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Living with A Dysmorphic Disorder – What’s Going On and How to Cope?

I want to discuss image dysmorphia.

I’m struggling with it.

My distorted image makes it hard for others to give me proper advice. No matter how many times someone tells me that I am not the way I see myself, I still see a different person in the mirror.

My “friend” in the mirror sees all of my flaws. She also hides my clear image. I literally can’t see my real self unless I give myself a side-eye. Then, my “friend” will quickly distort the picture before I can fully process what I just saw. It’s frustrating to know you can’t see yourself, but your own mind will not let you change your distortion.

Sometimes, I wonder if I can see any bit of the reality that others see. Sometimes, I wonder if they are wrong, and my truth is right. Sometimes, I just know I am right. Sometimes, I know I am wrong.

When I take photos of myself, I look at them in disgust. I see flaws in every part of my body and mind. This leads to thoughts of self-deprecation. When I question myself, my “friend” hisses to shut-up because I am the one that knows nothing. I am stupid. I sometimes ignore her, other times, I fight her, but most of the time, I cower away too afraid to lose another battle.

I can look in the mirror, and I can see many things that I hate about myself. My “friend” makes me believe that everyone can see what I see and hate me as much as I hate myself. I can unconsciously (thanks to my “friend”) seek out specific people who with 100% certainty will validate what she has been telling me. She can’t be wrong if other people believe it too. It is a cycle that is tricky to break.

No matter how much I protest or try to protect myself from her evil thoughts. She is there, waiting for me to be weak. She comes in like a savior but leaves me as a sinner. I hate her, but she is me, so I love her too. My self-image is split and shattered. I live with this for most of my life.

So, there are so many ways my story could have gone. My path is twisted and hilly. I still rely on her to tell me, “like it is” when I don’t know the answers. She always comforts me with her evil banter.

However, it has gotten better. I can stand my ground and have won a few battles. The war still rages, and my reality will forever be distorted, but I go on. With every battle won, I hope to be closer to my truth.

Here are some ways that help me win my battles.

Get Help / Seek Out Positive People

When you see yourself as an awful person, you attract people who think the same about you. Try to find a couple of good people in your life and be honest with them. Tell them that you are trying to conquer a demon and need a supportive friend. This can be difficult at the beginning because your judgment in others may be off. If you can afford it or have the resources, seek professional help. They will help you learn the tools and guide you into accurately finding the right type of people that you need to surround yourself to maintain a healthy environment.

Say at least 3 things you love about yourself.

Many people struggle with this and only focus on the negatives. Sometimes, you have to stand for 30 minutes before you can come up with something. However, this is what you need to do.

Look at yourself in a mirror.

I avoid mirrors as often as I can whenever I look in the mirror I just think negative thoughts. Now, I try to focus on other things apart from what my “friend” thinks. It helps me to stop thinking so negatively about myself.

Look at yourself as though you are someone else.

I’m the type of person who often sees the good in everyone. I can look at someone and instantly see good qualities about them. I realized that I had to see the good in me. I had to see the positives about myself even if that means looking at myself as though I am another person.

I can look at others and think how great they are as a person. It helps me to realize that people look and act differently. We are all beautiful and unique.

So, why can I be the same too?

Stop comparing yourself to others.

Comparing yourself to others, you first have to learn to love yourself. You have to see how you look genuinely. Sometimes, it is tough to do. Especially when I feel that person has everything, and I have nothing to show. I start to turn on the negative faucet and pour it all over myself.

When I catch myself doing this, I turn it off. I stop looking. I stop trying to understand why they are so “great.” I try to focus on myself and what makes me “great” or what “in” nature is beautiful at that moment. One of these two mental exercises does pull me out of my head.

So, these are some exercises to help me to learn to love myself. You will be able to say good things about yourself. That initial haze of feeling stupid and vain will start to fade out. This is just your “friend” trying to stop you from seeing your truth. You will begin to pick up the habit of counteracting some of your thoughts and distortions.

If you spend most of your time, your thoughts and your energy on your body shape and flawed mind, you won’t indeed be happy. It takes so much energy and time out of your life. You need to let go of the obsessive thoughts and learn to love yourself and to live life.

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31-Day Challenge: Great Journaling Prompts for Self Love and Self Care

In today’s mostly digital, paperless reality, the thought of the journal might evoke ideas of hidden young crushes or something that you “used to do.”

