Sunday, 3 February 2019

Am I Unworthy? {A Self Help Guide}

Understanding self worth, self love and how to take care of yourself.

What is your worth? Do you know? I bet it is something you wouldn't ever ask yourself or maybe you ask yourself it too much.
Do you think about feelings of hate, dislike and worthless about yourself? I have in the past and some days get caught out thinking about it these days. Understanding one's self worth is about understanding one's identity and removing the doubts to understand yourself fully.
I can tell you, without even meeting you that your worth is more than the grains of sand on this whole planet. Your place in this world is so deserved. It is you that changes people's lives and their emotions, all for the better. 

Am I Unworthy?

Sometimes we can slip into a state of feeling unworthy of being around. "They don't need me", "I look stupid", " I can't do that", "I am stupid", "That's all my fault" {when it is not}, "I hate myself", "No one could love me", "I am not needed". These are really harsh things to say, the kind of things you wouldn't ever say to anyone but for some of us, we are saying these things to ourselves. Why do we treat ourselves so harshly? Why is the judgement on who we are so strong? It doesn't need to be.

A lot of the time low self esteem is what affects our feelings about ourselves. Low self esteem isn't something you just have, it is actually caused from something that happened to you and the only way to get better from it is to actually learn what it is a heal the wound.
For so many of us childhood trauma of varying degrees could be the trigger. Memories that stick with and niggle at you as you grow up. Sometimes it isn't from a long time ago; something in your job, experiences where something went wrong or sometimes when people are just plain mean. Little situations get lodged in our brains and they trigger all sorts of anxieties when similar situations come back round. 

As an example for me it was always my struggle at school that still reminds me I am not clever enough. I mean, in my job I don't need to have any qualifications I spent years struggling to get, but with work I produce I always expect someone to turn around and tell me that it is crap. As in, before it is praised, I have already marked it down; no wants it, no one wants to read it. WHY? Why am I still thinking this way, but that is how this whole of unworthiness comes into my life, in such a simple way. 

The thing I have learned is how to deal with it, how to fight it off and that's what I want to tell you about too.

Tips for combating low self esteem:

Make A Connection

You feel low; connect with someone who loves you. This could be a partner, parent, sibling or friend. A connection isn't a big thing going out or spending money; it is a cup of tea, a movie, heck even an after work dinner, but that is connecting. 
Feel like you are on your own? Well, find a connection. This doesn't need to be long or drawn out, go to a till with a human on it in Tesco's instead of the self scan. Ask the cashier about their day. Was it busy? When do you get off? Bet your glad it's not Christmas! Small talk opens us up, even if it is just for two minutes. Also, don't be afraid to eat out by yourself but don't cower in a corner. Sit near the welcome desk, talk to the staff, don't aim for big conversations just simple things: What would you suggest eating? Has your day been hard? Small talk is awkward but also so good when you feel you have no one else to talk to.
As difficult as social media can be, there are so many connections to be made on there. so many people with similar interests that you can chat to. The best way to find them? Use the hashtag search. example; I love fashion, but what do mum's wear for everyday? Search #mumfashion #mumseverydayoutfits #mumdresscode. Anything you can think of that will find people talking about your interests and soon you find people of similar thoughts you can make a connection with. 
A connection with someone makes us feel better.

You Need Proof

Unless you have proof on how "bad" you are, you must not believe it. "I was really shit!". Who says? You? Well, hardly a fair judgement if the only review of yourself is from yourself. Unless you have physical proof of just how bad you are at something then you simply cannot believe it. For me, I can often question how good a parent I am. Are the kids washed, clothed, fed, loved, happy? Can't be doing that bad a job then. Ticked all the basics. I have no proof I am bad therefore, I need to believe in myself more.

Don't think everyone else is achieving more than you?

Feeling lost in everyone seeming to be achieving more than you? 'Seeming' being an important word here. They may be beating you at running marathons but they might be a crap cook. Sometimes we hone in on one thing someone else does really well and then feel unworthy in comparison, but the comparison usually isn't fair. WE all have different strengths and weaknesses. I would say not one of my 7 siblings is anything like me, and that's just in my family, so my measure against others needs to be on the same level. And often, not one person in the whole world is like you so when you compare yourself against them it actually makes no sense. 

