Self-Counseling – How I Did It (Part 2)

Disclaimer: The author speaks of their personal experience in this blog. They are not saying that self-counseling can replace counseling that licensed professionals can offer or that it is the most effective way to deal with mental health issues. They only mean to share their healing journey with people who might be able to relate to it.

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When I revealed my decision to perform self-counseling instead of letting my parents continue to pay at least a hundred dollars for every counseling session, my parents could not speak, and their facial expressions became blank. That was never a good sign.

Once Mom recovered, she said, “Honey, it’s okay even if we pay for your counseling for as long as you need it. You should not feel the need to cut corners because your father and I can handle the finances well.”

“Yes, that’s correct, honey. You do not have to try self-counseling,” Dad added.

So, that was the problem. It was not because they worried that nothing good would come out of my new plan. It was more because they feared that the crazy side of me was the only thing that wanted to perform self-counseling. After all, the people around me often complained about my high intelligence. Hence, my parents must have thought that I was merely acting like the Ms. Know-It-All they knew too well again.

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Even if I tried to deny it, the reality was honestly not far off from that. Before I announced that I wanted to try my hand at self-counseling, I went online to read any information regarding the possibility of counseling myself. For added details, I even spent some time in the library. It was only after the 11th book that I understood that it was possible to counsel yourself, especially for people like me who had seen counselors before and knew their process.

Despite my parents’ opposition, I went on with my plan.

Doing Counseling On Myself

Doing counseling on yourself typically requires good focus. It was much different than regular counseling, considering you do not have an outsider – a mental health professional – to strike a conversation with. You would not hear them throwing helpful questions at you or guide you in the right direction.

During a self-counseling session,  you need to be responsible for everything you do so that the time you spend on this activity would always be used in vain.

The first time I tried to counsel myself, I decided to do it at the quietest time of the day at home. Most people would recommend looking for a quiet room, but I already had one. The only problem I usually had was that I had little brothers running up and down the hallway in the mornings and afternoons, so I had to start the counseling process around 10:00 in the evening.

Of course, despite the quietness of my bedroom, I also prepared it for the occasion. For instance, I asked my mom to buy me some aromatic candles somehow to mimic the scent in my favorite counselor’s office. I also pre-downloaded some instrumental classical songs to ensure further that I could main calm throughout the process.

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When everything was ready, I started self-counseling.

Think Of Yourself As Somebody Else

The first step towards successful self-canceling is detaching yourself from yourself. I know it does not make a lot of sense, but if you think about it from a different perspective, you will realize that most counseling sessions work because the counselor has ideally never met you until that day. They do not know what you are like outside the clinic; they know better than to make first impressions last. Thus, it would most likely not be too tricky for them to hear you out completely without judging you.

If you could practice self-detachment, could you imagine what troubles you could encounter during self-counseling? You might not even be able to get past the first step!

Ask And Answer Questions Diligently

Once you have mastered the technique of detaching yourself from your mind, body, and soul, you can now come up with simple yet hard-hitting questions.

Here are some of the questions I asked myself:

  • Why do I feel awkward around others?
  • What pushes me to challenge others’ intelligence?
  • Have I been too aggressive to everyone?
  • What activities have other people been doing before I acted up?

Admit Your Mistakes

Another truth regarding self-counseling is that many people try to hide their mistakes even when they are merely talking to themselves. Admittance is synonymous with guilt for some people, after all. It had something to do with the saying, “Talking about something out loud will make it real.”

Well, refusing to admit the errors in your actions will not take you anywhere. You will merely feel frustrated in the end and look for harsher treatments (e.g., substance abuse).

Stop Asking,  “God, Why?’

Lastly, self-counseling taught me to stop being melodramatic. I used to be upset deep down with everyone, especially God, due to my mental health journey. It made me feel abnormal, for lack of a better word, because no other kid I knew had even met a psychologist. Meaning they were saved from that kind of life. But I wasn’t.

As I focused on detaching myself from my thoughts, though, I managed to let go of all the blaming I had been doing for years. There was no use in finding someone to blame; I just had to focus on answering more questions that came up in my mind until nothing left.

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Final Thoughts

I continued to do self-counseling for years. It gave me clarity and peace of mind, and it helped me heal my relationship with my family.

To reiterate, I would not recommend self-counseling to people who had not experienced one-on-one counseling with a licensed counselor before. I could do this because I had met enough counselors to adapt their techniques and apply them on my own. The effect of self-counseling on me might also not be the same on you, so if you wish to give it a go, I wish you well.

