Abandonment is something that many of us face at some point in our lives, either through parental issues, breakups, or simply going through tough experiences.
The pain and trauma that comes with feeling abandoned can be harrowing, and often sticks with us throughout our lives.
While this is perfectly natural, it means that we don’t always fully explore each opportunity that we’re presented with.
Living in fear and never feeling 100% comfortable with our situations is no fun at all, but there are ways to move on.
Here are some tips for overcoming abandonment issues, so that you experience life to the full…
Let Someone In
Big changes start with small steps. Teach yourself to trust again – this doesn’t have to be as intense as it sounds, don’t worry!
Confiding in people doesn’t always mean sharing your deepest, darkest secrets; start by telling friends little details about your life that they don’t already know. By sharing information, you’ll strengthen your friendships and realize that people are interested and invested in your life.
Over time, you can share things that are more important to you, which won’t feel as scary as it might once have done. By easing yourself into the practice of sharing, you’ll allow yourself to relax more around people and not feel so worried all the time.
Trusting people is a big step in any relationship, from those with close family members to best friends to the person you’re dating.
Don’t beat yourself up if it feels tricky at first – this is totally normal! Move at a pace that suits you and give yourself time to realize that not everyone is going to betray your trust.
Find An Outlet
Find a safe place to express your feelings of anxiety and fear. This doesn’t need to be shared with anyone, so write in a journal or set up a password-protected blog.
This allows you to openly express how you’re feeling without fear of judgment.
Writing things down often helps us process them more clearly, and is a good way to get everything out. If you’re still finding it hard to talk to people about your personal life, journaling is a great place to start.
If singing or creating pieces of art feels more natural to you, go for it. You don’t need to share that you’re doing this (unless you want to), just keep it as an outlet for yourself.
Song-writing is a lovely way to express your feelings, and other people’s lyrics can really help us process how we’re feeling.
Sports can be a good choice too – the idea of being part of a team who have to commit to each other. This sense of community and mutual respect can serve as a fun reminder that you can rely on people.
Own Your Feelings
Part of working on your mental wellbeing and all the things that are tied into it (self-confidence, intimacy issues, and anxiety) is owning how you feel.
It can be so easy to hide in the comfort of denial and not really accept that anything feels scary or worrying. While this feels nice in the short-term, it doesn’t do us any favors in terms of moving forward with our lives.
Instead of jumping to cover up or hide your feelings, try to work on acknowledging them.
It’s natural to feel nervous or hesitant when it comes to meeting new people or attempting commitment. We all self-sabotage sometimes in order to avoid fully immersing ourselves in experiences.
By stopping and letting a ‘bad’ thought or feeling sit in our minds, we can learn to behave in a healthy way that benefits us.
Whenever a negative feeling arises, don’t immediately brush it away. Consider what it means and what has triggered it – perhaps looking at old photos or speaking to a certain individual.
By learning what makes us feel certain ways, we can start working toward surrounding ourselves with positivity and support.
You may also like (article continues below):
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- How To Stop Catastrophizing About Events In Your Life
- 3 Signs Of Trust Issues And How To Get Over Them
Try To Rationalize
The ability to be rational is one that can feel impossible at times. You may know that you’re totally spiraling out of control, but still feel powerless to actively change your behavior.
Sometimes, we need to sit and realize what we’re actually doing. Being worried about somebody leaving us, for example, can lead to clinginess.
It can be so beneficial to look back at examples where you have acted in ways that have frustrated your partner. Leaving seven voicemails while they’ve nipped out for a beer with some friends might feel like a good thing at the time, but a few weeks later, you’ll realize that this is unhealthy.
You’ll probably feel shocked or a bit embarrassed when you reflect on this behavior. Try to keep this feeling in your mind – not to torture yourself with and feel guilty about, but to serve as a reminder of what can happen.
Remembering your tendency to over-react slightly can be helpful in changing your habits and re-routing how your mind works. Next time you reach for the phone, think back to how it felt last time you realized how you acted. Leave a message and put the phone back down.
It may be hard at first, and you’ll find it tricky to adjust and break unhealthy habits. Over time, you’ll be able to sit back and look at things before jumping to action. This will help you feel better about yourself, and will improve your relationships too.
Your partner or friend won’t feel like they’re always being checked up on, and you’ll no longer spend hours (and lots of energy) staring at your phone and willing a message to come through.
Meditate On It
This is partially in relation to taking the time to consider the consequences of your actions, but also refers to mindfulness.
Mindfulness and meditation are amazing ways to shift your mindset and really get in touch with your emotions. This kind of self-work can help us tap in to deep-rooted feelings, which is so useful when it comes to addressing and overcoming issues of abandonment.
These feelings can arise after parental divorces, breakups, death, or any kind of change in general. They leave you worried that other loved ones will disappear on you – either by choice or through circumstances beyond their control.
While these feelings are to be expected, they can’t control every aspect of your life.
Meditation is a lovely way to address these feelings of anxiety and to process them fully. Being alone with your thoughts can seem like the worst thing in the world at times, but it’s not as daunting as it sounds.
Practice being alone by sitting somewhere comfy, closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. At first, this will feel impossible and you probably won’t be able to switch off at all! The more you practice, though, the easier and less stressful it will become.
See this time as an opportunity to wind down and settle your mind. Going from 5000 thoughts a minute to 3000 is still an achievement, so don’t be hard on yourself.
By meditating (perhaps using a guided meditation such as this) and actively taking time to look after yourself, you will learn to see your behavior and thoughts differently, ultimately giving you back some control.
Assess Your Relationships – All Of Them!
Sometimes it’s not just our overactive minds that make us worry about being abandoned – the individuals around us influence how we’re feeling too.
Someone can make you feel loved and cared for and you’ll still worry about them leaving you. How many friends, family members, and partners really make you feel good about yourself?
Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with supportive people and that you feel as comfortable as your mind allows you to be.
It’s so easy to get into bad habits and allow negative people to stay in your life. Letting go of things that do not serve you is not a bad thing – it is perfectly okay to be selfish when it comes to getting rid of toxicity!
Take time to evaluate your friendships and the people that you date, and make sure they all feed you in some way. There are certain people who, no matter how much you care about them, just aren’t good for you to be around.
Anyone who makes you feel more uncomfortable, nervous, or insecure than normal just isn’t going to help you overcome these issues. It can be hard, but you’re not going to be able to make much progress if there’s always someone holding you back.
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