Why compassionate people have lost their empathy for others

 

why-compassionate-people-have-lost-their-empathy-for-othersadd-heading

 

2016 was a heavy year for people collectively from celebrity deaths to the US election. Many clients have told me about their personal losses, anxiety and disappointments. When you are in your own emotional pain feeling another’s emotional pain overwhelms you. I am here to reassure you, you are not alone it was a rough ride for many people, including myself.

If you are a sensitive person you may wonder why you suddenly lack compassion and patience for others. Anger, fear and numbness block the connection to your heart. When you feel contempt, judgment, or fear towards others you lose that mirroring of empathic response and feeling. You disconnect yourself out of a fear of being hurt again, yet, empathic response and experience require connection which means risk and vulnerability.

After a trauma or period of intense stress you can experience a sensation of being shell-shocked and reactive. When a person’s nervous system becomes overstimulated it goes into the fight (anger), flight (anxiety) or freeze (shuts down into numbness) response. In psychological terms this could be an adjustment disorder, acute stress reaction or post-traumatic stress. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment, go to a licensed professional rather than the internet.

Why don’t I feel better yet?

It is a new year and a new energy, although energy does not merely change with a flip of a calendar page, it is a process. Wait a good 3 months to give the energy a chance to build and move collectively. Individually, you are not damaged or broken. A disconnection has occurred and it has happened to many of us. Now the power is in your hands, what are you going to do about it?

What you can do:

My number 1 recommendation is to find an empathic psychotherapist to work with you. Yes, even therapists, healers and coaches need their own healers. Here is a little secret, the best ones do! I had a session in January to release much energy around 2016 in order to help others like you do the same with the work I offer.

You need someone who understands sensitive people, grief/loss issues and trauma reactions. This person will help you process the issues that trigger you so you can release them and connect again to your natural empathy for others.

While you are waiting for an appointment or in between sessions

(a) Practice mindfulness -Become aware of the present moment and that is all. This relaxes your mind, body and soul allowing you to reconnect to your empathic response.

(b) Engage in a meditation practice- Focus on your breath, it trains your nervous system to slow down and teaches you to become the witness to your thoughts. When you observe your thoughts and sensations you can choose a more empathic response or perhaps a non- response.

(c)For helpers- remember it is not your job to fix others. The best way to help others is to work on your own healing and to hold the space for others. Read How To Maintain Your Energy When Helping Others for how to do this practice.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is currently accepting new clients for her empathic psychotherapy practice, certified angel card reading and writing coaching sessions. Sessions are offered in person and by phone. Visit http://www.lisahutchison.net and help yourself to a copy of 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now!

Are you making up stories? Anxiety’s influence on the mind

We all subconsciously make up stories that are not even true about other people and ourselves. Sounds outrageous, right?  Even though you may be disagreeing with me right now, I hope you will sit tight and read on.

How does such a thing happen to educated spiritually minded people? When a person feels stressed out the brain releases hormones, such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine. These hormones encourage anxious irrational thoughts to develop. Ever heard of the term, jumping to conclusions?

Your brain also does not like a vacuum. When facts are missing, it fills in the blanks. The problem is when you assume a negative intent is happening when in fact it is not or you take it in the opposite direction making a situation more positive than it actually is. Where does the brain get this extra information? It goes to your past experiences vault and picks a memory with a positive or negative association.

The risks of reacting

The problem with reacting to negative thoughts and stories is it isolates you and keeps good people at a distance when you are incorrect. When you assume the worse in people, you lose your trust in yourself and others who have good intentions. Slow your roll, and assess the truth of what is going on before moving forward. You could be right, yet you could be wrong.

On the other side of the coin, you may be too trusting. Seeing the world through rose-colored glasses sets you up for a big fall when reality hits because no one and nothing is perfect. Empaths get stuck in this one when they imagine a person who has hurt them did not mean what they did or said. Being in denial put you at risk from people who act abusive to you.

Assuming the worst

Recently, I had a conversation with a person who did not want to hear my “no” to her request. I became like a robot saying multiple no’s again and again. The humorous part of it was that we were both stuck in this irritating moment. Finally, something kicked in and she moved onto someone else.

