Indulging can be a healthy act of self-care or a serious mistake. Depends on what?
Last update: May 17, 2022
There are those who think that indulging their desires means being a consumerist, materialistic, vain or reckless. Others believe that an act of self-care and mental flexibility is absolutely necessary.
There is no bad or good, positive or harmful position. The difference lies in the intention with which one acts, in the reasons that lead us to reward ourselves or not with these small gifts.
Indulging your desires is necessary
The famous psychologist Walter Riso clearly illustrates how i little quirks are essential to build our self-esteem. We are undoubtedly physical beings who inhabit physical spaces, so self-love must also manifest itself in these spaces of reality. It is not enough to love each other in theory, you have to prove it to each other.
When she expects a child, she prepares everything necessary to make her stay in the world pleasant and comfortable. So future parents choose the clothes and furniture of the room with love and care. They provide the unborn baby with a beautiful environment.
Likewise, when we host someone, we provide clean sheets and towels, the most beautiful and new. We take care of the purchase and preparation of our guests' favorite foods and do everything possible to make them feel appreciated and welcomed.
However, when it comes to pleasing ourselves we are not always so careful. We feel that we can always wait, that the towels we use are not that old yet, that ordering food is an unnecessary expense or that a manicure is a vain whim.
Yet, through all these small gestures we take care of ourselves. By not giving ourselves a whim, feeling we don't deserve it, we end up neglecting ourselves and undermining our self-esteem.
Beautifying our house or our body is not always vanity, buying the pants we like so much isn't always consumerism, it's self-care.
You have to pay attention to the reason that induces you to indulge your desires. Many people resort to external actions to ignore and hide their emotional universe.
You will certainly know someone who hides their emotions with food, who tries to alleviate their feelings of lack of control by compulsive shopping. Someone obsessed with his physical appearance so as not to address his lack of self-esteem.
This is certainly not the correct way to manage your emptiness or unpleasant emotions. It is legal and healthy to eat your favorite food from time to time as a small satisfaction. However, doing it systematically when feeling anxious, sad or nervous is an inappropriate self-regulation strategy.
It is an act of self-esteem to buy that item of clothing you like without feeling remorse for the price or without asking yourself a thousand times over if it was really necessary. However, buying in an uncontrolled way and in order to mitigate an inner discomfort will only have negative consequences.
When we act unconsciously, on impulse and without considering the long-term consequences, we end up hurting ourselves. The immediate satisfaction will soon turn into a sense of guilt that accompanies the already felt emptiness.
What motivates us?
The secret is to find a balance. Don't be overly rigid, demanding and inflexible with yourself, while avoiding chaos, lack of control and impulsiveness. When we have a desire, we must ask ourselves what motivates it.
Do you tend to deny yourself some whims because you don't feel worthy of them? Do you feel the need to shop, eat or beautify yourself to silence unpleasant emotions?
Indulging your desires is fine, but you have to be aware and motivated by self-love, from the desire to rejoice and not to cover up shortcomings.