How Do You Treat Yourself?

How Do You Treat Yourself?

by Dr Emma Gray - 24th September, 2018

If you are struggling with a mental health problem, particularly depression, the answer to this question is likely to be ‘not very well’. The way that we treat ourselves has a big impact on how we feel. It can be the difference between good mental health and bad mental health.

From the things that we do or neglect to do for ourselves, to the way that we speak to ourselves (internal dialogue) our attitude towards ourselves can make us feel calm, confident and content or depressed, anxious and full of self-doubt.

So, if the latter describes the way you feel, make a list of all the things you don’t do for yourself but know that you probably should, from basic hygiene through to pampering and treats. Then slowly start to (re)introduce these things, getting basic self-care back into place first if that has slipped (often one of the first things to go when we feel depressed) and then peppering little treats through the week to boost your mood and self-esteem.

The biggest obstacle to this will be that nagging self-critical voice in your head that says that doing these things is indulgent, that you are selfish or don’t deserve to be treated like this. This self-critical internal voice or train of thoughts is a big factor in most mental health problems so identify yours and begin to question its accuracy, helpfulness and it’s origins. This is so important in the battle against problems like depression, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders; actually most, if not all, mental health problems.

To find out more about tackling your self-critical voice check out my free video counselling courses on Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD) to name but a few. Starting on 17th September 2018.

If you are suffering with any of the issues discussed in this article and would like to seek professional help then you may find our Depression Page helpful.

Dr Emma Gray

Dr Emma Gray

I am often the first person with whom my patients share significant and intimate thoughts and memories; I never take that privileged position for granted nor the opportunity to help someone to feel better about themselves and discover a more fulfilling life. One of my colleagues once described me as a natural psychologist; I guess she was alluding to the fact that I feel at ease being a therapist, I can empathise with people’s distress and discomfort but don’t feel overwhelmed by it, I can understand their problem and know how to help, it has always just felt like what I should be doing.

Read more about my approach to counselling here...

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