Self-Counseling – What Made Me Do It (Part 1)

For as long as I could recall, I had always been the girl with “issues.” It was nothing big or mind-boggling at all – I could tell you that now in case your mind went straight to major mental disorders. My parents had me tested multiple times throughout the years, and the psychologists and psychiatrists could not find anything conclusive. Despite all that, my family walked on eggshells around me and treated me like a sensitive ticking bomb, especially whenever I was quiet.

It was upsetting in the beginning, to be honest. They would never say straight to my face that I was not right in the head, but their actions spoke otherwise. I used to challenge them to say that they thought I was a nutcase out loud, but they never did it. My parents would always say that they just wanted to understand me better.

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What Led To Such Reactions Towards Me?

Okay, I could not claim that I did not know what made my parents do all that. I might have behaved in strange ways a few times during my childhood that made them question my mental stability.

For instance, kids of any age are typically excited to see a playground and play with other kids. When I was a toddler, though, I did not show any interest in either at all. I thought the children were too rambunctious for me, so I preferred to stay inside the daycare center or preschool classroom. And if the teachers encouraged me to go outside, I would only agree if they allowed me to take a book and sit by the tree.

When I was in first grade, my homeroom adviser called my parents to complain about me talking back and not apologizing for it. In my defense, being rude was never my intention. I just wanted the teacher to explain a topic deeper than she might have prepared for. Thus, when I refused to sit down and told her that “I would love to remain standing until you can answer my question,” she was offended by that.

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I found myself in similar situations as the two mentioned above the next two years. Each time my parents would hear the telephone ring in the living room, they feared that it was from one of my teachers. They would push each other towards it until the person closest to the receiver would have no choice but to answer the call.

Once I was in fourth grade, though, the teacher asked my parents if I had already been checked by a mental health professional. Of course, the answer was no, but they promised the teacher that they would make it happen. I thought they were joking because I felt fine, but they seriously brought me to a child psychologist.

The most challenging part of that consultation was the four hours I spent answering different questionnaires and playing boring games until the psychologist was satisfied with the results. We were told to come back a week after that since she apparently had to study my answers more. When we did, she told my parents that she could not pinpoint the exact cause of my behavioral issues.

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“The symptoms were too mild to become a personality disorder. However, I also saw some signs that could be seen in other disorders,” the psychologist said.

For the next few years, my parents would continue to take me to various mental health clinics to give a name to my condition. They only stopped when I turned 18 after telling them that I was done being treated like a guinea pig. I would much rather go to counseling than see another psychologist or psychiatrist in hopes of receiving a proper diagnosis.

My Counseling Experience

Unlike the psychiatrists and psychologists who tried to diagnose me for almost a decade, the counselors I met were brilliant. They knew how to make a client feel welcome and safe in the office; they were highly aware of boundaries, especially regarding questions they would throw at people.

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However, did you notice how I said “counselors” above? That was not because I went through a few rotten eggs before meeting a good one. It was mostly because I could not seem to get better, no matter how many counseling sessions I attended every month.

It always seemed promising in the beginning. I wanted to learn what’s wrong with my behavior that bothered my family so much and see how to curb my issues, so I was highly cooperative. But the more sessions passed, the more I realized that I was not ready to open up to any of them.

Frustrated with the lack of progress, though, my parents gave me an ultimatum one day. They wanted me to tell them honestly if it was worth paying for my sessions when my behavior did not change much. I was still as straightforward as ever; worse, my knowledge base expanded, so I could argue with my professors in college for days.

I decided to give myself counseling instead.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Counseling Service

Experiencing depressive symptoms for an extended period can be defeating. It is as if an endless battle of feeling helpless. Often, you end up arguing with yourself about how pointless everything is.

Suffering from a chronic physical disease is one thing, but the struggle to fight your mind every single day for years can be extremely draining. It will not just affect you mentally but can also translate to your physical health.

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During the pandemic, many clinics offering therapies have experienced disruption in providing their mental health services. One of the new waves seen is the emergence of online counseling services. By proving to counsel on a digital platform, it is more convenient for patients to access their treatment in their homes’ comfort.

Online therapy services may present challenges in connecting to the patients. One of the main difficulties includes distinguishing emotion through facial expressions. However, recent studies show participants who used video conferencing reported high levels of satisfaction in this method.

