The Unhealthy Habit That Could Mean You Should Work On Your Relationship With Yourself

Unsurprisingly, those with high self-esteem and a healthy amount of self-worth expect more out of their relationships. It's a natural consequence; when you value yourself, you have certain standards that others have to meet because you know what you deserve. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time, energy, or mental capacity to cultivate a relationship with themselves that they actually like. When you don't love yourself, expecting others to treat you well will be difficult.

There are many reasons why someone may have trouble caring for themselves in a healthy way. It could be coping mechanisms learned throughout childhood, dependence on a friend group for validation, or problematic societal messages that you've been internalizing for years. However, awareness is imperative because those who rely on these things to establish their worth will only fuel a toxic relationship within themselves.

Simply listening to a podcast that encourages self-love can be a great starting point. Looking inward and doing the work to become someone you see as worthy and valuable is pivotal in healing your relationship with yourself.

Think positive thoughts

The things we tell ourselves on a daily basis matter. While positive affirmations and encouragement is the goal, many people fall into a cycle of negative self-talk that fuels a deep sense of self-hatred over time. Instead of beating yourself up over a minor mistake at work or looking in the mirror and critiquing every aspect of your appearance, it's time to start rewiring your brain.

Developing the ability to have grace with yourself and speak kindly despite your perceived faults will lead to healthier habits overall. Our lifestyle choices are a direct reflection of our mindset. While feeling bad about things you've said in the past or mistakes you've made is totally normal, believing that you are bad or a mistake is the root of shame.

It can be easy to allow this mindset to spiral into other aspects of your life as well, whether it manifests through eating disorders, excessive drinking, or physically harming yourself. Licensed therapist Maria Inoa explains that those who are in a toxic relationship with themselves often rationalize their harmful actions because they don't believe they are worth anything better. On top of that, there is a good chance that the strain on your mental health will cause you to gravitate toward other toxic people, which is why changing your mindset with yourself is the catalyst for transforming many other aspects of your life.

Self-care needs to be a habit

When your self-worth is not evident to you, it's painfully easy to justify giving to others before yourself, even when you feel like you have nothing left to offer. This lack of confidence and internalized negativity is often what leads to seeking external validation. However, not setting boundaries with friends or romantic partners, at the expense of your own well-being, will cause bitterness to grow.

While change can be painful, investing energy in yourself is the best use of your time. So many of the choices you make each day are simply habitual. You do certain things because that's what you've always done. However, for real change to occur, caring for yourself needs to become a habit.

You might not always feel like you've earned a warm shower or a skincare routine, but they can improve your mental health. The dialogue in your head may be saying you deserve to live in filth, so what's the point of cleaning your house? If you already hate your body, beer, and pizza might seem more logical than making yourself a balanced home-cooked meal. Of course, these things couldn't be further from the truth. That's why changing this narrative in your brain is essential, but will likely take a lot of effort and years of therapy. Therefore, implementing healthy habits that are non-negotiable can keep you moving forward and making progress on your goals.