Episode 121: 7 Sabotagers of Your Mental Health (Part 3)

Sep 18, 2023

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I have been spending the month focusing on fortifying your mental health by looking at ways you might be sabotaging it. Your mental health needs to be at the top of your priority list because it affects so many things. Also, with winter just around the corner, you want to be ready for those darker colder months that can wreak havoc on your mental health. 

In the last two episodes, I have covered six of the seven common sabotagers that women are doing to their mental health that aren’t helpful. I split them all up into three different episodes in order to give each one the time it deserves. Today I am going to outline one giant concept that might sabotage your mental health. This one has to do with relationships.

This particular sabotager of your mental health I am calling, codependent behaviors. Now as I talk about these behaviors that may be affecting your relationships, it doesn’t mean you are codependent. Sometimes you just develop unhealthy ways of dealing with relationships and that doesn’t mean you are fully codependent. So don’t go self-diagnosing. This is just awareness info so you can look at ways to help strengthen your mental health rather than sabotaging it.

Codependent behaviors are a way of behaving in relationships where you persistently prioritize someone else over you, and you assess your mood based on how they behave. The more you focus on providing the support you believe others need, the more heavily they may begin to lean on you. Over time, it becomes increasingly difficult to disentangle yourself. Codependent behaviors can eventually lead to a disconnect from your own needs and desires, promote unhealthy relationship dynamics and affect self-worth and overall well-being. This can be very hard on your mental health and can be avoided if you can learn healthier ways to interact in relationships. I have noticed three specific codependent behaviors I see people doing that are affecting their mental health.

Being Self-Sacrificing

Now at face value, you might look at self-sacrificing as something that is noble or righteous. Even the scriptures ask us to sacrifice for the greater good. I am not talking about stopping all behavior that is sacrificing. What I am talking about is consistently elevating the needs of others above your own. 

There are two key elements there, consistently and above your own needs. Think about that. If you are consistently ignoring your own needs to help others, where does that leave you? It leaves you worn out, exhausted and depleted. You are not taking care of what you NEED! You are pouring from an empty vessel at that point. You aren’t able to give to people in a way that they deserve because you are already worn out. 

This can also lead to a disconnect from your own needs and desires and promote unhealthy relationship dynamics. You start looking at other people’s needs above your own and eventually you don’t even know what you need. You are so disconnected from the ability to care for your own needs that it will start to affect your self-worth and overall well-being. When you develop the habit of taking on more work than you can realistically handle, you end up not helping that person or yourself. 

Sometimes this need to be self-sacrificing comes from wanting to earn praise from another and sometimes it comes from the desire to lighten a loved one’s burden. However, this becomes problematic when you also have a tendency to minimize or ignore your own desires in the process. This can also eventually lead to feelings of guilt or anxiety when you are doing something for yourself. That’s not a great place for your mental health.

This need to be self-sacrificing comes from the natural man inside of us. The natural man always takes great things about the gospel and mangles them up. Yes, we want to be sacrificing and helping others. Yes, we want to think outside of ourselves. However, not consistently above your own needs.

The best way to combat this is get the natural man out of the way and receive the revelation from the Savior who knows what is best for the situation. He knows what you need, what the other person needs and can convey to you when it’s time to take care of you or when it’s time to take care of another person. If you can relate with putting another person's needs before your own, then learning to put that natural man to sleep and receive revelation from the Savior is what will help you stop this behavior so you can help your mental health. 

Excessively Focusing on Others

Again, this is something that can be good in some situations but in excess or done in the wrong way can really be harmful to your mental health. It becomes problematic when you begin to have excessive concern about a loved one’s habits or behaviors. Now as a parent or spouse, you may want to help someone make changes. Encouraging, teaching and guiding are very different from making sure someone else changes a behavior. People have agency and making changes is hard. Allowing others the agency to make changes is allowing them the opportunity to need a Savior for that change. 

Another aspect of focusing on others excessively is finding yourself making decisions for others or trying to “manage” loved ones doing things you don’t really want them to do. Again, I am not talking about completely withdrawing from others and not interacting with them. What is ultimately needed is information from a source who knows exactly what that person needs at each given moment. Sometimes it’s to say something. Sometimes it is to NOT say something.

The one person that knows exactly what is needed is the Savior. He has already experienced what that person is going through and what will be most effective for them in the future. So getting your own natural man desires to make them change right now out of the way and receive what the Savior knows they need is the most effective way to help others.

