A lot of people with anger issues blame the stress from work or running a home. When our relationships keep failing, we often think it’s because of the person we’ve become.
An inability to maintain good health gets blamed on the hectic schedule and an overwhelming to-do list.
What a lot of us don’t realize is that the problems we face may not have its cause in the person we’re today. The issue may be with the very foundation of our character. You may have a self-defeating belief system. It could be childhood insecurities or damage suffered at the hands of a careless parent.
Believe it or not, what we experience in the first 7 years of our life influences our choices, actions, and reactions till the day we die. Unless we deal with the damage, if any, done to us as a child, we may never be able to truly fulfill our potential be it professionally, personally, or simply as a human being.
As we grow older, we take in so much that influences how we dialogue with our own self. Every single experience has an impact. Fortunately, there are a ton of exercises that can help us resolve these issues.
Think of it as an exercise regimen built to help you knock-off the unwanted pounds. If you stick to it for a considerable length of time, you’ll definitely have the body you want.
As we go about our day, we all indulge in continuous self-talk. Unfortunately, for most of us it means that as and when things go wrong, the self-talk turns critical, negative, and self-defeating.
Even when we are not dwelling on our own flaws, we tend to be somewhat negative in our approach. This can cause a lot of issues as you try to make important decisions in life. It is the reason why people avoid taking risks that require having a great deal of confidence in their own abilities.
Here’s a solution-
Observe the things you say in your own head. Note how frequently you blame yourself for the things that go wrong. Taking responsibility for the state of your life is always great, but self-bashing is never productive.
Try to make a list of the things you say to yourself and the points on which you’re most self-critical. Once you have a sufficiently long list, change the dialogue to something strongly positive.
Related: How to use affirmations effectively?
For instance, whenever I have an unproductive day, I repeat to myself, “I did my very best. I am okay with the work I have done, and tomorrow I will make up for everything I have missed today.”
It doesn’t mean that I don’t feel guilty or anxious, but by changing the internal dialogue, I avoid reinforcing the negative emotions.
We have all heard of Roger Bannister and his amazing act of breaking the 4-minute mile mark in 1954, something that was considered impossible at the time. In several accounts of the preparation leading unto the victory, visualisation has been credited as one of the drivers of his miraculous achievement.
Roger Bannister repeatedly visualised the entire race with him crossing the mark in under 4 minutes. Visualising the entire setting helped him align his belief with his efforts.
A number of studies have revealed that mental imagery can massively impact cognitive functions in the brain. More importantly, it can influence our beliefs, emotional balance, and mental health.
For me, it is one of the best techniques to help with anxiety attacks, low self-confidence, and emotional healing.
I have shared a ton of details in the post, Creative Visualisation – Intent, Benefits, and Technique. I hope you read it and find comfort with this exercise.
I came across this exercise in the book, You can heal your life by Louise Hay.
Related: How To Deal With Negative Thoughts?
Louise Hay strongly believed that if we change the negative programming done in our childhood, we can completely change our lives as an adult.Here’s a passage from the book discussing an exercise that can help us understand the source of all our negative beliefs –
Get a large sheet of paper and make a list of all the things your parents said was wrong with you.
What were the negative messages you heard?
Give yourself enough time to remember as many as you can. A half hour usually works well. What did they say about money? What did they say about your body? What do they say about love and relationships? What do they say about your creative talents? What were the limiting or negative things they said to you? If you can, just look objectively at these items and say to yourself, “So that’s where that belief came from.” […] What you have on this piece of paper are the thoughts that need to be removed from your consciousness. These are the very beliefs you have that are making you feel “not good enough.”
Once we understand the source of these negative beliefs, we can objectively analyse them and understand that they may not even have anything to do with us. These are simply burdens we have carried over from our childhood.
There can be no healing without forgiveness.
Pick up any self-help book or discuss the subject with any spiritual guru or psychologist, they will all tell you the same thing. If your mind is busy keeping track of all your grudges and nurturing resentment, there can be no healing for you.
Psychology today shared in an article, ‘Quality empirical research has shown that when we are better at forgiveness we experience lower stress, tension, levels of depression, anxiety, and perhaps most important, anger.’
In this YouTube video, Vishen Lakhiani discusses the benefits of radical forgiveness and how it can help us develop brainwaves of a monk who has been meditating for 20 years.
Go into a deep meditative state. Think about the person you want to forgive. Allow yourself to experience the anger and all the accompanying negative emotions. Then, visualise this person standing in front of you and try to understand why they wronged you.
Try to feel empathy for them. Once you feel the shift in your emotions towards something more compassionate and empathetic, visualise yourself forgiving this person and embracing them with love.
This simple exercise can help you let go of the pain that you may have been carrying around for years.
Affirmations are powerful statements that help us gradually become stronger, healthier versions of ourselves by reprogramming our subconscious.
Most healing meditations are accompanied by affirmations designed to help us heal emotional wounds. These thoughts support your healing process and help you find joy and peace within yourself.
Learn to use affirmations effectively with this post.
If you google the technique, you will find several versions and all of them are great.
In order to build self-esteem, stand in front of the mirror and look into your eyes. Using your name, show appreciation for yourself. List your accomplishments and strengths. Say, “I love you” to yourself. Do this every day before bed and first thing in the morning.
For emotional healing, as you face the mirror, forgive yourself for past mistakes. Say, “I forgive you. I love and approve of you.”
Louise Hay shares how mirror work has been known to uncover deep-seated insecurities and heal painful issues. To see strong results, she recommends doing the exercise for 21 days. It takes that long for us to develop habits and once you fully integrate the exercise into your daily routine, you’ll be able to better assess the change in your emotional balance.
Another way to resolve emotional issues is by exposing your fears and insecurities. As you discuss your issues with another person, you’ll be able to look at them from a fresh perspective.
Open communication may also help you process things in a more productive and healthy way.
Often when we indulge in self-flagellation, others can help us view things in a less emotional light so that we are better able to analyze our own part in past events and incidents.
You may also seek help from online forums. The anonymity may comfort those of us afraid of exposure. It will also allow you to have a deep discussion and come up with a solution that works for you. Over time, the simple act of sharing with faceless, nameless strangers may become a great source of comfort.
Whether you pick any of these exercises or not, do find a way to resolve issues that are hindering your path to better, more balanced life.