However, why keep a journal?

As you get older, the benefits of maintaining the journal become stronger. The journal will be valuable — documenting what you did and where you were. Examples include cases, where you want to remember what you thought on a particular day or event. Not to mention, it will help with critical thinking and your anxiety. It has helped mine.

So, in July, I will write one prompt each day. I will ask Siri to pick a number from 1 to 31 and then write about the prompt related to the number that she has announced. It is reasonably straight forward. I hope you join me on my journey. I would love you hear what you have to say. So please, send me your blog link relating to this challenge.

Below are the challenge’s writing prompts for July.

  1. How have you grown this year?
  2. What’s holding you back?
  3. Describe a scene from your day.
  4. How can you give yourself a break today?
  5. List & draw things that make you happy.
  6. When in your life, did you feel your best?
  7. What habits & actions did you do to feel amazing?
  8. Where was your headspace right now?
  9. What’s on my to-do list today?
  10. What’s one positive change I can make in my daily life?
  11. What good habit do you want to begin this month?
  12. Going forward, how can you commit to loving yourself every day?
  13. What would your life be like if you didn’t have stress?
  14. How would you describe yourself, affectionately, to a stranger?
  15. What things make you feel bad, but you find yourself doing them anyway?
  16. Make a list of 10 things that make you smile.
  17. What are your 10 worst habits, and how do they impact your life?
  18. When was the last time you indulged yourself and how?
  19. Write about something you do well.
  20. What’s something that you need to get rid of?
  21. Whom would you invite to an imaginary luncheon, and why?
  22. What do you love right now and how it makes you feel.
  23. Where do you want to travel?
  24. Who is someone you admire, and what are their qualities?
  25. Take a selfie just as you are. Write a description of your face using loving words.
  26. What are your ten best talents?
  27. What friendship that you’ve had was the most meaningful?
  28. What is the unique thing about you? Do you like to hide it or let it show?
  29. What is your superpower?
  30. What is one thing that you regret and why?
  31. Write a bucket list.
Have you loved yourself today?

This challenge is cheap and is great for your mental health and can easily be added to your daily routine. Try to add it into your morning or evening practice so you can start to make it a habit. I usually keep this list by my bed. I’ll use a prompt and write in my journal each morning when I wake up.

Writing for a few minutes every day doesn’t sound so scary, does it?

The trick is that all of this adds up and promote healthy well-being.

I hope you found this journal prompts for self-care useful.

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I Got Myself Out of Bed Today

I have been afflicted with depression for some time. I usually can pull myself out of it to be somewhat functional. It is hard to get yourself motivated when you feel like the world is dark and closed to you.

Sometimes, when I am walking down the street, I see a group of people enjoying the day. They are smiling. They are laughing. They are in their moment. I try not to compare myself because depression can hide in one of their smiles. However, I still compare the laughter.

I wanted to share some of the ways I get myself ready to start the day. Depression can be a severe matter. If you are spending multiple days in bed, feeling hopeless or wanting to end things, you need to speak to a professional. They will help you see through the fog. My advice is what helps me to get me started for the day. I hope it helps you too.

A routine is my secret weapon to getting out of bed. Usually, when I have a routine, I find myself more motivated to get up and get things done. Even when I want to stay in bed, knowing I need to do a chore will help me push myself out of the blankets.

I like starting my day by doing a self-care routine. This means making my bed, washing my face, brushing my teeth, and having a healthy breakfast. This routine gets me going. I do it every morning. While doing this routine, I also try to think of one thing that is positive for the day. This also could mean, “What do I look forward to doing?” It’s become so much of a habit, that I can pretty quickly figure out a pleasurable moment, like noticing my teeth look really clean, or I get to spend some time outdoors on a sunny day.

I feel like every time I exercise, I get a little more motivated to move throughout the day. Even when I do not have the energy to move, I do a couple of uncomplicated stretching exercises. Sometimes, this alone can get my endorphins pumping, and before I know it, I end up doing the whole workout sequence.

Finally, I go and do my work, I may still feel a little down. However, by having a stable routine, it motivates me to move on throughout the day. I think having healthy habits are like small lights that help break through the fog of my depression.

