Codependency can be a difficult cycle to break. It often starts in childhood, when the child’s needs are neglected or ignored, and they respond by trying to meet their own needs through caretaking behaviors. These children grow up into adults who have difficulty with self-care because it is so ingrained in them that someone else must take care of them. While codependency may not seem like an addiction, it has many similarities to other forms of addiction; it lacks the physical withdrawal symptoms but does cause emotional distress when one ceases caring for others without receiving anything in return. If you think this sounds like your struggle with codependence, then don’t worry! We’re here to help you overcome these unhealthy behaviors and live a life free. There are different methods to overcome codependency.
- 1 What Is Codependency?
- 2 How to Overcome Codependency?
- 2.1 Try To Let Go of Toxic Relationships
- 2.2 Be Aware of Your Triggers
- 2.3 Get Therapy
- 2.4 Start Taking Care of Yourself
- 2.5 Set Boundaries
- 2.6 Focus on Yourself First
- 2.7 Start Loving Yourself Again
- 2.8 Start Doing Therapy Exercises
- 2.9 Practice Self-Compassion
- 2.10 Join Support Group
- 2.11 Try To Avoid People That Trigger Codependency
- 2.12 Maintain Healthy Diet
- 2.13 Practice Mindfulness Exercises
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 A Word From MantraCare
What Is Codependency?
Codependency is a type of relationship addiction. It is defined as a psychological condition where someone feels they need to be in a relationship in order to feel okay or complete. People who are codependent often have low self-esteem and feel like they can’t survive without their partners. They also tend to put their partners’ needs before their own, which can lead to resentment and unhappiness. If you’re struggling with codependency, it’s important to get help so you can start taking care of yourself first.
Symptoms of Codependency
These are some of the tips that can help you recognize if you’re codependent:
- You feel like you can’t survive without your partner.
- You often put your partner’s needs before your own.
- Maybe you have low self-esteem and feel like you’re not good enough on your own.
- You’re always worried about what your partner thinks of you.
- You find it hard to say no to your partner.
- You feel guilty or ashamed when you’re not with your partner.
Causes of Codependency
These are some of the causes of codependency:
Abuse – this can include sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.
Neglect – also known as the “invisible wounds of childhood” such as not receiving enough affection or support from your parents or someone who was supposed to take care of you when you were growing up. This includes abandonment issues.
Trauma – trauma is any kind of accident or event that leaves a lasting effect on your life psychologically and emotionally. Codependency often develops after something traumatic happens in your lives which makes you feel vulnerable, powerless, and threatened by others around you.
Control: if you grew up in a household where there was a lot of chaos, instability, or anger, you may have learned to take on the role of caretaker as a way to try and control the situation.
Benefits of Codependency
These are some of the benefits of codependency:
- You feel like you have a purpose in life.
- You’re always there for your partner when they need you.
- You feel needed and important.
- Your relationship is comfortable and stable.
Negative Effects of Codependency
These are some of the negative effects of codependency:
- You have no control over your own life.
- Your partner is always in charge.
- Your relationship is unhealthy and one-sided.
- You’re always sacrificing your own needs for your partner’s sake.
- You feel resentful and unhappy most of the time.
How to Overcome Codependency?
If you want to overcome codependency, here are some tips that can help:
Try To Let Go of Toxic Relationships
Codependents often find themselves in relationships with people who are toxic and unhealthy. This is because they think that, somehow, once they finally get their partners to love them back then everything will be ok again. So if you feel like your current relationship isn’t good for you at all it might be time to let go and move on from this person.
Be Aware of Your Triggers
One of the most important things codependent people need to learn how to do is recognize their triggers. This is so they can avoid giving into temptation when a certain situation arises. For example, maybe every time you drink alcohol with friends you always end up sleeping with someone even though deep down inside you know it’s not what you really want. Or maybe every time your partner is unhappy you feel the need to make them happy again even though it’s not actually possible for anyone else but themselves to do this.
This is a great way to start understanding why you’re codependent and how to change it. Therapists can also give you tools and strategies. This is to help you break free from your addiction. In this case, addiction doesn’t mean drugs or alcohol, but rather your need for a relationship.
