How to Befriend Your Emotions

Compassionate people feel a lot of emotions within themselves, from other people and even their environment. Without proper boundaries, people can easily become overwhelmed by these feeling states. This can manifest as panic attacks, or some people try to repress the emotion for it only to reemerge later as an illness or emotional outburst. Others try to battle with their emotions in an effort to ward them off yet this only intensifies them. There is another way to cope with emotional states. You can learn how to “be” with your emotion without becoming the emotion.

Sit with Your Experience– This may take some practice because it feels uncomfortable. The temporarily discomfort will transform into another emotion or even a peaceful state. Be patient and stay with it. Lean into what your body or mind is telling you and “be” with it. We always make time for a friend to sit with us, make time for your emotions.

Call out the Emotion by Name– When you address a friend, you use their name. Do the same for your emotion. Identify, anger as anger, sadness as sadness and hurt as hurt. If you have difficulty identifying emotions you can use a feeling chart or attend short term therapy.

Observe the Emotion- Look at the emotion as if you are outside of it. Mindfulness, meditation and detachment help you do this. What does the emotion feel like? Look like? Come up with as many one word adjectives as you can. Watch the emotions flow by you as if going down a river or floating by like clouds in the sky.

Breathe- Focus on your breath, instead of the emotional pain. Often your breath will relax your mind and body, allowing the energy to flow out. You may experience a few tears, laughter or another form of release.

Remember, Emotions are Your Friends

Often we view emotions as something to get rid of. Some emotions arise out of no where, some are other people’s and you have your own emotions. Each one can tell us something about ourselves, our world and the people in it. The next time you have a feeling, invite it in for tea, sit a spell and find out what it has to teach you.

How do you befriend your emotions?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and spiritual coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

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Transforming Negativity Into Your Greatest Strength- Full Moon Eclipse Scorpio, Mercury Retrograde

Empathic helpers often have difficulty communicating their needs and wants. With great sensitivity comes a tendency to overly focus on the negative. This can cause your energy to deplete and your health to decline. This Scorpio full moon eclipse and mercury retrograde is the perfect time to focus on your passion and joy, while transforming negativity into your greatest strength. Today, I am writing and including a video reading about the Full Moon Eclipse in Scorpio, Mercury Retrograde which starts May 5th.

The Full Moon

The full moon is a time to surrender and release. Let go of whatever you no longer need, outdated fears, limitation, clutter, etc. forgive, release negative energies. Great time to smudge or have an energy session.

Meditate around and on the day of the full moon and write down your impressions. Meditation will help you focus and ground. Let go of those insecurities. Write down your dreams and pay attention to synchronicity. These are messages from the Divine showing you, you are on the right path.

Scorpio Full Moon-Eclipse Energy

Scorpio is the sign of the scorpion.  Now is the time to release dark moods and grudges. Allow yourself to release the past, which includes the past trauma and hurt. This is a time of transformation. Do a ritual to release because the energy is powerful. Forgiveness work can serve you well. Write out a list of who and what you forgive. Forgiveness doesn’t release others from responsibility or make what they have said or done right. It allows you to move on without carrying excess pain. Face your deepest fears because you can and will transform them into your strengths. 

Since the full moon can accentuate emotions now is the time to watch those thoughts. Work your creativity this moon cycle, channel any fear into your art. You will not only heal yourself but maybe someone else. Surrender to the divine

We have an eclipse as well. Eclipses come in pairs. This is video 2/2. A week after this eclipse, look back over your life and your goals. Review what happened in order to get the full eclipse story. You may want to watch video 1/1 of the new moon eclipse in Aries. 

A full moon eclipse brings in powerful energies for an ending or the completion of a goal, relationship or situation. Release the past, because you want to make room for something brand new! With Aries a couple of weeks ago, we were given a boost of courage to walk through the door. Now a door suddenly closes and things are out of your hands. Release control and allow events and people to be what they are. Rather than dwell on what is lost remember nothing within you can even be lost or gone. What is meant for you will happen. You have all the knowledge, lessons and strength to continue forward. Eclipses have a way of taking us off one path and putting us on another. Trust you are on the right path.  