The effects of long-term depression can be grueling for individuals. This is true to those who managed to reduce their feelings of anxiety, negative thoughts, and repetitive feelings of hopelessness. This condition may prevent your brain from developing its neurons.

Later on, it can give you problems in retrieving your memory. Nevertheless, online counseling has proven to provide both benefits for patients and therapists. 

Digital interventions can be more encouraging to attend. Moreover, it can effectively provide a positive experience for patients. If you are interested to know more about how online counseling works and what other benefits you can get in this service, we’ve listed some of the frequently asked questions below.

Is online counseling effective?

According to studies, online counseling is equally effective as traditional therapy. With the ongoing pandemic, online counseling has become a popular option for many patients.

Can I talk to a counselor online for free?

Several social media and website platforms are offering free teletherapy services. You can seek a counselor’s advice at no extra cost. However, there may only be limited available slots or sessions.

What are the disadvantages of counseling?

Some known disadvantages of counseling include finding comfort and building trust. Counseling requires mutual trust in both the therapist and the client.

However, building trust can take some time. All the more, it gets challenging to build trust in online counseling. Another disadvantage is the costs. Counseling may be expensive, as insurance often does not cover them.

Is BetterHelp counseling legit?

Yes, BetterHelp is legit. BetterHelp counseling provides mental health services through the internet. They have over 10,000 licensed and certified counselors or therapists that can help you. Sessions are usually done through chat messages, live videos, or phone calls. They also give financial aid and discounts.

Can an online therapist diagnose you?

Technology has made access to health services easily and readily available. An online therapist can diagnose any of your psychological concerns. They can also send you treatment plans to help manage your conditions. At the same time, online therapists can also provide you with prescriptions.

What is the best online counseling?

Talkspace is the leading provider of counseling on the internet. It offers mental health services, including treatment plans, medication prescriptions that cover various psychological disorders. They employ licensed therapists and counselors to deliver their services. They have economic rates and subscription plans too.

Online counseling is made easy through multiple channels such as text, audio, or video messaging.

How do I get advice online?

You can start by finding a site offering free advice online. Research suggests 7 Cups, FreeAdvices, and the subreddit r/advice are a few of the best places to get advice online. These sites cater to a broad range of topics.

Users can also choose to be anonymous. All you need to do is sign up on the sites with a pen name. With that, you can start posting. Other users will comment or reply to your post with their advice.

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Can I chat with a therapist online?

Yes, you can. Talking with a licensed mental health professional online is now possible. Therapists use different social media apps or messaging applications. Some of the platforms they use are Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, and Zoom. Through this, they can stay connected with their patients.

Is 7 cups therapy free?

The app 7 Cups provides free therapy for teens and adults alike. They have these so-called active listeners who undergo extensive training. These active listeners have the verification to listen to users or members.

7 Cups is an online counseling platform wherein the members are proactive at listening. The counseling under 7 Cups is entirely anonymous and undergoes monitoring for any privacy concerns.

Can counseling be harmful?

Counseling, like any other form of psychotherapy, has certain risks. If mishandled, it can be harmful to individuals. Some patients get worse with counseling instead of improving. Finding the right counselor for a person is an essential part of counseling. The quality of counseling service is critical in its success.

Who benefits from counseling?

Anyone can benefit from counseling. It is not only for people with mental health disorders. Counseling is also an excellent tool for those seeking work-related, financial, relationships, or general life advice.

How long does it take for counseling to work?

The number of sessions for counseling to work varies per individual. The type of mental disorder and the treatment approach are both key factors. But most counselors recommend committing to a minimum of six sessions, at least one hour per week.

Is BetterHelp or Talkspace better?

Both sites, BetterHelp and Talkspace, have their advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you are looking for, a person can say one is better than the other. Both are affordable. But if you are looking for a video conference with your counselor, it is best to choose BetterHelp.

Is BetterHelp worth the money?

The simple answer is yes. Many users of BetterHelp have testified how life-changing it is to talk to a counselor on the site.

Can you cancel BetterHelp at any time?

Yes, you can cancel your subscription at any time. To do so, go to your account settings. There, you will find the “Quit Counseling” button. If you are decided to cancel, all you have to do is click on it.

However, if you cancel after your subscription period, you will still get charged for the next whole month. You can still use the service until then.

Conclusion

Seeking help is crucial in addressing your mental health needs and behavioral care. This pandemic has truly given us new challenges in accessing our basic and social necessities. Even more significant are the problems posed for people who have long-term depression.

