I realize it may not have ever occurred to you that your skin picking has a message, or even several messages, for you. Or, perhaps you have spent countless hours pondering this same question.
Chances are good you have at least asked, “Why?” Or even, “Why me?”
But I’d like to ask you now, to relate to it in a different way. As a wise teacher who is ready to point out your blind spots in your life, as soon as you are ready to listen. As a teacher who has the potential to make your life better, instead of worse, which is most likely how you look at it now. You look at skin picking as your enemy, instead of your friend.
Even more likely, you also look at yourself as an enemy, rather than a friend, because after all, you are the one doing the picking, are you not?
You have these two things tightly wrapped together, don’t you? Yourself and your picking. Perhaps at some level, you feel you ARE this picking, but that is not true, and I’m sure you know that intellectually.
You know you are far more than this skin picking, but sometimes the face you present to the world feels less real to you than the endless hours spent alone picking.
In your head you know that, but at some level, no matter what your external accomplishments or situations in life are, if you cannot stop picking your skin, deep down you feel badly about yourself.
What are the things you tell yourself?
- “You should be able to stop.”
- “Look how ugly you are now.”
- “What is wrong with you?”
(Fill in your favorite admonishment.)
Look at those statements. Would you ever say those things to a good friend? Or a small child? Chances are, you would not, because you are a sensitive person and you know how mean and hurtful that would be.
Now notice this: You are a sensitive person and that is how you are talking to yourself.
That is the first thing you can learn from your skin picking:
You are too hard on yourself.
Chances are, you haven’t seen it that way. That is because you are habitually thinking,
- “You need to try harder.”
- “You need to do better.”
But can it be that your skin picking is an indication of being too hard on yourself, being too perfectionistic?
Perhaps your caregivers were too hard on you as a child, and rather than disagree with their treatment or opinion of you, you knew no better than to absorb it without question and make it your own, as children do.
Or perhaps instead, the picking developed as a way to deal with stress or anxiety, and may have been passed down to you from anxious parents. But soon, as it began to become a problem for you, and you found yourself continually unable to stop, you developed the mental habit of being too hard on yourself.
There is no reason to beat yourself up when you pick.
It is not your fault that you do it, and, in fact, it is this kind of thinking that locks you in a prison and prevents you from getting better and finding the freedom to stop.
I know you have a long-standing habit, not only of picking, but also of negative self-talk, being mean and unaccepting of yourself and your picking. So it is not necessarily going to be easy to instantly stop yourself from thinking and saying such things to yourself. It will take practice and you may need outside help, but trust me, it is a worthwhile and necessary step to stopping the skin picking.
What else is your skin picking trying to tell you?
You need to slow dowwnnn.
Here again, you might not realize what a blessing the skin picking is for delivering you this message, if you choose to pay attention. Most of us in this society need to slow down, for our health, happiness and overall well-being, but few of us will have such a great motivation to put slow-down practices in place as those who pick their skin and want desperately to stop.
Are you revved up at night and end up doing endless picking? Do you feel dependent on the picking for a sense of relief and relaxation, no matter how temporary it really is? Do you miss sleep because of picking or insomnia?
You absolutely need to take time out and learn some methods to slow down and relax your body, and give it the rest it needs. When you do this you will pick less, and enable healing in your mind, body and spirit.
Here are some great ways to slow down and relax in the evening:
- Deep slow breathing
- Restorative yoga
- A hot bath
- Vigorous exercise in early evening
- Self massage with Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls (you can buy them here)
- Drink a relaxing herbal tea or warm almond milk
Be sure you go get my “Freedom Kit” because in the video, “Stop Skin Picking Urges in Two Minutes Flat” I lead you through an amazing exercise that helps you slow down your system FAST. It is great for those times when you are revved up and about to pick.
It is SO important that you get enough sleep. You may have noticed that when you’re tired you end up picking more.
The seven slow-downs above should help you be able to get a good night’s sleep, but if you do tend to have a lot of trouble falling asleep or are waking up in the middle of the night, you will also want to follow these four bits of advice:
- Do not drink caffeine after morning.
- Do not eat cold or raw foods or drinks, in the evening but possibly all day, especially in cold weather.
- Be in bright light during the day. Get some sun when possible at lunchtime or a break, so your body makes melatonin, which will trigger your sleep at night.
- Do not sit in bright light at night. There are amber light bulbs you can use for the two or three hours before bedtime. They will allow your body to get ready to sleep.
Is there anything else your skin picking is trying to tell you?
There are many other things your skin picking can be trying to tell you.
It can be telling you,
“You need to deal with this anxiety.”
“You need to deal with painful emotions or circumstances of your life, and stop trying to avoid them or pretend they don’t exist.”
“You need to live the life you want to live, rather than trying to make everyone else happy.”
It is frequently telling you that your system,
if not your life, is out of balance.
Rest and exercise are needed for a balanced life, but you may also be going wrong with what you are eating, even when you think you are eating healthy! The next article will discuss the role of food in skin picking.
p.s. Have you downloaded my free Freedom Kit? It comes with a written and audio report, “Why you pick your skin and how to finally stop,” a video on “how to stop skin picking urges in two minutes flat,” and my “Live Free” newsletter in your inbox each month. Click here to sign up.