Mercury Retrograde

We are in a Mercury Retrograde in this sign of Taurus. This is what you value. It could be your time, money, or peace of mind. Continue to review how you are spending your energy and this includes your money. Slow down any financial decisions and set good boundaries. As always mercury involves our communication, double check those emails, texts and documents before sending. Check travel plans because there can be delays.

During this moon, meditate to soothe your emotions. Meditate every day, especially around the eclipse full moon to ease tension and stress. Trust. believe and receive. Write down your impressions. Meditation will help you focus and ground, let go of those insecurities. Write down your dreams and pay attention to synchronicity. These are messages from the Divine showing you, you are on the right path.

Listen deep within.

Let’s pick some cards to see what you need to focus on during this full moon eclipse Scorpio, Mercury Retrogarde Taurus. This reading resonate with you b-day, moon sign or rising sign in Taurus or Scorpio. All empaths, no matter what your astrological sign because you are sensitive to energies.

Video Reading

How can you transform negativity into your greatest strength?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist, spiritual coach and creative writing teacher. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

When an Empath is Lied To

Some lies alter relationships forever. This can result in the connection ending but for some they chose to rebuild a new foundation of trust. Each situation is unique and depends upon the personal history of both parties involved.


Are Empaths Human Lie Detectors?

Empaths highly value the truth. This does not mean an empath would never lie. However, when sensitive people do not tell the truth, they feel out of integrity and balance, an experience they need to rectify immediately. Overall, empaths resonate with truth telling and those who are similar to them. In fact, they will risk telling the truth, even when it brings them controversy and conflict. I see many whistleblowers as empaths.

Many articles online claim empaths are natural lie detectors. It is true, many empaths can sense when something is off or know when they are being lied to. I don’t feel comfortable using this as an absolute. Claiming this can set up sensitive people to feel shamed when they are betrayed by a lie. We all have blind spots, sometimes you will be lied to and not see it coming. These are most likely your closest relationships or someone you have a karmic connection to.

Please do not question your sense of identity because someone presents a false story. People lie when it covers their self interest. It is easier for them to fabricate “a truth” to suit their needs than have the courage to face reality. Sometimes you will get caught in the aftermath. Even though you may feel foolish, it is their behavior that is foolish. Don’t take on their emotions or responsibility.

Betrayal as a Gift

This past year, I had a couple of instances where people I once trusted, lied to me. In both instances, I felt betrayed and angry. I did confront both parties with what was said and what they did. Despite the truth being told, both parties minimized it. These are not bad people and they did not lie to hurt me but more to avoid uncomfortable feelings within themselves. It was their lack of responsibility that was the factor for me to change how I associated with them.

Emotionally, a betrayal hurts but spiritually it is a call for ourselves to reclaim our power in some area of our lives. There are lessons here, if you are willing to learn. For me, it was a confirmation to trust my inner voice, no matter what other’s say. It is also a reminder of how strong I am as a person. Despite what others do and say, I am still here and I am still going to be who I came here to be.

Rebuilding Trust

Whether you continue the relationship with another or break off the connection, your sense of trust needs to be rebuilt. Trust takes time, make sure you give yourself patience. I can’t tell you if it will take three months, six months or a even a year to heal you. It depends upon the lie that was told, the amount of work you and/or the other person do, and even your past experiences.

If you are moving forward on your own or in a relationship, communication with yourself needs to be restored. Listen to your inner voice, journal, sit with yourself, meditate or pray. You need to process, go within and seek guidance.

To heal yourself, spend time in nature. Nature does not lie. Your soul can be soothed by the natural rhythms and truths found here.

If you are in a relationship, communication is key. You need to talk about your feelings and what happened. You may want to seek out couples or individual therapy to learn better ways to communicate.

Time will tell, along with people’s actions. Do people do what they say? Maybe this person is a compulsive liar. In this instance, trust can never be rebuilt, unless the other party does some serious work on themselves.

