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Our Health is Directly Impacted by HOW MUCH We Love Ourselves




Our level of self-love has a direct impact on our physical, emotional, and mental health. Self-love and self-compassion build up our resilience which aids in a quicker and more complete recovery from trauma and in many cases from PHYSICAL ILLNESS. It can also decrease anxiety, depression, anger, and loneliness. More than 1000 research studies have linked self-love to improved well-being.

The biggest obstacle in our self-love and self-compassion is our “SELF TALK”. Our inner dialogue can drastically impact our health and how we feel about ourselves. Negative descriptors such as: I’m fat. I’m ugly, I’m stupid, I’m unlovable are damaging to our physical, mental, and emotional health.

A lack of self-love may manifest as a scarcity in finances, lack of trust in relationships, an unfulfilling career, self-sabotage, sense of having no control over your life or circumstances. Just to name a handful of ways it may affect our lives.

The 4 aspects of Self-love:

·         Self-awareness

·         Self-worth

·         Self-esteem

·         Self-care


HOW DO I LEARN TO LOVE MYSELF?

1.        Stop comparing yourself to others.

2.       Stop worrying about others’ opinions of you.

3.       ALLOW YOURSELF to make mistakes without self judgement or harsh criticism.

4.      Understand that your value doesn’t lie in how your body looks.

5.       Begin to identify toxic people and relationships and let them go.

6.      Understand your fears and begin to process them.

7.       Trust yourself and your decisions.

8.      TRAIN YOURSELF TO LOOK FOR AND IDENTIFY new opportunities.

9.      Fully feel and experience your emotions. (joy, pain, grief, etc.)

10.    TRAIN YOURSELF TO LOOK FOR AND IDENTIFY happiness in ALL situations.

11.     BE KIND to yourself.

12.    Change your self-talk.

13.    Mirror Talk

14.    Set healthy boundaries.

15.    MOVE – Exercise at YOUR LEVEL. It may consist of simply walking.

16.   CLEAN EATING – eliminate processed foods and sugars.

17.    Practice GRATITUDE – TRAIN YOURSELF TO LOOK FOR AND IDENTIFY all the GOOD THINGS in your life. All opportunities, lessons, experiences that allow you to grow, heal and improve.

18.    FORGIVE yourself.

                                                            

 

FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE, FAWN

As children we aren’t mature enough to understand HOW to process trauma. The brain files the trauma as a “threat” to be always on alert for. The emotions and energy associated with those emotions become your ‘triggers’. Your brain constantly scans for anything that even remotely looks like the same (or similar) threat. When you are ‘triggered’ (your body perceives a similar threat to past experiences) your body responds as if that threat is happening right now.

 

When faced with danger, people may respond with one of four responses: fight, flight, freeze, or fawn.


FIGHT:

In order to “FEEL SAFE”:  ATTACK 

·         Anger

·         Aggression

·         Agitation

·         Bullying ?

·         Type A

·         Explosive

·         Controlling cant hear others

·         Hostility

·         Clenched jaws and tight muscles


 FLIGHT:

In order to “FEEL SAFE”: OVERACHIEVE

·         Chronic anxiety & fear

·         Perfectionism

·         Obsessive/compulsive

·         Overachiever

·         Always busy

·         Unable to “sit still” (trotting leg, ricking, fidgeting)

·         Ghosting others

·         Excessive worry

·         Scared or panicked


FREEZE:

In order to “FEEL SAFE: ISOLATE

·         Dissociation

·         Shutting down/spacing out

·         Depression

·         Isolating

·         Hiding from the world

·         Feels something is “missing”

·         Shock

·         Disorientation

·         disengagement


FAWN:

In order to “FEEL SAFE”: PEOPLE PLEASE

·         Excessive people pleasing

·         Unable to “say no”

·         Lacking boundaries

·         Little to no self care

·         Worry over everything

·         Losing “self” in others, no identity

·         Codependency

·         Accepts crumbs from toxic people

·         Submission

·         Lack of emotions


 

What is your LOVE LANGUAGE?

Love languages, can be heavily influenced by both nature and nurture. While genetics play a role in shaping personality traits…. Your upbringing and experiences, particularly traumatic ones, can mold a person's emotional responses and behaviors. The love languages are five ways that people express and receive love. (They are based on the concept of Dr. Gary Chapman)

Many people with known or suppressed trauma may feel leery about allowing others to know their love languages. Trusting these concepts and even using them can feel as if they are putting themselves at unnecessary risk. If we don’t have a strong sense of safety inside (self-love) and in the relationship involved, we are unable to be our authentic self and be open with our love language.

Any of the love languages — affirmation, physical touch, gifts, etc. — can be triggers for times we felt endangered or manipulated. Triggers can signal a physical or emotional threat to a trauma survivor. Especially if a basis of trust and safety has not been established and healing has not occurred.

