By Liane Meggetto, RHN + The Clear Skin Solution Coach
The breakout, the pimple, the redness. Whether we experience one pimple or a cluster, the stress and frustration that arises can change not only how we approach each day but also how we view ourselves.
Many factors come into determining the root cause of acne. However, how often does our mind-body connection come into the conversation when discussing our acne journey?
We may work hard at making lifestyle changes such as eating more nutrient-dense foods or drinking more water. But acne also heightens feelings of stress, frustration, anger, resentment, sadness and isolation that often go unmentioned.
Addressing our mindset is just as important as physical work. It truly is the driving force on how we approach many situations in our lives, including how acne affects us and how we feel it may hold us back.
Our minds are extremely powerful in determining our life’s outcomes!
How we process stressors can manifest into the physical symptoms we experience.
Some mindsets can be positive, others may be neutral or negative, all of which can impact how we approach a given situation. The ability or inability to shift our mindset in how we approach our acne journey can be the ultimate turning point you have been looking for.
Let’s dive into a fixed vs growth mindset…
A fixed mindset is a mindset that is limiting. The belief is simply what it is and cannot be changed. For example, “I am not a good runner and I never will be.”
A growth mindset views situations as being able to be improved upon or can experience growth. For example, “ I may not be good at running, however, this is a skill I want to work on and improve.”
A misconception is that we do not have control of our thoughts and some may even believe our thoughts control us.
When we enter a negative thought pattern, we are allowing that thought to impact how we feel about ourselves and not doing anything about changing it, thus staying in a fixed mindset. A negative thought pattern usually arises from situations that happened to us in the past that drives this thought from resurfacing. There is so much power in refusing these thought patterns and allowing us to stay in the present. Essentially, we find it easier to live in discomfort because it’s what we’ve fostered for ourselves; mainly subconsciously.
Even with making positive shifts in our physical journey, resistance to change in our mindset creates mental roadblocks, which can stop us from gaining both the physical and mental shifts we desire. During our healing journey, we want to allow ourselves the openness to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset and gain power over our thought processes.
According to Louise Hay’s, You Can Heal Your Life, “Your mind is a tool you can control to use any way you wish. Do not think your mind is in control. You are in control of your mind. You use your mind. You can stop thinking those old thought patterns.” When your mind fights back in resisting to change thought patterns, change the narrative and say “I now believe it is easier for me to make changes.”
Our body, like all aspects of our life, is a reflection of not only how we treat our physical body, but also reflects our inner thoughts and beliefs about ourselves. Our body sends us signals all day long. We choose how we approach these signals but either honouring and loving these signals or hating ourselves for them. Acne is a symptom of an imbalance in the body, yet we often don’t view it as a symptom, only that something is “wrong”. There can be many emotional triggers that arise from acne:
All of these thought patterns have common themes of; isolation, judgment and comparison and not feeling worthy.
Our skin is a representation of our individuality. If we do not feel unique or good enough, we want to hide away from life, constantly comparing ourselves to others. All of these patterns have a direct impact on our unique selves. We may start to lose our sense of individuality and all that makes us wonderful and instead get lost in everything we believe does not make us worthy.
No matter how much we want to make positive changes in our day-to-day life, if we harbour these feelings of not being good enough, how can we expect our body to want to be good enough?
Diving into our regular thought patterns can be difficult. However, getting to the root of these thought patterns is a necessary step for us to be able to bring change.
|If we deal with thoughts like…||Reflect on…|
|Not wanting to go out|
Covering up with make-up
|Why do I feel the need to hide?|
Who am I hiding from?
How does the reason why I am hiding define who I am and what I have to offer?
Did I have these fears before my acne?
If so, why was I trying to hide?
|Comparing yourself to others|
Judging others’ lifestyle habits
|Why do I feel the need to compare myself to others?|
How does somebody’s journey impact my own journey?
Have I been put in situations where I felt judged or compared?
If so, was there anything positive about this situation?
What do I have to achieve when I compare myself to others?
|Not feeling good or worthy enough|
Not accepting or liking myself
|Do people in my life (past or present) make me feel this way?|
Why do I feel like I am not good enough?
What makes me unique?
What am I proud of myself for?
What positive attributes do I have about myself?
When it comes to mindset work, it is not something that shifts overnight. It truly requires lots of inner TLC that is so easy to push to the side. We are always evolving, and so is our mindset – things take time!
We want to allow ourselves to stop viewing ourselves (or our acne) as the problem that we need to punish ourselves over. Try to positively challenge your relationship with not only yourself but your skin and work towards a beautiful, loving and nurturing relationship.
We often punish ourselves over our skin. What if we became our skin’s best friend and biggest cheerleader? What do you think could shift?
We want to believe we CAN achieve our goals of healthy skin, no matter what a doctor, friend or our past history tells us. We want to look in the mirror and not be defeated by our breakouts. Instead, listen to what message our body may be trying to tell us. We want to give ourselves grace for our healing journey and not compare our journey to anyone else’s. You are not alone in how your acne makes you feel, yet you can decide to begin to work on changing your mindset and relationship with your acne.
Bringing in positive affirmations and mantras is a simple and effective way to begin building a more positive relationship between yourself and your skin. Here’s a list of some of my favourite mantras. Pick ones that resonate with you and say them to yourself while looking in the mirror every day.
Acne is just a four-letter word that does not define you or make you who you are. In the words of Byron Katie, “A story is only true if we believe it.” The greatest gift of life is creating our own storylines!
Want to go more in-depth?
Listen to our podcast episode “The Acne Game Changer (Your Mindset)” here!