Mind

You are Enough. Period.

What screensaver do you have on your phone right now? Pictures of your kids, pets, last vacation?

Mine is the words “You are enough.” That’s right, I have a problem with feelings of enough-ness. I’ve been working on it with a therapist throughout the past year and recognize now how often my self-worth rises and falls based on what others think. When she said these 3 little words to me one session, I just kept repeating it all afternoon whenever those feelings crept in and realized how much I need to hear it over the negative self-talk. So now it’s on my phone as a daily reminder.

you are enough.

Apparently its not an uncommon sentiment. According to surveys, 8 out of 10 millennials (ages 22-38) believe they aren’t “good enough” in virtually all areas of their lives. 75% of the respondents felt overwhelmed with pressure to succeed – in careers, romantic relationships, and meeting others expectations. 70% said that daily tasks like working out regularly, eating healthy and making enough money were some of the top sources of pressure, even impacting their sleep and mental health.

So clearly, its not uncommon to experience a feeling of unworthiness on occasion – we feel we just aren’t worthy of care or another’s love and affection, respect or admiration. It can change over time with age or hardships.

Self worth is your inherent value and should come from within NOT based on performance, money, appearance, academic prowess, athleticism, helping others, relationships, or family approval. It differs from self-esteem that says “I got this.” Or “I’m the best.” Self worth says “This doesn’t define me” and “This is important and I’m going to do my best.”

Unfortunately, not feeling like enough can prevent us from taking risks we might otherwise take, neglect certain relationships out of fear, shame, or guilt, and even internalize the negativity until our body suffers medical and psychological consequences. It’s not the feeling that causes concern, it’s the inability to deal with it when it does.

Your problem is you’re … too busy holding onto your unworthiness.”

– Ram Dass

So, where is all this pressure coming from?

Other People

  • Attachment Style: If your childhood involved instability or a lack of consistent love and emotional presence from your primary caregivers, you may have an anxious or avoidance attachment style and struggle with intense emotional connections and develop reasons why we don’t want them, deserve them, or need them. Take a quiz to learn your attachment style here.
  • Parental attention: Did your parents give you more attention on the field than for your art projects? Often achievement-based-worthiness starts based on parental reinforcement.
  • Romantic partners: Past toxic relationships can impact future relationships. Being a survivor of emotionally or physically abusive romantic relationships can lead to low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness.
  • Peers/friends: Do you feel more favored in a group when your looks or talents are valued? Does your friend group worry about comparison to others?

Culture

  • Media: The media tells us we aren’t enough. Advertising hinges on a lack or need to get us to buy more. Social media creates a constant comparison, often to perfection.
  • Pressure to Succeed: American culture is one of achievement that highly values drive and ambition, assuming obligation to say yes – to work more hours, to join more groups, and to looking like we have it all together. We give our children participation medals and push them to graduate with top grades in advanced classes.
  • Major Life Events: Living up to your own expectations or other’s standards during big changes and new stages in life can create pressure.
  • Religion: In the Christian tradition, I often think that pastors and teachers tend to focus on our sinfulness and valuing others above yourself, which while honest and virtuous ignore the also important love of self and inherent value as a child of God. I would love to see more sermons preaching self-care in response to Jesus’s commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22: 37-39).

Depression

  • A mood disorder: Feelings of worthlessness are a common symptom of depression. If they persist or are severe, please recognize that these feelings are not your fault and seek the help of a professional counselor as soon as possible.

So how do we recover our self-worth?

Feelings of guilt, self-doubt, and sadness can make it hard to stay motivated and accomplish what you want. While these feelings can be deep-rooted, you can work on freeing yourself from this thinking. With small changes to your daily routine to help beat those negative feelings and professional counseling, it is totally possible to recover your internal self-worth, even if it is a lifelong process.

  1. Acknowledge the feelings. Feeling unworthy is a natural reaction to some stresses in life. Acknowledging the emotion can help us access our natural resilience as humans to gravitate toward peace and wholeness.
  2. Deal with the past. Look back on other points in life when you felt this way. Somewhere along the way you concluded you aren’t enough because of how others reacted toward you. Every time these thoughts appear, let them float by. Learn more about attachment styles and how to grow in secure relationships. A Secure Relationship on Instagram is a great starting resource to understand attachment styles impact on relationships.
  3. Challenge your mindset. Ask yourself: Would you ever talk to your friend or your child the way you talk to yourself? Create new self talk to replace the current negative stories. Literally make a list of the things you tell yourself about your worth and enough-ness in the left column and then strike through them and replace them with the truth on the right. Challenge the self-critical thoughts: “I’m stupid”, “I will be laughed at”, or “I’m unlovable.”

