HOW TO STOP INTERNAL MENTAL ABUSE
What is the difference between a healthy push and self imposed mental abuse?
Have you every heard someone say, "You really shouldn't be so hard on yourself"?
For many of us, our inner dialogue can be incredibly cruel, harsh, and relentless.
We mentally abuse ourselves thinking that is what is necessary for us to change, to do or be better, to succeed. It may be the only way we know. Self imposed mental abuse is a real issue. We constantly tear ourselves down with our internal dialogue and create emotional instability and insecurity within ourselves in the process. Our confidence and ability to trust ourselves is destroyed.
Of course we all want to be the best version of ourselves, but internal mental abuse is not the way to get there.
Learning the healthy push is the better way to go.
The difference between self imposed mental abuse and a healthy push is that one uses blame, shame, and guilt, and the other uses quality words of encouragement and inspiration. A healthy push comes from a place of understanding that we are all human doing the best we can in every situation and are always growing and improving. A healthy push uses quality words to encourage the best version of ourselves to rise to the surface. A healthy push is motivated by love. Mental abuse is motivated by fear.
Where does self inflicted mental abuse start?
What we witnessed from our parents while growing up determines if we adopt mental abuse or the healthy push as adults.
You may have heard your parents being hard on themselves for mistakes, blaming themselves repeatedly, or even calling themselves names. Maybe when you made a mistake, you were met with blame, shame and guilt, and heard, "why did you do that?" "That was dumb or that was so stupid of you!"
In that moment of hearing those words as a child, your impressionable mind was listening.
When we are young, our mind behaves like a talking parrot. Whatever our parents say, our parrot repeats. When we grow into adults, our parrot comes with us. When we mess up, our parrot speaks the words of our parent.
I witnessed an example of the blame, shame, and guilt model while traveling a couple of months back. I was on a flight to Indonesia in a window seat next to a 3 year old boy and his mom. He was restless as most 3 year olds are. He had slept most of the 6 hour flight but woke as we were about to land. He did not want to keep his belt on for the landing and in a last ditch effort to keep her child in his belt, this sweet, well meaning mom says, "if you don't keep your belt on I guess I can't be your friend anymore".
I cringed on the inside because I knew his parrot was listening and would turn on him with shame as an adult in moments where he wasn't doing what he "should" have been. This brief moment of stress and fear from his mom set him up to mentally abuse himself as an adult and teach his children to do the same.
How do we change this for ourselves and adopt the healthy push for ourselves and those around us?
Awareness. Understanding. Compassion. Encouragment.
Be aware of what we are doing to ourselves and others by using the old model of blame, shame, and guilt...motivated by fear.
Understand that we are all doing our best based off of our current level of knowledge and decision making abilities. We all mean well.
Remember that during those moments that don't go as planned, that seem to be mistakes, we can act from compassion...Compassion for ourselves and others.
Mistakes happen. We are all human. We are on the same team.
Meet those mistakes with objectivity and encouragement. Assess the situation. Collect the facts. See what we can change or make better. Put the time and effort in for that improvement. Accept the parts that we have no control over. Leave that mistake or event in the past. Bury it. It's no longer your business or part of your life. Move on in a positive and well informed way.
The healthy push is proactive and productive as opposed to mental abuse that only results in discouragement and lack of self confidence.
The healthy push moves you past those mistakes, armed and ready to improve and grow stronger.
Mental abuse will keep you stuck in the past and destroy your confidence and your ability to move forward and improve.
I think if we could learn to be the best coaches and motivators, to ourselves, our children, and those around us, everything we touch would change for the better and we would never find ourselves stuck ever again.
All of life is a game of balance. Energy in, Energy out. The better you are at keeping the energy balanced in all areas of your life, the more successful you are at the game of life. This leads to less worry and more happy.
Think about it:
Body-How's my balance? Am I putting more energy in that I am out? Am I even aware of how much energy I put into my body by way of food? Is it healthy energy or unhealthy energy? When you find your balance physically, your body finds it's natural weight, strength, and energy levels.
Mind-How's my balance? What am I doing with my mental energy? Do I focus on healthy topics or unhealthy topics? Whatever goes in tends to come out. If you constantly entertain thoughts of fear, worry, and confusion, you will act from fear, worry, and confusion.
Spirit-How's my balance? Can I even hear my spirit or my heart and what it is telling me to do? If the mind is out of balance, the answer will be no. If the answer is yes, I can hear or feel what my heart is saying to do, do you act on the guidance of your heart? If the mind gets in the way with fear, the answer will be no. Therefore you are out of balance.
Ignore one of these three and balance is lost.
To find and maintain balance, we must keep all 3 aspects at center stage. This means, you have to give each your careful attention and care each day.
What does your body need.. do that.
What does your mind need.. do that.
What does your spirit need.. do that.
Seem overwhelming? Undoable? Tried it before and failed? Just don't have the energy to do it? Don't want to even try?
It's your life and you matter!.. Do not give up on you right now no matter how bad you may feel. Reach out. Grab a friend who is in the same boat. Join a support group.
Whatever you do, don't just sit down and give up.. ever!!! Happy can be yours!!! It's just a game of balance! We got this!!
This is my personal focus this year. If you need someone to hold you up while you practice your balance..join me at https://www.facebook.com/groups/30DayHealthReboot/
for daily tips and support on finding and maintaining balance in body, mind, and spirit.
..Let's do this together:)
Angie Johnsey is a speaker, author and world-renowned Mind expert. A hypnotherapist and psychiatric nurse by trade, Angie assists clients all over the world to become aware of their mental and emotional patterns, bring clarity and peace to lives that were once full of stress and suffering, and choose the feelings they would like to have to transform their lives.