Be kind to you: Boost your self-compassion with these tips

Self- compassion is an easy concept to understand, yet many people struggle with being kind to themselves. As professional helpers, we all know having self-compassion benefits our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, yet we find it difficult to incorporate this kind of thinking into our lives.

Why is this?

As human beings we resist change. It is easier to stick to our routines, even when these behaviors drain or harm us. Many helpers have formed a habit of putting their needs last, in order to help others. In our society, this type of endless giving, becomes positively reinforced, yet it is not a positive when you lack boundaries.

Many health care workers struggle with self- compassion because change takes mental work. You may be finding yourself in a state of chronic stress. Your jobs have been challenging, but add on the pandemic, you may be feeling as if you can’t take on one more task. 

Another factor is, it is easier for your mind to focus on the negative or what is wrong. Rather than focusing on a positive self-care activity, your mind prefers to focus on the struggle of grinding forward. This is a great survival mechanism, however, it does not assist your growth mentally, emotionally or spiritually.

How can we get over this hurdle of not taking care of yourself?

  • Educate yourself about the importance of self-compassion
  • Schedule self-compassion practices into your calendar with reminders
  • When the opportunity presents itself, practice self-compassion. Forgive yourself when you don’t follow through or are giving yourself harsh criticism

“Stop beating yourself up for beating yourself up.”- Eleanor Brownn

Do you ever notice, it is easier to treat others with compassion than ourselves? We all have an inner critic, a judgmental voice which brings our mood down with negative, self- critical thoughts. The best way to decrease the inner critics influence on your life is to first become aware of it.

One technique I teach my counseling and coaching clients is; Notice, Acknowledge, Re-direct

  • Increase your awareness- Mindfulness exercises will help you notice critical thoughts more readily. Sometimes, it is helpful to have another person, such as a coach or therapist, to bring attention to faulty thoughts.
  • Acknowledge this voice and the feeling- Often this voice crops up when we feel vulnerable. You could be feeling scared, anxious, fatigued or tired. Are you experiencing compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma or burnout?  You can say to yourself; I know you are scared, tired etc.
  • Redirect- Now is the time to focus on what you want. Put it together. I hear you. I know you are experiencing compassion fatigue. We are going to make a counseling appointment or fill in the blank (self-care activity) ______________________________.

Cognitive therapy works well to increase self-compassion and decrease the inner critic. Cognitive therapy is developed by Aaron T. Beck.  In therapy, the therapist helps you develop skills for identifying and changing faulty beliefs, distorted thinking, and implementing new behaviors. This can be useful for developing self-compassion.

Practice self-kindness. Sometimes we can’t think of how to be kind to ourselves. Think of a kind person in your life, what advice would she give to you? How would you talk to a friend or your child?

Compassionate letter writing exercise. This information is from Self-compassion: Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind. (Neff, 2011) on Amazon.com

The first step in this process is to sit quietly and think about something that triggers feelings of inadequacy, or something about you or your situation that makes you feel badly about yourself. It is important not to judge the emotions or to try to fix them. The focus is on awareness and experience of the feelings.

In the next step, think about an imaginary friend who is kind, loving, accepting, and compassionate to you. This friend knows all about you, even the piece of you that makes you feel bad. How would this friend respond about giving yourself such harsh self-criticism and judgment?

Write a letter to yourself from the perspective of this compassionate friend. This involves asking questions such as;

What would they say to you?

How would they remind you that you are only human and humans are not perfect?

Would they suggest you do anything differently?

Once the letter is finished, you can put it away for a while. When you are ready, retrieve the letter and read it again.

Learn to laugh with yourself

Laughter, as a coping mechanism, can decrease stress, improve memory and even make you more productive. Whether you live or work in a stressful environment, find something to laugh about. This eases the psychological and physical tension you carry. Embrace the fact that no one is perfect and laugh off your screw-ups. A mistake can be an experience you learn from or an experience to reinforce negative thoughts and feelings. The choice is yours.

How can you be more kind to yourself?

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 to Say No: An essential guide to setting boundaries for helpers

Since compassionate helpers want to please others and help, it is often foreign for them to set a limit or say no. When empathic givers say no, they are often plagued with guilt. Sometimes this is solely within themselves, other times it is from absorbing other’s manipulations. When empathic people teach others they are limitless in their giving, this leads other people to expect constant help and in some cases, even demand it.

The importance of boundaries

The risk of not setting boundaries for the helper can range from anxiety, depression, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and even burnout. If you would like to learn more about compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and burnout, I have included this video for you to watch. Remember, boundaries are a part of self-care.

Boundaries teach others how to treat you. Limits show without a doubt what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. These invisible lines protect you from abuse. Boundaries allow you to have your own separate feelings, thoughts and actions. Now, you know why it is important to have boundaries, let’s get to how to actually do it.

