Lynn Jacobson, M.D. https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/ Psychiatry+Counseling for Women in KY Tue, 11 Oct 2022 21:47:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ready to Stop People-Pleasing? Here’s How https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/relationship-counseling-for-women/ready-to-stop-people-pleasing-heres-how/ Tue, 11 Oct 2022 21:47:21 +0000 https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/?p=1327 There’s nothing naturally wrong with being friendly or kind to someone. But sometimes, going out of your way to try to keep others happy is something we do to avoid disappointing others. However, it’s hard to stay true to yourself when you’re constantly changing your actions and words based on what you think others want. […]

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There’s nothing naturally wrong with being friendly or kind to someone. But sometimes, going out of your way to try to keep others happy is something we do to avoid disappointing others.

However, it’s hard to stay true to yourself when you’re constantly changing your actions and words based on what you think others want.

When you shift your focus and energy on pleasing other people rather than focusing on yourself and your happiness, you may develop low self-esteem and feel like there are too many expectations of you.

Below are four tips that will enable you to stop being a people-pleaser.

Do Not Try to Fit In

Do not try to fit in. Always remember that being real to yourself is the most important thing. Stop doing things just to show you’re worthy in someone else’s eyes. If someone asks you to do certain things that go against your principles or values, remain firm in doing what is right for you.

Learn To Say No

Learn to say “NO”. Sometimes those who want to please people find it hard to say “no”. You do not have to say “yes” to every request someone makes. I told a client once that she did not have to respond to every text message. She looked like I had murdered her dog.

It is important to learn to say “no.” Say “no” if someone asks you for something you don’t want to do or can’t do, or if it is something you can’t handle. Just remember saying “no” doesn’t mean you are being selfish when you need to. You are looking out for yourself.

Set Boundaries

Set boundaries. This coincides with “say no,” as people-pleasers are usually oblivious to the limitations they need to set in their lives. But you must notice what is happening and observe things that need to change. Try making a list of the things you do that make you feel uncomfortable or used, and rank them in order of significance with the most uncomfortable items on top. Then start trying to plan ways to eliminate or minimize the top three things on this list. Maybe this means that you don’t drive the carpool every day or that you don’t organize the work holiday dinner anymore. And remember – this does not make you selfish.

Spend Some Time Alone

Spend some time alone. Learning to spend time by yourself is necessary for your mental and physical health. Many of us are afraid of being alone because we worry that we will become lonely, bored, or uncomfortable. However, these ideas come from a modern society with its hyper-connected world that doesn’t always favor us. Spending time alone can help you discern your thoughts, feelings, and needs. It can also help you realize what makes you happy and what doesn’t. Knowing yourself better helps you make excellent decisions for yourself, set the proper boundaries, discover your purpose, and remain focused on your goals.

Ending your people-pleasing ways can be a daunting task. That’s OK. Practice these tips every day and remember that you can’t make everybody happy. For more strategies when it comes to relationships, please read about relationship counseling for women and call me soon for a free consultation.

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How to Stop Reliving Past “Mistakes” https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/anxiety-therapy/how-to-stop-reliving-past-mistakes/ Wed, 28 Sep 2022 18:23:47 +0000 https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/?p=1322 First of all, let me suggest that there are no such things as “mistakes,” only lessons. Taking a job that feels unsatisfying or even torturous does not have to be viewed as a mistake – it can be a lesson that we want something different for our lives. Or dating someone who turns out to […]

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First of all, let me suggest that there are no such things as “mistakes,” only lessons. Taking a job that feels unsatisfying or even torturous does not have to be viewed as a mistake – it can be a lesson that we want something different for our lives. Or dating someone who turns out to be a bad fit for us is not a mistake – it’s teaching us what or who would be a better fit. That being said, sometimes my patients have a difficult time not reliving their past and not beating themselves up for things that happened. If this is you, don’t worry–you’re not alone. And there are ways to overcome this habit.

Please note that this does NOT apply to traumatic or especially frightening events that have happened to you.

In this post, we’ll explore some practical tips for breaking free from this destructive habit. So read on if you’re ready to live in the present.

