How Trauma Gets in the Way of Relationship Success

 

How Trauma Gets in the Way of Relationship Success

Under stress, the human mind is vulnerable to unresolved trauma. When you or someone you know feels reminded of a traumatic event, you either freeze (become detached), fight (verbally or physically) or take flight (avoid and leave). Often you don’t know what happened inside of your own mind or someone else’s; what you see is a change in behavior which causes your relationship to suffer.

What is a trigger? 

A trigger is something that someone says or does that reminds your subconscious mind of a past trauma. Some people experience flashbacks or a reliving of the event after being triggered. These flashbacks happen a lot for people who have post traumatic stress.

Trauma Reactions

You can experience a trauma reaction from war, sexual assault, death, or any type of abusive relationship in which you felt your life was or is in danger.  Being a witness to other’s experiencing trauma can be traumatizing for some people. Empaths may be more susceptible to trauma reactions because of their sensitivity.

An example

Veterans who hear fireworks may feel as if they are back in the war. In that moment and time, their mind is occupied with a trauma image. As a result, they appear tense, angry, anxious or detached from the present moment.

When you do not heal past trauma it continues to be an energy that gets expressed. It often comes out in one of these three ways in relationships. 

3 Trauma Behaviors that Cause Relationship Difficulty 

Chaos-  Your relationships are unstable and chaotic. This energy is acted out and seen as dramatic arguments in relationships. For others who repress chaos within, the energy causes illness and chronic pain. Since your mind is overstimulated, you find it hard to focus and are easily distracted, similar to people who experience attention deficit disorders. You may turn to substances or have addictions.

Avoidance–  You feel fearful, overwhelmed or frozen. Another reason why you avoid is due to feeling numb. When you cut yourself off from feeling, you disconnect from the painful traumatic emotions but also the happy, pleasurable emotions of life. Since you find no joy in life, you stop maintaining connections. If you are in a relationship, you appear detached and don’t know why you can’t connect with others even when you are together. You may turn to substances and have addictions.

Over-reactive to life – You feel angry. You and others notice you have a short fuse and react impulsively. You feel jumpy and on edge because your brain believes it is under a threat, in psychology this is known as hypervigilance. This super reactivity is good in times of crisis, it is not useful in everyday life. Your outbursts can lead to arrests and legal difficulties. You may turn to substances and have addictions.

To Wrap It All Up

If you are experiencing these trauma behaviors you and your relationships do not need to suffer, seek out a qualified therapist who works with trauma. The good news is, trauma can be healed and you can have successful relationships.

Remember everyone is coming from their own perception and experiences. When someone is overly reactive, avoiding you or stuck in their own drama, it is not personal. It may be a sign of past unresolved trauma they have not healed yet.

Some people stay in these reactions their entire lives while others seek therapy. My advice to you is lovingly detach from them and heal your own wounds. With time and space, you will know how to respond to these types of relationships.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Unresolved trauma is one of the many ways your energy becomes depleted overtime. Lisa specializes in working for professionals who often get drained from their helping efforts, refill and rejuvenate their energies, Visit www.lisahutchison.net and get  FREE – 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now! 

5 Benefits of Meditation that Restore Your Energy

“Our world needs more time to wonder and reflect but there is too much fast paced constant distraction.” – Mister Rogers.
 

We live in a complex world with a lot of stimuli flooding our senses each and every day. It is easy to get caught up in the whirl of activity around and within you. For empaths and HSP (highly sensitive people), the feeling of overwhelm can engulf you due to your ability to absorb energy from the people, places and things around you.

Here are 5 specific ways meditation restores your energy

  1. Reduces Stress– The act of focusing your mind, relaxes your entire mind-body-spirit system. When you meditate, you decrease stress hormones called epinephrine and cortisol. These hormones are activated by a part of your brain known as the amygdala. It is this part of your brain that reacts to stress and trauma causing you to go into a fight, flight or freeze response. In an eight week study (2011), Lazar found the amygdala got smaller through meditation and mindfulness. The participants reported spending an average of 27 minutes each day practicing mindfulness exercises. 
  2. Calms Racing Thoughts– When you observe your bodily sensations and the stimuli around you, it slows the thoughts. One 2013 research study called Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering found that just a couple of weeks of meditation training helped people’s focus and memory during the verbal reasoning section of the graduate record examination (GRE).
  3. Increases Your Patience Meditation may increase your empathy for others. By consciously focusing on your breath, you learn detachment. Detachment or letting go naturally gives you more patience as you become more responsive rather than reactive. In a 2011 study Loving-Kindness and Compassion Meditation: Potential for Psychological Interventions  It is hypothesized that “loving kindness meditation may be particularly useful for targeting interpersonal problems such as anger control issues, whereas both compassion meditation and loving kindness meditation be particularly useful for treating relationship problems, such as marital conflicts, or counteracting the challenges among care giving professions or nonprofessionals who must provide long-term care to a relative or friend.” 
  4. Maintains a Mind-Body Connection– When you slow your breathing down it can sync up your mind and body. In a 2016 study called Entrainment of chaotic activities in brain and heart during MBSR mindfulness training it was found  “the chaotic activities of the brain and the heart became more coordinated during Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training, suggesting that mindfulness training may increase the entrainment between mind and body.” 
  5. Improves your Sleep– Your body and mind become more relaxed through a meditation practice which can help you let go, release and get a better quality of sleep. In April 2015 a study called Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment among Older Adults with Sleep Disturbances was published.  It was found that those in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression at the end of the six sessions than those in the sleep education group only. 