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Battling long-term depression in a time of isolation is more challenging than ever. Untreated depression can make your mentality older and more impaired.

It may seem that this can be a never-ending, hopeless situation where you cannot have the right pill to cure this struggle. And you can always associate this suffering with traumatic events, your family history, and your mental health history. These long-term effects can significantly affect your everyday function.

Making sure to update your medication and the psychological approach of your therapy can help. Online counseling might be the answer to your problems in accessing your treatment.

When it comes to digital innovations, this technological advancement proves to treat various mental health disorders effectively. This treatment suits conditions like anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse, and including some eating disorders. 

While online counseling services are not for everyone, some feel uncomfortable attending traditional approaches. Online counseling can fix this disadvantage. It could be a potential industry to grow if you have access to a reliable internet connection.  

Seeking assistance in your mental health care needs must begin with a consultation with your doctor. The most crucial step is to ask for help.

Online counseling might be the type of convenience service you’ll need in addressing the long-term effects of your depression. Be sure to consider a wide range of treatments before choosing a suitable option.

Frequently Asked Questions About Most Commonly-Used Types Of Psychological Therapy

Once in your life, you might have planned to undergo therapy. It may be to release your emotions over your day-to-day troubles or for drastic life changes. Therapy can be for all types of troubles.

Seeking therapy, however, can be overwhelming. You don’t know where to start, and the internet will offer you many forms of approaches.

Different types of therapy exist to cater to a patient’s needs. Some exist for those who are diagnosed with depression, anxiety, addiction, and other disorders. At the same time, others cover a broader scope of conditions. Results may vary from person to person.

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Therapy will let you engage and discuss your concerns with a mental health professional. It helps assess the best methods to address your concerns. 

If you have considered therapy and want to learn the process, here’s a quick walkthrough about the most commonly-used psychological treatments.

One of the best-known and one of the most effective forms of therapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It aims to acknowledge, accept, and transform patterns of pessimism often linked with depression and anxiety.

Through this therapy, you learn to manage negative thoughts and enhance the quality of life. 

On the other hand, Psychodynamic Therapies help resolve internal conflicts and address the roots of psychological turmoil. It is often used in treating depression and anxiety of patients dealing with the loss of loved ones or childhood abuse.

It also focuses on understanding and overcoming negative emotions to enhance relationships.

If you want to discover more about these treatments, here are some frequently asked questions about commonly-used psychological therapies.

What are the different types of psychological therapies?

The different types of psychological therapies are psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), cognitive analytical therapy (CAT), artistic psychotherapy, interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), humanistic therapy, and systematic therapy.

The effectiveness of these therapies varies from one person to another based on their conditions.

What type of therapy is considered the most effective psychological therapy?

Generally speaking, there is no psychological therapy considered as the most effective treatment. It all depends on the patient’s needs and preferences.

However, strong scientific evidence has linked cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to be the most efficient as it is the most studied psychological therapy option.

What are the two main types of treatment for psychological disorders?

The two main types of treatment used for psychological disorders are psychotherapy and biomedical therapy. These two types are often used in conjunction with each other.

Both involve therapy sessions to help an individual overcome mental health illness. However, biomedical therapy also uses the aid of medication management to treat mental disorders.

What are the four types of psychotherapy?

There are numerous types of psychotherapy. But the four most commonly used approaches in psychotherapy are the following:

1. Psychodynamic Therapy

A form of talk therapy wherein a licensed mental health professional focuses on the patient’s self-awareness and thought processing emotions.

2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

A hands-on approach to psychotherapy with insights into a patient’s cognitive behavior.

3. Humanistic Therapy

It refers to a person-centered treatment.

4. Systemic Therapy

An approach dealing not only with the individual but also their relationships

What are the 4 types of talk therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, is the most common and popular talk therapy. Other types include guided self-help, wherein the patient is in control of the treatment. The role of the certified medical professional is to guide the patient through techniques and workbooks.

Another type is counseling, which involves a licensed counselor and may usually be done in groups. Lastly, there is interpersonal therapy or IPT, much like counseling but is specially reserved for individual sessions.

What is the most successful therapy?

As aforementioned, therapy’s success relies on the patient and is different for everyone, which means no one best therapy type.

However, scientifically-speaking, cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective treatment option, especially for the most common mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

What type of psychotherapy is best for anxiety?