It doesn’t matter how I feel I know I have to accomplish my morning to-do list. You have to create these habits to trick your depression into not controlling you. Your morning list does not have to be big, it can be two or three small items to motivate you to get out of bed.

I may not be those laughing people, but my small accomplishments do provoke an inner smile. I feel lucky enough to see them having a good time. Habits change you. Positive patterns can help you reach your goals. Even if it is just getting out of bed, keep doing them.

I hope you found this a little helpful. Let me know how you go in and blast through your depression so you can function throughout your day.

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“Stop being a Jerk!”

No one has ever really said to me, “ Hey, I believe the emotion is self-serving. You jerk. ” yet, it could not strike me at all to see that some of my friends and family believe my emotions are self-serving. Furthermore to be clear, getting emotional does cause me to do some pretty self-centered things at the name of self-care. Then to those people who believe my emotion is selfish, I get it.

Really, I do.

The situation is, my emotions are uncertain, so sometimes I’m somewhat unpredictable. There’s not more I can do about this. I can’t just plan my anxiety attacks ahead of time. Oh, sometimes managing my emotions means canceling plans last minute so I will stay home and concentrate on my breathing. Sometimes it means dropping out with my friends. I would rather instead virtually observe and like photos. I totally can’t speak to them when I am way too anxious.

While I ultimately see how someone might believe my emotion is merely an excuse to be a flaky jerk, it’s really not. I’ve realized that I can be sort of flaky sometimes. Yes, I don’t attend functions and would rather avoid your text on an invitation than confront the fact that I will disappoint you. I mean I am literally worried about everything at that point. I am too worried to understand that not saying anything is worse than a saying, “no.”

This is rude as hell, but on these times that my emotions are out of power, it’s not at all unusual for me to withdraw any and all plans to interact with other humans. There are moments when my mind is trying very hard to defend me by getting me to accept the worst possible consequences for my actions, which sometimes only leads me to get more emotional than I had been in the first place.

Let me be clear: No one has ever really said to me, “ Hey, I believe the emotion is self-serving. You jerk. ” However, every day, I feel like this, and it doesn’t go away. I have learned to accept it and clear out some of the mental clutter, but when an attack happens I want to scream to my anxiety, “Why are you taking this away from my loved ones and me? I want to feel and experience!”

“Stop being a Jerk!”

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Holding Yourself Back

Tip: Look for a language that places you as a victim. “No one understands” or “always happens to me bad” is a red flag.

If you are thinking of yourself as a victim, take a deep breath and then make a step to improve your life. The best way to deal with self-doubt is to test your forehead on your forethoughts. Your brain will have a slight difference of observation as you confirm that your mind is capable and having checked your doubts will develop your mind.

You cannot expect to know everything about yourself when you don’t try. If you think of yourself as an expert in something, it’s easy to assume that you know everything. You have to be open to change. Decluttering your mind opens you up to that change and to new possibilities. You can learn from others’ and your mistakes and make better decisions for yourself. It’s a good idea to keep your mind free of all the things you don’t need and just focus on what you do need to be content with life.

These are some suggestions helping to get rid of any clutter in your mind that may be holding you back. If you are not sure where to start, try these tips:

  1. Find a place that feels comfortable so you can be opened to change and find an intention.
  2. Find someone who has been there before and knows how to deal with it.
  3. Take some time to think about what you want out of life and then find a way to make it happen.
  4. Find a hobby that makes you happy and doesn’t require much effort. This is a great way to keep yourself busy while also keeping your mind clear and focused.
  5. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself and your work even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  6. Take a walk around your neighborhood or park.
  7. Find a quiet spot in your house where you can sit and meditate.
  8. Write down all the things you need to do, and list them on a piece of paper in order of importance.
  9. Get rid of anything that distracts you from your work-related tasks by being mindful of the actions you take before you start your work. You will be surprised just how much mess you have in your mind before you even begin an important task.

How do you protect your mind? Find your intention or purpose for your moment or day. Focus on what needs to be done to help get some of the load off your mind. The intention is an integral part of your life, and we all need to be aware of what it’s doing to us.

When you’re in a mental state of chaos, there is no way out but through the mind. If you want to get rid of clutter, then stop thinking about it and start focusing on the present moment or your intention. Don’t think about how much time you have left or if you can’t get it done. Just do it.

