8 Signs You Need to Work on Yourself

I am sure that you have heard it many times–the most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. But, sometimes it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves. The busy and hurried lives we live push us along the rapid currents of life, and we forget to take time for ourselves. Hence, we trudge forward–like empty cans down a rolling hill–drained and burned out. 

However, whether emotional or physical, our bodies always send us signals. Below are eight signs that you need to work on yourself. 

  • You feel unhappy with your life.

Many things can cause you to be unhappy, such as a parking ticket or spilling coffee over your favorite shirt. However, if you start feeling a general sense of unhappiness and disillusionment with your life, you might want to assess what may be causing it. One thing could be that you have been ignoring your emotional or mental needs. Perhaps you have been working too hard or caring for someone else. These situations can sometimes force you to put yourself on the back burner. However, it is difficult to care for others if you are unable to care for yourself. Many of our relationships and abilities begin with us. How we love and treat ourselves is often reflected in how we love and treat others. 

Take time to figure out and meet your emotional and mental needs. To figure out what your needs are, start by asking yourself what would make you feel safe and secure in life or what would bring you a sense of purpose and identity. 

  • You feel disconnected from yourself.

 We spend so much time doing that we hardly spend time living. This can lead us to feel somewhat disconnected from ourselves. If you suffer from a mental health issue, a self-disconnect can further exacerbate your mental health issue by deepening the dissonance. 

To feel more connected with yourself, talk a walk through nature. Try yoga or any other grounding technique, such as meditation. Not only will these techniques improve your mood, but will also help you feel more at home in your body. 

  • The relationships you have had do not serve your best interest. 

Your relationship with yourself often sets the tone for how you approach other relationships. If you have noticed that you have a pattern of being in unfulfilling relationships, then perhaps you should assess the kind of relationship you have with yourself. Sometimes, we attract relationships that do not serve us. For example, if you have a negative self-image, you are likely to attract people who want to take advantage of your insecurities.  

Being in a relationship with yourself teaches you what you find acceptable in a relationship. It also provides others with a template for how a relationship with you should function. 

  • You are feeling uninspired about life. 

While traveling life’s winding roads, it is easy to feel as though you are on autopilot–moving for the sake of going forward. But, if you are not paying attention, you may end up feeling lost. The pressure to be and have a perfect life can trigger a deluge of anxiety and uncertainty about where your life is going. If you have been experiencing existential confusion, you should spend some time working on yourself.

You may have been feeling lost or uninspired because you have been living according to someone’s else expectations. Take some time to sit with yourself and figure out where you want to go. Figuring out your long-term goals will help you set intentions for how to live your day, week, month, and year. 

  • You’ve experienced recent health problems.

There is a correlation between physical health and mental well-being. Research states that those suffering from chronic illnesses are more likely to develop a mental health disorder. While unfortunate, it is true. Our physical well-being impacts our mental health and the relationship we develop with ourselves. Having or going through a health problem can create dissonance between who you are and who you are at that moment. This dissonance makes it difficult to feel like yourself at times and can sometimes cause depression. 

If you have or are experiencing physical health, make sure you are checking in with yourself to see how you are doing. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion and find someone to be your emotional support when things get tough. 

  • You’ve been through a rough patch in life. 

Trying situations such as losing a job or losing a loved one can make us forget to look after ourselves. In these moments, you may be more focused on enduring. That’s okay. Give yourself time to grieve the loss but remember to care for yourself. Eat well and hydrate. Make sure you surround yourself with support to help you get through. If you do not have emotional support, reach out to a therapist.

  • You have a negative self-image. 

Living a happy life is difficult when you look at it through a negative lens.

A negative self-image is incredibly harmful for your self-esteem. Both can affect every aspect of your life: relationships, work, and family. A negative self-image may lead you to not prioritize other people’s needs instead of your own. In the end, it leaves you feeling burned out emotionally and mentally. If you feel like your self-image and consequently your self-esteem have taken a downturn, you might want to take to sometime to work on yourself.

Take two minutes of your day to appreciate all that you do and avoid comparing yourself to others. Trust and believe in yourself. Be mindful of how you talk to yourself. Developing a better self-image will not only make you feel better. It will also improve your relationships with others.

  • You think that self-care is a selfish act.

We generally ascribe spa days and going out to a nice restaurant as forms of self-care. Perhaps, this image makes us see self-care as a selfish, time-consuming, or overindulgent act. However, self-care is more than that. It is a practice that extends beyond the material aspect. Self-care is a choice to engage in activities that will nurture you mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. 

Regardless of your engagements and, you need to take time for yourself. Self-care is necessary for a well-balanced life. It refreshes you and gives you pause. There are many ways to practice self-care such as eating better, creating an exercise routine, and prioritizing yourself. 

You do not have to go on a retreat to an ashram in India or Bali to work on yourself. It is the small acts of kindness and compassion that you extend toward yourself that remind you that you matter–that you are worthy. Whether you are going through a difficult chapter or starting something new, life will always present distractions. Just remember to take care of yourself through it all. 

Additional Sources:

Freijy, Tanya, and Emily J Kothe. “Dissonance-based interventions for health behavior change: a systematic review.” British journal of health psychology vol. 18,2 (2013): 310-37. doi:10.1111/bjhp.12035

Henriques, Gregg. “Self-Reflective Awareness: A Crucial Life Skill.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 10 Sept. 2016, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/theory-knowledge/201609/self-reflective-awareness-crucial-life-skill. 

Linos, Vivian. 5 Warning Signs You Aren’t Taking Good Care of Yourself!, 2020, www.vivianlife.com/articles/11_5_Warning_Signs_You_Aren’t_Taking_Good_Care_of_Yourself.php. 

PowerofPositivity. 7 Signs It’s Time to Improve Your Relationship with Yourself. 15 Apr. 2020, www.powerofpositivity.com/7-signs-its-time-to-improve-your-relationship-with-yourself/. 

Shannon, Krysta. “10 Signs You Are in a Healthy Relationship with Yourself.” YogiApproved, 2 Apr. 2019, www.yogiapproved.com/life/10-signs-you-are-in-a-healthy-relationship-with-yourself/. 

Wiest, Brianna. “7 Ways To Work On Your Relationship With Yourself.” Bustle, Bustle, 3 Feb. 2016, www.bustle.com/articles/137989-7-ways-to-work-on-your-relationship-with-yourself. 

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