Identify what is your boundary

This part of the process, increases your self-awareness and is not to be shared with anyone else. Take a moment and write down what you want and why. Others do not need to know your reasons for limit setting, but you do. If you have a close relationship you may want to share when you set a boundary or at a later date, why this is important to you. Sharing your why is not required or even necessary. Sometimes your explanation waters down your message. The next time you say, yes, think about why you say, yes. Is this something you want to do or are you trying to avoid fear or confrontation?

Communicate

It is important to be direct about what you want and need. You do not need to explain or justify your reason for a limit. Say what you want in simple terms, without apologizing.

For example:

It is inappropriate when you____________________________ (speak that way or touch me)

Then you may need to redirect the person’s behavior. I would appreciate if you ask me rather than assuming I will do it for you, etc. If you are dealing with a patient who is touching you, Re-direct them and say place your hands here instead.

When someone asks or requests your help and you are unsure of your answer, feel free to ask additional questions. How long do you expect this task will last? Perhaps you can help in a different way then requested and offer that. If you don’t know your answer, give yourself the space to figure it out. Tell the other person, I will have to get back to you tomorrow or I have to check my schedule first.

If you are impulsive with your answers, you may want to read How to slow down impulsive decisions and improve relationships

Practice saying no

First start saying no to little things, then work your way up to the big things you do not want to do. Sometimes saying no is not as big of a deal as you think it will be. Often your anticipatory anxiety, the anxiety you feel before you say no, makes it worse than the reality of saying it.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

When you set a limit, expect some people to be upset with you. People pleasers who feel other’s disappointment or anger, can feel threatened. When a person feels threatened, we want to avoid the threat at all costs. You can survive other’s negative feelings towards you. You will do this by getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Remind yourself, you are setting a limit to help others. Sometimes people don’t need help but rather need to learn for themselves or even hit rock bottom.

Instill consequences

Boundaries are not meant to be a punishment but rather a natural consequence of behavior. A consequence needs to be firm. For example. If you continue to talk to me this way, I will end our phone call until you can talk to me calmly. If you continue to yell at me, I will be in the other room. Feel free to join me when you want to talk calmly. If you break plans with me at the last minute or do not show up or call me, I will call you out on your behaviors and let you know how I feel.

Practice, practice, practice

The well-known proverb says, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Practice setting limits with yourself and others. The more you do it, the less anxious you will feel.

What is your experience with setting boundaries and saying no?

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 to Walk Through Grief with Grace

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I woke up on the seventh anniversary of my Mom’s death, feeling depressed. Each year is different, some are a mere hiccup while others feel more intense. It has been awhile since an anniversary has hit me this hard.

This year and summer have been rocky for me. A good friend of mine died in February, I let go of many relationships, which no longer resonated with me and many family relationship dynamics have shifted.

Today, I decided to be by the water. I have found great solace at the beach in the past and knew it would help me shift into a different energy. One of my favorite places to walk is The Grace Trail in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Finding Grace in Grief

I have walked the Grace Trail many times. It is a meditative walk that asks five questions along the journey. Grace Trail was created by Anne Jolles to help her cope with the personal challenges and struggle of having a son in combat in Afghanistan. Since then it has helped thousands of people. I will share each stop with you so you can virtually travel through this blog and answer each question in your own mind.

What am I Grateful For?

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At the beginning of the trail, I start with a past and present gratitude. I am grateful to have witnessed the miracle of my Mom moving her thumb after a severe stroke because not many people get to witness a miracle like that. You can read more about the marvel of a single movement in this article from Reader’s Digest called 7 Miraculous Stories About the Power of Healing Prayers . Coming back to this moment, I took a page from my Mom and stated, “I am grateful to be alive today.”

What do I need to Release?

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A way down the trail, I find release. I let go of life needing to be a certain way. If 2018 has taught me anything, it is this. There is a higher plan at work, even when you do not see it yet. The Serenity Prayer is a great tool to aid in releasing what you cannot control.

 

What is calling out for Acceptance?

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Walking up a short hill, I come upon acceptance. I accept life as it is and remember everything is as it is meant to be, even if I don’t understand it in this moment.

What is my next Challenge?

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Walking down the hill and coming back around, I find challenge. I thought of a couple of challenges or places I am growing. The one which steps me most outside of my comfort zone is self-publishing and more public speaking.

What can I Embrace as possible?

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Moving forward with confidence in my step, I embrace. I fully take in this present moment, trusting all is as it needs to be.

Feel free to share your journey through this blog in the comment section below.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. She specializes in working with professionals who get drained from their helping efforts, refill and recharge their energies. Get her FREE gift 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Here are some additional resources about the Grace Trail:

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You can walk the trail anywhere, anytime, with anyone by just showing up and asking the questions shared in this book.  Buy it here at Amazon

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Grace Trail® Hope Cards: 57 cards to wake up your life! 150 questions worth asking, plus beautiful images to nourish your curiosity and provide encouragement. Buy them at Amazon here!

Lisa Hutchison is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. She receives a small payment from Amazon when you purchase through these links- at no additional cost to you. Thanks!