How do you cope with lying behavior?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and spiritual coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

Be Aware of Other’s Arrogance- Leo Full Moon

Empathic helpers often have difficulty communicating their needs and wants. With great sensitivity comes a tendency to become triggered by lower vibrational energies, such as other’s arrogance. This can cause you to become reactive, defensive and confrontational. This Leo moon is the perfect time to release your own and other people’s pride. Today, I am writing and including a video reading about the Full Moon Leo, which starts February 5th.

The Full Moon

The full moon is a time to surrender and release. Let go of whatever you no longer need, outdated fears, limitation, clutter, etc. forgive, release negative energies. Great time to smudge or have an energy session.

Meditate around and on the day of the full moon and write down your impressions. Meditation will help you focus and ground. Let go of those insecurities. Write down your dreams and pay attention to synchronicity. These are messages from the Divine showing you, you are on the right path.

Listen deep within during this time.

Leo Full Moon

Leo is the sign of the lion. It is known for ambition, determination, taking center stage, and the heart. Since the full moon can accentuate emotions, now is the time to watch your ego. Don’t go over the top or let pride get in the way, especially around people who act arrogant. Your buttons may get pushed by them. Work your creativity this moon cycle, channel any anger or fear into your art. You will not only heal yourself but maybe someone else. Surrender pride to the divine, remember we are not in control much of the time. You can control your behaviors.

During this moon, meditate to soothe your emotions. Meditate every day, especially around the moon to ease tension and stress. Write down your impressions. Meditation will help you focus and ground, let go of those insecurities. Write down your dreams and pay attention to synchronicity. These are messages from the Divine showing you, you are on the right path.

Listen deep within.

Let’s pick some cards to see what we need to focus on during this full moon Leo.   This reading resonate with you b-day in Aquarius or Leo. Moon sign rising sign. All empaths, no matter what your astrological sign because you are sensitive to energies.

Video Reading

A special announcement! Would you like to join us, for Archangels for Energy Protection, Rejuvenation & Creative Inspiration? ​A self-paced emailed course begins February 21st. Click here for more details or email to sign up.**

How can you let go of other people’s anger and arrogance this Full Moon?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

How Archangels Help Empaths Protect and Utilize Their Sensitivity

Most empaths and empathic people feel spirits and angels around them. This is because sensitive people have the ability to sense unseen supports and positive energy. As a highly charged energetic being, you can express a deep creativity and appreciation of beauty. This gift also puts you at risk for fatigue, anxiety and depression. Luckily, you can become empowered with the Archangels, who help guide, support, heal and protect you and your energy.

What is The Difference between Angels and Archangels?

Let’s start with some definitions. Both Angels and Archangels have a strong vibrational energy and work for the Divine to help humans navigate through Earthly life. Angels work more on an individual basis, such as your guardian angel. Archangels, being closer to God, have stronger powers than angels because their consciousness vibrates at a higher level. This allows them to work with groups of people, such as empathic helpers and artists, at the same time.

We all know the world needs empathic helpers and artists to hold the space for themselves and others. Each time a sensitive person heals and shines their light, they become an example for others to do the same. The Archangels want to help people with sensitivities succeed because this is what will heal humanity and Mother Earth.

The Help Archangels Offer

Guidance- Archangels want you to find your life’s path and purpose. Anytime you feel lost, uncertain or insecure, call upon the Archangels. You were designed by the Divine to vibrate your unique frequency in this time and space.

Archangels often will offer their guidance through messages, signs and symbols. Each archangel has its own unique signature. A few of the many ways Archangels guide you is through a special song, numerical signs and a variety of synchronicities. Archangels are not limited in their communications, however at times you may become blocked to receiving. The good news is you can learn how to receive their messages more clearly and consistently.

Support- Archangels support the sensitive, when you ask. You can learn a variety of ways to tune in, ask for and receive the support you deserve. You can feel their support through a feeling of peace, joy, a warmth or even a new person or information enters your life, at the right time. Archangels want you to know you are never alone and they have your back.

