Our early relationship dynamics with our parents or primary caregiver develop the blueprints to the way we develop bonds in our adulthood. These attachment styles can be divided into two categories, secure, and insecure—fearful-avoidant, anxious, or dismissive-avoidant.
Secure attachment style
Individuals with secure attachment styles often develop more emotionally fulfilling relationships and are more likely to have successful relationships compared to people who developed insecure attachments in their childhood.
This secure bond is the result of all of the child’s immediate needs for love, affection, and trust being met in a healthy manner. Children who experience some form of abuse or trauma carry their insecure attachments well into their adulthood.
It’s completely possible to change your attachment style through a combination of lifestyle changes, behavior modification, and psychotherapy. Here’s what you can do:
Let yourself heal
Childhood situations that lead to an insecure attachment style also create self-esteem issues, leading to self-neglect, self-sabotage, or even self-destruction. Healing from the often deeply-rooted belief that you don’t deserve healthy relationships or happiness can help you become more secure as a person.
Remember, you can’t fix years of damage in one go. Sit with your feelings of self-loathing and question the reasons behind their existence. Perhaps there were factors in your past that were out of your control and you did your best at the time. You can earn your own forgiveness by taking responsibility of your actions and making amends.
Build up your self-esteem
After forgiving yourself for the past, you have the chance to create a better future. You might have engaged in negative self-talk and shame for years before reaching this point, and it’s time to turn it around. Make yourself the ultimate priority in your life—people with insecure attachment styles often don’t see themselves as worthy of compassion or self-care.
Make a list of all of the things that you’ve been neglecting about your physical and mental health and commit to tackling each one, one at a time. Remember, self-improvement is not about perfection. You can also start journaling positive thoughts about yourself! Make it a habit to write down three different compliments about yourself every morning to remind yourself that you’re worth loving.
Acknowledge your current attachment style
Identify your current attachment style and its negative aspects. If you’re anxious about your partner and feel unloved all the time, try to build up your self-esteem and cater to your own needs in order to decrease the intensity of dependency. If you’re avoidant and are unable to meet you’re your loved ones’ needs, try making an active effort to fulfill their needs and communicate your urge to pull away instead of bottling it in.
Get in touch with a mental health therapist
Developing a secure attachment style can enrich your life and help your mental health in the long run. Identifying your patterns and acting upon them to bring about change by yourself can be challenging. Our clinical supervisor, Dr. Stempel, is a highly qualified mental health expert at Stem Wellness who can help you work on your anxiety and trust issues in order to create stable bonds with people in your life.
Contact us to find out more today.