It’s been a while now since I’ve checked in.
While I could say it’s because life has been very busy, and it has been, I mainly have been put off writing because it makes me self-reflect. I have written about this in the past, and I am true believe that self-reflection is one of the best tools and mechanisms we should all use in regards to our mental health.
Self-reflection can be terrifying because it makes us take a step back and consider are thought processes and how they link to our actions. We can discover wonderful things about ourselves through self-reflection, but we must also face some decisions we’ve made that we are not so fond of. This isn’t about being hard on yourself, by the way. Just like you will have people in your life that you love unconditionally, you should also love yourselves unconditionally. However, loving yourself should mean that we should try our best to make decisions that impact are overall health (on a mental and physical level). Our best will vary from day to day, but I believe as long as we are checking in with ourselves and evaluating the thought process behind our decisions, it will allow us to move positively forward.
I have not been self-reflecting in the past few weeks. I’m not scolding myself for it either, like I said our best varies from day to day, even week to week, or as far to year to year. I cannot change the past, all that matters is right now, and right now as I type away on my keyboard, I am self-reflecting.
Writing allows me to self-reflect, but that doesn’t mean that I need to specifically write about my thought processes and actions on order to achieve self-reflection. For example, I have struggled to sit down and write a post about television (which if you browse through my blog, you will discover that I love to write about television). I have struggled with doing so recently because when I write, it forces my mind to take a break from my running thoughts and think about what’s going on with me.
As some of you may know, a lot of my self-reflecting revolves around how I manage my anxiety. I constantly write that anxiety is not a choice, but we choose how we manage it. Anxiety and mental health struggles are incredibly personal to each individual, so I can only speak for myself, but I need to constantly check in with myself in order to manage my anxiety.
For me, it’s essential that I realise whether the thought process that drives my actions into gear is positive or negative. It is not always as simple as saying that an action is positive or negative without self-reflecting on the thought process behind it.
For example, a negative thought process that has happened recently is: I feel so overwhelmed by what’s going on around me, and the negative reaction to that is that I eat loads of junk food and feel guilty about it.
On the other hand, a positive thought process that happened yesterday evening is: I am working very hard and deserve a ‘ treat yo self’ night off , so the positive reaction becomes I treat myself to a pizza and some reality television. I eat the pizza and watch tv in bed and I enjoy it.
While I am on a journey to improve my physical health, I do realise that I need to make healthier eating choices, but it is important for me to realise what thought processes are leading me to make those eating choices, and move forward from there.
Another example that recently sneaked up on me this week is something that has manifested itself through my anxiety: hypochondria. This is a challenge that I have managed to put aside in recent years, but has mildly come up again in the past few weeks. It all started when I read that Tamra Judge, reality star from the Real Housewives of Orange County, announced she had melanoma from a freckle.
So what did that trigger for me? Well, the negative thought process is I haven’t checked my moles in a long time and what if I have skin cancer and don’t know it, which leads to the negative reaction of me going down the google self-diagnosis vortex and scaring myself shitless. I then believe I have found a new mole (I’m not even sure it’s new) that appears suspicious and all I can do is desperately search for someone on the internet who can reassure me that my mole is normal.
On a more optimistic note, the positive thought process that has eventually come out of this is that I think, actually, I’ve never had a skin check and I am never going to get the reassurance I need from Dr. Google, so the positive reaction is that I have booked my first ever skin check this coming Monday. This is a huge deal for me because normally I put off going to doctors as I am terrified they are going to confirm my worst fears, but my goal this year has been to look after my health and suspicious moles or not, I want to make positive decisions that benefit my health.
Thanks again to anyone who takes the time to read this 🙂 Sharing this with all of you is incredibly healing and empowering, and I really admire all of you that also share your experiences.
Till next time,