Here are some effective strategies to help you stop reliving past perceived mistakes:

Acknowledge the Feelings

Acknowledge the feelings associated with past lessons. Reliving what you might call mistakes typically comes with feelings of shame, guilt, regret, and anger. These intense emotions can be difficult to manage and process. Try to be as specific as possible when identifying your feelings. For example, instead of just saying “I feel bad,” try to identify the particular emotions you’re experiencing, such as “I feel guilty, ashamed, and embarrassed.” Allow yourself to experience these emotions without judgment or criticism. Pay attention to your feelings and don’t suppress them. Feel every facet of your emotions.

Get Curious and Ask Questions

Once you have sat with your feelings without trying to make them go away, get curious about them. For example, ask your brain what it’s telling you that is creating feelings of shame? Maybe you stayed in a toxic relationship for years, and now that you’ve left, you feel ashamed that you stayed as long as you did. The thoughts underlying shame might be: I was stupid to stay that long, I should have known better, I look stupid for tolerating abuse for so long.

As you can see, it makes complete sense why you’d feel ashamed if the thoughts above form the narrative running through your mind. Try to understand this key connection between your “story” and how you feel.

Practice Self-Compassion

Try to be understanding and gentle with yourself. Instead of beating yourself up, give yourself some grace and allow yourself to recover and learn from the experience. One way to do this is to talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend. Would you berate and criticize your friend? Most likely not! Try to adopt a more supportive and encouraging attitude when facing your past.

Accept the Lessons

What if this wasn’t a mistake at all, but a lesson that came up to offer you healing?

Consider asking yourself what you will do differently as a result of this “mistake”? What are the lessons to be learned? What did your heart or mind need to learn from this experience that will now change things for you going forward? Perhaps you needed to learn that boundaries at work are crucial. Or that you tend to date men who unconsciously remind you of your alcoholic father. What nuggets of wisdom will help guide you?

Celebrate Your Progress

Don’t forget to celebrate as you do this internal work. You could keep a journal of your progress as a great way to track your thoughts and emotions over time and see how far you’ve come.

What if I Just Can’t Let It Go?

If you struggle to stop reliving what you’ve done in the past, don’t let it discourage you. This is actually a really common issue that I see in my therapy practice every day. The process of change takes time, patience, and practice. But with effort and support, you can learn to move forward and leave your past behind. This process can be expedited by seeking anxiety therapy. I can help provide you with tools you need to stop beating yourself up and to practice self-compassion. Please reach out to me to schedule your first appointment.

 

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How to Avoid Losing Yourself in a Relationship https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/relationship-counseling-for-women/how-to-avoid-losing-yourself-in-a-relationship/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 17:14:38 +0000 https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/?p=1315 Does the rest of your life suffer when you fall in love? If so, you may have a tendency to lose yourself in a relationship. It’s natural to be swept away when you first start dating someone new. The trouble starts when time goes by, and you fail to regain your sense of balance. It can happen […]

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Does the rest of your life suffer when you fall in love? If so, you may have a tendency to lose yourself in a relationship. It’s natural to be swept away when you first start dating someone new. The trouble starts when time goes by, and you fail to regain your sense of balance. It can happen in healthy relationships, especially if you have unrealistic expectations about romance. It can also happen in less healthy relationships if your partner tries to pressure or manipulate you into becoming dependent on them. Learn how to balance love with the rest of your life. Try these tips to learn how to avoid losing yourself in a relationship.

Spotting the Warning Signs

You can tell that you’re sacrificing too much if you know where to look.

Stay on the alert for these common symptoms:

1. Neglecting friends and family.  This is one of the most common and obvious signs. Don’t give up your friends and family just because you’re with a new partner. Make time for them in your schedule. When you’re with them, be sure to talk about more than your new love interest.

2. Not doing your job. Are you too distracted to meet deadlines and participate in meetings? Keep your mind on work when you’re at the office. Save personal calls and texts for lunchtime if necessary.

3. Giving up hobbies. It’s great if your partner introduces you to new interests but beware of giving up the things you love just to please them.

4. Not speaking up for yourself. It’s important to voice your opinions in your relationship. Let your partner know your preferences, and recognize that it’s natural to disagree and have different wants.

Being Proactive

You may have noticed that even when you start a new relationship, you soon fall into the same patterns you established with your last partner. If you want things to turn out differently, you’ll need to address your previous pitfalls.

