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Sometimes our skin can make us feel trapped. We can feel like life has given us a prison sentence with the only hope being that, with patience and time, our breakouts will clear.

If this is you right now, you are not alone.

An article in womenshealthuk by @anjalimahto highlighted 54% of British adults who have acne said it had a negative impact on their self esteem while 22% said it inhibited their social life.

Acne can take over our thought process for a long, long time. When we are fused with our thoughts we tend to take them very seriously. We believe them, buy into them & play them out.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a goal of clear skin because we want it but it’s a very different headspace to wanting clear skin because we don’t feel like we’re good enough. When our mind continuously focuses on what is wrong with ourselves we disassociate from what is going well & we become stuck in negativity.

Anais Nin said “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” and this is completely true. If we can recognise & identify negative thought patterns as they occur, we can step back from them. We see the thoughts in our head as simply that—just thoughts. Not reality. We only listen to them if we find them valuable or helpful. We don’t take them to be ‘the truth’ & we don’t automatically obey them.

There is a very simple but powerful technique for untangling from thoughts called ‘name it to tame it’. When an unhelpful thought arises you simply mentally ‘label’ the story. For instance if we think “Who am I to be going out tonight, I look disgusting. Who would want to be seen with me?” We mentally note “Ahh the ‘who do you think you are’ story is here again” & then we let it go, stop giving it all our attention & stop taking it so seriously.

We realise it’s just a thought, not reality, open our awareness to the world around us again & carry on doing what we were about to do. As soon as we name the mental story we step back from being caught up in it.

We win a victory & life gets an incremental bit better.

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