As anxiety is limited to feelings of anxiousness, which includes phobias, panic disorders, and other conditions, it is found that cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is the best approach to treat mental illness.

With CBT, both the patient and the psychiatrist work together to identify triggers and patterns in their behaviors.

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Is Psychological Therapy Effective?

Research shows that psychological therapy’s success rate is 50%, making it the most effective treatment approach across all ranges, whether in a child or an adult, a man, or a woman.

What are examples of psychological disorders?

Depression and anxiety are the most common psychological disorders, and they are linked to moods.

Other mental illnesses may stem from these two, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders like schizophrenia, substance abuse disorders including alcoholism, sleeping disorders, and more.

How do you treat a psychological patient?

The treatment of a psychological patient begins with the patient’s assessment and diagnosis by a mental health professional. After this, they develop a treatment plan that may include both therapy and medications, depending on their needs.

What type of therapy is best for trauma?

Treating trauma can be challenging and complicated. Exposure therapies are found to be the most effective treatment plan for trauma victims. These therapies may involve systemic desensitization, mindfulness strategies, and others.

What is talk therapy called?

Talk therapy is also commonly referred to as psychotherapy. The name itself is a psychological approach to helping patients overcome their mental illnesses and emotional difficulties through various talking sessions with a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist.

What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychotherapist?

A psychotherapist can be any psychologist or a psychiatrist who is duly licensed and have taken extra specialized training in psychotherapy.

On the other hand, a psychologist is any graduate of psychology dealing with the human mind study. They may work in clinical settings as therapists and do research, unlike psychotherapists, who only focus on therapy work.

What should I not tell a psychiatrist?

It is important to note that your psychiatrist should be someone you trust. It would help if you were comfortable sharing your feelings and your therapist’s stories since you are not supposed to lie to them. You should be open and honest with them for better results from your sessions.

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The range of therapeutic procedures may be confusing in the beginning.  However, remember that psychological therapies are not limited to one specific condition.  Several approaches exist that can address the same set of conditions.

A psychological therapy that is effective for one may not be effective for another. Thus, the guidance of professionals helps determine the right fit. 

Mental health professionals can provide recommendations upon diagnosis to address your needs. But you also have to remember that therapists can also integrate or combine techniques. Some have to go through a trial and error method to find what works best for you.

Look for a therapist you can trust. Select someone you can comfortably share your concerns with. Knowing your therapist’s field of study and experience can help determine if they can adequately help your problems.

Even if their credentials don’t match your needs, your local therapist can refer you to other professionals that may be equipped better. 

It may take a few tries before you find the right therapist for you. But be patient. After all, a therapist-client relationship is essential in ensuring that you are getting what is best for you.

Your participation will also determine a treatment’s effectiveness. Make sure to allocate time and consistency in attending the sessions. Trust your therapist and participate in the sessions.

Therapy may take time before you see significant changes, but your therapist will be with you every step of the way. 

Why It Seems So Hard To Love Yourself? (Mental Health Awareness)

Since many people are now acknowledging the importance of mental health, everyone is trying to master the art of self-love. Honestly, that is an excellent thing to do because everybody is currently facing many difficulties and uncertainties in life. Thus, it is entirely beneficial to focus on looking for ways to love yourself before anything else. But unfortunately, the process is not instant. You need to get over some hurdles before you finally proceed into the “loving yourself” portion. It is significantly vital to take note of the ground-zero of self-love.

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Do You hate Yourself Instead Of Loving It?

One of the possible reasons why you struggle with self-love, in the beginning is because you believe it to be a hard and tiring process. Understandably, you get the point. It is much easier to continue criticizing yourself because you thought it would honestly convince you to improve your unwanted qualities. Perhaps it suits a different angle where you acknowledge your imperfections and are willing to change those. However, too much attention you give to those negative things about you can make you feel less interested in self-love. And that is precisely the bubble you need to pop in your head. The constant hating on yourself is not helpful and will never be useful under any circumstances. Always remember that.

Your idea that self-love is much harder compared to self-hate is unacceptable. In all honesty, it is much more painful to hate yourself because you constantly think about your imperfections and the things you can’t do. I get that you might not be used to love yourself. That is why you choose to stick with the “hating” portion. But that is not the physically, emotionally, and mentally smartest option. If you are going to keep hating yourself because you believe you deserve it, then it could turn out that way. From there, you will forever feel bad about yourself because you think bad about yourself. Do you see the point there?