Keep these tips in mind:

1. Maintain your self-esteem. Make yourself a priority. Remember that you are worthy of love and respect just as you are and don’t need to change fundamental aspects about yourself just to please a partner.

2. Create boundaries. In a healthy relationship, partners encourage each other to set their own ground rules. Explain what you need and what you find unacceptable.

3. Set goals. You’re less likely to lose yourself if you’re excited about other aspects of your life. Develop passion projects that motivate you to learn and grow. As a bonus, you’ll probably make yourself more interesting.

4. Practice self-care. Treating yourself well makes you stronger and more resilient. It also reminds you of your worth. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Sleep well and deal with stress constructively.

5. Spend time alone. Do you enjoy your own company? It’s important to have a healthy relationship with yourself in order to bond with others. Solitude gives you an opportunity to increase your self-awareness and center yourself.

6. Take a break. If you’re dissatisfied with your love life, you might benefit from giving up dating for a while. Use the time to examine your dating criteria and form new habits.

Hold onto your identity when you’re in a relationship. Losing yourself is too high a price to pay for wanting to be a couple. You and your partner deserve to feel secure and loved for who you are.

If you need more support when it comes to learning how to avoid losing yourself in a relationship, consider counseling for relationship issues.  It would certainly help, especially if you’re trying to recover from an abusive relationship or think that childhood issues are affecting your adult behavior. It’s important to know that you CAN develop healthy boundaries and a loving, safe relationship. If you think therapy might be for you, the first step is reaching out. I invite you to contact me for a free consultation so that you can get on the path to creating the relationship you’d love to have.

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How to Feel Better About Yourself When You Have Body Image Struggles https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/anxiety-therapy/how-to-feel-better-about-yourself-when-you-have-body-image-struggles/ Wed, 07 Sep 2022 13:46:09 +0000 https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/?p=1309 We all have days when we don’t feel great about ourselves, but for some women, this feeling is constant. Body image struggles can be incredibly damaging to your self-esteem and mental health, but there are things you can do to feel better. How Do I Feel Better? Here is some advice to help you feel […]

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We all have days when we don’t feel great about ourselves, but for some women, this feeling is constant. Body image struggles can be incredibly damaging to your self-esteem and mental health, but there are things you can do to feel better.

How Do I Feel Better?

Here is some advice to help you feel better about yourself when you have body image issues:

1. Understand what you’re thinking and feeling. The first step to feeling better about your body is understanding your thoughts that generate your feelings. Are you telling yourself that someone else looks “better” than you? Do you think you have to meet unrealistic standards? Are you upset about a recent change in your appearance? How do these thoughts make you feel? For example, when you say, “Ashley looks so much better in a bathing suit than I do,” what emotions does that create? Jealousy? Contempt toward yourself? Disappointment?

2. Once you identify the thoughts that create your uncomfortable feelings, question them. If you’re constantly thinking negative things about your body, it’s time to challenge those thoughts. For example, if you’re thinking, “I’m so fat,” ask yourself, “Is that 100% true?” Or “Where did I get the idea that being fat is bad?” or “What would it mean if my body was fat?”

Think about what evidence there is for and against your negative thoughts. Are they based on fact or feeling? Don’t accept that all your negative thoughts are true.

Similarly, if you’re thinking that you need to lose weight to be happy, question this thought by asking yourself why weighing in at a lesser number on a scale would make you happier.

3. Replace your negative thoughts with positive or more neutral ones. This is easier said than done, but it’s important to think more realistically about your body. For example, if you’re thinking, “I’m so fat,” try to replace that thought with “I am open to being comfortable in my skin.” It also helps to focus on the qualities of your body that you are at least neutral about. These could be things like “I have strong legs,” or “I’m grateful for my 20/20 vision.” Think about the ways your body serves you.

4. Focus on your health, not your weight. This one is very important. Throw away your scale. The number on the scale is not indicative of your overall health and certainly not of your worth as a person, so don’t give it too much importance. Instead, focus on being as healthy as you can be. This means eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and taking care of your mental and emotional health.

