You Have Changed—Signs That You Are Living Your Best Life
Letting go of negative behaviours and thought patterns takes self-love. We do sink back into familiar patterns but it’s all part of the process. Here are some signs that you are on a journey of transformation.
Were you able to rein in your temper during an argument? Did you stop fussing over a new zit or the size of your belly? Could you truly enjoy an ice-cream on a hot sunny day? Small as these things may be, they are signs of immense self-growth. “Though growth can look different for everyone; the fundamental variables that signal you are on the right track remain the same,” says Seema Hingorrany, Integrative Mental Health expert, Clinical Psychologist,? Trauma-focused Therapist (Emdr), Mumbai. After all, it has been said, “No one is like you and that is your power.”
Signs of Self-Growth
Taking ownership for your mistakes
It can be uncomfortable to admit to your mistakes, however, accountability reflects a sense of responsibility. “Only when you recognise the areas where you’d like to make a change, can you change. It sets the tone for proactive behaviour modification,” says Hingranny. Hiding from your emotions or not acknowledging them can be severely detrimental to your personal growth, she adds. Studies show that suppressing negative emotions harms your physical health. “Denial or withdrawal indicates that you are distressed and need to let go of emotional pain,” she says.
Standing up for yourself
Boundaries are essential to any healthy relationship. Identify your values, stand by them to communicate your boundaries. Setting boundaries can look like learning to say no to prioritise your mental health or asserting your point of view. “Communicating your needs and releasing the fear of rejection is one way of showing up for yourself,” says Hingranny. If you are at a stage where you are prioritising how and where you spend your energy, chances are you are overcoming tendencies of people-pleasing.
Reframing your mindset
Consciously changing negative thought patterns is another indicator of self-growth. Of course, it’s a slow learning process but the first step toward improvement is identifying the need to shift your internal narrative, adds Hingranny. A recent study in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia found that repetitive negative thought patterns were linked to cognitive decline and an increased risk for dementia. Studies also show that mindful practices like journaling and meditation help reframe negative thoughts. Simple acts of self-care like going from a walk, meditating or losing sense of time while practicing a hobby are all indicative of changing for the better.
Indulging in healthy coping mechanisms
It doesn’t have to be something dramatic. Even mundane actions like downloading a mental health application are steps you’ve taken out of self-compassion. “Practicing self-soothing techniques like journaling, meditation, undergoing cognitive behavior therapy help you reframe your reaction to situations,” she says. Proactive actions that come from a place of self-compassion are all healthy coping mechanisms against stress. Even distancing yourself from negativity is a proactive action.
Feeling happier and less stressed
Numerous studies show that those who practice self-compassion indicate lower levels of anxiety and stress. Researchers found that practicing soothing techniques regularly reduces cortisol (stress hormone) levels in study participants. They reported feeling a greater sense of emotional control and were better able to soothe themselves in stressful situations.