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September , 05 , 2014

What do you do when you feel empty, stressed-out, over-worked, undervalued, or deprived? In a world surrounded by so much bad news, how do you sooth a tired and frightened soul? Every day – as wars kill thousands of innocent people, racial conflicts bring out protesting crowds to the streets, natural disasters uproot neighborhoods, and the most popular celebrities who seem to have everything they need commit suicide- doubtlessly pressures of living a happy life become increasingly excessive. So, how do you escape dealing with such burdens?

People react differently to harsh circumstances. Some desperately attempt to make themselves happy and they do it through self-indulgence. They find unhealthy relationships, risky activities, and addictive substances as their remedy. Shopping sprees, getting high on food, thrill seeking, sexual eccentricity, and greed in financial pursuit are some associated pleasure-inducing activities for many, although they may never find fulfillment once they run out of such self-indulging activities. The costs of these traits are often very high and the resulting losses are so deep that one could never get out undamaged. The effects of abusing alcohol on the liver, adrenaline rush on the heart, smoke on the lungs, sweets on the diabetics, drugs on the brain, promiscuity on contracting venereal diseases, and excessive food consumption on the digestive system are so debilitating. Not only do they create physical impairments, they will also break down one’s emotional and psychological well-being.

When one engages in pursuit of pure pleasure or disregards making responsible choices, many other areas of life are affected. As one Breaks laws and orders to gain satisfaction, guilt and shame are replacing self-worth and pride; this closes the doors on feeling secure and threatens the sense of freedom. Irresponsibility and lack of self-respect destroys loving relationships since it endangers others’ positions and ruins any chance for resolution. Carelessness and inattention to self-care causes irreversible financial losses as well. Over-spending and addictive shopping sinks one into debt, as impulsivity and reaction to events declines the possibilities for having a healthy life-style. Altogether, pleasure seeking and chasing indulging habits reduce both self-trust and self-esteem. One who is subjected to continuous self-sabotaging activities, will be systematically hurting physical viability and psychological well-being.

After experiencing all the negative results of indulgence, it is boredom and sadness that often drive one to compulsive and abusive behavior. The fact is that striving for a glimpse of happiness while acting out and seeking pleasure is futile and exhausting. Joy is an internal sense of peace and containment that can never be reached by consuming outside resources. Pleasure can’t be enough; the more one gratifies the self, more is needed to keep up with the state of gratification. Fulfilling addictive tendencies and staying dependent on indulgent activities eventually results in more emptiness, anguish and fear which create further insecurities. A joyful person is often content with what there is; but an insecure person is continuously trying to bury negative feelings under a ton of self-loathing activities. Self-love and accepting personal responsibility stop one from feeling lost or hiding scared. All one needs is self-efficacy instead of self-indulgence.

The ability to take care of the self by preventing unhealthy patterns, maintaining healthy practices, and creating healthier relationships is the essence of self-efficacy. Assessment and management of physical and psychological conditions, making responsible choices with clear intentions, and moderation in consumption are helpful practices in maintaining a balanced position in every step of life. Living healthy and fostering self-care is not a quick fix, it is a life-style. It is a thoughtful and consistent process that requires awareness. During our childhood and while we were growing up, many of us did not receive what we wanted or needed. Then, as a result, we have learned that we are not worthy of having what we deserve to have today. Once such a negative self-image becomes an internalized belief, it unconsciously follows us through adulthood. As healthy and self- efficient adults, it is our responsibility to regain self-worth and assertiveness. We must realize that we are worthy of self-love and our past is not an indication of our future.

Seeking Psychological support and engaging in self-valuing practices are major requirements for a healthy transformation. It would be very difficult to make a shift from pleasure seeking to joy without doing the work. Realizing our negative patterns and finding the ability to stop or slow down self-destructive behaviors can be the immunity that we all need to have. Our suicidal thoughts, anger provoking reactions, escaping from pain, ignoring responsibilities, and aggressive attitudes stem from poor choices in life. Successful transformation entails an internal dialogue between our child-like or self-devaluing beliefs on one side and the responsible adult who makes healthy choices on the other. We have to realize that we indeed deserved what our parents or caregivers were not able to give us; we need to leave our past behind us and let go of futuristic expectations. We can re- parent ourselves and work on new ways for efficient living. No one can find joy without letting go of a negative self-talk. We are responsible for replacing indulgent reactions with positive action and creating healthier life-styles.

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Dr. Sadigh’s one on one sessions, group meetings, workshops, and integrative seminars specialize in clarifying the difficulties in communication and facilitating healthy growth. Dr. Sadigh focuses on his client’s ability to desensitize old worries, process new understandings, and replace negative outlooks with a positive attitude in service of success and happiness. Dr. Sadigh’s radio programs can be heard on blogtalkradio.com/drdaniel and670amkirn.com . For more information and registration visit