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Why Not Love Instead Of Hate?

Loving yourself is always a choice. It is not a decision that comes with too many options, though. It is a process that you must do whether you like it or not. Because when you love yourself, you tend to be aware of the things around you. You get to appreciate your capabilities, and you somehow get to understand your emotions. There are precision and effort that makes you constantly decide not to put too much hate and pressure on yourself. Yes, the whole process can turn out different from what you expect. But with a step-by-step procedure, you will eventually get there. You will end up gaining more positive outcomes once you have decided to put that self-hate aside.

Self-love is like learning things from the beginning. There is entirely no right or wrong ways to do it per se. As long as you are emotionally and mentally happy with everything about you, that explains it. It does not need a detailed elaboration because self-love itself is the whole idea and process of getting emotionally and mentally stable. So, why not love yourself instead of hate it?

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Could It Be Any Harder?

Self-love is a process, and I will say that again and again. You won’t achieve it overnight, and better results will not happen after a couple of minutes realizing you need it. You have to earn it. It would be exceptional if you worked hard for it to achieve it. Since I mentioned the word “work hard,” it makes you think that everything has the possibility of crashing down. Well, honestly, it could. Self-love can turn the other way around when you don’t focus on whatever you love about yourself. Suppose you can’t find enough reason why you need to constantly tell yourself that you are worthy, that you forgive yourself for every mistake you commit. In that case, you won’t progress even if you already started working on self-appreciation.

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Final Thoughts

To sum up things, the first and perhaps the hardest part you need to take is to genuinely believe that self-love is an easy, reliable, and effective approach. It would help if you looked at it as enjoyable, exciting, and worthy of your time. That way, you can have enough reason to start practicing it in ways day by day and little by little. You should always appreciate and give thanks to yourself a little more often. Affirm and tell yourself that your feelings, needs, wants, and ambitions entirely matter. Treat yourself better each day because no one is going to do that for you. Again, you have the power to decide what you choose to believe. Things can be a lot harder from your perspective, and that is okay. Learning to love yourself is challenging, but eventually, it won’t be.

Things That Can Tell You Lack Self-Love (Family And Relationship Discussion)

Self-love is a sensitive subject. That is because not all people understand how it works. They do not know its importance in everyday life, and some of them do not appreciate the benefits it can give. People know that self-love is necessary for survival and growth. But the idea of loving thy self is not limited to only that.

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Self-love is a vital aspect of your well-being. It is where you gather strength and positivity to move forward in life. It affects how you view yourself and impacts how you want others to look at you. That has a lot to do with the decisions you make and how well you manage them. It is where you create a unique perspective with your relationships with others, such as your friends, colleagues, family, and special someone. But self-love is not an automatic feature that you can develop instantly. Sometimes, when you get stuck in an undesirable situation, you opt to forget about it. Unfortunately, that is because some events in your life can make loving yourself entirely challenging. But how can you tell you a lack of self-love?

When You Over Analyze Your Behavior – Overanalyzing your character and behavior can tell you that you lack self-love. That is because you often base your response on the needed personality on a particular day or situation. It is as if you are mimicking behaviors that can become inappropriate. It gets problematic because sometimes, your reactions can become visibly fake. In unfortunate instances, it leads you to a point where you force changing yourself in order to become someone else. As you continue to over-analyze your behavior, you get confused and eventually forget who you are.

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When You Hide Your True Self From Everyone – You know yourself more than anybody else. That is why you can determine the things you like and hate and the things that can make you sad and happy. But when you continuously try and change yourself when you are around others, it is an issue with confidence. Self-love is not about hiding certain parts of your personality. Yes, you have some qualities that you don’t like about yourself. So what? Everyone else is the same. No one is perfect. Understandably you worry about getting judged. However, you don’t have to act differently to make up for it.

When You Fear Of Being Judged By Others – The fear of other people’s judgment is quite normal. That is because they are aware of the imperfections they have that are visible to others. However, it can become an issue with a lack of self-love when there is a different level of fear of what others think about you. It builds up this anxiety that others are closely examining what you are doing, what you are wearing, and how you’re acting. It creates a mental distortion up to the point that it makes you isolate yourself from the world.