Healing- Archangels love to heal. They restore health by clearing and rejuvenating your energy. Some people have even experienced miracles when working with the angels. When you receive a healing from the Archangels, you could feel a lightness, a warmth or relief from symptoms.

Protection- Archangels know how important it is to protect your energies and give you a sense of safety. Their protection comes to you in many forms. You may feel a strong intuition to not be around other people or in certain places. Sometimes your prayers are not answered because you are being protected from an aspect that you cannot see yet. You may hear a loud voice warning you to stay away.

No matter what type of help you receive from the Archangels, you will feel better.

I am excited to share this announcement. I am hosting my emailed 7 week course, Archangels for Energy Protection, Rejuvenation & Creative Inspiration starting this February. If you want to get more specific on which Archangels can help you protect your sensitivity, open up your creativity, and receive the guidance you need, you will want to take this class. Click here to learn more & purchase

Here are some other blogs about Archangels!

Why Archangel Gabriel is the Best Writer’s Angel

Why Angels Are Important in the Manifestation Process

How Archangel Michael Discharges Negative Holiday Energy

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

Balancing Work, Family & Fun Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn & Full Moon in in Cancer

Empathic helpers often have difficulty balancing their own goals with the needs and wants of others. This Capricorn mercury retrograde is the perfect time to re-think work goals, while resolving a personal or family issue during the full moon. Today, I am writing and including a video reading about the Mercury Retrograde Capricorn which begins December 29th and goes through January 18th and the Full Moon Cancer, which starts January 6th.

The Mercury Retrograde

A mercury retrograde tales place when the planet of mercury appears to be moving backward in the sky. As a planet mercury rules over our communication, technology and travel. You may notice some restrictions, slow downs or hiccups in these areas of life. Give yourself some extra time and patience. This retrograde occurs during Capricorn, take this time to re-think, re-do and re-plan your work goals.

The Full Moon

The full moon is a time to surrender and release. Let go of whatever you no longer need, outdated fears, limitation, clutter, etc. forgive, release negative energies. Great time to smudge or have an energy session.

Meditate around and on the day of the full moon and write down your impressions. Meditation will help you focus and ground. Let go of those insecurities. Write down your dreams and pay attention to synchronicity. These are messages from the Divine showing you, you are on the right path.

Listen deep within during this time.

Cancer Full Moon

Cancer is the sign of the crab.  It is known for home, family, and nurturance. This is a time where family issues may come up. Be reassured if you have had a challenge in the area of home, family and nurturance, it is coming to an end. You may need to be creative and come at the issue, from the side, like a crab. No direct, head on, or sudden moves here. Use your feminine energies of intuition to feel out what needs to happen. There is nothing to worry about and it can be a good time to move your home. Be a kind leader in your family. Let go of insecurities and shine your light. During this moon it about balancing the work goals from the mercury retrograde in Capricorn with the family/home life of the Cancer full moon.

Let’s pick some cards to see what we need to focus on during this mercury retrograde in Capricorn and full moon in Cancer.   This reading resonate with you b-day in Cancer or Capricorn, moon sign or rising sign. All empaths, no matter what your astrological sign because you are sensitive to energies.

Video Reading

How will you balance work, family and fun?

A special announcement! Archangels for Energy Protection, Rejuvenation & Creative Inspiration: ​A self-paced emailed course begins in February. Click here for more details or email to sign up.**

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

Give Yourself Permission to Rest During the Holidays

The holiday season is a complex time, emotionally, physically and mentally. Compassionate people often take on more responsibility than they should, leaving them feeling pressured and exhausted.

Feeling types want to create a comfortable experience for everyone. This thought can lead you to hold unrealistic expectations. For the only person you can make happy is you. There are many reasons why some people, no matter how hard you try will not be satisfied with what you do, give or make. This is the reason why we need to learn how to let go of other’s critical voices. Sometimes that critical voice is your own! Remember, when there is an increase in stress, old family dynamics come into play.

