5 Ways You Might Be Hurting Yourself
Taking care of yourself involves, above all, knowing how to respect and love yourself unconditionally, whether you’re beautiful or ugly, happy or sad, successful or not. It seems easy to do in theory, but it can become a very difficult task when you realize that the education you’ve received, and the messages and demands you receive from the media, might be hurting you.
As if it were selfish, vain, or conceited to love yourself, to be happy with yourself once in a while, or to give yourself a pat on the back. We’re told that if we’re not humble and modest, we’ll lose everything.
Of course there’s no reason to go to the extreme of narcissism, but it is beneficial at the psychological level to love yourself a little more and beat yourself up a little less than you tend to do.
Because if you don’t, the result tends to be that you set aside your interests and needs, put them on the back burner, and neglect to take care of yourself. This is usually due to the need to be approved by others, or the extreme desire to be perfect and not make mistakes.
Are you hurting yourself?
Maybe you’ve identified with the introduction of this article, and you’ve noticed that you don’t take care of yourself emotionally, and that you’re hurting yourself as a consequence. We recommend that you analyze the following points and reflect on whether you need to love yourself a little more.
You might be hurting yourself if:
1. You demand perfection from yourself
Demanding perfection is unrealistic, since you’ll never be able to achieve it, no matter how hard you try. Human beings are constantly making mistakes. We can learn and improve from them, but we’ll never be infallible.
If you think you can achieve perfection, you’re wasting too much energy. All this will do is frustrate you when things go wrong and you’ll end up abandoning your goals, simply because you can’t fulfill your own expectations.
Demanding too much of yourself is not taking care of yourself.
2. You don’t reward yourself
If you don’t reward yourself from time to time, you don’t let yourself relax or take a vacation, or you don’t forgive yourself for not acting the way you “should have,” you’re clearly not taking care of yourself. It’s great to be responsible and try to achieve your goals, but it’s equally important to sometimes reward yourself for it.
Telling yourself that you deserve it is beneficial for your emotional health and will keep you motivated.
3. You say “yes” when you should say “no”
If you put the needs of others before your own, this is a complete lack of respect towards yourself. You can do favors once in a while, as long as they align with your principles and personal values, but you should never feel obligated to say “yes” to everything.
There’s no excuse. Whether it’s for a family member, friend, or acquaintance, if you don’t want to do something, there’s no reason to do it, and if the other person gets upset about that, it’s their problem, not yours.
4. You get carried away by other people’s opinions
Why do you think other people know the absolute truth and your opinion isn’t worth as much as theirs?
Every person constructs their own reality based on what they hear and how they’ve been raised, but that doesn’t mean that everything they think is true. Therefore, it’s healthy to listen to other people’s opinions, but without becoming absolutely consumed by them.
Your own opinions are equally as valid as those of other people, as long as you’re sure of them.
5. You don’t let yourself live in the moment
Your mind is a wanderer and it always finds itself in the past or the future. It doesn’t ever rest and come to the present, which means you don’t enjoy what you have within your hands in the moment. Instead, you lose it, which is another way of not taking care of yourself.
If you regret the things that have already happened and couldn’t be fixed too much, or worry too much about what might come but hasn’t yet, you’re not living in the here and now, and you’re hurting yourself.
How can you take care of yourself?
If after analyzing the five points above, you’ve realized that you’re not taking enough care of yourself, it’s time to start to do so. You must learn to respect yourself, and to do that you have to start doing the opposite of what was described in the five points above.
If you’re very demanding of yourself and think you have to do everything perfectly, you should stop demanding and start preferring, and accept yourself regardless of the results.
If you only give and never receive, start to reward yourself for every goal you achieve, even if it’s a small one. Take a long-deserved vacation or buy that dress that you like so much. Learn to say no firmly and assertively, without making excuses and without being afraid of the other person’s reaction. If they’re a good friend, they’ll understand.
Remember that the opinions of other people belong to other people. They’ll only become yours if you let them. Everybody has the right to think, say, and express how they feel, including you. Guide yourself with your own intuition.
Make an effort to bring your mind to the present when you notice that it’s wandered off. To do so, focus on your surroundings and describe what you see, hear, and feel. Enjoy whatever you’re doing and recognize that you can’t change what’s already happened, and what will come, will come.