Inner Glow Up
Updated: Sep 26
Intrapersonal skills are all about self-awareness and controlling your internal attitudes and inner thoughts. Self care is as important on this internal level as it is on your external level. Bubble baths, face washing, meditation and many more such practices are very important when it comes to making sure you are well taken care of. The internal side of self care can be a bit more difficult to balance or even to identify. This article will explore some aspects that you can consider when bringing your self care from an external place into your inner world.
Firstly; mental health check
This cookie can be a difficult one to chew, having your mental health in a healthy domain plays such a vital role in ensuring your life is as balanced and well lived as possible. As a coach I do not have the qualification to assist in this domain, however I can help point you in the right direction so you can help yourself. Below is a link to the Mental Health America website that gives online screening tools, or questionnaires under a wide range of mental health topics to help you identify where you are on the spectrum with regards to the different mental health spheres. From there you can reach out to the right form of assistance such as a therapist or psychiatric doctor. Please make sure you have the assistance and guidance from a qualified mental health practitioner.
As stated on their webpage; PLEASE NOTE: Online screening tools are meant to be a quick snapshot of your mental health. If your results indicate you may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, consider sharing your results with someone. A mental health provider (such as a doctor or a therapist) can help give you a full assessment and talk to you about options for how to feel better.
The website: https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/
Additional resource (A Guide covering Depression & Addiction): https://www.southjerseyrecovery.com/treatment-programs/dual-diagnosis/depression/
Self talk refers to that little voice in your head and how that little voice talks to you is going to play an important part in how you feel and think about yourself. If you experience negative internal self talk; you will most likely have higher levels of anxiety and depression. A positive internal voice will naturally reduce your risk of these anxiety or depressive factors. Where the inner voice learns what tone to use and what words to choose has to do with how we were nurtured as young to adolescent humans, but the point isn't to find a person to point a finger at to blame, the point is; once you have identified wether this voice is positive or negative, how you are going to shape it to benefit you moving forward. That's the beauty of adulthood, you get to decide how you heal and in what direction you take your future.
Some examples of negative self talk vs positive self talk look like this;
Negative self talk:
“I’m never going to be able to do this”
“I’m no good at this”
“I’ve tried everything — nothing works”.
Positive self talk:
"I can do it"
"I am good enough"
"It doesn't matter if I make a mistake, I can learn from them and improve"
Here are some tips to evolve your negative self talk into positive self talk:
Be aware of what you’re saying to yourself.
Simply starting with awareness of where your thoughts are directing you is a fantastic starting point.
Challenge your thoughts.
Try to ask yourself; "are these thoughts accurate and true"; challenge the thoughts with the opposing positive sense and say that to yourself instead, remember, a lot of the time the things we think and worry about don't even happen, and when something "bad" does happen its rarely as bad as we think they will be.
My dad always helped me challenge it by asking me to think of the most extreme thing that could happen and then to analyse the likelihood of it actually happening, the examples would generally be so absurdly impossible that it would move the weight of the stress away and make me feel competent and less worried about a small potential bad occurrence.It might sound like its going into the opposite direction but bear with me. The conversation generally goes something like this;
"Dad, I can't stop worrying about the exam; what if I fail?"
"Is failing the worst thing that could happen? try to think of the worst case scenario, and then tell me how likely it is for that to happen."
"okay, the teacher reads my answer over my shoulder and starts shouting at me"
"that's not nearly bad enough keep going"
"okay, I run out of time and don't get to finish my exam"
"still not the worst thing that could happen, try again"
"I don't know dad, what is the worst case scenario"
"Okay, what if your writing an exam and suddenly a meteor comes into the earths atmostphere and blows up the planet and the exam isn't even a concern anymore"
"yup, that sure takes the cake dad"
"and how possible is it for that to truly happen?"
"probably not possible, or highly unlikely"
"So then what are the chances, if the worst case scenario is least likely to happen, that you failing or not finishing your exam will be as bad?"
This always helped me see the perspective from a couple of different angles.
The first; is that what I was fearful or anxious about was definitely not as bad as I thought it was, especially compared to a meteor.
The second; was that even if I failed, or couldn't finish, it wasn't as bad or as detrimental as my thoughts would make it out to be. at most I learn from my mistakes and do better next time, and if I didn't finish I would learn that I needed to work on my time management, which honestly is not bad at all. That's why we are here in the first place right, to learn and grow along the way.
By challenging my thoughts, which by the way is only one of many ways you can go about it, I also managed to achieve the third point;
Putting your thoughts into perspective:
and to shorten this explanation from my lengthy example above, ask yourself, "so what?".
The fourth tip, Squash the thought:
Some of us need a bit more than reasoning, sometimes you need to remove the thought altogether, try imagining yourself squashing or even blowing up the thought all together, and in its place imagine you are planting a seed of beautiful, positive thoughts to grow instead.
Your Environments Impact
Our environment and who we surround ourselves with also play a role in how we internally self care. Your metal health and self talk will be largely determined by who you surround yourself with and how they support you into either the wrong or right direction. In other words; how do you they support you in striving for what you value most. I discuss this aspect in depth in my blog article "What to expect in your 20's" where I explore the concept of leading yourself ; and how you need cannot lead yourself by yourself as a topic that explores how your environment and the people in it can play a role in how you self care, or self lead. There's an awesome video in the article where Andy Stanley explores and presents the concept in-depth but it is totally worth the watch.
Not Nice is a book available available on audible and as readable formats via amazon where Dr, Aziz Gazipura explores how we are conditioned into being nice people that essentially neglects what we truly want resulting in the lack of being able to strive for what we want, speak up and A LOT of people pleasing. From my own experience I have seen how my people pleasing habits affected my mental health and internal self care ability. The book is a must read in my opinion and has practical steps and actions in place to help you practise "not nice" habits, which I know sounds weird but its truly a beautiful thing to find for yourself. In essence it actually allows you love more , be more and help more from an authentic, and true to yourself space rather than that of people pleasing. I'll put the links to the amazon page here, if you're keen to check it out as well as the link to his webpage here. (PS. this is not a promo, I have truly seen the benefits of this book and simply want to share the good it has to hold).
What You Consume
I'm no doctor or scientist so for me to explain how your gut health and your brain links will not come across as intelligent at all, BUT I do know that the gut, and what you put in it, in other words; what you consume directly effects your brains chemical balances and the feelings and physical bodily experiences we have. It has a lot to do with your pineal gland, the vegas nerve (not the place you go to gamble), and how they interlink.
In short, your pineal gland determines what chemicals release into your body, the vegas nerve is a nerve that runs directly from this gland and literally wraps around every organ in the body, especially your gut. So what you put in as what the pineal gland puts out and visa versa. But again, I'm no doctor, so here is a link to Harvard Universities article where they explain this really well and also explore how it determines anxiety levels in the brain. Just check it out, its worth it.
To finish, there are many aspects to consider when self caring, on an external and an internal level. Sometimes mental health can be daunting and knowing which words to use for positive self talk can feel like trying to find a grain of rice in an endless stretch of desert. So, if you need a bit more help in finding what words to use for what makes you awesome and capable, consider taking your Clifton Strengths Assessment and having an awareness session with me. Together we can define your list of words that you can use to navigate what you think might be a negative into a space of positive and impactful action that will benefit you in a sustainable manner and move the people in the environments you find yourself in.
If you are interested in taking the assessment and having an awareness session to understand the results in depth then you can get in touch and we can explore what process will work best for you. I also offer a free 30 minute enquiry session where you can ask me all the questions you have about the process and the benefits.
Hope to hear from you soon and remember, you're worth investing in yourself, and it's never too late to start.