This is why accepting compliments is so difficult for those with unprocessed trauma. Without safety and security, even compliments can feel threatening!

People with unprocessed trauma may often view relationships through a lens that evaluates the risk of danger, as they work to identify, process, and heal, these relationships begin to FEEL safe. Safety and security allows for people to begin to identify and trust their NEEDS and eventually they are able to open up to those close to them and express their TRUE love language.

 

The five love languages are:

·         Words of affirmation, such as compliments and praise

·         Quality time, such as spending undivided attention and doing activities together

·         Gifts, such as giving and receiving thoughtful presents

·         Acts of service, such as doing chores and helping out

·         Physical touch, such as hugging and kissing

Our “love language” is how we FEEL loved and EXPRESS our love for others.

 

The way we express our love language is often in response to the attachment style we adopted in our childhood and how it has evolved and manifests in adulthood. Our  attachment style affects how we manage conflict, our attitudes in social situations, and our emotional regulation, or inability to regulate.

 

A person’s attachment style is formed in childhood. Later, it impacts our life and personal relationships in adulthood. Each person tends to have one primary style they rely more on one than the others. However, they may exhibit different styles depending on the situation and how it was perceived.

 

Here is a list of the four attachment styles:

1.        Secure – autonomous

2.       Avoidant – dismissive

3.       Anxious/Insecure – preoccupied

4.      Disorganized – unresolved

 

SECURE:

If you grew up with a secure emotional bond, your parents likely were consistent. Their behavior allowed you to feel safe and protected. You felt confident that they accepted you and were emotionally present for you. You found that when they left, they would return as expected. You likely learned that if you became upset, you felt seen or heard. You had a safe place to process your distress until things returned to normal. In general, you felt secure.

As an adult, you are likely to become close with others more easily, and develop relationships that feel good. You are comfortable with closeness but also with independence.  Your emotions feel tolerable.

 

AVOIDANT:

If your childhood involved a parent(s) who were emotionally unavailable or unaware of your needs, you may have an avoidant style. Perhaps crying was discouraged or you were made to “grow up” quickly.

 

As an adult, you may place importance on your independence. You may feel uncomfortable depending on someone or being depended on by others. When presented with opportunities for closeness or intimacy, you may find yourself pulling away. You may even avoid relationships because you feel like counting on others is unsafe.

 

ANXIOUS/INSECURE:

Your childhood may have involved parent(s) who were inconsistent with responding to your needs. They may have shown up at times and responded well to your needs and then other times they were not present for you.

They may have had their own anxieties that caused them to responded in hurtful or critical ways. You would have grown up feeling uncertain of what response to expect and therefore you may have deep insecurity or anxiety.

 

As an adult, you may find you need a lot of reassurance and responsiveness in a relationship. You may require stability and consistency for your relationships to feel “okay”. When the person you care about is gone, you may feel intense anxiety.

 

DISORGANIZED:

Disorganized attachment is a combination of avoidant and anxious attachment styles. If you perceived your parent(s) as frightening, abusive, or inappropriate with you, it’s likely you were fearful of them. Maybe they were not present for you or met your needs. As a child, our instincts lead us to believe that we MUST be loyal to them because they are our parents.

As an adult, you may long for closeness, but also fear it. Past experiences have led to inconsistent or confusing responses. Disorganized attachment is the typical attachment style for survivors of complex developmental trauma.

 

The ability to regulate our emotions isn’t ingrained in us. It’s taught in childhood and through our earliest relationships. If not addressed, it is with us throughout life.

 

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EMOTIONAL REGULATION:

The ability to ride the waves of life’s ups and downs, to cope with change, and create a safe space to share emotions in healthy relationships. Typically, emotional regulation comes easier to those who have grown up with secure attachment.

 

Emotional regulation is more difficult to learn for those who grew up with inconsistent, unavailable, or abusive parents. That’s because insecure or inconsistent styles of attachment can leave us feeling overwhelmed, unsafe, insecure, hypervigilant, or emotionally numb.

 

The quality of attachment that we form with others can have a significant impact on our mental health and well-being throughout life. Positive attachment patterns (such as secure attachment) can provide a sense of safety, security, and support, which can lead to positive mental health outcomes. Your attachment style and how it interacts with that of your partner’s has a heavy impact on your ability to develop a healthy and affectionate relationship.

 

Research shows that your attachment style and level of self-love can predispose people to higher vulnerability to stress and systemic inflammation. These factors can also put us at an increased risk of developing poor mental health symptoms, physical illness, and chronic inflammatory symptoms. Our attachment style has a big impact on the attachment we form with our own children. It also impacts all relationships in our life as well from intimate and close relationships through those with coworkers and other acquaintances.

 

This is WHY addressing our suppressed emotions and traumas are SO IMPORTANT to our overall wellbeing.

 

Start your journey today! Schedule a session or join our Class!

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