Example:
Negative Story: I’m a bad mom if I don’t volunteer in my child’s classroom.

New Self Talk: My child is loved and taken care of and feels my genuine interest in their school day and schoolwork.

4. Start new habits.

  • Every day when you look at yourself in the mirror say one nice thing to yourself about yourself. If you can’t say anything yet, start with a high five in the mirror. Check out Mel Robbins new book #ad on her habit that is revolutionizing people across the world. It is actually scientifically proven that you can’t think negative thoughts while doing the high five motion.
  • Exercise can give you a rush of endorphins, boost your mood, and provide a sense of accomplishment.
  • Mindfulness: Take a step back to consider your own thoughts and feelings in the moment through meditation, journaling, and relaxation.
  • Pick a mantra to repeat and meditate on. It may be as simple as “I am strong, I am loved, I am worthy, I am enough.”
  • Set reminders – sticky notes on your mirror, your phone background. I even bought myself a ring #ad with the above mantra because I need the reminder often.
  1. Get a new buddy. Surround yourself with others that don’t make you feel less than you should. They should encourage you and value your strengths and not perpetuate feelings of comparison.
  2. Do what makes YOU happy. Pick something and do it just because you enjoy it. Not because it’ll end up on your resume or make for a great conversation at your next dinner party or because you don’t want the boss or PTA president frowning at you at the next meeting.
  3. Focus on the little things. Take each day one step at a time. Set small, achievable goals for yourself, and take pride in reaching them. Remember, everyone’s journey in life looks different and no one can do everything at once!
  4. Create an introduction. Come up with how to introduce yourself that doesn’t involve your job, title, or other “labels.” Be justifiably proud of your talents and strengths. Everyone has things they’re good at and confident doing.
  5. Break the cycle. Respond to your loved ones successes and failures with love and acceptance. Model a new way for future generations.
  6. Therapy. Healing old wounds is the only way to ensure that negative experiences in the past don’t affect your ability to carry out healthy and happy relationships in the present. If paying for therapy out of pocket isn’t an option for you, be sure to check with your health insurance provider, college health center, employee benefits, or reach out to a community mental health center near you to find out about more affordable options. There are even online resources like betterhelp.com.

Impact on Self Care

While logically many of us believe the messages we internalize aren’t realistic, we’ve still let them condition our self-worth. Saying no, pulling back, going through a season of hard things doesn’t make you any less lovable, worthy, or capable.

It means your human.

And yes being human can be hard, messy, confusing, and unfair.

Do you feel like you don’t deserve to be taken care of? If you have an achievement based definition of success, your self-worth will also be about outcome – counting steps, calories, pounds – and you’ll feel less worthy of self-care.

But self care is about self-respect – you deserve respect. Regard self-care as something naturally part of your day for your wellness. Taking good care of yourself builds self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence. It doesn’t mean lowering the bar on achievement, but it means that there is a baseline of worth that you cannot go below. As much as I appreciate those who are driven, you don’t need to earn your worth. It already and always exists.

It’s never to late to start loving yourself enough to take good care of yourself. The pattern of unworthiness might have been with you for decades. Be patient. Give it time and loving attention, and it will loosen its grip.

You are enough. You are worthy and loved BEFORE you achieve a single thing.

You have value – end of story.

Sources:

https://ideas.ted.com/do-you-ever-feel-like-youre-not-enough/

https://www.studyfinds.org/inferiority-complex-8-in-10-millennials-believe-they-arent-good-enough/

Always Left Feeling Not Good Enough? The Real Reasons Why – Harley Therapy™ Blog

https://www.elitedaily.com/p/heres-why-people-can-feel-unworthy-of-love-according-to-psychologists-22890693

https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-to-let-go-of-feeling-unworthy#4

https://gailbrenner.com/2011/01/feeling-unworthy/

Feeling Worthless: Why You Feel Like You’re Unworthy, And How To Beat It | Regain

Mind

Listen to the Most Relaxing Song Ever

“Music can heal the wounds which medicine cannot touch.”

– Debasish Mridha

The kids are running around the living room in circles….which means the dogs are chasing them, barking, loudly….my husband is watering the plants out back…I’m trying to make dinner so it will be ready at a decent hour. I’m also highly sensitive and overwhelmed easily. So here is my go to when things get too stressful quickly –First, I send those kids and dogs out back. Then I ask my Alexa Echo Dot to play “Weightless” by Marconi Union.