This will help you feel more at peace with yourself and your surroundings. I’m sure you’ve heard this before: ” the only thing that matters is what happens next. So make the most of it! Don’t worry about tomorrow, just live now!”.

If we will focus on how we use our self to organize your thoughts and create a life of mindfulness and relaxation, peace, peace, and freedom.

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Anxiety is a Reasonable Response, but…

Anxiety is a reasonable response to stress. However, the brain can backfire and cause a person to wage war on their thought processes. It’s not something that can be cured by medication or surgery. It doesn’t mean that you should stop seeking treatment.

Most people are alarmed before important events, such as significant tests, business presentations, or the first day of a new routine. However, fear is a disease that causes people to fear, terror, and torture. If these treatments do not, these disorders significantly reduce productivity and reduce the quality of life.

General causes of anxiety disorders; Daily and daily life events, at least six months of chronic, recurring events; The hardest shows almost always, but it is very few. Symptoms of fatigue, irritability, muscular tightening, headaches, nausea, are all symptoms of anxiety disorder. They can be mild or severe, depending on how much time has passed since the onset of symptoms. Some people have more than one sign, while others may have multiple symptoms.

How do I know if you entered a mature anxiety zone? Anxiety disorders are excessive in this situation and are characterized by severe, persistent concerns that remarkably avoid situations causing anxiety.

These symptoms cause pain, impair daily functions, and occur over a long period. For example, a person who needs to go home from work for several consecutive days because of a panic attack may have an anxiety disorder. Different evidence-based treatments are most effective against different anxiety disorders. For example, people with panic disorder may benefit from contact therapy, but women with social phobia are most often treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

However, there are some things you can do to reduce your anxiety.

You can:
· take a deep breath in and out of the mouth. This will help calm down your body and mind.
· try to relax your muscles and joints.
· drink plenty of water, especially before bed.
· take a cold shower to relieve your anxiety.

Knowing the basics of your mind is the key to reducing its effectiveness. Anxiety is often associated with fears that are often hidden from reality. Judgments can be cloudy, and you may not get the desired results because of the skewed decision. I know I have done this hundred of times in my life.

How do you know if your daily anxiety has crossed the barrier? This is not easy. There are various types of anxiety, such as panic attacks, phobia, and social anxiety.

You have to take action.

If you or someone you know has anxiety symptoms, consult a clinician to help determine if the symptoms are due to an anxiety symptom, a medical condition, or both. Often the next step in treating anxiety disorders is to refer them to mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors.

The difference between the official diagnosis and “normal” anxiety is not always clear. (Amanda MacMillan / Health.com., May. 2017)

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Three Ways to Declutter Your Mind

In our insane and restless living that we call life, it is necessary to recognize some time to declutter your mind. A clear mind is just as important as a clean home. The better awareness we have of ourselves, the better our relationship with the universe will be for us.

I am not an expert in the matter, but my anxiety and depression can leave me in a cluster-F of words and understanding that have no significant meaning. Here are three things that I do to help with the mental declutter so I can focus on my tasks and simple get through my days.

One: Journal
Taking the time to journal every day has thoughtfully presented a significant difference in my life. I used it in the morning, night or whenever I just feel stuck.

In the morning, I have made it part of my routine to pause and record appreciation of the world or events around me. I write down affirmations and say them in my prayers. By just getting
everything that’s in my mind out on paper makes those appreciative moments seem real. It also helps when I am feeling low. When I have the motivation to look at the prior gratitudes, I can see that I am content with things and I can get to that moment of contentment again.

Two: Meditation
Being able to pause and take time just to be mindful allows me to slow down and pull away from the stress. I can just breathe. It can make a big difference in my perspective. I like to use guided meditations that I can easily find on YouTube. I also want to stare at a wall or at someone’s shoes on the subway and do a mental swipe left and right to help catch up with the fast pace of life.

Just taking a moment to slow down your breath can be so satisfying when we get so wrapped up from going to task to task and activity to activity.

Three: Walking
Getting out and taking a walk has been an invaluable means for me to reconnect, reset and pull away from the craziness of the world. I leave my cellphone home or in my bag and take in nature and the events happening around me. For me, this activity is so simple to do but can really get my our of my head in a matter of minutes.

These are three simple ideas on how I try to declutter my mind. I hope you use them in your practice and hopefully find them useful. If you have any suggestions or tactics you use to help clear your head, just let me know.