5. Remember that all bodies are beautiful. Popular media would like to have us believe otherwise, but in reality, there are no “perfect” bodies, just different ones. From an early age, little girls are conditioned to think that a “beautiful” princess gets the prince. In cartoons, the “bad guy” is often overweight or ugly. It’s OK to let this brainwashing go. Remember that every person is unique and just right, regardless of their body shape or size.

When You Need Extra Support

6. If you’re still struggling, seek professional counseling or therapy. Don’t lose hope if you’re having trouble feeling good about your body.  A trained therapist or psychiatrist can help you get to the root of your body image issues and help you move past them. Seeking anxiety therapy with a trusted psychiatrist can provide you with the tools to work through your body image struggles. Please contact me for a free consultation to learn what this would look like.

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9 Hobbies That Can Help Decrease Anxiety https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/anxiety-therapy/9-hobbies-that-decrease-anxiety/ Thu, 25 Aug 2022 19:22:59 +0000 https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/?p=1302 Many of my patients find that with the demands of parenting, work, and family life that they don’t have many hobbies that are their own. Or their anxiety tells them they shouldn’t pursue hobbies because there are too many other “shoulds” to focus on. What follows are some hobbies that not only are fun but […]

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Many of my patients find that with the demands of parenting, work, and family life that they don’t have many hobbies that are their own. Or their anxiety tells them they shouldn’t pursue hobbies because there are too many other “shoulds” to focus on.

What follows are some hobbies that not only are fun but can help decrease anxiety. They encourage feelings of creativity, helpfulness, and adventure. And when we feel good, we’re more likely to take actions that align with those good feelings.

Try These Activities to Decrease Anxiety

1. Writing. Writing is a great way to be creative and put your ideas out into the world. Writing is something you can do by yourself at any time in any location. You may not have enjoyed writing in school, but writing about things that interest you can be very rewarding on multiple levels.

2. Painting, sculpting, or other artistic activity. Allow the artist in you to blossom. There are many forms of artistic expression. Consider giving yourself the gift of creating something completely original.

3. Dancing. Perhaps painting and writing aren’t your thing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to dance. Now is as good a time as any to pursue this interest. Dancing has also been shown to boost cognitive performance. Clubs often offer free lessons. This can be a great way to make new friends, too.

4. Volunteering. Volunteering can be another way to meet your emotional needs. Few things feel as good as spending your time helping someone or something other than yourself. Volunteering can be rewarding in countless ways.

5. Music. Creating, playing, or writing music is another activity that many people find extremely pleasant and rewarding. In fact, listening to music has been shown to alter levels of dopamine, cortisol, oxytocin, and serotonin in people’s brains. Those are the same chemicals that prescription medication for anxiety and depression target. If you love music, this might be a great way to spend your free time.

6. Photography. Photography is another form of art. Capturing the perfect photograph is a huge thrill for many people. Digital cameras have made photography much more convenient and quite a bit easier.

7. Travel. There are people fascinated with other countries, peoples, and cultures. Travel, particularly to warm climates, has been shown to reduce stress and improve well-being. This effect is boosted when meeting with and interacting with new people while traveling.

8. Bonsai. This is another calming and artistic activity. Crafting the perfect bonsai tree takes talent, skill, and patience. You probably have a club near you dedicated to this activity.

 

9. Gardening. Get your hands in the earth and grow something. Flowers, vegetables, berries, and herbs can all be rewarding to plant and nurture. This is something that many children love to do, too.

Hobbies are enjoyable activities that you choose to do. But a hobby can provide more than just enjoyment. A hobby could provide the social interaction that you crave. It can scratch your need to be creative. It can change levels of neurotransmitters in your brain. It can also allow you to feel needed and helpful.

Think about what you need in your life and look for a hobby that can fulfill that need. Having fun and satisfying a need at the same time is a tough combination to beat.

If you’re struggling with balancing it all, please reach out. Supporting you on this journey is what I love to do.

 

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9 Myths About Anxiety Debunked https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/anxiety-therapy/9-myths-about-anxiety-debunked/ Mon, 08 Aug 2022 19:36:25 +0000 https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/?p=1294 Do you feel like you’re struggling with too many worries? Do they interfere with your sleep and keep you from enjoying the life you deserve? If so, know that you’re not alone! Millions of people in our country are stressed out and worry needlessly. Because of this prevalence, much research has been done to discover […]

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Do you feel like you’re struggling with too many worries? Do they interfere with your sleep and keep you from enjoying the life you deserve?

