It's a bright sunny day and I'm feeling happy that despite a busy schedule, and overtime hours, I'm still making the effort to include my qigong and some aqua aerobics, because I know the importance of practicing self-love and being kind to myself.
While I have not been affected by Self-Injury personally, I cannot help but sympathize with anyone who might have or is experiencing such personal challenges. (My post is inspired by Self-Injury Awareness, which has been focused on recently).
As an aspiring Laughter Therapist, a Yogi, and Qigong practitioner, I promote self-love over self-injury, with the use of alternative remedies which can help to change one's mindset and the way one thinks and feels about themselves.
What are some of the causes of self-injury?
According to Very Well Mind, some of the causes of self-injury, also known as self-harm are:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Eating Disorder
- Anxiety Disorder
- Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
From my three areas of practice (Yoga, Qigong, and Laughter Therapy), some teachings help one to shift their focuses and strengthen the mind to focus and actively engage the present and positively invest energy, on the things that truly matter.
With proper mind and body connection, mentally and emotionally, the practice of Asanas (yoga exercises), Pranayama (breathwork), and Meditation, one can achieve remarkable results such as:
- an upliftment of mood for people suffering from depression.
- a reduction in stress
- decreased anxiety and more calmness
Yoga Facilitates Self-Love Over Self-Injury
When many people hear the word yoga, an image of someone with the ability to demonstrate high levels of flexibility and someone sitting quietly to achieve calm and relaxation is what many people envision. However, there is much more to Yoga, than physical activity (asana). Yoga involves living and practicing principles in one's daily life.
The principles which could help one overcome the practice of self-injury /self-harm, are known as the Niyamas, which means personal rules and laws:
The Niyamas consist of
Focuses on the cleanliness of a person on the inside and outside. The practice of yoga enriches the soul and makes one become a better person. This is possible because Yoga involves asana and meditation; Asana practice helps to cleanse the body by eliminating toxins, while meditation helps to cleanse the mind. It is encouraged in Yoga practice to start a session in a clean physical state, and cleanliness and taking care of one's self is a simple and kind act of self-love and respect for others.
Encourages a person to be content and happy with yourself and your life while experiencing the natural ups and downs that occur in a person's lifetime.
This principle aims to be happy and utilize what one has to his maximum potential, and not be unhappy and focus your thoughts as to what you do not have.
This practice helps one to love themselves and not focus too much on material tangible things. When people are materialistic, they focus on the things they do not have, feel sorry for themselves and sometimes turn around and cause harm.
The word immediately leads me to think of food. However, this principle focuses on two things that go hand-in-hand, keeping the body fit, and secondly, taking care of what we eat and how we eat. Mindful eating involves bringing focus to our breath and applying all our senses to the food and how we eat our food.
Applying conscious effort in this area is also a way of showing self-love.
Qigong Facilitates Self-Love Over Self-Injury
Qigong which focuses on meditation, slow, controlled and coordinated movement, and mindful breathing, facilitates self-love over self-injury.
Some of the benefits of practicing Qigong are that it helps to calm the mind and give clear thoughts, it increases self-awareness and helps one to focus on the present, it increases your patience and tolerance which helps to reduce negative emotions one might hold on to.
One of the reasons why people tend to self-harm is due to overthinking. Overthinking can lead to low self-esteem, and one becoming over-conscious and suspicious of others, which can lead to a lack of confidence.
One way to help deal with such problems is to achieve Body and Mind Stillness through Meditation. We all have racing thoughts, sometimes over short sporadic periods, or sometimes over prolonged periods. If meditation is practiced properly, it could help to slow down our racing thoughts and channel our brainwaves into a steadier, calmer, and harmonious state.
Meditation is an act of self-love, which could help you to triumph over self-injury/self-harm.
Laughter, a practice of self-love to triumph over self-injury
Laughter is free, it costs nothing!
On a noisy street, in the heart of the city, I reached into my pouch for a cloth to wipe my camera lens. This lovely lad beckoned for me to take his photo. His genuine smile and laughter were infectious and made me smile too.
Laughter therapy, a positive psychology method, focuses on us having the ability to laugh and see the humourous side in all situations. The more we practice certain behaviours like laughing, the more these habits become reinforced and second nature to us.
I believe laughter can be a valuable tool in keeping your mental health in check. If you're feeling down, and lacking in self worth and confidence, laugh yourself out of it. Try to find out what triggers your laughter: Could it be funny movies, music videos, spending time with your favourite child, playing with a pet or other animal? Discover it, and train your brain to reach out to these things during times when feelings of self harm presents itself.
Self-Injury / Self-Harm Occurs In Different Ways
- faking illnesses
- deliberately starving oneself, or binge eating
- cutting and hitting oneself
- becoming very withdrawn and not speaking to others, or opposite, forcing yourself onto others and speaking only of yourself for self benefit.
- trying to sabotage others
- unusual weight loss or weight gain
These are just a few.
In essence, for one to overcome the tendency to self harm, here are some steps in the right direction:
- try to think positive: a positive-mindset in your actions and thoughts could make you become a better person with more value to society
- change your attitude: getting over a victim-mindset is key. Everyone goes through adversities in life. Find ways to develop your personal growth and ways to live a more purposeful life.
- be transparent: a façade does not last. Present yourself as you are. Do not be pretentious.
- self acceptance: people will appreciate you as you are no matter what. Just be yourself, and try to be better than you were yesterday.
- be kind to others: generosity carries no debt. Give from the heart without expecting in return, or with hidden agendas.
- self respect: treat others how you would like to be treated. Speak kindly of others, and do not fabricate stories, and it's also a good practice to mind your own business, instead of focusing on what others are doing.
Remember, we see the world how we see ourselves. Our judgement of others speak volume about ourselves. While we're judging others, someone else is judging us.
Let's look at the brighter side of everything and find productive ways to approach our growth in all our endeavours instead of giving up and resorting to negative things such as self-harm, self-injury and self-hate.
What are your thoughts, or personal experiences if you care to share?