Love yourself – easier said than done

A topic that is being by promoted by all, and certainly by Prerana Academy. But how easy is it to implement the same? Do we all really understand the concept of loving ourselves?

Loving the way you look, loving your name or loving your everyday life – is that loving yourself? It may be a part of the process, but loving yourself is a wholesome process that makes you feel complete and most importantly reduces the need for validation from the outside world.

First, let’s take a small test to understand the intensity of our love towards ourselves — Do you criticize or judge yourself? Do you call yourself stupid, fat or a loser? Have you ever made a mistake for which you felt years of guilt?

– Do you put conditions on loving yourself and finding joy by depending on external factors?

– Do you know who you really are, what you feel, and what you want?

-Do you allow people to have the power over you, perhaps by affecting your mood and your opinion of yourself?

If you answered in affirmation to most of the above questions, then this Valentine’s Day, it’s time to put yourself first!

We often do things for others, sometimes out of choice and sometimes out of an obligation. But what’s the objective? Validation, perhaps. Is it wrong, one may ask? Certainly not. But isn’t it time we stopped relying on others for substantiation? Isn’t it time we believed in ourselves and showed some love?

So what does loving yourself mean? It’s much more than a favourite meal, a favourite film or some “me time” at the spa. It’s about doing things that are good for your body and soul, staying away from negativity and surrounding yourself with people who you are happy to be around. It’s about making tough choices, perhaps, giving up something that’s not good for your body or getting out of a toxic relationship.

It’s a constant, conscious process; a process that helps one stay connected to oneself at all times, understanding all that one is feeling and aiming to be a wholesome person.

So, what can one do to fall in love (or more in love) with oneself? Here are some tips –

  • Accept yourself – This is who you are, and if you don’t accept that, you can’t expect the others to do so.
  • Mirror work – It’s not always about being positive; it’s about being honest and real with you. Start off by looking into the mirror and saying – I love myself or I am willing to love and respect myself.
  • Self-love exercise – If you are having difficulty experiencing the whole feeling of self-love, you could write down instances when you felt proud of yourself or when you felt happy with your actions.
  • Ask for help – Probably the most important step of all – ask for help. When you need directions on the street, you stop and ask. Similarly, it’s essential to realize when you need help and ask for the same.

So this Valentine’s day, prioritize yourself. Remember, your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship.

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People suffering with anxiety and you!

Anxiety – the word now used more commonly than before, strikes a feeling of sympathy, generally aimed towards the one suffering from it. But what about the one who’s living with a person suffering from anxiety?

One can safely say, they fight their own battles too. While it’s near impossible to empathize and understand what a person with anxiety goes through, it’s important to get into the field, do your own research and be well-equipped to handle your partner, friend of family member dealing with anxiety. Not doing your background research is like going on a mission without a map. Not knowing what route to take and how to broach the subject might often lead to making the already anxious person feel worse about it.

However hard it is for people to comprehend, the fact remains that people suffering with anxiety have no control over their emotions and when they have an anxiety attack, it’s not something they predicted, or something they could have stopped. It usually is triggered by a stressor, and in most cases, there isn’t just one stressor.

They could wake up one morning feeling as fit as a fiddle and mid-day could have the worst anxiety attack and you, as an observer, may just not be able to get why. But it’s ok; the goal is not to reason out the attack, but to handle the situation well and comfort the person.  Easier said then done; is what people who have tried doing so in the past may say. Well, yes. But there are certain tips to tackle such situations.

Firstly, understand what anxiety is. Without knowing the magnitude and intensity of anxiety, it’ll be challenging to try and help your partner/friend. And who better than them to explain the same to you? Sit down and aim for a heart to heart chat about the subject while keeping an open mind. It also helps them feel acknowledged.

Then, while you have gained some insights about their situation, try and identify out the triggers or stressors in their life and help them steer away from it. Of course, that’s not always going to be possible and that’s when you might have to keep calm even when you don’t feel it. Because the last thing they need is another anxious person at that point.

However, when you do live with a person suffering form anxiety, you anticipate certain situations and in case of one, always be prepared with a possible solution. It could be their favorite food, music or just giving them their space that might help a person during an anxiety attack. Trying to keep your own set of emotions aside while dealing with an anxious person is advised, as that makes getting out of such a situation easier for them and for you.

Lastly, but most importantly, push your friend/partner/relative to see a therapist. However close you may be to him/her, however cooperative you may be and however comfortable he/she is with you, you might not be able to help them overcome anxiety. Help them see the benefits of therapy and if need be, offer your assistance in any possible way. Showing them you understand, not treating them like there is something wrong and helping them see that it can all be dealt with – are actions that will lead them to a secure, happy place.