If so, know that you’re not alone! Millions of people in our country are stressed out and worry needlessly. Because of this prevalence, much research has been done to discover how to help.

You don’t have to suffer in silence, hoping that your worries will just go away. There are things you can do to alleviate your struggles. But first, let’s discuss some commonly held myths about anxiety.

Anxiety and the Myths That Surround It

1. Myth: Anxiety isn’t a real illness. Although there isn’t a medical test you can take to see if you have anxiety, all of your worries and the physical consequences that go with them are very real. If your worries are negatively impacting your life, you can get help and take steps to treat it.

2. Myth: You can pass out when having a panic attack. A panic attack won’t cause you to pass out, as fainting will usually occur when there is a drop in blood pressure. The opposite occurs when you experience a panic attack, with your heart rate and blood pressure increasing.

3. Myth: You should avoid stressful situations if you suffer from anxiety. The issue with this is that it is almost impossible to avoid stressful situations. Life is full of stressful, and often unexpected, situations that you simply cannot avoid.

● Trying to avoid situations that cause stress can actually make anxiety worse. However, you can learn coping mechanisms that can help you to deal effectively with these situations.

4. Myth: Some people just worry and cannot be treated. While there are some people who stress more than others, there are plenty of treatment options available for all cases.

5. Myth: Anxiety disorders are rare. You may think that you are the only person that suffers from such worries, but research has found that as many as one in five struggles with an anxiety disorder.

● Many people feel that they are alone with their struggle, and without actively seeking help, they will continue feeling alone.

6. Myth: My anxiety will get better on its own. Many people put off seeking treatment for anxiety as they are able to go about their daily lives without too much issue. Yet, over time the condition may get worse. It’s important to get treatment and learn coping mechanisms – the sooner, the better, because you don’t have to suffer.

7. Myth: I only need a little drink to get through this. Many choose to self-medicate to get themselves through a stressful event, often opting for drinking alcohol or taking or a recreational drug.

● While this may work in the short term, over time you can become addicted to these while the anxiety will remain.

● There are also additional health risks associated with these choices to think about too.

8. Myth: Anxiety treatment will take forever. You may start to see improvements just with a few sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

9. Myth: You can overcome anxiety overnight if you want to. If you have ever heard someone say to just “get over it” when it comes to your concerns, then they likely don’t really understand how much worry anxiety can cause.

● This lack of support may lead to you avoiding the subject entirely and cause you to suffer in silence.

● Seek treatment to help overcome your worries. A professional counselor or therapist understands that your worries are real and how they can debilitate you. They have techniques that can help you.

Anxiety can be a serious condition if left untreated and can prevent you from living a fulfilled life. Don’t let these anxiety myths stop you from seeking appropriate treatment.

Click here to learn more about Anxiety Therapy.

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Signs That Might Indicate Abuse in Your Relationship https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/relationship-counseling-for-women/signs-that-might-indicate-abuse-in-your-relationship/ Mon, 25 Jul 2022 16:06:02 +0000 https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/?p=1287 If you’re in an abusive relationship, it can be challenging to see the signs. Abuse can come in many forms, and often abusers will try to hide their behavior from friends and family. Many times, my patients think they’re not in an abusive relationship just because their partner has not hit them. However, domestic violence […]

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If you’re in an abusive relationship, it can be challenging to see the signs. Abuse can come in many forms, and often abusers will try to hide their behavior from friends and family. Many times, my patients think they’re not in an abusive relationship just because their partner has not hit them.

However, domestic violence (or interpersonal violence) is technically defined as:  a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. This can be done via multiple ways, including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial.

There are some signs to look for when it comes to abuse. This article will discuss some of the most common signs of abuse. If any of these things sound familiar, please reach out for help! You are not alone.

Signs You Might Be in an Abusive Relationship

1. If your partner is always asking who you’re with, this might be a sign of abuse. He also might be extremely jealous of other people with whom you spend your time. This is called “monitoring,” and it’s a way for abusers to control their victim’s behavior.

2. Your partner constantly puts you down or makes fun of you, especially in public. This is a way for abusers to make their victims feel small and powerless.