A couple of weeks later, I received a phone message from the same woman requesting to call her, yet she did not say why. As I listened to the recording I heard her demand to talk to me and said out loud in an angry voice, “I am not doing that.” Luckily, I chose not to respond in that moment. I recognized that I was triggered from our first exchange and every other person from my past who did not respect and honor my “no.” I let it go and listened to the message again the next day. Wouldn’t you know it, I heard it differently because she didn’t demand to talk to me like I thought she did.

Assuming more than what is

I have had experiences of verbal and emotional abuse from those I thought loved me. I built up in my head glorious stories of how kind and great they were. A part of this problem was they were narcissistic and I was uneducated about what that meant. These people had an exaggerated sense of self that I played into without questioning. They thought they were great and I absorbed that energy empathically, fully agreeing to it. When I was educated about these types of behaviors I still found I was susceptible to being manipulated at times. Many of us are, even the best of professionals, please do not feel bad when this happens to you. The goal is to pick up on the cues sooner than previous times in order to set your boundaries and protect your energies.

My wish is for everyone to see and hear clearly what is. 

There is no substitute for psychotherapy which is the best way to unravel the stories of our lives. I have developed some tips in the meantime to help you get out of this habit.

  • Practice the pause and use mindfulness 

The more you are under stress, the worse the stories become in either direction. In order to see reality more for what it is rather than a reflection of your past experiences, do not assign it any label. Watch and observe the behaviors of others. Mindfulness is about being in the present moment which means leaving your assumptions at the door. The truth about a person is revealed through time, be patient and see what develops before you fill in the blanks. When you catch yourself assuming, be kind with yourself. Understand that this is an indication that you need more stress management, awareness and self-care.

  • Use cognitive refuting (a fancy term for questioning your thoughts)

When you have a thought that feels irrational, don’t accept it, question it! Ask yourself the following;

Is this thought true?

Are these thoughts based on fear or love?

What is another possibility here?

Does this belief connect or disconnect me from others?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed intuitive psychotherapist who works for empathic healers who want to recharge their depleted energies. She helps compassionate people increase their awareness and skills which prevents them from getting sucked into life’s chaos and losing their sense of self. Her thought-provoking sessions remove the blocks that help sensitive souls not only survive but shine!  Click here for your FREE 10 page E-book called 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now! 

 

 

 

 

How Archangel Michael Discharges Negative Holiday Energy

Many sensitive souls dread the holidays because it means more time with family and social occasions that you would rather avoid. Empaths can absorb other’s expectations and energies leaving them fatigued on a regular day but are especially vulnerable during the holiday season. To help you not just survive but shine through the holiday season, I wanted to talk about a good friend of mine, Archangel Michael and why he is the ONE to call upon before, during and after these events.

Before your holiday event: Crystal Clear Intentions

untitled-design-13

Archangel Michael does wonders with releasing pre-party jitters. Set your intentions for this event. One of my favorite intentions is, “No matter what happens, I make my own fun.” I enjoy this statement because it is impossible for fear and fun to be experienced at the same time.  Archangel Michael helps you to create crystal clear intentions such as these. Ask for his help in creating intentions that resonate with you and protect your energy. Speaking of protection, ask him to surround you with his royal blue/purple light and energy. Give any anxiety over to him and allow for his courage to enter your internal body.

During the event: You are Safe

untitled-design-14

As soon as you notice negativity entering your energy field, ask Archangel Michael to release it. Physically, when you feel a twinge in your stomach, light headed or a sensation of heat, ask him to come and vacuum it out. Emotionally , when you feel guilty, angry or fatigued ask him to help you release that. Ask for his help to identify and release other’s resentments, jealousies and expectations. He will also help you protect your boundaries with assertiveness. Learn what you need in these situations and then follow through with taking care of yourself.

