My clients whether they are online or in my office come to me because life has become too much in one form or another. Anxiety, depression, OCD a variety of problems that manifest in multiple ways leaving them feeling unable to cope.
No matter the problem we tackle it together, I provide them with the knowledge of the skills needed in order to make the changes that they choose. One thing that always fascinates with me every client, no matter the age, gender or problem they all have one common denominator. Each client has forgotten to treat themselves with kindness, to provide the self-love that is needed to thrive as a human being.
What would you say to a friend?
I find myself all too often asking them how they would treat a friend in a similar circumstance to theirs. Would they ridicule them, tell them to "just get over it and stop being so ridiculous", or would you offer them kind words, a hug and reassurance that they are a good person.
So why is it that we give ourselves such a hard time? Becoming self-critical and using negative language “I am so stupid” “why do I always get things wrong” We need to remember that we are what we think and the human brain not being able to tell the difference between imagination and reality will believe the self-deprecation that becomes part of our everyday lives. Multiply this over 365 days and you can see why we “suddenly” have low self-esteem, self-loathing leading to mental health issues.
Be kind to yourself each day. When a situation arises that you may find difficult and you begin to punish yourself, STOP! Think of how you would approach the same situation if your friend were experiencing the same challenges, how would you speak to them? How would you reassure them? Then apply the answer to yourself. Be your own best friend in all situations. Positivity is created when we learn to self sooth, positive actions may include a warm relaxing bath, a walk to a beautiful location that inspires you, a cuddle on the couch.
Whatever you class as a positive action will help to boost your mood. Positive interactions, call the friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, arrange a chat over a coffee, listening to their stories and recalling the positive things that have happened to you will again boost your mood and help the production of the feel good chemical serotonin. Positive thoughts, keep yourself thinking positively, be kind to your mind.
Live in this moment.
When we learn to live in the moment that we are in we dispel the anxiety of what is to come and cast aside the sadness of what was. Listening to ourselves and understanding where we are in the moment is a great way of noticing our emotions and understanding how we let them rise and fall away and be comfortable in that moment. So often we tell ourselves “get over it” or punishing ourselves for our own negativity.
Try it, sit in the moment, take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth and say your loud how you feel in that moment. “I am tired” recognise where you are emotionally and be okay with that feeling.
When we recognise the problem we can then begin the task or finding the solution “ I am tired, I am going to relax and take it easy” “I am angry, I am going to find something calming to do and ease my mind” something so simple as recognising where we are and how we feel opens up our mind to finding how we can help ourselves, becoming our own friend and find the positive way in which to live in the moment.
Always saying “yes” to others can be draining and often comes for our need to impress others and not to be difficult or unwilling to help. Taking care of our own well being and saying “no” we may deem as selfish and even believe we are a bad person. The truth of the matter is being that person who always says “yes” may leave you feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. You are one person and it is impossible to be everything to everyone. Refer back to being your own best friend, if you were to see a friend overwhelm by doing too much would you advise them to not be selfish and do more or would you insist they slow down and offload some of the things that were causing them to feel so close to burnout.
It is not always easy to put yourself first, learning that to be the best version of yourself means recognising what is positive and helpful for you to move forward. Learning to love yourself can be a lengthy process especially if you have spent many years accomplishing the opposite. Taking the first steps in changing the habits of a lifetime is not always easy.
Finding a therapist in your area that can help you work towards your goals and achieve the success that you really deserve is key.
Make the change today.