3. If your partner tries to prohibit you from seeing friends and family, this could be a sign of abuse. It is called “isolating,” and it’s a way for abusers to control who their victims see and talk to.

4. If your partner is excessively possessive or jealous, you might be in an abusive relationship. Possessiveness is a way for abusers to control their victim’s behavior.

5. If your partner has ever hit or threatened to hit you, this is unacceptable. When your partner hits or threatens to harm you (or your children or pets), it’s a surefire sign of physical and emotional abuse.

6. Your partner controls the household finances. This could look like making major purchases without your agreement, restricting your access to money for necessary expenses, or even taking your money. This is quite common in women I see, and they are usually surprised when they hear that this kind of behavior is financial abuse.

7. If your partner threatens to take the kids from you or insults your parenting, this could also be abuse. Abusers use this as a tactic to instill fear in their victims and convince them to stay in the relationship.

Tips to Help

First and foremost, it’s important to know that you are not alone, and that you have not done anything to deserve this kind of mistreatment.

1. Only talk to someone you trust. Your safety is the most important thing. Discuss your situation with a therapist or doctor if you’re too nervous to confide in friends and family. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) can provide you with care and support via phone, text, or online chat.

2. Create a safety plan. If you’re in danger, it’s important to have a plan to get out of the situation safely. It might include having a safe place to go, packing a bag ahead of time, or telling someone you trust what’s going on.

3. Get help from a domestic violence shelter. If you’re in immediate danger, call 911 or get to a safe place away from your abuser. There are also many domestic violence helplines and organizations that can help you with resources and support. In Kentucky, the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence lists multiple resources for help, included where to find legal help.

4. Speak with a therapist. Being in an abusive relationship can feel confusing because of the psychological manipulation that is used to create fear and emotional disorientation in the victim. If you need support, I am always happy to help. Please call me to learn about my psychiatry+therapy services for relationship issues.

 

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How to Deal With Self-Sabotaging Beliefs https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/anxiety-therapy/how-to-deal-with-self-sabotaging-beliefs-in-anxiety/ Mon, 18 Jul 2022 20:00:44 +0000 https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/?p=1278 The post How to Deal With Self-Sabotaging Beliefs appeared first on Lynn Jacobson, M.D..

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Self-sabotaging beliefs are insidious thoughts that tell you that you’re not good enough, can’t do it, or are not worthy of success.

I see self-sabotaging beliefs all the time in my patients, as it (self-sabotage) often goes hand-in-hand with anxiety. These beliefs tend to take the outward form of as procrastination, self-doubt, and perfectionism.

In this article, we’ll explore what self-sabotaging beliefs are, how to identify them in yourself, and how to deal with them when they pop up. We’ll also look at some prevention techniques so that these beliefs don’t sabotage your life and prevent long-term growth.

What Are Self-Sabotaging Beliefs, and How Do They Manifest Themselves in Anxiety?

Self-sabotaging beliefs are those negative thoughts that portray you’re not good enough, can’t do it, or are not worthy of a good life or happiness. They can manifest themselves in ways such as procrastination, self-hate, and obsessive-compulsive behavior.

These beliefs can be harmful because they prevent you from taking risks and moving forward in your life.

Here are some examples of self-sabotage: You might stay in a job you hate because you don’t believe you’re good enough to get a better one.

You might not release your artwork because you’re afraid.

You might stay in a less-than-ideal relationships because you tell yourself you’re not worthy of anything better.

Self-sabotaging beliefs usually manifest themselves as negative self-talk – the little voice in your head says you are not good enough, that you can’t do it, or that you’re not worthy of success.

How to Recognize Self-Sabotaging Thoughts

To deal with self-sabotaging beliefs, you first need to recognize them. Here are some ways to do that:

1. Pay attention to your negative self-talk. What things do you tell yourself regularly? Do you put yourself down frequently? Do you tell yourself that you’re not good enough or can’t do it?

2. Identify your patterns of behavior. Do you procrastinate regularly? Do you find yourself not taking risks because you’re afraid of failure?

3. Notice how you feel. Do you frequently feel unworthy? Does success elude you even when you’ve achieved it?

If any of these are familiar, then it’s likely that you have some self-sabotaging beliefs.