I can’t recall where I first heard about this song but it stuck with me. By the end of the song (its relatively long at 8 minutes), I’m much calmer! And according to science I actually am.

relaxing horizon with water droplet

So whether you are having a momentary stressful moment like my dinner hour, or you are experiencing chronic stress, finding ways to manage stress levels are important to your health. We know that stress causes chemicals like cortisol to be released that increases health risks like heart disease, depression, and many others.


Music therapy is available and studies have long shown that music can impact performance and mood. But the British Academy of Sound Therapy took it a step further and partnered with the Manchester band Marconi Union to produce a relaxation song featuring guitar, piano, and electronic sounds of natural landscapes that can actually lower blood pressure, slow heart rate, and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) at never before seen rates – “Weightless.”


It starts at 60 beats per minute (bpm) and slows to around 50bpm which allows your heart rate to fall into sync with the beat after about 5 minutes, so make sure you listen to the end. The lack of repetitive melody prevents your brain from trying to predict what comes next so it can essentially “check out.”


Neuroscientists have confirmed that “Weightless” is 11% more relaxing than any other song including the likes of Mozart and Enya. Anxiety dropped by 65%, even below the participant’s usual resting rate.


It should be noted, that some women were so relaxed they became drowsy so its been advised against driving while listening to this song!

So I hope you’ll take this little calm-down hack and incorporate it into your days when they get hectic. I even created a playlist with the Top 10 Most Relaxing Songs according to the study just for you – enjoy!

Here is the full list of the songs found to be most relaxing – Download the playlist on Spotify Now!

Top 10 Most Relaxing Songs

  1. “Weightless,” by Marconi Union
  2. “Electra,” by Airstream
  3. “Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix),” by DJ Shah
  4. “Watermark,” by Enya
  5. “Strawberry Swing,” by Coldplay
  6. “Please Don’t Go,” by Barcelona
  7. “Pure Shores,” by All Saints
  8. “Someone Like You,” by Adele
  9. “Canzonetta Sull’aria,” by Mozart
  10. “We Can Fly,” by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)

There’s also a free 10-hour version of “Weightless” available if you want a longer listening experience.

Or grab the CD or Stream on Amazon #ad:

Sources:

https://www.heysigmund.com/its-the-most-relaxing-song-ever-and-it-can-do-this/

Mind

Vision Boards aren’t just for 5th Graders

Are you a visual person? Love being creative?

Go old school and create a vision board! First you have to identify what your dreams and goals are – go back and read my post on goal setting – then grab a bunch of magazines and a pair of scissors and get to work!

Here’s mine from 2019. It was hanging in my closet so I would see it regularly.

Homemade vision board poster
Homemade Vision Board

Are you tech savvy? Create a digital vision board instead. Save it to your phone backdrop so it stays top of mind.

Mind

Set your Intentions

Some people love goals…New Year’s Resolutions? Yep. Career goals and milestones? Love ’em! I’ve always loved the sense of accomplishment even as simple as making a daily to-do post it note list just to I can check it off. I also thrive on recognition and external praise – ready for my yearly review with my boss? I’m prepared! Up for an award? Awesome!

But if you aren’t motivated by the same feeling, hear me out.

Daily, intentional focus can be so helpful. There is so much power in focusing on the outcome instead of just a mental to-do list.

Maybe you like the idea of goals but get frustrated and beat yourself up when you fail to achieve our goal or give up.

Often, I think it is because we get so fired up for change, we bite off more than we can chew. Too many resolutions, priorities, and things to keep up with and it will rob you of motivation.

Your goals may not be too lofty, just too many.

When everything is important, nothing is important.”

– Rachel Hollis

You don’t have to do it all to see massive change. Narrowing your focus on one goal and work until it becomes second-nature…habit…success. And when you start to grow in one area, you might be surprised that other areas grow along with it.

So how do you figure out what to focus on first?

I absolutely love Rachel Hollis’ 10,10, 1 practice. Regardless of what you think of her rocky last year in the public eye, I still think her method is rock solid.

Ten years.
Ten dreams.
One goal.

Visualization Exercise: The best of me…

Close your eyes and envision who you want to be in 10 years, like a movie in your head. Imagine your best possible life – no limits on it. Don’t listen to the voice in the back telling you to play it safe. Your dreams should light you on fire and make you a little nervous!

What are you doing? Wearing? Driving? Are you joyful? Energetic? Do you have a home? Kids?

What do you do all day? What do you do for work? Are you a great cook? Love to run? Travel?

Who do you surround yourself with? How do they treat you?

Now open your eyes and jot down or draw all the things you saw in your mind. Don’t worry about being “realistic” – fill up the page!

Finding it hard to close your eyes to visualize and read my blog prompts at the same time? Hehe, watch the visualization exercise straight from Rachel herself in this video.

