self esteemOur self-image is something that develops very early. Between eighteen and thirty months, most children have developed a stable vision of themselves as a personal and separate personality from others. We often feel that because children aren’t often concerned with their reputation that they have little understanding of who they are, but this is untrue. Children are often much smarter than we give them credit for. From this age, a self-image will begin to develop. Often, this will be heavily influenced by the environment and parenting.

Often, a child will begin to develop a sense of self-esteem as they grow, engaging in small games with the people in their surroundings, and slowly learning how and how not to behave. These feelings become more complex over time as we’re calibrated and calibrate ourselves in different ways.

Sometimes, they can develop negatively. We all have small neuroticisms that seem to have followed us from our childhoods. If unaddressed, this can often cause us to develop negative habits in our adulthood. Our environments can also do that too, sometimes for the positive, sometimes for the negative. For example, if you were around alcohol often as a young child, as they grow they may find themselves drawn to it, or repulsed by it. These extremes will often develop as a consequence for extreme exposure earlier on.

Unfortunately, sometimes some of these little issues can develop and make us feel less than we intended to be. We may have grand plans for our future, but settling some of these apparent issues could be the first, near invisible step we should take before doing so. In this post, we hope to explore a number of issues that can step from a damaged self-image, and the steps you can take to improve matters.

Food

Unfortunately, eating disorders are among the top mental illnesses experienced by young people today, but this can also last into childhood. Even those without an actual eating disorder can find themselves developing negative eating habits. For some people, a bad eating habit is not eating good, nutritious meals at all. We are quite literally what we eat. The food and nutrition we take can impede our recovery, our weight levels, our lethargy, how well we sleep, the condition of our skin, hair and nails, among many, many other issues or benefits that can arise from good or bad behavior.

Much emphasis is placed (and hastily written,) about losing weight. Obesity is absolutely an epidemic and deserves our attention. It is often much easier to put on silly amounts of weight, especially considering the sedentary lifestyles often enjoyed by most office workers. However, a much more silent issue is just as dangerous, if not more immediately so. Not eating enough can cause real problems for people. It can develop into a habit. Food may seem unappealing. Avoidance can be as much of a comforting behavior as binging for some. It’s important to consider where you fall on this spectrum.

Our relationship with food can often help us identify our mental wellbeing. Someone who meal plans effectively, exercises portion control, cares to eat real, well-farmed foods from good sources is often someone who has other matters of their life together. If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then it’s not hard to see how treating it well can anchor your life.

It might be you require certain helpers. Using Dietprobe appetite stimulants could help you get the ball rolling. Falling in love with the art of cooking could help. Learning how to meal plan could regiment your habits. Trying out different flavors and new recipes could be a great journey. Remember, gone are the days where an unrealistic figure is celebrated. While obesity or even certain levels of being overweight should never be celebrated, a healthy, full frame should be an ideal goal for anyone. We’re talking about this in such detail because this is often one of the main underpinnings in people’s lives, and truly can affect confidence for the worse. Sometimes, developing a healthier relationship to your self-image involves simply improving that image to begin with, but ONLY if exercise in a healthy, sustainable manner.

The Unknown

We all like comfort. If you had the opportunity to head home now, jump into bed with a roaring fireplace, drink a hot chocolate and watch Netflix, you would likely merrily skip home, clicking your heels together as if inspired by a musical. However, while comfort can help us de-stress and spend time alone to reflect, it doesn’t help us grow as individuals.

Spending time to develop a healthy relationship with ourselves often means heading out into the unknown. But what does that look like for most people? Well, it varies. Someone may find that simply heading to a therapist to speak about their agoraphobic symptoms is one of the most difficult challenges they could put their mind to. But, if they do so, the pot of gold at the end of the journey is being able to use talking therapy to at least put their problems out to a professional.

The unknown is much more than a neurotic/sustenance issue, it’s something that’s been discussed by writers and artists for centuries. ‘The hero’s journey’ is something we’ve all heard of. Written by Joseph Campbell, he analyzed myths and the most popular stories and boiled them down to their constituent parts. He found that most stories we relate to deeply involve a character heading out into the unknown, overcoming trials and tribulations to find something truly rewarding at the end and returning with it. This cycle can often continue infinitely, and if it does the protagonist will only become better and better, even though the danger is real each and every time.

Developing a healthier relationship to yourself is deep, soulfully helped by improving your ability to function in the unknown. Like a muscle to be trained, taking advantage of opportunities, developing a better working ethic, exploring and taking risks socially can help you feel more equipped no matter what happens, and your resting anxiety will drop. Without that, we can often lose ourselves to the ease of comfort in our modern lives, but this does come with a cost of negative self-image.

With these two fundamental tips, developing a healthier relationship to your self-image will at least be something to ponder.

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