My story

Meditation has saved my sanity as an empath. It not only has helped me let go of other people’s energy but also reconnects me to my soul. Without meditation, I am impatient, anxious, overwhelmed and more easily focused on the negatives of life. When I slow down, relax the body and release excess energy, I feel at peace, rejuvenated and myself again.

I am honored to have written, recorded and created an MP3 recording just for compassionate professionals like you called Renew and Heal: Releasing the Chaos Meditation.

I know how difficult it can be to let go of the craziness around you when you care so deeply. This energy of stress gets absorbed deep within your system causing fatigue, irritability and impatience. Now more than ever compassionate souls are being called to stay centered and grounded despite the chaos of our daily world and life.

I invite you to purchase your copy today here: Renew & Heal Meditation Releasing the Chaos 

Be as good to yourself as you are to others!

Renew & Heal Meditation-Releasing the Chaos

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Her specialty is working with professionals who get drained from their helping efforts, recharge and renew their energy. If you would like to learn more about Lisa and her practice visit www.lisahutchison.net and pick up your FREE 10 page e-book called 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos From Your Life Now! 

How to Recognize Manipulation & Protect Your Energy

We have all been fooled at one time or another by manipulative behaviors. Sometimes it is so subtle, you can’t see it coming until it is too late. When you feel its influence in your life, know you are not failing at your inner work. Remember when another tries to control you in order to suit their needs, it is a reflection of their lower energy and not your own.

Manipulative behavior is found in chaotic situations and is often used to divert attention away from the real issue. There will be times when you feel frustrated because you see what is going on yet no one else gets it. Just because no one else sees it, does not mean it isn’t happening. Trust your instincts.

Do you know the signs of manipulative behaviors?

Power– Where there is power, look for manipulations. You are being influenced every single day. No, not me, you say! How many times have you bought a product that you saw online or on TV that was hyped and it frankly sucked? News and advertisements are two outlets that work to manipulate your emotions. The most popular emotion is fear; how many products are on the market because of our fear of aging or death?

That is too good to be true! The song, Little lies from Fleetwood Mack plays in my head as I write this,”Tell me lies Tell me sweet little lies.” When you are feeling vulnerable, you are more susceptible to this. It is understandable that when you are in pain that you want to hear the good. Sometimes in this state, you ignore your better judgment knowing in the end, whatever is promised is not going to be delivered upon. Watch for this one in the upcoming months as there will be an increase with these lies during the political season.

Guilt trips Woe is me! When someone acts like a victim, it is a manipulative invitation to help or rescue them. Do not do for others what they can do for themselves. Read more about that here. How to Best Serve Your Client’s Internal Growth. Other guilt trips can be uncomfortable sojourns in which the person goes radio silent and there is no communication at all. Some will threaten themselves with harm or others, in these instances contact the police and your local mental health crisis center.

Oh, you sweet talker! This person tries to make a connection with you before it has authentically developed. For example; calling you a friend upon first meeting you, telling you what they think you want to hear; you are so smart, so beautiful etc. The best one I have heard recently was, I am not trying to sell to you and 10 minutes later she was trying to sell me something! To answer your question, no, I did not buy from her.

 4 Ways to Protect Your Energy from Getting Depleted:

  1. Remember and have awareness of a person’s history and their behavioral tactics.
  2. Trust your instincts. If you only focus on what a person says, you will be an easy target for manipulation. It is through your intuition that you will know these lies. When something feels off, trust in that, no matter who that person is.
  3. Decide whether you will speak up or detach.
  4. Consult a professional counselor. As an intuitive psychotherapist, I can feel in my body when a client tells me her story and someone else is attempting to manipulate her. There are many times, especially in instances of family and romantic relationships, in which you are too close to see what is going on, yet you know it doesn’t feel good. I can assist you with what to say, how to respond and how to protect your energies in these types of instances.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC, intuitive psychotherapist, works for empaths who want to recharge their depleted energy in order to serve with their unique gifts of sensitivity. Want 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from your Life NOW! Get it here FREE http://www.lisahutchison.net

How to Successfully Deal with Passive Aggressive Behavior

Empaths can read people really well due to their sensitivity. Yet, there is a personality type that continues to baffle you and yes sometimes even me. You know the type, a seemingly agreeable person who smiles and acts kind yet speaks with cutting remarks, misplaces or forgets important items or consistently arrives late. Passive aggressive behavior causes chaos in relationships and is an energy drain for everyone, not only empaths, due to their denial, procrastination, pouting, silent treatments and lack of responsibility for one’s emotions and behaviors.

