Guest Author - Tracy Hamilton
There are increasing numbers of people experiencing stress and anxiety or the crippling effects of depression.
I would like to put forward an idea that they all have the same root, and are symptoms of a much deeper cause; a lack of self love, lack of acceptance of life and ‘what is’, and a resistance to life in general.
Chronic anxiety, stress, and depression are classed as mental health challenges, and when we really look into the cause of them, they appear to stem from the three factors mentioned above, and result in the behaviours that are experienced because of the beliefs we are carrying. It has been shown that chronic anxiety, stress and depression can alter how the brain functions, due to the repetitive nature of the thoughts that exasperate the symptoms, it also changes our perceptions and behaviours.
When we break it down, we can see how the deeper thoughts, beliefs and behaviours we have can result in many of the symptoms we may be experiencing.
Let’s look at the effects of each in turn:
Lack of self love can result in :
* Low self-esteem and self-doubt
* Relationship problems because you never feel good enough
* Lack of self-awareness
* Lack of confidence
* Inability to have strong boundaries so you put everyone else first
* People pleasing to be accepted and seen as a ‘good person’
* Anxiety - not good enough, can’t do it, fear
* Depression - giving up and feeling like a failure, why should I bother
* Stress - can’t cope, no-one’s got my back, I have to do it all myself and not allowing others to help you when things are difficult
* Not knowing yourself
* Give your power to others and let them mistreat you
Lack of acceptance of ‘what is’ can result in:
* Stress and overwhelm
* Over thinking
* Muscle tensions and body aches and pains
* Inflexibility of thoughts and less adaptable to change
* Wanting things to be different
* Not being in the moment
* Constantly ‘fire fighting’
* Controlling others to get the result you want
* Feel like a victim
* Feeling out of control
Resistance can result in :
* Breathing is out of kilter
* Blaming others for your situation
* Not taking responsibility
* Physical, mental and emotional pain
It’s fascinating to me that no-one ever looks at the root cause of the symptoms we experience, be that physical or emotional. Instead they try to fix the symptoms. However, it is impossible to fix something that is constantly being sabotaged and reinforced on a deeper level; within our unconscious belief system.
To overcome all of this we need to know our-self and love our-self, then we can go into the world more self-assured and confident; ready to share who we are with others. Yes, we will still have times where we feel insecure, however the strength and resilience that self love and acceptance brings can take us out of those episodes quicker and with far less damaging and long term effects.
When you are new to loving yourself and accepting life in a more flexible way, it is good to have some practices and support systems in place that help you. Having good friends, family or a therapist to talk to can be invaluable and supportive of making these deep changes.
Mindfulness can help you to find stillness, and to bring your attention into the present moment. This can be life changing if you have always lived in your thoughts, and worried about the past or future. Mostly in the present moment there is nothing going on, just peace, and stillness. When you stop and look around now, what is actually happening opposed to what is going on in your head?
Taking time to be in the moment is also a key way to help you to make friends with your thoughts, feelings and anxieties. Once we are aware of the drivers and triggers that are perpetuating our experiences we can challenge them, and take steps to change them; which in turn changes our experiences.