It’s been almost 17 years, and I’ve only recently come to realize the person who matters most in my life, is myself. From a very young age, we’ve learned to constantly try to please others, and in this effort, sometimes we’ve forgotten to love ourselves. Until recently, I would never say “no” to someone, as I’ve been known as a very kind, benevolent character. I’d especially never say “no” to my parents. Looking back, trying to please their expectations was probably the worst idea.
I can now say that most of the time, parents don’t realize that their high hopes for us, or their attempts to motivate us, can sometimes differ from our own perspectives and can make us feel like our opinions aren’t worthy. Other times, it can make us feel like we, as individuals, do not matter or are not worthy. When we don't reach our expectations we tend to think we have failed others, when in fact, we’ve disappointed only ourselves.
My experiences on dealing with my negative emotions have been very harsh. I remember that every time I’d get angry or stressed, my body would begin to feel sore, and I would also get headaches or stomach aches. I could feel big lumps of swollen muscles under my skin, on my neck, and under my jaw because of the tension on my body. It was a nightmare getting my face to relax because it would hurt so much. I began to see changes in my appetite, along with chest pain, extreme tiredness, neck stiffness, and trouble sleeping. Even my hair began to fall out. I would take showers and be able to pull out clumps of loose hair. I felt like my brain, heart, soul, and emotions were overloaded and incredibly strained. I learned that having so many stressful emotional events hitting me at once and feeling the pressure to please everyone - when I was already mentally and physically tired - wore me out completely. Our bodies respond to the way we think, feel, and act. When we’re stressed, anxious, or upset, our bodies react in ways that might tell us something isn't right. When we’re feeling stressed, anxious, or upset, we may not take care of our health as well as we should.
I searched for help and found that the key for dealing with negative thoughts in my life, was myself. I had to set boundaries for myself and embrace positivity. I’ve learned that we are the only ones who have to be happy and satisfied with how we’re living our lives. We are the ones who will be stuck with the results of our actions, so we’re the only ones who get to decide…
I decided to stop. I was completely determined to quit with my negative emotions impacting my daily life. I began to live every single day of my life at its fullest and love myself. I was sure that I was never going to change others’ expectations or opinions, and I had to move forward being satisfied with who I am, not letting negative thoughts control my mind or body.
I want to encourage you all - fellow teenagers and peers - to follow these points if experiencing similar situations:
Feel free to share this information and embrace the importance of maintaining our health, loving ourselves, and supporting each other as a community.
TeenzTalk's Blog is here to amplify youth stories and perspectives on topics including personal challenges, self-care practices, initiatives in their community, and more.