Category Archives: Addiction

Self-Esteem (Part 3)

For the last few posts, I’ve been talking about self-esteem. Today, I’m going to finish off this topic with “how to think about yourself.”

 

First thing you have to do is break any habit of thinking negatively about yourself. Trying to work on your self-esteem without doing this necessary step, is like trying to get 6-pack abs through vigorous exercise without cutting out your consumption of junk food. The big difference is, even a little taste of negative thinking will not add any happiness to your life. This first step is not easy to do because many of us are addicted and we keep on relapsing. Cut negativity out of your life cold-turkey and rewire your brain to think positively about yourself in all circumstances.

When you notice that you are different, believe and meditate on the thoughts “I am wholly acceptable,” “I am beautiful just the way I am.”

Next, when you notice the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be, believe and meditate on the thoughts “I have incredible intrinsic worth now,” “I am good enough as a person now,” “Maybe not so immediately, but I will reach my goals.” And meditate on the same thoughts when you face rejection, failure, and others just straight-up put you down.

“Yeah that’s a nice, fluffy concept, Daniel. But how am I supposed to believe that I have incredible worth if everything around me tells me that I don’t?”

This is where perspective comes in. You have to ask yourself, “why do the things around me that tell me that I don’t have value” matter? “Why is it easier to not take it so seriously when I am put down by a toddler who doesn’t know me at all VS when I am put down by an adult who knows me very well?” It is because we think the adult knows more, that the adult is more intelligent, that the adult has more experience and understanding to judge more accurately. Now, as long as you believe that adults, including yourself, have the greatest ability to judge accurately, your view of yourself will always be vulnerable to the judgment of humans.

But what if you were able to really stretch your imagination. What if you were to believe that there possibly might be an entity that has an even greater ability to judge accurately than humankind… that this entity, being omniscient, knows everything about you, even all the things you try to hide from everyone else. And still, this higher being finds so much value in you, regardless of your performance. A good human parent may love his or her child whether or not the child colours within the lines. What if this higher power loves you and finds great value in you even when you don’t “colour within the lines” in life.

This is what I choose to believe in and it has given me so much freedom in my life.

What you choose to believe about yourself, whether it is based on measurable evidence or not, will affect your self-esteem.

 

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Draw My Life ✎ Daniel Kim

I finally turned my life story speech into a “Draw My Life” video. Out of all the videos I’ve posted, I put most of my heart into this one. I composed all the music in it too.

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Hypochondria and Health Anxiety

“If you’ve got a lot of anxiety in this area, stop googling diseases. That’s like a person with a fear of flying being on a plane and choosing to watch an in-flight documentary about airplane crashes. It’s going to make you feel worse.”

All of us live in an imperfect body in a constantly changing environment. Some of us have it worse than others. But it is perfectly normal for our bodies to not work at its most optimal level at all times. Sometimes your stomach won’t feel too good. Sometimes you will feel a soreness that you didn’t notice before. Sometimes you’ll develop a rash. It’s all quite normal.

But when these unpleasant events occur, there’s different places that our thoughts can go to. There’s the “Oh, it’s nothing” thought, there’s the “Hmmm… I’m sure I’ll be ok. But just in case, I’ll go see the doctor in time” thought, and there’s also the thought “Oh my gosh. This is probably a terminal disease and I’m going to die. I need to see a doctor right now!” Like I explained in my 11th VLOG about the addiction to negativity, whichever thought your mind goes to, you will create a neural pathway between the event and your response. And if you keep on responding in the same way again and again, you can eventually become addicted to thinking in that way.

If you get to this point, this is very scary. And the scariest part of it all is the uncertainty. So, many people experiencing this kind of fear will then attempt to remove the uncertainty by seeing a health professional, a doctor. They get their relief upon hearing from the doctor that they are going to be fine.

But you know what has just happened inside your brain? It has just recorded this response and reward. And if you do this again and again, you can become dependant on this reward. In other words, seeing the doctor can become the coping mechanism that you are addicted to. And if this is the case, the number of people who can actually comfort you in this area drops down to a very small number.

If you’ve been so used to this pattern for a long time, another scary thing can start to happen automatically. Instead of first sensing a physical problem which then leads you to think catastrophically about your health, the whole pattern can become so interconnected overtime that these things start to happen in reverse. So your thoughts and your anxieties can begin to cause you to feel the symptoms of diseases, when actually, everything is fine.

This can cause a new problem. After the doctor says “You’re going to be fine,” there, again, are different places that your thoughts can go to. One thought might be “Yes, you’re probably right.” But another might be “Oh my gosh, you don’t know anything, do you? I know what I’m feeling and I know something is definitely wrong.” People with a lot of anxiety and a tendency to think negatively are also often very skeptical people. Skepticism protects them from overly trusting information that could be wrong. And after repeatedly doubting doctors, you can get yourself trapped into a place where there is no longer anyone who can comfort you. But the idea that there must be some perfect doctor out there will keep you on an endless hunt for that perfect doctor. And along the way, there’s so much anxiety, disappointment, and stress, and depending on where you live in the world, that could be quite costly too.

This is a mental health issue that requires a reprogramming of the mind. It is an addiction to thinking negatively about your own health. What you need to do is build a new pattern of thinking positively in this area. Yes, you can still see the doctor, but even before you do that, you have to learn how to comfort yourself and not always depend on the doctor to feel at peace.

For a more thorough explanation on how to recover from this pattern of negativity, check out my short series on the addiction to negativity:
(1) NEGATIVITY
(2) RELAPSE
(3) RECOVERY FROM NEGATIVITY ADDICTION

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Recovery from Negativity Addiction

“You need to start thinking about every thought that is entering your head. When the negative thoughts come, immediately counter them with more positive thoughts. And believe.”

Here’s part 2 of my VLOG lesson on breaking the addiction to negativity. To read in more detail about how negativity causes OCPD, check out my “What is OCPD?” page.

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Relapse

“Successful recovery from any addiction, including the addiction to negativity, requires you to be strict on yourself when it comes to the prevention of relapse.”

Here’s part 1 of my follow-up VLOG lesson on breaking the addiction to negativity. To read in more detail about how negativity causes OCPD, check out my “What is OCPD?” page

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