Start Taking Care of Yourself
One of the main reasons why people become codependent is because they don’t have a strong sense of self-identity. They rely on their partner to make them feel good about themselves. So, start working on building up your own self-esteem and find things that make you happy outside of your relationship. This can be anything from spending time with friends and family to doing activities you love, like painting or hiking.
Codependents often have trouble setting boundaries because they want to please everyone around them. However, in order to take care of yourself, you need to learn how to say no and say yes only when you really mean it.
Focus on Yourself First
This is one of the ways to overcome codependency. In order to take care of yourself, you need to focus on your own needs first. It is before worrying about what anyone else wants or needs from you. This can be a tough thing for codependents who have been conditioned their whole lives to always consider someone else’s feelings and opinions above their own. But once you do this, not only will your life start feeling more balanced but so will the relationships in it as well!
Start Loving Yourself Again
Once again, since most codependent people don’t value themselves very much they often feel unworthy of love. In fact, many come from backgrounds where they never experienced unconditional love growing up which is necessary for mental health. So, if you want to break free from your codependency, start by loving yourself first.
Start Doing Therapy Exercises
This is one of the ways to overcome codependency. Therapy exercises can help a lot with overcoming codependency because they force you to take an introspective look at yourself and understand what needs fixing inside of your heart and mind so you can finally become whole again as a person. Here are some examples: Write down all the sacrifices you’ve made for others over the years and then ask yourself if they were really worth it in the end. Write down your ideal day and what you would do on this day, and then compare it to the reality of how your days usually play out. Draw a picture of yourself that represents how you see yourself currently, and then draw another one that represents how you want to see yourself in the future.
One of the main things that will help you overcome codependency is practicing self-compassion. This means accepting yourself for who you are, even if you’re not perfect. It also means being kind to yourself when you make mistakes rather than beating yourself up over them. So, start forgiving yourself for your flaws and be gentle with yourself as you work on changing unhealthy behaviors.
Join Support Group
Codependent people often feel so alone in their struggles, but thankfully there are groups out there specifically designed to help them through this journey. These groups can provide an amazing sense of support from people who understand what you’re going through because they’ve been there too Plus, it’s a great way to make friends who can support you in your recovery.
Try To Avoid People That Trigger Codependency
One of the best ways to overcome codependency is by trying to avoid situations and the people that trigger them. This might mean distancing yourself from toxic friends or family members or staying away from certain places or activities that always lead to you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. With time and practice, this will become easier and easier. This is until eventually, you’re able to manage your codependency in a healthy way without having to avoidance anything at all.
Maintain Healthy Diet
Codependency often gets triggered by negative emotions, so it’s important to have a healthy diet. Make sure you’re eating foods that nourish the body and mind such as lean protein sources, whole grains, fruits & vegetables, healthy fats like omega-rich oils or nuts and seeds. And of course, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout your day too! When you feel down or upset there are special recipes for drinks that might help reduce depression such as warm milk with honey (which contains tryptophan), lemon juice + ginger tea (boosts energy), and mint leaf/chamomile tea (aids relaxation).
Practice Mindfulness Exercises
Finally, spending time practicing mindfulness exercises helps to keep the mind clear and focused. This can be done in a number of ways, such as through meditation, yoga, or even just spending time in nature. By doing this on a regular basis, you’ll find that your thoughts will naturally start to drift away from codependent thinking and towards more positive, healthy thoughts instead.
Codependency is often viewed as a negative thing, but in reality, it can exist on a spectrum. So, if you want to break free from your codependency, start by understanding where you fall on this spectrum. Are you slightly codependent, moderately codependent, or severely codependent? This is important to know because the strategies for overcoming codependency will be different depending on your level of dependency.
But no matter where you fall on the spectrum, there are certain things that will always help in overcoming codependency such as practicing self-compassion, joining a support group, trying to avoid people and situations that trigger codependency, maintaining a healthy diet, and practicing mindfulness exercises. With time and patience, you can overcome your dependence on others and become a healthier and happier person in the process!
A Word From MantraCare
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.