Others can’t wait for this time of year to be over because it reminds them of psychological pain, loss and sadness. Our society doesn’t make room for grief during the holiday season. Where ever you find yourself on the spectrum or perhaps in both worlds, it is important to honor yourself and make time to rest.

Many helpers feel resting is wasted time because you aren’t accomplishing a task or goal. I have wrestled with this myself. To do something feels as if you are valuable and worthy. Yet, you don’t have to do or say anything to be valuable and worthy because you already are!

Rest is essential for the health of your body, mind and spirit. Each instance you get still, it allows your brain time to process, your heart space to feel, your spirit connects to the Divine and your physical body has time to breathe.

Rest-defined

First let’s look at what rest really means. These definitions are from Merriam Webster 2022-

REPOSE, SLEEP

specifically : a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities

freedom from activity or labor

a state of motionlessness or inactivity

peace of mind or spirit

How to rest

When you think of restful activities imagine acts that slow down your nervous system, in order to restore body, mind and spirit. Do gentle activities you enjoy. Less simulation is best, but I do understand those with very active minds sometimes need something to focus on. I have combined a list of ideas below:

Sit or lay and that is it!

Listen to a meditation

Listen to music (without words)

Sit and watch nature

Do a five to ten minute, easy walk

Take some slow deep breaths

Focus on your five senses in this moment

Doodle or scribble

Take a bath

You may also want to read: Get Rid of Unending Fatigue with these Four Powerful Types of Rest

How do you make time to rest?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

Channel That Fiery Energy for Good -Full Moon Aries

Empathic helpers often have difficulty separating their energy from others. With great sensitivity can come a tendency to overreact. This can cause you to become ungrounded. Today, I am writing and including a video reading about the Aries full moon, which starts October 9th.

The Aries Full Moon

The full moon is a time to surrender and release. Let go of whatever you no longer need, outdated fears, limitation, clutter, etc. forgive, release negative energies. Great time to smudge or have an energy session.

Aries is the sign of the ram. Bold, fiery, decisive and a leader. You may become reactive. Watch your temper. Be patient and practice the pause before responding, especially if you feel triggered by what others say or do. It’s good to be assertive but watch if you become aggressive.  Perhaps you have become too serious about life, make time to have fun.

A situation or conflict may arise or come to a peak. It could become heated remember it takes 2 to tango. If the other person is reactive you can choose to walk away until cooler heads prevail. Use this fiery energy to exercise, put it in your creativity or something you have a passion for. Channel it for good!

Meditate every day, especially around the moon to ease tension and stress. Trust. believe and receive. Write down your impressions. Meditation will help you focus and ground, let go of those insecurities. Write down your dreams and pay attention to synchronicity. These are messages from the Divine showing you, you are on the right path. Since cancer is a water sign spend time near the water.

Listen deep within.

Let’s pick some cards to see what we need to focus on during this full moon Aries.   This reading resonate with you b-day in Aries or Libra. Moon sign rising sign. All empaths, no matter what your astrological sign because you are sensitive to energies.

Video Reading

How can you step into your full power?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and spiritual coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

Balancing your Responsibilities and Dreams Mercury Retrograde -Full Moon Pisces

Empathic helpers often have difficulty separating their energy from others. With great sensitivity comes a tendency to ignore your responsibilities and dreams. This can cause you to restrict or hold back your true self. This mercury retrograde and Pisces moon is the perfect time to let go of misperceptions and escapism. Today, I am writing and including a video reading about the mercury retrograde, which starts September 9th and the Pisces full moon, which occurs September 10th

Mercury Retrograde Energy

Empathic helpers, being sensitive to energy, are often influenced by lunar and planetary changes. The good news is the more you are aware of these shifts, the better you can manage your moods and thoughts.

A mercury retrograde is when the planet of mercury appears to be moving backwards in the sky. This can effect communications, technology and travel. Give yourself extra time, check those texts and emails before you send and practice patience. This is a time to re-think, re-plan and re-do any plans that have stalled.