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When You Struggle With Physical And Mental Self-Care – You can tell you lack self-love when you are not managing your mind and body as much as you should. Some of the obvious things you do are destroying your overall well-being, either intentionally or unintentionally. It could be by skipping meals or excessive eating, or by turning into drugs and alcohol. You become dependent on other harmful substances and lifestyle habits to cope with your emotional and mental stress. You lack-self love when you do not take time to appreciate yourself and neglect the essence of happiness.

When You Constantly Feel You Are Not Good Enough – Constant feelings of inferiority are obvious signs of lack of self-love. It is where you build intense levels of insecurities in your appearance, intelligence, and whole capability. It is where you always remind yourself that you are not good enough. You compare yourself to others until you end up judging and hating yourself for lacking qualities that others have. From there, you shutdown on positivity and hide your whole personality. You don’t trust yourself enough that you always end up agreeing to what others tell you. You lack the confidence to become the person you want to be.

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When You Are Too Hard On Yourself – You can tell that you lack self-love when you don’t appreciate the good things in you. That even if you achieved something, you find it insufficient and not worthy. You often focus on your failures. You always find the need to change before considering the good things about yourself. Honestly, it is an uphill battle because of your desire to achieve more. You don’t take a moment to appreciate all the good things you have done. You never feel satisfied, and you believe that something is always wrong with you.

If you feel that you are struggling with loving yourself, it is best to seek help immediately. Consult a qualified mental health expert to address your situation.

5 Lessons From COVID-19 Survivors

With almost 8 million recorded cases of COVID-19 globally, the pandemic has shown us how vulnerable our health systems seem to be. Countries locked down their borders and subjected communities to quarantine measures.

The health threat has caused widespread fear among different populations, resulting in anxiety and stigma against those who contracted the disease.

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In 1965, experts identified the first human coronavirus infection, which caused a common cold. According to scientists, there are seven types of coronaviruses that affect humans.

The SARS epidemic of 2003 affected 26 countries and resulted in more than 8,000 cases, with 774 deaths. The less contagious but deadlier MERS affected almost 2,500 people who lived in or traveled to the Middle East in 2012, recording 858 fatalities.

Contagious With Lifelong Impact

Likened to influenza, this viral respiratory disease causes fever, headache, cough, and shortness of breath. The majority of patients won’t need a hospital stay, but a study found that 42% of people hospitalized with coronavirus are in intensive care.

COVID-19 survivors should learn from those who overcame SARS or MERS, but medical experts and scientists have yet to determine the long-term impact of this 2019 pandemic.

“Their lives will never look exactly as they were before,” says Dr. Megan Hosey, Ph.D., a rehabilitation psychologist from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who treats patients in the intensive care unit. “Being admitted to an ICU is one of those ‘before and after’ life events, like having a child or a parent dying.”

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At least 25% of global infections are from the United States, with deaths from COVID-19 surpassing 100,000 at the beginning of June. There is a flood of new guidelines preventing its spread, but what do we know about recovering from the disease?

Coronavirus survivors have set up support groups desperate for information to understand their experiences and share stories about their health. Here are some prominent lessons they’ve shared:

  • Begin A Recovery Daily Routine

Stretching, listening to meditation apps, and taking health supplements every morning can boost recovery. Doctors reported that even patients that survived a mild condition of COVID-19 should expect a long rehabilitation time.

Survivors will not be able to return to past normal activities immediately, while some say it’ll relatively be harder to sustain given the medical history.

  • Focus On Protecting The Immune System

The goal of getting back to normal is only possible if we listen to the body. Survivors will suffer from poor physical function, cognition, and mental health while recovering and even after COVID-19.

Seeking help from wellness counselors on healthcare products, resources, and tools is one way to tell the body we take our health seriously and not for granted.

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  • Connect To Virtual Communities For Support

Support groups exist for survivors, caregivers, and those who lost loved ones to COVID-19. While there are strict physical distancing protocols in many social situations, communities have gone virtual with Instagram pages and Facebook groups, specifically for collective healing.

Living Corona Positive was started by a South African blogger whose whole family contracted the disease to share their healing stories first-hand.

  • Manage Post-Traumatic Stress

The journey from contracting the virus to diagnosis, treatment, and recovery is a lonely ordeal from the onset. Because there is no cure for COVID-19, the uncertainty of not knowing whether a recovering patient is free from the virus causes undue stress and anxiety.

Medical experts say that letting the body rest and get back lost sleep will contribute immensely to a survivor’s well-being.

  • Write A Gratitude List

The stuff we usually think about and say aloud affects our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Creating a thank-you list transforms negative to positive energy, inviting love and kindness to enter our hearts.

