Dr. Rahul N. Mehra, the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of MehraVista Health sent WFLA’s Stacie Schaible the following article to share on Tips for Healthy Self (ie) Love. Mehra is a Board Certifed Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist.
Selfies are an international social media phenomenon. Periodic selfies are fun, self-deprecating and humorous. However, the persistent need to “see” oneself in social media beckons the simple question – why?
A logical argument can be made that in some instances, selfies are narcissism gone amok. Narcissism is defined as the pursuit of gratification from admiration of one’s attributes. Ironically the term “narcissism” originates from Greek mythology where young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.
The obsessive preoccupation that many people have with themselves is rooted in insecurity.
In the workplace, insecurities are the driving force leading to coworker conflicts, hostile work environments, loss of productivity/growth and ultimately failure.
Human development of secure self-identity begins actually before birth. Family and friends project onto unborn children love, expectations, idealized fantasies, acceptance and even emotional rejection.
These then lay the foundation for self-acceptance, healthy self-love and unshakable self-confidence or the opposite. After birth, consistent, predictable parenting is the core for creating an emotionally secure and psychologically healthy individual. Inconsistent parenting, divorce, caregiver illness, abuse, death, substance abuse among parents can create significant barriers to the child having a healthy self-image.
Long term effects of such negative forces can lead to insecurities, anxiety and an unending need for external validation by others. Insecure personalities require frequent and constant reassurance from external sources. Instantaneous validation is required to mitigate the uneasiness of self-doubt and anxiety.
These immediate superficial responses however, contribute little to long-term emotional security. The reason is simple – the root of the insecurity is never addressed. Valentine’s Day brings thoughts of love. Healthy self-love is a powerful tool for having secure, meaningful relationships in both our personal and professional lives.
Unhealthy self-love can be an extremely destructive force in our lives that can lead to anxiety, depression, substance abuse and unhappiness in our relationships.
Tips for Healthy Self Love:
Acknowledge, forgive and better understand shortcomings (if any) in your upbringing.
Accept your mistakes.
Forgive yourself first.
Change what you can and let go of what you cannot.
Focus on your strengths and nurture them. Surround yourself with friends, family, coworkers who genuinely care about YOU- not your clothes, hair, makeup, the car you drive, how you look on Facebook or how many “likes” you get.
Prioritize fueling your soul with meaningful activities rather than superficial ones.
Focus on caring for those who are less fortunate than you.