Do you find decision-making difficult? Do you consult others for most mundane things? Clinical hypnotherapist Reena Sharma lists tips to strengthen emotional independence.

Most of us, at some point in our lives have been emotionally dependent or needy. This is natural as we are emotional beings. Detachment is not easy to master. Leaning on someone once in a while is fine, but making a habit of it is dangerous.

Research shows that people who are confirmed emotional clingers are most likely to develop dependent personality disorder or DPD. Men and women are equally prone to DPD and it can lead to depression, alcohol and drug abuse, emotional and physical abuse.

Such individual find it difficult to take the decisions. They have to consult a parent or partner even for the most mundane things. Often they suffer from an inferiority complex, run from responsibilities, are plagued by self doubt and are unable to express emotions.

What is emotional independence?
Moving from dependence to emotional independence requires a conscious decision to break the pattern. Instead of reacting impulsively, think about the situation. This takes a lot of practice and cannot happen overnight.

Where to start:
The first step towards emotional independence is to 'know yourself'. Reflect on your actions and reactions to people and situations and identify needy behaviour. Observe your emotions and learn to control them. This is the key to being emotionally independent.

Spend quality time with yourself:
Being alone is often mistaken for being lonely. But 'me time' has its virtues. Spend quality time with yourself doing things you enjoy. Read a book; watch your favourite soap; go on a shopping trip for some retail therapy, or pick up a new interest or work on an old one. Take a break from the daily grind to explore your own city or go trekking and camping. There are any number of things that you can do on your own.

Don't be an emotional puppet:
It is but natural for us to get affected by people we are emotionally involved with. We are conditioned to seek emotional support from them. But don't cling to people. Let them be. You'll notice they'll enjoy your company more when you don't drain them emotionally.
Don't become an emotional puppet in anyone's hands. Always keep remote of your life firmly in your own hands.

By Reena Sharma | Psychologist|Published in | Times of India wellness

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