Survivors are at risk of having a “victim mentality,” and one way to avoid this is by expressing gratitude to other people no matter how trivial it seems.

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During these tough times, we must realize that we’re not all going through the same thing. Frontline healthcare workers have an increased risk of infection. Teachers and students have to adapt to the pandemic mode of earning an education.

The majority of us worry about not having adequate protective equipment like surgical masks and sanitizers. Fortunately, we are not coping through this alone, and we have abundant resources, if only we work together.

Tips For Fighting Coronavirus Anxiety

The threat of COVID-19 can take a massive toll on our emotional well-being. Even for those who don’t live with an anxiety disorder may find themselves worrying more than usual. Thankfully, there are ways of managing such and getting through this pandemic.

Establish A Routine

The outbreak of COVID-19 has turned everyone’s lives upside down. Almost everyone across the globe is now living differently from accustomed. Because of this drastic change, many feel lost and anxious.

Something you can do to avoid excessive worrying is to establish a routine. It helps to make it similar to what you’re used to already. Although it won’t be entirely the same, you can stick to your usual meal hours and sleep schedule. Next, you can figure out how to adjust when it comes to work, school, and other activities.

Set Reasonable Goals

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Because citizens have to stay at home, some are treating this pandemic as a vacation rather than a crisis. They tend to think that because people now have more free time, they have to be productive.

However, the coronavirus outbreak is anything but ordinary. Don’t think that you have to come out of this pandemic with life-changing achievements. Everyone is collectively experiencing something traumatic to some degree. Even just making it through the day is already a significant step forward.

Instead of pressuring yourself to be extremely productive, set realistic daily goals instead. It could be something seemingly simple, like exercising, doing the laundry, or reaching out to friends. Give yourself the credit you deserve.

Limit Your Exposure To The News

One of the leading causes of anxiety during this time is fixating on the news and social media. It’s tempting to check the television every hour for updates, especially when the outbreak began. However, the barrage of worrying headlines will end up worrying you instead of providing you with information.

While it’s vital for you to stay updated, set a limit on how often you check on the news as well as social media. You can let yourself watch the news twice a day, for example. Also, remember to always stick to credible sources of information. As a guide, turn to the CDC, WHO, and your local health offices.

Follow A Proper Sleep Schedule

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Since most people don’t have school or work to worry about the following day, many are staying up late. This practice will then lead to sleeping in, completely overhauling your regular sleep schedule.

However, sleep is not only essential to your physical health, but it also has effects on your mental wellness. Sleep deprivation will make you more likely to experience anxiety as well as depression. So see to it that you get enough sleep and follow a regular schedule.

Apply Relaxation Techniques

Similar to how you would deal with stress in any situation, it helps to take a step back. Then, you can adapt techniques that can help you relax. You may choose deep breathing, with several videos available, as well as mobile apps to guide you. Likewise, yoga and meditation are popular options to help keep you calm.

If these choices aren’t your thing, even soaking in a warm tub, listening to music, or enjoying a cup of tea can help.

Help Others

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Sometimes, anxiety stems from worrying over other people. We’re concerned about how our loved ones, neighbors, and the general public is during this health crisis. Does everyone have something to eat? Does anyone need to buy medicine? Does anyone need someone to talk to and keep them company?

Even though guidelines call for physical distance, that doesn’t mean we can’t help others. If you have elderly neighbors or family, you can offer to get them groceries during your next run. You can also donate to charity organizations that might have a better capacity to provide help.

Additionally, Anna Yusim, MD, says, “Fear and anxiety are as contagious as the virus.” Thankfully, you can also spread calmness and mindfulness. Although you may experience anxiety sometimes, you can uplift others when they feel the same. Share with them the techniques you’ve learned in keeping yourself less anxious during these times.

Final Thoughts

Feeling worried during this outbreak is entirely understandable. A large portion of the population is probably experiencing the same feeling.

When it comes to managing anxiety, focus on things that you do have power over. Establish a routine with achievable daily goals. Don’t fixate on the news too much and get adequate sleep at the proper time.

Find relaxing activities that you can partake in, such as yoga or drinking some calming tea. Lastly, reach out and help others. It’s a difficult time for everyone, and being a calming influence can have a positive impact on many individuals.

Considering feeling relaxed does not cut it for you anymore, know that BetterHelp psychologists are always there to help you.