The Pisces Full Moon

The full moon is a time to surrender and release. Let go of whatever you no longer need, outdated fears, limitation, clutter, etc. forgive, release negative energies. This is a great time to clear your house of energies, smudge or have an energy session.

Pisces is the sign of the two fish swimming in opposite directions. For us, the opposite directions are spirituality and practicality. This moon asks you to become aware of your balance between your responsibilities and dreams.  What’s blocking you from moving forward with your dreams? Take practical steps this month. Some things to let go of; let go of the rose colored glasses especially when it comes to relationships and avoid substance use. Follow your intuition and listen to what your gut says.

Meditate every day, especially around the moon and your answers will come. Trust. believe and receive. Write down your impressions. Meditation will help you focus and ground, let go of those insecurities. Write down your dreams and pay attention to synchronicity. These are messages from the Divine showing you, you are on the right path. Since cancer is a water sign spend time near the water.

Listen deep within.

Let’s pick some cards to see what we need to focus on during this full moon Pisces. This reading may resonate with you if you have a birthday in Pisces or Virgo, moon sign or rising sign. All empaths, no matter what your astrological sign can feel effected because you are sensitive to energies.

Video Reading

How can you balance your responsibilities and dreams?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

Why you are so hard on yourself

Many compassionate people extend kindness to others much more than themselves. In this blog, I will explore some common reasons why you are so hard on yourself and what you can do to treat yourself with more kindness.

Why can we be so negative?

First off, we are all born with a biological reaction to focus on the negative or what is missing in our lives. This is not all bad, in fact it helps us survive. Without this feature in the brain, we wouldn’t be able to distinguish threats and chose safety. As you can see, this served the human race well in prehistoric times. Being on the lookout from saber tooth tigers, worked in our favor. Even today, it is very useful to weed out those who act abusively to us and those who are friendly. Often this survival method does not serve us well when it comes to our self-esteem.

The inner critic

We all have an inner critic or critical voice within our mind. This is why you have a tendency to think negatively when you evaluate your own behavior. In order to feel safe, the brain, scans for what is missing or needs improvement, before giving yourself a pat on the back. Some of us never get the praise and become stuck in negative thoughts. In addition to having a critical voice, you may suffer from perfectionism, low self-esteem or unrealistic expectations.

Nuturing

Emotional and psychological abuse does damage to the psyche and affects how you think about yourself, others and the world around you. Children’s brains are like sponges and absorb what is said around them and to them. This includes criticism, judgments and pessimistic thinking. If you had a critical, emotionally cold or neglectful family, you learned from their behaviors how to talk to yourself in a negative manner. Some children had harsh teachers, caregivers or even friends.

When a child is neglected, he or she takes on the responsibility for that treatment rather than blame the family or society. This is safer and ensures their survival. Remember, our brains are build for survival first. In order to believe that the caretakers are good no matter how they act, means the child has to be lacking or somehow bad. The child starts to think and believe they are less worthy or deserving than others.

Brain chemistry

You may have developed an anxiety, mood or thought disorder which affects the way you think about yourself. Those who have eating disorders often struggle with body image and their self-esteem. People with depression symptoms often look towards the negative or have faulty thoughts, which limit their potential. Those with anxiety, fear and expect something to go wrong. Therapy and medication management can be helpful to balance out brain chemistry and work with your thoughts.

What can you do?

1. Recognize you are thinking negatively and become aware of what you are thinking. If you can’t figure out what you are thinking, examine your feelings. Often a depressed, irritable or sad mood is an indication your thoughts are focused on the negative.

2. When you identify the thought, refute or question it. Is this really true? What did I learn from this circumstance? Write down these thoughts.

If you can’t figure out the thought, do something the opposite of your mood state. For example, if you are sad, play a happy song or go for a walk.

3. Come up with a more kind and realistic view of yourself. Pick a thought that is true and feels right for the situation you face. Identify your positive characteristics and find a way to apply them to your current situation. Acknowledge that some situations are difficult for all humans and you are not alone in this struggle. Short term counseling can help you see a different perspective.

How Can You Treat Yourself with More Self-Compassion?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC