In life, we feel that we need to adapt or fall by the wayside, but when it comes to our health, this is not always an easy thing to do. When we look at our own misgivings, we can be overly harsh on ourselves. But we all make mistakes. This is why it’s potentially beneficial for many people, especially those experiencing issues with their mental health, to become more accepting of themselves. But how can you do this?
Preventing Negative Thinking Patterns
Negative thinking is one of those snowballs in terms of mental health. When you look at the varieties of mental health treatment out there, cognitive behavioral therapy and talking therapies are two of the key approaches. In terms of cognitive-behavioral therapy, it’s important to address the way you perceive yourself.
And when you start to step outside of yourself and recognize what you actually think of yourself, you may have the distance to realize that you are being overly critical. And when it comes to minimizing these thoughts, the best place to begin is by reducing and preventing negative thinking patterns. There are many ways to do this, but the first place to begin is to list or make a note every time you have a negative thought.
This can help you realize how many negative thoughts you have during the space of a day. It can then open your eyes and start you in the right direction. Following on from this, you start to replace the negative thoughts with more positive ones, either by changing the wording or incorporating practices such as affirmations into your life.
It’s important to remember that our brain is malleable, and in terms of positive affirmations, our brain is, functionally speaking, not able to tell between what is real and what is imagined.
Worrying is down to fear of not being able to control things that have happened externally. It’s about coming to the realization that worrying isn’t a productive emotion. Because if there is nothing you can do to change the situation, you need to focus on moving forward in other approaches. As long as you take the opportunities to do what you can to make the situation better for you, you’ve done everything you can.
When we start to worry about things, the chaos theory expert in us comes flying out. And again, this has a cumulative snowball effect. When we worry to the point that it overwhelms us in a physical sense, we’ve got to learn to take control of this. It can be to do with reducing your fight or flight sensations. Partly because we can get anxious through any given situation, it is our body pumping these stress hormones around us to ensure that we escape the situation.
When we constantly worry about every little situation, the chronic stress soon develops into a long-term illness. Learn to reduce the feelings of worry, and get the perspective that you’ve done everything you can in a given situation, you’ve done all you can to move forward, and so you should.
The Importance of Positive Self-Talk
We’ve already touched upon affirmations, but the positive self-talk aspect of your life is a great way to retrain your brain, but it’s also the fact that you are making a choice to speak about yourself in a more positive way. When you start to compliment yourself on things that you’ve done or how you look, each little compliment can snowball into a habit.
You have to remember that when you are stuck in a negative frame of mind, that this is a lifetime of unhelpful and unhealthy habits. Forming a habit doesn’t happen overnight. It is estimated that forming a habit can take between 18 and 254 days to form. On average, it takes approximately 66 days for any new behavior to be automatic. So don’t feel disheartened if after a couple of weeks of you feeling like a lemon talking in the mirror that nothing is happening.
The best things in life take time. And having positive self-talk as a new thing in your life may raise a few eyebrows from the people around you, but you have to remember that you will feel the benefits. And after all, it is for you, nobody else, which brings us nicely onto the next point…
Are You Concerned With What Other People Think About You?
We can work so hard trying to make other people happy that we neglect ourselves. The best lesson anybody can learn in trying to please people is that no matter how hard you try if you focus so hard on trying to make other people happy, that they will still be unhappy, but you will also be unhappy too because you’ve exhausted yourself.
You’ve got to make your own decisions based on what your priorities are in life. We can worry that an old friend is giving us short shrift because they’ve not messaged us in a while, but we’ve had so much to deal with ourselves. And you’ve got to ask yourself if those people are so annoyed because you’ve actually been looking after yourself, but they also haven’t even thought to ask how you are, are they really worth having in your life?
There are plenty of people who have that superhuman ability to drain us and we make the mistake of trying to help them constantly. But you’ve got to remember that when you make decisions, you’ve got to be confident that what you’ve done, ultimately, is right for you.
It is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Learning to accept who you are involves changing your mindset and realizing that there are certain behaviors you’ve been exhibiting for so long that you just haven’t realized they’re not good for you.
People are happy for you to fit into a certain pattern because it suits them. And when you start to realize that you are worth more, learning to accept who you are can be about making certain changes, but also remember that as long as you are making the right decisions for yourself, your best is good enough.