"You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." - Louise L. Hay
It's interesting how we often prioritize taking care of our bodies over nurturing our minds. I mean, just the other day, I was watching my adorable little nephew when he had a little accident. He fell off a chair and hurt his knee. But instead of crying for help, he took matters into his own hands. He went straight to the medicine cabinet, grabbed a band-aid, and tended to his wound. I couldn't help but feel proud of his independence!
It got me thinking, though. We all know the importance of looking after our physical well-being. We learn about basic hygiene from an early age, like brushing our teeth and taking care of our bodies. But what about our psychological health?
Do we invest the same amount of time and effort into that? I don't think so.
We often neglect the idea of emotional hygiene. We don't teach our kids how to take care of their minds, even though emotional injuries can happen more frequently than physical ones. Every time we experience fear, rejection, loneliness, or betrayal, we're deeply hurt.
And what do we hear? "Just shake it off! It's all in your head!"
It's about time we start prioritizing both our physical and mental health equally. What are the ways we can do that?
First off, let's talk about loneliness. It's a tough feeling to deal with, isn't it?
Sometimes, we find ourselves feeling lonely without a clue about what to do or who to turn to for advice. It's like our brains get all scrambled up, and we start believing that nobody cares about us. It's scary to reach out because we're afraid of being rejected.
So, it's not just about the number of people around us, it's about feeling emotionally connected.
But loneliness isn’t the only demon that threatens our mental health….the other is FAILURE! Let me share with you a little story I witnessed. I was watching toddlers in a nursery class, and they were given identical boxes of toys. The first two tried to open the boxes, but when they couldn't, they gave up. One of them even started crying. But the third one persisted, kept trying, and finally, a toy rabbit popped out. The joy on her face was priceless. She had conquered the challenge!
These three kids were the same in every way, except for their reaction to failure.
The minds of the first two tricked them into thinking they couldn't succeed. You see, we all have this default setting that kicks in when we face frustration. Our minds can deceive us into believing that we're incapable of overcoming the obstacles we encounter. It makes us feel helpless and prevents us from even attempting.
This is why so many people end up functioning below their true potential. Somewhere in the past, they experienced failure or a series of failures that convinced them they would never make it. And guess what? They let that belief become a habit, and it holds them back.
But here's the thing—we often harm ourselves with negative self-talk and by devaluing our own worth. What's even more important to know is that when we blame ourselves like that, it takes a toll on our mental well-being. We become more prone to stress and anxiety, and it takes us longer to recover from the hurtful event. Sure, the event itself may pass, but when we keep ruminating over it, it just gets worse.
How about treating yourself with the same compassion you would expect from a really good friend? I mean, think about it. When your friend is going through a tough time, you're there for them, offering support and understanding. So why not do the same for yourself?
When negative thoughts start messing with your head, try this little trick: start doubting your doubts! That's where the real victory lies- in loneliness, frustration, or any emotional pain.
So don’t cover it up with a band-aid, instead face it with professional help. This way you change your responses to failure by protecting your self-esteem you not only heal your feelings but you build emotional resilience and thrive.
Just imagine a ‘healthy feeling’ world….what if there was less depression, less pessimism and people worked towards feeling better about themselves….yes, I can imagine it as John Lennon said….and I wish you can imagine it too!
That’s a super WIN!
Until next time….