Why little whims can be good for your mental health

Almost every month, social networks give us a new trend in mental health, and lately a recurring trend has us smiling out loud. This is a phenomenon that promotes allow yourself little whims, a gesture that at first, according to some psychologists, should not even be perceived in this form.

“It’s not really a gesture or a whim in itself. We’ve been indoctrinated into the idea that self-care and wellness is absorbing when it’s just not true. However, part of this may be true in that in some cases, the desire to buy something we like or need reflects an attitude that we are aware of what we need and a willingness to take responsibility for it and follow us. But be careful: we can also do this by simply paying attention to our emotions or find time to talk with a friend, and not to consume,” the psychologist and psychotherapist warns Buenaventura del Charco.

Those small gestures of self-affirmation or whims that we choose will be good for our mental health if they make us feel good, according to Isabelle Aranda, Member of the Board of Directors of the Official College of Psychology of Madrid and Director of Content for TherapyChat. “They range from choosing our clothes or consuming something to doing an activity or giving us time to relax, for example. We’re not just talking about buying when it comes to whims. These small gestures or everyday whims can have a positive impact on our mental health. First, by pampering yourself a little, you confirm your own worth and your ability to take care of yourself. This self-affirmation can boost self-esteem, which is an important component of mental health,” he explains.

He adds that these small gestures provide moments of joy and satisfaction as they act as balm for stress and anxiety, and according to self-care theory in psychology, these moments contribute to our emotional well-being allowing us cope better with life’s challenges.

Escapism or self-care?

“In times of high uncertainty like the current one, taking care of yourself can be a way to exercise. control over your life. This sense of control is vital to our mental health as it helps us feel more secure and face difficult situations with more confidence. So while these little gestures may seem small, they are an invaluable ally for our mental health,” adds Isabelle Aranda.

Of course, in front of those little hedonistic strokes, the question arises whether these gestures serve us as it goes exhaust. – Indeed, but I don’t think that running away is good in itself… In general, running away is quite negative, because it’s a way of not listening to ourselves and not caring about what we really need. To run means to run away from the problem, don’t fix and it undermines our self-confidence and our self-esteem because it is a form of self-denial. With rare exceptions, running away can be useful and a good thing, as a way to relax disconnect from something painful and with something to recharge the batteries, but only if then we use this energy to confront it and make decisions don’t keep putting up with it,” explains Buenaventura.

Is shopping the solution?

“Small expenses are part of the relationship between women and instant relief through shopping. This is a way to temporarily get away from difficult situations, especially if they are related to money. This gives you an instant sense of control. Buying something new is fun, but you have to avoid crossing the red line and become addicted. However, you do it from time to time, it’s okay,” he says. Francis Serrano, author of The Little Book of Psychotrading (Encourages).

“Little everyday whims can function as a kind of healthy escapism. It is recognized in psychology that sometimes we need to detachment from our reality, especially when they are tense or difficult to handle. What does not mean permanent evasion of our duties or problems, but to give us a temporary respite,” says Isabelle Aranda.

These little pleasures allow us to relax and enjoy, which can create a feeling of relief and satisfaction. In this sense, they work as self-care tools, allowing us to recharge our batteries and re-evaluate our responsibilities. “However, it’s important to find a balance.A healthy escape can turn into a harmful evasion if it is used to completely disregard our concerns or responsibilities. On the contrary, when used sparingly and conscientiously, these quirks can be great strategy for coping with reality, clarifies.

Buenaventura del Charco does not believe that this type of whim is a reflection of our ability to take care of ourselves, as he points out that they are always a reflection of need external things and feelings to cover up problems we don’t face. “However, there are no absolutes, and as I said, sometimes we need to step back a little or get other types of rewards to help us deal with painful situations. It can also indicate an attitude of taking care of oneself, taking care of oneself and that sometimes it is enough to want something for it to be okay to give it to us, and don’t fall for this guilt in which I give myself only when I can no longer and it is extremely necessary, ”he clarifies.

“For me, this is based not only on the fact that you feel like you deserve all the best what is in life, but what do you have halo of hope that by taking certain actions, you will reach the end, acquiring new habits, maybe even knowledge that you did not possess before, ”says Francis Serrano, CEO of Trading and Bolsa para Torpes.

Whims under control

How can we ensure that these whims do not get out of hand, especially if we have financial problems? “Little whims can relieve anxiety for a moment but they are not a long-term solution, especially if they require significant financial costs. Balance is important here. First, it is important to understand our whims and pleasures as part of a broader and more balanced approach to self-care. This includes healthy habits such as eating right, exercising, getting enough rest, and paying attention to our emotional needs.” explains Isabelle Aranda.

“In order to manage these vagaries in a healthy way, we can set limits and plan. Assign a budget for some whims, it can help maintain financial control, preventing them from becoming a source of financial stress. It is important to expand our definition of indulgence to include pleasures that do not require money, for example, reading a book, walking, meditating or drinking tea in silence. or just give us some rest. In this way, we allow ourselves to enjoy and take care of ourselves, which is the essence of self-care,” he says.

Buenaventura clarifies that this type of “treat” is not a cure. “Healing is the solution to a problem, take responsibility for her and our experience, allow ourselves to feel and express pain and face it. Also, we have the problem of what is called habituation: the body becomes accustomed to stimuli, so the impact of buying a T-shirt or eating something tasty is getting smaller and smaller, and we need to more doses or higher intensity (exactly the same thing happens with the consumption of substances), so each time it will be more and more ineffective and can create a problem for us, because to see that every vision is “less potent drug” We may feel overwhelmed when we see that it does not work for us and we are afraid of facing a problem, or it can also lead us to depend on those consumer painkillers that make us addicted to shopping and the like,” he concludes. .

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