If you feel you want to make more achievements; rather than negatively looking at it as failing then set small achievable goals. I remember at CBT therapy they were so serious when talking about this. The negative emotions you get from underachieving your own goals has a huge impact on your mental health. I used to want to exercise 4-5 times a week. This could be doing anything but it was completely unachievable, so every week I failed. Thinking you have failed makes you a failure right? Wrong, it either means you didn't do enough beforehand {exams wise} or you personally set yourself up to fail without even realising. I changed to completing 2 days a week exercise as that is achievable and healthy, and was enough and every week I got it and every week I achieved and every week I even did more. Diet is the same. Don't go cold turkey on everything; no fats, sugars, carbs because that first craving will hit you down. Gradual change, accomplishable change and achievements will make you feel better.

Be Kind To Yourself

Praise yourself. It's a hard one but sometimes no one else can take credit for what you do. Any successes that come your way; celebrate them. No matter how small, you did that and you did it well. 

Be aware of what you like about yourself, make a list, not a huge one in just one day, just every time you recognise something within you or do something well {I made an awesome bacon sandwich} note it down on one list that you can read through when you are struggling.  

Keep Physically Healthy

Helping your brain heal means helping your body heal. Food we put in, how we move and our sleeping all greatly affects our mental well being.
Food, we can't just eat what we want. You can eat anything but in moderation. We have to be sensible. Out body needs fruit and veg, they give us energy, fact. Our body needs water, it hydrates us, helps us think, helps us move, helps us sleep. Fact. Our body needs wholesome food, warmth. Our body can also have treats, sweets, takeouts but this requires us to move our bodies a lot more. What we consume makes us perform. If you only eat fatty foods, how are you going to feel? There is a clue! Over a week, spread them out, if you can't get rid of them don't have your two big meals in a day, light lunch and a dinner you can then really look forward to. Balance it out and try and fill your snacks with one more piece of fruit a day than normal. What we eat can really affect our mood so try to combat that.

Physical activity is also a biggy in making us feel better. Start with walking and everything will come from there. If you can get a five minute power walk into your day you will find yourself wanting to do more. I use the school run; park a bit further away and have a good walk. That is the beginning and end of my day and it has made a difference. Once you start enjoying it, make it long and keep adding and who knows, you might jog it instead and then maybe run it.

Sleeping is a big thing if you want to heal your brain. Your thoughts can get over exaggerated due to lack of sleep and the best thing to try and do is make sleep consistent. Yes, you may have children, disruptions but if you lay out the routine and follow it you will feel better. Set a 'Go To Bed Alarm' and stick to it. What ever the time is try to avoid screens for at least half an hour before or at least try and read a bit before you go to sleep. This calms the brain. Have an alarm for getting up to and get up when it goes off, even when your don't need to. Get out of bed, get dressed and you will accomplish a lot more. 

If You Can't Help Yourself, Get Help

It is easy to give you a list of things to try and do but sometimes we need extra help, and that is not a failing, that is setting yourself up to achieve more than you could of even thought possible.
Talk to friends, as soon as I did and told them I was having therapy 3 of my good friends turned around and said they'd had therapy; I never knew. Talk about your mental health more with friends to find if they have experience or advice they can share.
Go to a doctor. They don't just put you on medication if you are afraid of that; I declined it but they got me Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and quite quickly. 
If you can't wait; you can book yourself in with a private councillor; a quick internet search will give you a list of people in your area. 
MIND website also offers excellent help and contacts to help you battle with any sort of depression you may be feeling.

I don't quite know where this post came from, I was sat in front of my computer and this just started flowing, it is a long one and one I did not expect to write today but maybe this was a post that someone else needs. 

My name is Emily. I have had Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I can tell you things can get you down but you can learn to deal with them. I can tell you that You and I are Worthy.


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