The psychology behind this

This person is not evil, just scared. She or he has not learned how to express anger in healthy ways and most likely was shamed or threatened for any outward expression of this feeling as a child. There is a feeling of powerlessness, which is why this person seeks to have power in indirect ways. In order to feel safe, this person denies and represses the feeling. As the saying goes, what gets repressed gets expressed in one form or another. That is why the underhanded comments slip out, the tasks go unfinished or appointments are missed.

What can you do?

Step 1: Trust your instincts. When interacting with this type of person, it is difficult to put their resistant behavior into words. You know that there is a disconnection between what a person says and what a person does. You feel their hidden hostility, yet when you confront this person on their behavior she or he will deny it to the hills.

Step 2: Recognize the pattern. Many empaths go the avoidance route because you don’t know what to do. You will leave the situation politely but feel confused and exhausted. A part of my job is to teach you how to maintain your energy despite outside influences. Avoidance can be a good start although I would like to help you choose your behaviors from a place of power.

For those that get stuck in a dance of frustration or freeze because of an inability to detach from energy; begin to become aware of what is happening even if it is after the situation is over. Learn to see the patterns and refuse to participate in them. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result. You are the one who needs to change because they won’t.

Step 3:  Become like Spock. Remind yourself that their behavior is not personal. Do not react even though every fiber of your being wants to. Take a breather, walk away and practice relaxation techniques. Once you emotionally disengage and detach from the situation, identify that this person is angry and not you.

Step 4: Flood them with light and love. This is for the light workers and enlightened ones out there. The dynamics of a relationship can change from one person detaching. I have witnessed miracles in my own and my client’s lives when they are able to send blessings to those that trigger them.

Two ways to do this is imagine them surrounded in white light and pray for them. Don’t forget to give yourself the same kindness and compassion. This is not easy to do, if you are struggling with this one take heart that most people do not get to this level of being around difficult people.

Step 5: Learn assertiveness skills. For those relationships that are close to you such as family and friends you will want to come to a sense of peace and empowerment. A gentle but direct approach that focuses on the behavior is what works because these people fear confrontation and anger. If they suspect any type of perceived challenge or threat they will avoid and deny. In the end, you may handle the situation with the utmost tact and diplomacy and still the person denies their behavior.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC works specifically with sensitive healers who want to recharge and refuel their energies from challenging relationships such as these through phone counseling and angel card readings. I will address your specific situation and we will come up with a step by step plan to empower you for a future interaction. The more you step into your power, you will deal more successfully with this type of relationship dynamic without getting drained.

To break free from the chaos of relationship dynamics go to www.lisahutchison.net and help yourself to 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from your Life Now!

How Chaos Can Be Good

I have a confession; I used to hate chaos with a passion.  I am not a huge fan of it still.  However, I am learning to see some positives of it.  As an empath, chaotic energies stress my system out and overwhelm me.  I wanted to make friends with my enemy, knowing that the more I resisted this force of nature, the more it would persist and bother me in my life.

Growing up, I lived in a chaotic abusive environment which kept everyone distracted from the real issues and stuck.  Being one of the few in the family who had awareness of this fact, I wanted to “fix it” yet I was met with great opposition.  I wanted more organization to feel in control.  Some of these skills helped me in my work as a therapist, while other skills drained me because I felt too responsible to change other people’s lives.  Through my many years of practice, I learned how to set boundaries and not take on other’s responsibilities, which helped me and I am sure others enormously.  I began to see a need to go beyond merely controlling symptoms and into the deeper patterns that exist.  This is a part of what led me to my current work combining mental health, creativity and spirituality.

What’s so good about chaos?

 

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As I was sitting in a garden at a library, I pondered chaos and what could be good about it.  In front of me was this fountain.  I noticed the water in the pond was mostly undisturbed.  Right where the fountain’s cascading water fell things were getting stirred up.  The bubbling action caused the water to spill, ripple and bubble forth in random patterns.  Not only did it sound relaxing, it looked beautiful.  The fountain was creating change and making the water dynamic.  Yes! That is how I want to view my life.  I want to freely bubble forth learning to relax within the movements.  I want to observe chaos without getting all caught up in it.

A part of getting more comfortable with chaos is learning how to accept and embrace change.  That is what life is all about growing beyond your current comfort zone.  Perhaps some of us need a chaotic push to move forward?  This multi-dimensional energy helps people get out of black and white thinking to live in the wondrous vibrancy of now.

As creatives in life, it is the chaos that often inspires your writing, painting and art.  As an artist, I know I work to bring a sense of order and meaning to my chaotic life experiences for myself and other empaths. I often write about grief, loss, stress management, assertiveness and personal self- care boundaries.

Chaos appears to be disorganized without a structure.  Don’t let outward appearances fool you.  There is an actual structure within chaos.  Perhaps this is the Divine’s plan unfolding, which I or you cannot see yet.  Trusting in this, I feel my sense of breathing deepens as I let go and relax.  This is not only about letting go but also about embracing uncertainty with the faith that it is for everyone’s highest and best good.

Like this blog?  I would love to connect with you on social media via Twitter, Pinterest and/or Facebook these links take you right to these pages.  For more information on what I do and who I am click here www.lisahutchison.net