Being a girl sucks sometimes.
Why, you ask? Well, I think we can all relate to these few things: Having to be thin, having to be pretty, having to smile all the time, having to be perfect all of the time. Society puts so much pressure on females to be a certain way, that it causes girls to forget the beauty in individuality.
Like all girls, I’ve struggled with this idea of looking a certain way and being a certain way. When I came to The College of Saint Rose, though, my perception about myself immediately changed. Instead of thinking I wasn’t pretty enough or thin enough (which is the impression I got from high school, unfortunately), I was told that I was beautiful inside and out. After a while, I started believing it! The friends that I made not only made me feel good about myself, but made me feel like I was a part of something – a community. They made me feel included, special, and pointed out the benefits of individuality. I am my own person; I look a certain way, act a certain way, and will remain this way for the rest of my life. And that’s ok. I’m allowed to be my best self, which may not fit society’s standards. And after 3 years of college, I can confidently say that that’s fine with me. I can say that I love myself, and it’s all thanks to the community at The College of Saint Rose!
Over this past spring break, I got this thought in my head – Healthy Thinking. I always try to eat healthy and work out often (although I always enjoy the desserts the dining hall provides, and I sometimes treat myself), but until now I didn’t realize I had also begun to think healthily. I began doing some research about this topic, and found some helpful hints that could help others think healthily as well.
- Be precise in your thinking. Instead of “I always mess this duty up” think “I didn’t get it right this time”.
- Avoid words that are imperatives – Always, Never, Should, Must (“Everyone should like me all of the time” or “I must be perfect on the job and at home”)
- React to what is real, not imagined. React to the situation at hand, not the worst situation that you can conjure up in your mind.
- Instead of guessing or mind reading about what others think about you or need from you- Ask. Check it out.
- Consider the whole. Instead of focusing on a single negative detail about yourself or others try to balance your view with the positive. A balanced perspective will likely be more realistic and keep your mood balanced too. (Filtering)
- Just because you feel something, doesn’t make it true. If you feel stupid, it doesn’t follow that you are stupid. If you feel guilty, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are. Feelings come from thoughts and if your thoughts are inaccurate or misguided your feelings may be too. (emotional reasoning)
- Fairness is relative, not absolute. What you think is fair is guided by you, your needs, wants, responsibilities, etc. Other people’s standard of fairness is guided by their needs, wants, responsibilities and the two often do not agree. Expecting people to agree with you will build resentment and impair relationships. (Fairness fallacy)
- It’s not always about you. Thinking that things that happen around you are related to you can create unhealthy thinking and moods. Looking for your self worth in comparison to others is empty exercise that will leave you thinking and feeling that you don’t measure up. Let your own values and experiences be your yardstick.
These are helpful tips not just for girls like me who may be insecure, but for everyone who may need a little help in positive thinking. If you desire a healthier lifestyle, then this is a good step to take. Think good thoughts, and good things will follow!
And here’s something to add to the list that I thought up – 9. Remember to be an individual. You are the only you that will exist. Don’t try to fit to what society thinks you should do or should be, or what anyone else thinks you should do or be. Be You. You are good enough, I promise! I was for my friends, and if you’re having trouble finding people who think that way, branch out and try to meet new people. You deserve to be loved for being you.
I hope that these things can help you all begin to think healthily as well! If you ever need counseling about this (or anything else I talked about today), don’t hesitate to talk to your RA, someone from the Counseling Center, or a friend!
Remember: You Deserve to Love Yourself. Never forget it 🙂