Not Recognizing and Expressing Emotions

You would be surprised at how many adult women I see that have difficulty in naming and expressing how they are feeling in a healthy way. What I often see happening in relationships with emotions is when they are felt they are expressed in unhealthy ways that not only harm the relationship, but also the person who isn’t able to express them. 

I often see women not expressing their emotions at all because of a deep-seated need for approval from others. I see women who are damming up their emotions and keeping them in because they are worried about how their emotions might affect another person. First of all, your emotions are yours! If they do affect another person, that is them taking on your emotions and that is not your responsibility to shield them from your emotions. When you can express how you are feeling in a healthy way, that person (if healthy themselves) should be able to hear you and create space for you to feel those emotions without it affecting them and vice versa.

Think about it, if you are walking around allowing others emotions to affect you, then you are being tossed around by the wind. Thinking you can’t express your own emotions because someone can’t handle it is also holding onto burdens you don’t need to. Doing this will have you thinking that your self-worth depends on what others think about you. You will also find yourself having a tendency to apologize or take on blame in order to keep the peace in a relationship. You will also be changing your mood so that it reflects how others feel around you. This can all lead to having overwhelming fears of rejection or abandonment. Can you relate with any of those? 

If so, you may want to look at learning to identify and express your emotions in a healthy way. One of the most effective ways to identify and express emotions is through yoking with Christ and receiving His guidance on how to do that. Remember that He has already felt what you are feeling. He knows what you're going through and can be the best source of wisdom in these situations. 

You have probably noticed that I keep saying that the most effective way to deal with these codependent behaviors that are sabotagers of your mental health is through putting the natural man to sleep and connecting with the Savior’s enabling power. You might be wondering, how can I do that? What does that look like? Well, it’s important to learn skills that help you do that. My favorite skill is using revelation meditations to help put the natural man to sleep and reconnect with the Savior’s revelation you need for your unique circumstances. President David O. McKay has said that, 

“We pay too little attention to the value of meditation"


Strengthening your mental health by using revelation meditations will help you to:

  • Have clarity in your thoughts for more peace so you can cope with life’s stresses

  • Receive divine help to increase energy so you can work productively

  • Communicate your needs and desires to connect and improve relationships 

  • Process emotions to create healing so you can have better self-care

If you are a faithful woman who is feeling stressed, unmotivated, confused and emotional you can begin strengthening your mental health in 20 minutes a day by using revelation meditations “to pass through to the presence of the Lord” and receive His ENABLING POWER of peace, energy, connection and healing.

At the beginning of next month on October 1st I am doing a 30 Days to Stronger Mental Health Challenge to help fortify, strengthen and heal your mental health for the upcoming winter. Each day of the challenge you will have a specific meditation (on a private app) you can complete to help you strengthen your mental health. You will receive the entire Clarity in the Chaos Course with 25 unique meditations for FREE to use during and after the challenge. You can even start the meditations immediately and not wait until October 1.

The challenge is held on a private community app. This will be a place to connect with other women facing similar life challenges to you, get your questions answered daily on the challenges, and become motivated to develop critical mental health tools. All contained in a private app away from social media distractions.

Within the 30 days to stronger mental health challenge, there will be weekly prizes given for completing the daily challenges and an ability to connect with other women who are experiencing similar life challenges as you. The prizes are there to help motivate and keep your focus while you are developing new and crucial habits for your mental health. 

Challenges are also a great way to start a new habit. They provide the boost you may need to get started making a change. Also, once you start the challenge, the daily repetition boosts momentum to strengthen your mental health and as you keep going, achieving small successes can help motivate you to keep the changes going.

If you are ready to join us to have stronger mental health through this challenge, then JOIN THE CHALLENGE TODAY get started with the meditations right away. Once you register, send the link to a friend that you want to do the challenge with because challenges are more successful when you have an accountability partner. 

LDS Mental Health Skills Membership Waitlist


Learn to become a Divine Receiver with Mental Health Skills so you can:

stop wasting time getting distracted and accomplish more in less time to be productive
become a vessel for the Savior to help your struggling loved ones or improve relationships
heal and manage emotions to cope with life's challenges and spend more quality time doing what you love
have Consistent Spiritual Habits that help you discern personal revelation and feel peace in your unchangeable situations


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