It’s important to recognize these beliefs because they’re holding you back from living your best life. They prevent you from taking risks. But once you identify them, you can deal with them.

Techniques To Deal with Self-Sabotaging Beliefs

To move forward with your life, you must recognize and deal with self-sabotaging beliefs.

Try these techniques:

1. The first step is to realize your negative self-talk and challenge it. When you catch yourself thinking or saying something negative, stop and ask yourself if it’s true. Chances are, it’s not.

● If you tell yourself that you’re not good enough, ask yourself why you believe that. What evidence do you have to support this belief? Chances are, you’ll find that there is none.

2. Reframe your self-sabotaging beliefs. For example, if you tell yourself that you’re not good enough, reframe it as “I’m doing my best, and that’s good enough.”

● If you tell yourself that you can’t do it, reframe it as “I can try, and if I fail, I’ll learn from it.”

3. Use affirmations to counter self-sabotaging beliefs. For example, tell yourself, “I am worthy of success,” “I can achieve my goals,” or “I am loved.

● You’re training your mind to focus on positive thoughts instead of negative ones by using affirmations.

4. Take action despite your self-sabotaging beliefs. For example, if you want to start your own business but you’re afraid of failing, take some small steps towards your goal.

● You can start by researching businesses in your field or networking with people who have started their businesses.

● By taking action, you’re proving to yourself that your self-sabotaging beliefs are wrong.

How Can You Prevent These Beliefs from Sabotaging Your Life in the First Place?

The best way to prevent self-sabotaging beliefs from taking over your life is to develop a healthy mindset. A healthy mindset focuses on growth, not perfection. It’s important to recognize that we all make mistakes, and that failure is a part of life. Instead of beating yourself up over your mistakes, learn from them and move on.

Another way to develop a healthy mindset is to practice self-compassion. It means being kind and understanding towards yourself, even when you make mistakes. It also means recognizing that we all have flaws and are all doing the best we can with what we have.

Finally, it’s important to surround yourself with positive people. They will help you see the good in yourself. They’ll also help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.

Therapy with an anxiety therapist is a great way to help you recognize and minimize your self-sabotaging beliefs. Seeking therapy for anxiety can equip you with the tools you need to stop letting limiting beliefs run your life. Please contact me here to set up a consultation call!

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9 Healthy Tips to Help Cope with Anxiety https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/anxiety-therapy/9-healthy-tips-to-help-cope-with-anxiety/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 13:55:30 +0000 https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/?p=1250 If you struggle with anxiety on a daily basis, you may find yourself using unhealthy methods, such as alcohol, overeating, or over-exercising, to cope with it. These are not the best approaches, so what is? Consider These Strategies for Anxiety 1. Deep breathing exercises. Many of us use our chests to breathe rather than the […]

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If you struggle with anxiety on a daily basis, you may find yourself using unhealthy methods, such as alcohol, overeating, or over-exercising, to cope with it.

These are not the best approaches, so what is?

Consider These Strategies for Anxiety

1. Deep breathing exercises.

Many of us use our chests to breathe rather than the diaphragm, which is a large muscle found in your abdomen. When you breathe in, your stomach should expand and then contract when you breathe out.

● Breathing with only your chest will cause you to have short and shallow breaths that can cause increased stress and anxiety.

2. Progressive muscle relaxation.

This technique involves tensing your muscles and then relaxing them one at a time. When you do this, you’re teaching your muscles that when you’re stressed, which often causes muscle tension, that you need to relax.

3. Mindfulness.

This is a common technique to reduce anxiety. With mindfulness, you put your full attention on what you’re doing in that moment. You notice the sights, sounds, and smells around you. When your full focus is on the present moment, there isn’t room for feelings of anxiety.

4. Self-monitoring.

What triggers your anxiety? It may be that certain people, events, or situations cause you to feel anxious. Once you figure out your triggers, you may be able to do something to prevent the oncoming anxiety.

5. Work towards a goal.

Achieving a goal can be motivating and can help reduce both depression and anxiety.

● Try using a technique called behavioral activation. Each time that you feel anxious, engage your mind in a positive and rewarding activity, such as working toward a goal.

6. Self-soothing strategies.

While support from others is beneficial, sometimes you may find yourself alone. One self-soothing technique involves being positive and telling yourself that everything will be okay and that you can handle the situation.

