Do you, too, experience a constant battle between the two ends of your brain? Do you, too, overthink every question, every remark, and situation you go through in your daily life? Are you always questioning whether you are good enough, and should you put in more effort to please people? Well, join the club! Self-esteem issues combined with anxiety is a major problem faced by myriad people globally. Add to the pursuit of perfection along with the need for people-pleasing, and you have the perfect recipe for a mental earthquake that can leave your self-worth withered and shambled. In such a situation, those misguided but well-intended “stay positive” quotes and “just hold on messages” don’t seem to keep you motivated enough, and you hold on to self-depreciative practices.
While most people seem to be harping about self-love and jumping on the self-empowerment bandwagon, it’s not easy for everyone to shift routes from self-loathing-Ville to embark upon acceptance avenue. Having a mental health condition is like wracking your head on something that doesn’t even exist and grappling with the most trivial issues with an overactive brain, which is always jumping to the worst conclusion ever!
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It is not easy to let go, but there is a way to process everything and emerge on the brighter side of the tunnel. We aren’t saying that it is an overnight process, but you got to start somewhere, and who likes to carry the baggage of self-loathing anyway? So let’s unlearn blaming ourselves for everything, stigmatising mental health, and move towards a happier place.
So, What Is Anxiety?
Those who find it never-racking to perform the smallest of tasks with an ability to get paranoid because of minor life issues and have a strong sense of apprehension towards every opportunity that life throws at them are suffering from anxiety. Anxiety happens to be one of the most pivotal mental health issues in today’s times and is affecting a variety of people. It is very important to identify its signs and manage the symptoms.
Suppose you have found yourself in a panic situation for no apparent reason and think of catastrophic conclusions for things that haven’t even started unravelling; you need to speak to a professional because this gnawing sense of unhappiness can wither your personality. Plus, it deeply affects our day-to-day life and looms around us as a sense of fear.
Contributing Factors That Trigger Anxiety
The digital age brings with it a slew of problems that can make anxiety worse; to start with, there is the pursuit of having a picture-perfect life, body, bank balance, and family to match up with the standards set by social media. With most people hiding behind the façade of filters, beauty standards have skyrocketed and how. Add to that the barrage of trolls who are ready to rip anyone’s confidence apart via negative/ offensive comments under the cloak of anonymity. Moreover, one cannot stop comparing themselves to the attractive Instagram baddies and beauty influencers who claim to be “living their best life.”
While social media could act as an escape from reality, more like an abode for some solace away from the major activities that happen throughout the day, it now has a negative connotation. It makes us vulnerable and exposed to all kinds of people, remarks, and social standards, which has started skyrocketing. It won’t be wrong to say that evolution of social media has exacerbated our mental health issues. Apart from that, friends, family, and spouses/ significant others can also add to our list of triggers if they don’t seem to understand us. The unfortunate truth is that anxiety and self-worth go hand in hand, and therefore, we must try to put our best effort to resolve it, be with or without any external help.
How To Manage Anxiety?
Well, that is the million-dollar question. Now that we have figured the meaning and triggers of anxiety and low self-esteem, it’s time we learn to combat it, because hey, we shall overcome! Yes, anxiety is vague, and we cannot put our finger on what triggers it, but there are ways of dealing with it.
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Getting anxious is natural, but living with a looming sense of fear can get the better of you. It will send you into a tizzy of paranoia, which is certainly not what you need.
- Always have a checklist. Before you start panicking, think of the many possible conclusions of the situation. Think how bad it can be? Judge the odds of the situation and try to make sense of your worry. There is a very high possibility that your stress and worry are coming from a place of uncertainty, and it might not turn out the way you’ve been anticipating it. Believe that you can always bounce back from whatever goes wrong because the odds are that you already have dealt with worse situations and worked your way through them, and this is no exception.
- Growing awareness towards anxiety is another very effective way of dealing with it. By now, we know that anxiety is quite the opposite of happiness, and the problem lies when it gets very high and frequent on our emotional spectrum. Being mindful of where your mind is wandering is very important. Take a few deep breaths and think, why is your mind wandering towards a negative frame, where everything seems to be morose and dilapidating. Once you understand your triggers towards anxiety, you will be able to deal with them better. Always know that certain things are beyond your control, and worrying about it is the same as pushing a wall; it’s pointless.
- Don’t be paralysed by inaction. Anxious people are major procrastinators because they are afraid to take charge. It’s important to have enough courage to face the music. If you can’t do it yourself, branch out and take help, have an accountability partner, but always have the strength to face your fears. Interaction and positive social engagement can help deal with difficult situations and muster the fortitude to face them.
- As cliché as it sounds, always focus on the positives. Take a few minutes off to reflect on everything good about your life and how you can channelise that as an inspiration to shun anxiety. Think of concrete reminders of how well life has treated you and how the situations you have overthought about have not turned out to be as bad as you think.
How To Deal With Body Image And Self-Esteem Issues
Body shaming is a very broad term, and most of us have been subjected to it. Irrespective of whether you are fit, unfit, skinny, or overweight, most of us have been victim to it, and it's not a good feeling. Body image issues can be overwhelming and self-consuming, it can take away your peace of mind and leave you with a sense of self-loathing. It then entangles your confidence and makes you feel less and unworthy, which in turn triggers anxiety. This vicious cycle can be curbed once we start working on ourselves.
Easier said than done, but find a way of improving yourself and putting effort into encompassing beliefs that improve our self-esteem. No points for guessing that self-esteem issues also germinate from childhood problems and relationship woes, but that doesn’t have the power to overtake your journey towards self-love, which will only come from putting effort into bettering yourself.
Prioritising yourself is a piece of overused advice, but it needs to be taken very seriously. When you prioritize yourself, you focus on your achievements and how to go about them. We must start being responsible towards ourselves and live up to our expectations instead of whiling ourselves away for public pleasing. It’s imperative to be independent of other people’s wishes and focus hard on our expectations.
Feeling bad about how we look can have a huge impact on us, and social media trends like #HotGirlSummer #BussItChallenge just add to that. Practising affirmations can help inculcate the art of high self-esteem; any pick-me-up can add to your confidence levels and help those struggling determine their self-worth.
Never feel isolated in such a situation; talk to your friends, family members, and if that doesn’t help, seek professional help. Those skeptic about talking to acquaintances can seek help from online groups, where they can meet people who suffer from similar issues and overcome them. Having said that, be sure to cut off people who make you feel bad about yourself. Detox your social circle by letting go of toxic friends and family members who dissuade you from improving.
Self-esteem, anxiety, and body issues are intertwined, and we must unravel them layer by layer to understand where our problems lie. If this seems too difficult, then there is no harm in taking professional help. Don’t beat yourself up internally and focus on self-limitations because these feelings can be easily compounded to trigger anxiety. Give yourself constant reminders of what you are capable of and work on yourself to reach your full potential, and that will shed the cloak of self-loathing and raise your self-esteem.
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