Victory Over Negative Self-Image Through Gratitude
Updated: Oct 14, 2022
Orange County Therapy, Boudoir Photography
Living in a day and age where we have all the information, ease of purchasing goods and services, and have (albeit artificial) connectedness with others at the touch of our fingertips, it is also increasingly challenging to have gratitude and appreciation for things in our life in spite of these technological advancements. Here in Orange County, California, we live in a bubble where value and status are placed on material things like cars, home ownership. Despite having more money, fancier cars ,and bigger homes, many people you talk to never seem to be happy, or more specifically, satisfied. Instead of being thankful of what we do have, we are envious of those who have more than us. It's compounded when we look to escape into our phones and social media and "doom scroll" endlessly to grasp some sense of joy (dopamine) only leaving you frustrated and less content than when you opened up your social media app. For the woman, wife, or mother reading this: this can also affect your self-image if you find yourself endlessly scrolling past other social media influencer moms who seem to have it all put together.
Which goes back to mental health and self-care. A 2018 British study tied social media use to decreased, disrupted, and delayed sleep, which is associated with depression, memory loss, and poor academic performance. Social media use can affect users’ physical health even more directly. Researchers know the connection between the mind and the gut can turn anxiety and depression into nausea, headaches, muscle tension, and tremors.
This constant chase against others, competing against neighbors, coworkers, and family can be tiring, and can quickly breed resentment and bitterness. You can then lose sight of the important things in life: your marriage, your children, your family, relationships, and health. You won't feel fulfilled and you'll constantly live in a state of tension that in the pursuit of these worldly goals, you would continue to feel empty and far from happy.
Do you have a hard time being content, happy, grateful where you currently are?
There's a song our daughter sings that she learned from the kids' nursery rhyme show, CoComelon and it's called "What Are You Thankful For". Every night, it's a common practice for bed to pray on and meditate about the things that happened through our day that we can be thankful for.
Also, in our home, we practice Christianity. Two of the verses we meditate on are:
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Whether you are a believer or not, I encourage you to refocus your thoughts away from negativity and comparison and bring your attention to your day and the goodness in your life.
Refocus Your Thoughts With a Journal
A journal can be a great way to document/chronicle parts in your life that you are grateful for. There's a great 1-sentence per day journal that my wife uses to document her life. It's a 5-year journal and at the end of each day, she writes 1 sentence about what happened. It's amazing to be able to look back at how far you've come, revisit memories that brought joy to your life, and reflect on anything new that came your way (friends, clients, coworkers, opportunities).
Some things to help you:
Purchase a nice journal that you'll take care of that will help you look forward to journaling daily
Reflect on anything new/different that you experienced
Give yourself permission to repeat things that have happened - had a roof over your head, good health, loving family
Did you learn something new? Discovered something different? Gained a new perspective? Gratitude isn't just for big events, it can be also for "small things".
Over time, go back through your journal and read what you're grateful for. It can be a tool you use to encourage and uplift you when you're having bad days.
There is beauty in every day -- it's up to each of us to find it!
What have you done for your self-care? Have you considered a therapeutic photography session to boost your self-esteem? I would love to chat with you! Give me a call directly at 657-224-0126. You can also email me at email@example.com. I can't wait to hear from you!
Follow Jason on Instagram: @jseboudoir
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