● It’s important that you don’t allow any negative thoughts into your mind while performing this strategy.

7. Write down your thoughts and feelings.

Rather than keeping how you feel inside to fester, it would be better for you to get these thoughts out of your mind and onto paper.

8. Distraction techniques.

Sometimes focusing on your emotions can make them even stronger and leave you feeling more out of control of the situation. By using distraction, you’re taking your mind off your emotions, making them easier to manage.

● You can do anything you want to distract yourself. A walk is commonly used as a distraction.

9. Get support from others.

It has been found time and time again that support from friends and family is incredibly important when dealing with anxiety. Having someone you trust that you can talk to can be helpful.

● There are also therapists and various groups available full of like-minded people dealing with similar issues who may be able to help too.

These strategies can each help you to cope with anxiety. Some may work better for you than others. Some may work better in different situations. And some may not work for you. The key is to practice them and then try them out in anxious situations to see which ones work best for you.

If you find yourself struggling with anxiety and want to work towards healing, I am happy to help. Call my office to learn more about how to work with me and how I help.

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How to Make Major Decisions When You Are Anxious https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/anxiety-therapy/how-to-make-decisions-when-anxious/ Thu, 02 Jun 2022 16:30:00 +0000 https://www.lynnjacobsonmd.com/?p=1242 Even if you don’t read much poetry, you probably know The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Generations of students have pondered the image of a man choosing between two paths that diverge in the woods. In real life, there are crossroads too. They’re the life-altering decisions that you make. Maybe you go to medical […]

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Even if you don’t read much poetry, you probably know The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Generations of students have pondered the image of a man choosing between two paths that diverge in the woods.

In real life, there are crossroads too. They’re the life-altering decisions that you make. Maybe you go to medical school or study music. Maybe you marry your high school sweetheart or stay single until you have more life experience.

Choosing a new direction in life is challenging, especially when you are anxious. It can disrupt your routines and your sense of self. Try these tips for what to do the next time you’re at a crossroads.

Making Major Decisions When You’re Anxious:

1. Identify your options. While crossroads can seem overwhelming, remember that you’re not trapped. You have two viable options. In fact, you may have even more if you take the time to recognize them.

2. Examine your values. Let your personal priorities guide you. The key to happiness and success is being authentic, instead of trying to please others.

3. Think positive. Research shows that you’ll probably make sounder decisions if you focus on what you have to gain, rather than what you’re afraid to lose. Go after what you want.

4. Listen to your feelings. Pay attention to your heart as well as your head. It’s okay to turn down a higher paying job if you dread the long commute or suspect unethical business practices.

5. Weigh the possibilities. Most things in life come with pros and cons, so consider the full range of factors. It might help to make a grid where you can list your criteria and rank them by how much they matter to you.

6. Talk it over. When the stakes are high, it’s reassuring to get input from family and friends who you trust. They may be able to see the situation more objectively and point out details you’ve overlooked.

7. Write about it. Journaling is another way to explore your thoughts and feelings. You might picture what your life would be like depending on different decisions or imagine you’re giving advice to a friend in a similar situation.

8. Take action. At some point, you’ll need to stop deliberating. People with anxiety tend to feel paralyzed in inaction. Remember the cost of delaying and give yourself a deadline if necessary.

Living with the Consequences:

1. Keep things in perspective. Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Try to relax and enjoy a restful night’s sleep. If you’re anxious, you may find that you’ve been exaggerating the risks.

2. Accept uncertainty. The truth is that life is filled with unknowns and things beyond your control. If you can make peace with that reality, you’ll feel more at ease and perform more effectively.

3. Learn from experience. You can make any circumstances work to your advantage when you adopt a growth mindset. Even if you wish you made a different choice, you can find out more about yourself and what to do next time.

4. Focus on the present. Dwelling on what could have been is usually a waste of time and energy. Devote your resources to what you can do now. Enjoy the moment and build for your future.

5. Take baby steps. In some cases, you might be able to sample a new option before you have to plunge in further.

If you’d like some help around lessening your anxiety and making big decisions even when you’re anxious, please click here for more information on anxiety therapy for women and call me soon for a free consultation.

Want to learn more about anxiety? Click here to understand anxiety better.

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