After the event: Remember Who You Are

untitled-design-17

When you leave an event, you may notice fatigue, irritability or sadness. At times you may feel insecure and obsess about what you said or what others said to you. Ask Archangel Michael to cut any attachments to other’s energies. He does this by slicing through any cords that others subconsciously or consciously have attached to your energy field. This cutting action on his part releases this residual energy. “Remind yourself that you are a powerful, loving and creative child of God, You are very loved.” Thank Archangel Michael for his protection and support. Remember that he is with you anytime you need him., all you have to do is ask!

Share with me any intentions in the comment section that you will use prior to holiday events.

All angel cards featured in this blog are from the Archangel Oracle Card Deck from Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.   If you would like to purchase click this Amazon link.  I receive a small portion of the sale, with no additional cost to you. Thank you if you choose to purchase through me.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC work for empathic healers who want to recharge their depleted energies in order to heal themselves and others through angel card readings, psychotherapy sessions and writing coaching. She offers angel card readings by phone and in person; contact her at lisadhutch@verizon.net for more information or visit http://www.lisahutchison.net/Services  

 

5 Gift Giving Ideas that Protect an Empath’s Energy

Does the idea of crowded holiday shopping overwhelm you? You are not alone. Many sensitive souls avoid shopping in malls or large department stores because they absorb an onslaught of energy that is not theirs, leaving them fatigued. When empaths do shop in these situations they often go into zombie shut down mode in an effort to not feel. The problem is when you are not aware of the present moment, you can spend more money than you originally intended.

This is why my holiday shopping gets done early and online. I take back my power by choosing when to shop and do it from the comfort of my home. I mindfully choose and consider my options without feeling hurried or over stimulated. In an effort to reduce your holiday stress, I have come up with 5 gift ideas that are individually under $25 to purchase for your loved ones or perhaps you will treat yourself with a gift.

Simply, click on the images and it will take you right to Amazon.com. If you purchase these items after clicking on the image, I receive a small portion of the sale with no additional cost to you. Thank you in advance if you decide to make any purchases this way.

5 Gift Giving Ideas that protect your energy

1.) For those who are cat and dog animal lovers, you can’t go wrong with Chicken Soup for the Soul books. In addition to giving a quality book, you are donating to the American Humane Society with each purchase.

51jabeitmml-_sx320_bo1204203200_       51hanzhujnl-_sx320_bo1204203200_-copy

2.) Who doesn’t need stress relief? Perfect for any caretaker, empath or helper on your list and don’t forget the colored pencils. I love the built in sharpener with this kit, it reminds me of my old Crayola’s I had as a child!

 

61gfw3yd8gl-_sx436_bo1204203200_           61ysst-9u9l-_sx431_bo1204203200_            61mid3nhs3l-_sl1350_-1

3.) Stock up on inspirational mugs with healing messages. This one here validates your favorite writer. Buy large mugs and combine the gift with her favorite tea or coffee.

71l14e3sjql-_sl1500_

4.) Start Where You Are is an interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams.

61trko3jfgl-_sx365_bo1204203200_

 

5.) For those that are hard to buy for -a gift card fits all. Give the gift of freedom and allow your recipient to choose for themselves.

81vqfryiedl-_sl1500_

Lisa Hutchison LMHC works for empathic healers who want to recharge their depleted energies in order to heal themselves and others through intuitive psychotherapy sessions, angel card readings and writing coaching sessions. Caught up in chaos? Get 8 Simple Things You Can Do to Release Chaos From Your Life Now! www.lisahutchison.net 

 

How to Overcome the Shame of Wanting More

As an empath, you need more self-care than others in order to nurture your gift of sensitivity and many people will not get it. Some people will seem confused by your need for solitude or special requests, while others will get downright nasty. No matter what others’ reactions are, it is essential that you take care of yourself. It is not your job to make others understand you, it is your job to protect and rejuvenate your energies. The good news is other people do not need to understand your need for more, but you do!

Why do people shame others?

People who shame, were shamed and are doing to you what they were taught. They were fed big ol’ shame sandwiches most likely by their parents and did not question or have awareness of this destructive emotion. Shame stunts personal growth by halting self-development. You cannot grow bigger under a cloud of shame.

