cause you to be anxious and your worrying makes you feel very distressed.
  • You experience panic attacks.
  • You find it hard to enjoy the day to day things. Anxiety could affect the way in which you look after yourself, work, enjoy leisure time, and form and develop relationships.

Self-care for anxiety

Time to pause

Avoid extreme build-up of stress by taking time to pause, relax and recharge yourself. It’s important to avoid over-working by doing long hours without breaks.

Control your breathing

Severe anxiety is often linked to poor breathing habits. It’s important to implement slow breathing techniques by breathing in slowly and gently through your nose for about 5-7 seconds.

Exercise

Exercise is good for your general health, including your mood, mental health and wellbeing. Engage in a regular weekly exercise which will help release the ‘happy hormones’ called endorphins. It will also help you relax and sleep well and it is a very healthy distraction.

Eat a well-balanced diet

Having a balanced diet will provide the right nutrients that your body needs, which will contribute to positive emotional wellbeing. 

Limit alcohol and caffeine

Both alcohol and caffeine can aggravate anxiety. 

Get enough sleep

Improved sleeping patterns enable you to recharge yourself. Common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can often underpin sleep problems. Sleep helps you to feel better and boost your moods.

Acceptance

It’s essential to accept that you can’t control everything and it’s important to avoid being overly controlling. It’s important to have a vision or dreams and aspirations, but you can’t spend too much focus or time worrying about the future.

Know your triggers

Having an understanding of what triggers your anxiety will help you look for the patterns and keep your anxiety levels under control.

Talk about your issues 

Talking about issues that make you anxious will help you to think less and reduce over thinking which contributes to worrying and anxiety.

How to not lose yourself in your relationships

Being in love feels good, but always avoid losing yourself in another person. No one wants to be hurt within a relationship but every relationship we pursue is a risk, as you can never control another person’s behaviour or actions.

What is self-discovery? Most people would think that this is a strange question, as generally, people are more interested in learning about the behaviour of others rather than themselves. Unfortunately, many people lack self-identity and often build their esteem in their relationships, careers, financial status, or their appearance. Some of these individuals spend the majority or part of their lives looking for answers or acceptance but take very little time to understand themselves.

Learn to be more self-contained by following the tips below. Knowledge is power but always remember, knowledge without action is useless. Are you treating yourself in the same negative ways that your parents treated you when you were little? Are you punishing yourself the same way your parents did? If this is the case then it’s time to end the negative cycle. You are now the adult in your life so learn to comfort yourself, even if your parents didn’t know how to.

The past has no power over you and there is more power in the present moment.

How to rediscover your true self

Make a happy list

Make a list of things that you enjoy doing that makes you happy. It is essential to ensure that you participate in these hobbies on a regular basis. For instance, if you enjoy going to the gym, try and set aside regular days to go on a weekly basis to establish a regular routine.

Be honest with yourself

Write a list of all the different areas of your life including work, family, friends, hobbies, and relationships. Rate the amount of time that you invest in each area, from a scale of 0% to 100%. 100% is the most you could invest in each area and 0% is the least. Once you have established how much time you invest in each area, write down how much time you invest in your relationship with yourself. If you discover that the score is higher in other areas, then this is an indication that you have been giving very little to yourself. The main incentive is to ensure that you give the very best to yourself in order to give the best to others. For instance, it’s no point committing 100% to your job and committing just 10% to your self.

Make positive friends

It’s mandatory to have friends but more importantly, it’s more effective when your friends are positive friends. Positive people motivate, support and encourage you, particularly when you need emotional support or encouragement the most. On the other hand, negative people often celebrate the downfall of others. Consequently, they could project their negativity into you, which could make you feel worse about yourself or others. In addition, there are health benefits in relation to being positive or positive thinking; it could lower rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. The truth is, you attract people who are most like you. So the key is, if you want positive friends then you have to begin to be more positive yourself.

Become more self-reliant

It’s important to have a good support network of people in your life. However, it is also very important to draw strength from within and acknowledge your own personal power.

Here are 7 basic ways to become more self-reliant:

  • Accept responsibility for your own life choices
  • Make your own decisions – whether they’re good or bad. Indecisiveness is the root cause of low self-esteem
  • Learn more practical skills – the more practical skills you acquire, the more fulfilling your life would be
  • Look after your body
  • Recognise and accept your feelings
  • Find healthier ways to express negative emotions
  • Stop comparing yourself to others.

Get professional help when needed

Ensure that you get professional help if you have underlying issues that could be getting in the way of your best self. It is healthy to get help and support to deal with any negative issues with a professional, in a confidential and private space as opposed to trying to be emotionally dependent on someone to fix or save you. The only person that can help you be the best you can be is yourself, period.

 

 

Coping with Depression

Depression is a real illness and it can happen to anyone regardless of his or her age, gender, class, race,  sexuality or religion. 

It can affect people in different ways and can cause various symptoms including: low moods, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, tearfulness, restless, isolation and being unable to relate to others, finding no pleasure in things that you usually enjoy, low self-esteem, feeling hopeless, having memory difficulties or difficulties concentrating on things, sleeping differently or sleeping too much and feeling tired most of the time.

There are several things which can cause depression and it varies from person to person. Here are some common causes of depression:

  • Childhood experiences such as; physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect.
  • Bereavement.
  • Traumatic events.
  • Relationship breakdown.
  • Family problems.
  • Drugs/alcohol abuse.
  • Serious illness.
  • Life changing events, including losing a job, starting a new job, having a baby, extreme pressure from studying.
  • Genetics.
  • Social exclusion or anxiety.
  • Being bullied.

These experiences can have a huge impact on one’s emotional well-being and esteem.

Depression is often a low mood that lasts for a long time, which affects your everyday life. People experience depression in many ways including feeling:

  • Down, upset or tearful.
  • Restless, agitated or irritable.
  • Guilty, worthless and down on yourself.
  • Empty and numb.
  • Isolated and unable to relate to other people.
  • Finding no pleasure in life or things you usually enjoy, such as hobbies and interests.
  • A sense of unreality.
  • No self-confidence or self-esteem.
  • Hopeless and despairing.
  • Self-sabotaging behaviour.
  • Suicidal.

Severe depression can be life threatening because you may feel that you’re not good enough and your life is not worth living. As result of this, you could feel suicidal. Some people describe depression as being stuck, it’s like being in a dark place, isolated with no interest in things that usually makes them happy, others describe it as feeling sad.

Self-care for depression 

Visit your GP

It is advisable to always contact your GP for medical advice if you think that you are depressed. 

Seek professional help

There are many trained counsellors that you can seek to give you the support you need. You don’t have to go through the difficulties or challenges on your own. Talking about your problems can make a big difference. 

Get enough sleep  

Sleeping well can help to improve your mood and increase your energy levels. 

Eat well 

Having a balanced and nutritious diet can help you feel well, think clearly, increase your mood and energy levels. 

Exercise 

Keeping active helps increase your happy hormones, helps you to feel energised and helps you to sleep better.

Personal hygiene

Small things, like taking a shower/bath and getting fully dressed even if you are not going out of the house, can make a difference to how you feel. 

Avoid recreational drugs and alcohol

Using drugs or alcohol to cope with any difficult emotions could make you feel worse and numb your emotions. 

Avoid isolating yourself 

Speak to family and friends that you trust about what you are going through and how you feel. 

Keep a journal of your thoughts and feeling

Keeping a journal will help you to offload any negative emotions and enable you to be more self-reflective.