As a general rule, whatever we feel like doing is usually the opposite of what we need to be doing for our physical and mental health. When we are lacking energy for example, we often crave sugar. But is that what we actually need? Probably not. We really need some protein, or some exercise, or some sleep!
One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to give in to that desire to withdraw socially. When we’re not feeling confident or we are feeling down, there is often this strong compulsion to hide away at home and see no one. The trouble is, when we avoid socialising, our confidence and mood drops ever further. If we force ourselves to accept that invitation to meet a friend for coffee or have dinner with a mate, we usually come away feeling a bit better.
Exercise is often avoided due to a lack of energy or motivation. But what’s the best way to increase energy and motivation? Exercise.
In fact avoidance nearly always makes things worse. Avoiding ringing that person you think you’ve upset, staying clear of bridges or tunnels for fear of collapse, or ignoring that lump you noticed months ago are all going to potentially cause more problems. Play the opposite game – ring your friend, tackle the smallest bridge you can find, make an appointment with the doctor.
Most of us are great at giving others advice. Notice how many times you’ve advised a friend or family member to do the opposite of what they’re wanting to do. Now it’s time to give yourself that same great advice.