People who shame others do not take responsibility for their feelings. When they feel insecure or uncomfortable, they will project that negativity onto you. Remember when this happens, it is not personal and take steps to protect your energies.

A personal story

I kept myself small because of shame. As a child, I was shamed for wanting more out of life and as an adult for taking care of my own needs. The message I received from my step father was;”You want too much.” Today, I wonder why wanting more caused so much fear in this man? I can only surmise that he felt unworthy of having more himself.

As a psychotherapist, I have spent a lot of time analyzing this man’s behavior to understand myself. According to people like him, I want a lot. I learned to say; so what? People who are on the path of self-development require a richer life. I accept my need for more without apology or shame.

To be crystal clear, when I talk about more it is not necessarily in the form of stuff because that has never brought me happiness. I am pretty low maintenance on most things yet I don’t budge on certain aspects of comfort/self-care. When traveling with others besides my husband, I need my own room because I require space by myself to relax and unwind. I know I can absorb a lot of energy from other travelers, people and places, therefore I take the necessary steps to care for myself.

 5 Steps to Overcome Shame & Shine

  • Know your real self– Do you identify as an empath or highly sensitive person? If yes, what does that mean for you?
  • Know what you need– What are your self- care requirements (regardless of how other people respond to them)?
  • Know that you deserve it– You are worthy of having what you want and need. Yes, it is okay to want more!
  • Assert yourself and hold those boundaries– Speak up about what you need without stepping on other’s boundaries and stand in your power.
  • Learn the signs and feelings of shame- Put shame squarely in its place by recognizing it and not absorbing it into your body. Look at it as an outdated emotion that no longer has a purpose in your life.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC works for empathic healers who want to recharge and replenish their depleted energies in order to heal themselves and others. Lisa is an intuitive psychotherapist who offers counseling, certified angel card readings and writing coaching sessions to compassionate helpers by phone and in person. Help yourself to her FREE 10 page E-book 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at http://www.lisahutchison.net  

6 Facebook Behaviors that Suck Out Your Energy

There are many ways empaths can feel depleted energy wise and one is sitting in front of you in the form of your phone or computer.  As human beings we have a healthy drive to be social and desire connection. From my clinical work, I am observing increased social media use with disconnection and energy depletion especially among sensitive souls.

I decided to write this blog as a way to increase your awareness around these Facebook behaviors that suck your energy dry, if you let them. It isn’t fair to blame Facebook as it is a neutral entity. It is you who gives social media a positive or negative experience through the thoughts and actions you create about it. You can take your power back by choosing how to use it and listen to your feelings as guides. Sometimes you need outside help such as a psychotherapist to do this and that is okay too. When I was on a recent retreat and shut off my Facebook for an entire week, these behaviors that I have seen in myself and others became crystal clear.

  1. Eye Rolling at Other’s Posts- When your judgment towards other’s self-expression sets in know that it isn’t so much about them but about you. This irritation has to do with a lack of keeping up with social media boundaries. Simply you are on it too much, otherwise these type of posts wouldn’t bother you that much.
  2. Increased Checking- Watch for this behavior when you are bored or trying to avoid feelings of loneliness, sadness, grief, anger, etc. Do you find that you are watching TV and scrolling through the news feed at the same time? Most likely you missed the ending or an important part of the movie or show. Your friends and loved ones may not tell you but they feel unheard when you are checking your phone during conversations.
  3. Posting Everything!- Are you telling everyone what you are doing all throughout the day, reporting in on every place you visited, who you were with, what you ate? You may believe that you are experiencing the moment when you are doing this. In actuality, you are commentating upon your life which removes you from the present moment experience. You are no longer a participant but an observer of your own life once you begin checking for likes and responses.
  4.  Sharing to Receive Validation and Recognition- When you share anything whether it is family photos or your creativity, check in with yourself first. How am I feeling? If you are feeling good, go ahead and post. If not, are you looking for love in all the wrong places?
  5. Just Browsing- You may not be a poster but more a window shopper, going into Facebook to see what everyone else is doing. If your browsing is taking up more and more time, it can be due to a fear of missing out. “The fear of missing out is defined as a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent, FoMO is characterized by the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.” (Przybylski, A. K.; Murayama, K.; DeHaan, C. R. & Gladwell, V.,2013)  Similar to the serial poster, you are not connected to your own self and missing out on your own life.
  6.  Adding More & More Friends– You may think that adding more friends will equal more connections, yet it only equals more people who aren’t liking and commenting on your posts. Stick to people you know, have met in person or have a common interest. Otherwise don’t add to gain numbers, in the end does it really matter?