Now that you know who you want to be, look at that list and what are 10 dreams that would make your vision a reality? A dream is something you obsess over and fantasize will come true. Think what dreams, if they were to come true, would make your future-self real? For example, if you envisioned financial freedom, maybe your dream would be making a six-figure salary or getting completely out of debt.

Some are things you want to achieve, others you can accomplish daily.

I have a million $$ in the bank.

or

I am a calm & peaceful parent.

Here’s another important piece of the puzzle. Like the examples above, write them as if they’ve already happened. Yep, we’re going to trick our subconscious. It will focus our mind on how to make them real right now instead of just another mental wish list.

Goal Setting

What is one thing you can do to get you closer to that 10 year-from-now you the fastest? Which one of the those dreams are you going to turn into a goal and actively pursue first?

A goal is a dream with work boots on.”

-Rachel Hollis

If one of your dreams is to get into shape, it becomes a goal when you sign up for a half marathon, join a running club, and start putting in the miles.

And yes it has to be specific and measurable. Turn “I want to do better with my finances” into “I want to save $3000.”

Here’s the twist – don’t set a time limit. It sets a lot of people up for failure. Working on yourself is a lifelong process! What matters in consistency, not perfection.

Practice

Start everyday meditating on your one goal. Are you a journal person? Write your dreams down daily. The same 10. Instill in your head where your focus should be. Now you know where your headed and can build your habits around the results you want!

Shop journals:

#ad

Matter, Meet, Mind

Balancing your Health Triangle

Health is the measure of our body’s efficiency and overall well-being. The health triangle is a measure of the different aspects of health and includes physical, social, and mental health. Created in 1997 as a project for an Alaska Middle School, the Health Triangle creators used an equilateral triangle to represent these aspects of health. Because all sides of this types of triangle are equal, it stresses the equal importance of each of these aspects. Devoting more attention to one particular side, while neglecting the others, can lead to health imbalances.

This blog is divided into the 3 sides of the health triangle and all posts will be categorized as such:

mind (mental health), 
matter (physical health) and
meet (social health).

Matter: Physical Health

  • Deals with the body’s ability to function
  • Includes exercise, nutrition, sleep, alcohol & drugs, and weight management
  • Proper balance results in more energy, maintaining a healthy weight, increased confidence & self esteem, and decreases risk of certain chronic diseases
colorful vegetables and salad

Mind: Mental Health

  • Deals with how we think, feel and cope with daily life.
  • Includes learning, stress management, and mental illnesses or disorders.
  • Proper balance increases self-confidence, awareness, and self perception. It also deals with the way our bodies and minds deal with life changes and decrease risk for anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses.

Meet: Social Health

  • Deals with the way react with people within our environment.
  • Includes public health, family relationships, and peer relationships.
  • Supportive, loving relationships help eliminate stress, increase happiness and self-esteem, and help celebrate accomplishments, promoting a safe environment.
friends laughing on a hike

Reflection:

The three components are dependent on one another. For example, someone who stays out late socializing might not be getting enough sleep. Someone strict about exercise might neglect other aspects of life in order to not miss a workout or a meticulous dieter may avoid going out to dinner because of their self-imposed rules.

It’s important to reflect on your own balance. Use the below Health Inventory tool as a means of evaluating and possibly changing your habits. Do you have excellent physical health, but inadequate social health? This can lead to loneliness, which might eventually compromise mental health. Consider joining a gym and fitness class to meet new workout buddies. Connect with a like-minded group on social media. Your support system can help you adhere to healthy habits.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

Now What?

Want to take it a step further? Think of 5 of your favorite activities (hobbies, interests) and then reflect on what impact each one has on each side of your health triangle, positive or negative. For example, yoga: builds core strength and flexibility (physical), relaxes and reduces stress (mental), and you meet friends there (social). Sounds great on all sides…so make that interest a priority in the coming month!

Let’s not beat ourselves up on where we’ve been or where we are on this journey. Let’s stop letting insecurities tell us who we ought to be and let our future shape us into who we were made to be. 

I encourage you to start your journey by setting goals, practicing behaviors that achieve those goals and getting support to do so, and reflecting on what helps or hinders you achieving personal wellbeing. You’re worthy…now let’s get healthy!

Sources:

https://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/health/healthsmartva/gr9/gr9-hp-19-health-triangle.pptx#:~:text=The%20health%20triangle%20is%20a,%2C%20Social%2C%20and%20Mental%20Health.

https://healthyliving.azcentral.com/the-health-triangle-mental-social-physical-definitons-12180709.html