I constantly get asked this question by clients…
“Isn’t it selfish to put myself first?”
I am left astounded with both the thoughts and feelings of horror – how could you not be the most important person in your life? That person that you look at in the mirror every day is the person you are going to have the longest relationship with in your life!
Isn’t it worth investing into dear beloved me? Are you not worth it? Are you not deserving of love? And how can you expect others to love you, if you don’t lead by example?
Those questions are button pushers, I know. Why? Because I have asked these questions of myself. I have worked through the reasons why I have justified the answers. I have worked through the need to not lose control, asked myself “why do I compare myself to others?”. Challenged myself with the age-old question “why aren’t I good enough?”
Everyone has stuff. We inherit it. We are exposed to stuff as kids. Its part of our innate programming to ‘react‘ or ‘observe’. But what happens when we get stuck in the stress response? I’ll tell you what I see happens, from a clinical perspective …. your logic leaves the building and rides a unicorn down the street!
You might be laughing at that, but all of us have had an experience in our lives whereby we’ve thrown what I call a hissy fit. We’ve lost our ability to be rational, and over-reacted. We’ve said or done things we regret. We’ve behaved badly.
As a consequence, the next time that scenario is reinacted in our lives our brain (specifically where we store stress emotions) remembers, and the flight or fight response is activated. Our neurology returns us to that initial bad reaction and our brain activates the procedure to repeat the process = stress.
Sound familiar? Yep me too.
We all experience emotions in different ways. If we are stressed, we often disconnect from our heart space and our actual feelings, and get stuck in our minds, our thoughts if you will. This is where the old thinking process commences.
Questioning of the self, our reaction to others, blame, guilt, doubt, or negativity can become activated. When this occurs, we are disconnected from how we feel. We are disconnected from our emotions in terms of becoming stuck in a mental patterned process. This causes us to become negative in nature and it’s quite damaging to the inner you.
Some describe this as being foggy, or unclear. They talk about being lost or disconnected from themselves. On one level, this is true, for when we are stuck in mental patterns we are only focussed on the misperception of what is occurring around us.
When we do these negative reactions often enough, they become our subliminal and often habitual response to life. We therefore create fear-based responses to avoid experiencing the negativity. Unfortunately, misperception is propelled so strongly that this is all you seem to connect with. You exert a great deal of physical energy to consciously bring about change in your mindset and return to that positive frame of reference.
In their book, “The Courage To Heal. A guide for survivors of sexual abuse”, Bass and Dain discuss positive changing of mindset patterns are very possible with some willingness and intention. From my own experiences, there is no magical pill or cure to heal yourself or return to a place of homeostasis whereby you accept yourself unconditionally.
Growth takes time, experiences, lessons, hurts and happiness.
Here’s some top tips to commence breaking the old habit of overthinking, which puts you into a state of chaos…
Detach from drama. Stop watching the news! It’s all negative. Stop following negative, gossipy social media – it only brings you down. Surround yourself with positivity.
The trick to honouring yourself and your journey path is simply to pay attention to how a situation or event makes you feel. Observe someone else’s story, but don’t invest in their drama. It’s not your stuff!!!
Play happy music in the background. I play ‘Monkeys Greatest Hits’ and screetch “cheer up sleepy jean” when I’m mopping the floors. Why? Because I hate housework, and when I’m singing like a screetchy hoot owl the jobs don’t seem as mundane. The mundane jobs don’t seem to take me as long. My conscious mind is distracted with something that makes me happy.
Write yourself a love letter. Writing yourself a letter congratulating yourself on how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved helps you to realise how marvellous life is. It also provides you with conscious evidence of how much you’ve survived and achieved or even overcome – you’re still here and that’s worth celebrating.
The other reason to write a love letter with a future date, is you are manifesting what you want. You get to dream and create the feelings associated with what you want the future to hold. You get to create the abundance you want in your life.
Gift yourself time out on a regular basis. We all know that our lives these days are fast paced and jam packed with all the things society and marketing tell us we need.
Often however, what we crave is time for ourselves. To renew, reset, rejeuvenate and re-create who we are. The common denominator here is time.
What’s a small thing you can do for self each day, that helps you detach from the drama of life and just focus on you? A walk? A bath? A cuppa with a book?
Meditate or be Mindful
Mindfulness is all the rage these days, but it’s always been important. That said, it’s not easy to decide to sit down one day and meditate your backside off. It takes dedication and practice to quieten your busy mind. I find myself regularly referring clients to mindfulness apps like ‘Headspace’ or ‘Smiling Minds’ which have guided exercises which commence at short interviews like a couple of minutes through to an hour.
Sometimes those quiet minutes save you from escalating your heightened self into a full blown anxiety attack.
Be Grateful. Sounds logical, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of societal life that sometimes we forget to pause and appreciate all that we are, have achieved, are being and becoming.
Instead of moaning about how busy you are after work driving the kids here and there, can you be grateful you have children? Grateful they are active and are living life? Grateful you have a car? Grateful you can afford your children to partake in activities?
How often are you grateful to have food in the fridge when you come home from a long day?
You can choose to change, by taking baby steps forward. The more steps you take, the further you progress forward. And remember, our journey path isn’t always linear. Our lessons often take us sideways, up and down hills and bumps in the road!
You can choose to change and bloom from within as you practice your perfection and embrace your ‘dear beloved me’.