May 02, 2023

Why is it important for our mental health that we are our true authentic selves?

There has been a lot of talk about being ourselves at the moment, especially with social media encouraging us to have a fake online persona. Being our true selves is vital for our mental health.

Written by

Nicole Biggs

There has been a lot of talk about being ourselves at the moment, especially with social media encouraging us all to have a fake online persona. To pretend that we are deliriously happy, and our lives are perfect. All of us know that this cannot be true, however we often buy into the illusion. This can often lead to a decline in our mental health due to us feeling upset, down and not good enough.

Accept yourself

It is important for our mental health to accept ourselves just the way we are. A lot of us tell ourselves that we will be acceptable when we lose a few pounds, or go to the gym twice a week, or get that job. However, often when we reach that goal, we then move the goalposts again and set a new target. Wetherefore set an unattainable benchmark. I am not saying that it is not good to have goals, but that it is not alright to reject yourself until you reach that goal.

As the great Whitney Houston sang:

Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all

So stop putting it off, and start to learn to love yourself now. This is not the vain, self-centred, arrogance that we often think of. It is a recognition that we are just as good as anyone else. We may be a diamond that needs a little polishing, but we are nevertheless a diamond.

You are a unique individual with special attributes and skills. We all need to recognise what amazing people we are, and the great things that we bring to the world. We all play our unique part. We are all beautiful, worthy and loveable just the way we are.

Let go of perfect

We often believe that we must be perfect, and everything we do must go perfectly. After all, that is what happens to all of these people on social media, doesn’t it? We forget that often up to 100 photographs can be taken for that one shot that goes online. Videos are shot over and over again, and engineered and edited, before they appear online. In fact, NOBODY IS PERFECT.

We must let go of our unrealistic expectations of ourselves. If we continue to hold on to them, then we will always feel not good enough, a failure. We have to accept that we are just human, and humans fail. We learn through failure, and so it is a vital part of our daily lives. If we are scared of failure, then we will not grow or achieve anything during our lifetime. We have to fail in order to create, evolve and change.

Therefore, you need to learn to give yourself a break. You will have good days and bad days, this is absolutely natural. Days on which you achieve loads, and days when getting out of bed can feel like an epic achievement. This is fine, normal, and just like everyone else.

Be true to yourself

A lot of mental health issues can stem from us trying to be something that we are not. We often keep pushing ourselves in jobs that we hate. We keep friends or partners who make us feel awful. We stay in circumstances or environments that make us sad and depressed. STOP DOING THIS.

We only have one life, enjoy it. You cannot be good at everything. You cannot like everyone. You cannot feel at home in every environment.

Get to know yourself and live in accordance with who you are. Ask yourself what you are you good at? What motivates you? What makes you happy, and sad? What are your values? Where do you feel most relaxed? With whom do you feel comfortable?

Really get to know yourself and be your own best friend. This is a vital step in maimntaining good mental health.

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