Shine Like a Diemond is a Charlotte- based blog developed to promote and inspire self-love, self-care, and fashion. Empowering women to love themselves in Style by Nicki Segur.
“Be active” “Eat healthy” – Growing up this was the constant messages I learned. This was not just taught by family but throughout health classes and in society. The thing I cannot remember learning about was mental health. WOW. I do not think I was introduced to the importance of mental health until entering college. I never knew how much your thoughts can take over your behaviors. I never knew you had control over your thoughts. I never knew how powerful, and incredible our minds are.
Entering my freshman year of college, I did not realize I was allowing my mind to destroy my body. No weight on the scale was good enough. No size was small enough. The amount on my plate was not little enough. Nothing was good enough. I became satisfied with the noise of my stomach growling. I constantly filled my schedule from morning to bedtime to avoid mealtime. My body was slowly dying because of my mind.
Not until the end of my freshman year, I was convinced to enter counseling. This is when I was diagnosed with an eating disorder and learned about the power of my mind. The greatest knowledge I learned in recovery is my thoughts have control over my feelings and behaviors. It took a lot of time to learn self-awareness, self-reflection to understand my thoughts that are affecting my hateful feelings toward my body and unhealthy eating behaviors. The road to recovery was not easy nor a short process. However, through my journey, I have learned many different things but one significantly important is the value of self-care.
A lot of people today think of self-care as bubble baths, indulging in desserts, or shopping sprees. All of these can be considered self-care, but the type of self-care I find most beneficial is ensuring I feed my mind with positivity to produce positive feelings and behaviors. There are many ways I do this and my favorite is implementing affirmation statements into my daily routine. This is where I write down statements on notecards or in the notes of my iPhone; an example of a statement is “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” “I trust the talent and abilities God has given me.” Repeating these statements reinforce positive automatic thoughts throughout my day and life. Another way I take care of my mind is journaling. Some people journal every day but I journal when I am facing tough situations. This allows me to logically think through a situation. I will sometimes talk about it to a close friend, but before I do I will write it all down. This generates self-awareness and the ability to see any irrational thoughts I may have that are causing negative feelings.
Through my experience of my eating disorder, the most important thing I have learned is the power of your mind. As I reflect on my own life and the education children are receiving; I have learned that mental health is the missing piece in the school system and society. Understanding the importance of mental health just as much as physical health could save people from being held captive by their mind.