To learn about the psychology behind this behavior and tips you may also want to read my previous blog How To Stop Falling into the Social Media Habit.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC works for empaths who want to recharge and refill their depleted energies in order to heal themselves and others. As an intuitive psychotherapist and certified angel card reader she helps her clients find realistic life solutions that work whether it is health concerns, work or relationships. To Get her FREE 10page E- book, 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos Now visit www.lisahutchison.net

References: Przybylski, A. K.; Murayama, K.; DeHaan, C. R. & Gladwell, V. (2013), “Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out.”, Computers in Human Behavior, 29 (4): 1841–1848, doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.02.014

How to Maintain Your Energy When Helping Others

Holding the space is a healthy way of interacting with others who are hurting, without getting depleted energy wise. It is a type of boundary for sensitive healers that benefits both parties because you are not getting entangled or engulfed in another’s emotions. Trust is built through the consistent action of keeping limits on the energy being exchanged and not on the words that are spoken.

How does it work?

Holding the space is about mindfulness. When you are in your body, in the present moment you become a witness to what is happening. Sounds simple, it takes practice to be in this frame of mind and a lot of people cannot offer this because they don’t remember how to slow their energy down. Being hectic, anxious and on the go with your thoughts and actions has become a habit for many people today.

It means letting go of the ego who thinks she knows best and allowing the feeling process to unfold without trying to fix it or make it better. Feelings don’t always make sense, drop any judgments as to what is the right or wrong way a person can express themselves. Remember these 3 words; Listen, allow and be present.

Choose carefully who you allow in your energy field to help you heal. Trust your instincts and get recommendations from others that you trust. I have been blessed with friends who also happen to be therapists, like myself, (no surprise) who hold the space for me. I hold the space for them and for all of my clients. We have learned that there is a time and place for professional suggestions but also a time to be silent and in the moment. By saying minimal at emotional times of releasing, it lets the person know you are with them and that she can share the pain that is in her heart. This is empathy in action! If you feel compelled to say something, validate what she is saying by rephrasing important points and ask her to tell you more about an important part of the story.

What are the benefits?

When a person receives the space, you feel seen, honored and acknowledged for who you are, not who someone wants you to be. In the heart space, you are comfortable in your skin and who you are. This helps you maintain your energy while you are healing and helping others.

It has to be all about YOU!

Whenever I say it is all about you, empaths cringe. The last thing an empath wants is to be considered selfish or self-absorbed, like that could ever happen. Focusing on you is about being healthy. In order to give space to others, you have to work on yourself. This means getting your own healing and therapy in order to take care of yourself and your energy first. Therapy helps you uncover patterns and learn about your gifts and how they work, in addition to setting boundaries and being assertive.

Claim your space

As a sensitive person, are you taking up enough space? Often empaths close off their physical space in an effort to protect from other’s energy invading your thoughts and feelings. You may find yourself sitting with crossed arms or hunched over. This type of protection works temporarily to a point, unfortunately, over time you close yourself off from receiving the good stuff, meaning love. I recently read Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges By Amy Cuddy:  a great resource to show you how to take up more space through power poses with lots of  interesting research and case studies(if you are into that kind of stuff like I am). For those that are interested, you can buy your copy by clicking the title link for the book.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC also known as the therapist’s therapist, actually works with all sensitive and compassionate healers/helpers. Whether it is an angel card reading or counseling session, Lisa holds the space and gives you useful information that helps you protect your energy in your life’s work and personal life. To learn more and GET 8 Simple ways to Release Chaos visit http://www.lisahutchison.net