Why connection is important in today’s world

Why Connection is Important in Today's World

 

I have been more contemplative since the rally in Charlottesville VA, the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer and now the flooding in Texas. I desire to connect more authentically with others yet struggle because I do not want to get drained by extreme anger, violence or anguish. Being a part of protests, rallies and marches are not for me because of this. Yet as an empath, I want to know more than what’s up; social niceties and small talk bore me.

I have come to a new acceptance that I am called to heal this world in a different way. This has been the story of my life, stepping out on my own to follow a path unknown. Instead of donating to the Red Cross for the Texas floods, I donated to a smaller company called Undies for Everyone which supplies clean underwear to the survivors of the flood. I connect with being a woman and needing clean underwear more than donating to a large organization.

Three Men, a child and a baby

I am overtaken by a lot of thoughts, after these events. Walking helps me process this energy. One day, I saw a man wheeling a stroller with a small child lagging behind him. As we entered the cross walk at the same time from different directions, I moved slightly outside of the white line for his young child to be in the cross walk. We smiled as we passed one another. I went into the post office, mailed a few letters and another man held the door open for me. I thanked him and held it for him in return.

As I walked home, I saw the same man who walked with his children. This time I noticed the drained looked upon his face as he folded and put the stroller back into his car. We smiled again but this time I said, “Have a good day.” In this moment, I witnessed an energy shift and his face brightened. Intuitively, I knew I gave him a gift and felt authentically connected. Lastly, another man mowing his lawn waved at me, I waved in return. After my interactions with these three men, I felt rejuvenated, hopeful and inspired to write.

We are one

We all need reminders in our struggles that we are cared for and not alone. When you connect to a person’s heart and soul, you recognize them as the Divine light we all are. These small acts of kindness are best if not planned. Don’t worry, intuitively you will know who to connect with, where to donate and what to do. When you allow spirit to work through you, you are guided. Trust you will be in the right place with the right people at the right time.

When you notice someone who needs an emotional lift, look them in the eye and speak from your heart. It can be something simple such as have a good day, a wave or a smile. Now more than ever we need reassurance that we are not one another’s enemies. This year we all have experienced heavy intense energies. The best way to cope is to shine your light as a channel for Divine love.

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section of how you authentically connect with others despite the extreme anger, violence and fear that is a part of our society today.

For specific ways to prevent your own energy depletion, contact Lisa Hutchison LMHC. She offers counseling and angel card readings by phone and in person to teach you how to rejuvenate and recharge your unique energy issues. I invite you to go to my website http://www.lisahutchison.net and pick up this FREE 10 page E-book 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now! 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Important information about how your senses get overloaded

In American culture, we need at least an arm’s length of space between us and other people in order to feel comfortable. As a sensitive soul, there are times you will need even more space than that. Your personal space is an invisible bubble that surrounds you. When you connect with someone’s energy that is groovy, you feel good. However, when you connect with a lower energy frequency, you can feel drained rather quickly.

Psychic invaders

As a psychotherapist and lifelong intuitive empath, I can reassure you that this type of personal space invasion is rare. I write about it because it happens and it has happened to me numerous times throughout my life. To clarify a bit, what I am writing about is not space invaders or invaders of the extraterrestrial variety.

Psychic invasions occur when another’s energy intrudes upon your energy field, when you are in danger. You will feel this sensation as a sudden twinge or cramping in your second or third chakra (respectively your reproductive area and stomach) quickly upon meeting them. When you recognize this signal within, leave as soon as possible. This is an indication that your gut intuition has been activated and its job is to keep you safe.

Other’s content

Empaths feel invaded by others energy on a daily basis. Due to your sensitivity, you pick up and feel whatever is around you. This includes other’s physical pain, depression, anxiety and anger. This type of constant inflow of feeling creates fatigue in an empath. This is why it is essential self-care to learn boundaries and protect your energies.

Enough to turn up your nose

Psychologically, the sense of smell is most strongly connected to your past memories and emotions. For this reason, anyone, not only sensitive people, can easily get triggered by a smell in a positive or negative way. People who suffer from post-traumatic stress can be transported back to traumatic memories from a certain smell. Some odoriferous offenders that overtake sensitive souls are smoking, spicy foods and fragrances.

Can’t touch this

Unwanted touching can range from irritating to inappropriate. Touches that bother sensitive people can include resting your arm or leaning against someone on a train or airplane to having certain types of fabric rub against your skin. Some people use touch as a means to intimate or control, such as in the case of sexual harassment or physical assault. These types of intrusions are against the law and should be reported.

A sight for sore eyes

Empaths have a difficult time with not only the sounds on the news but also the visual footage. Anything that is violent, hurts people or animals can invade a sensitive person’s space. Rapid images can also overload your nervous system sending it into a tail spin such as fast clips shown in certain movies or TV shows and rapid scrolling of social media newsfeeds.

When it is not music to your ears

Sounds can easily invade the personal space of a sensitive soul. These can include loud music, sirens, dogs barking, horns blaring, screaming and fireworks. Any sound that does not resonate with your personal frequency will disconnect you from your spirit.

Fascinating studies have been done by Dr. Masaru Emoto using high-speed photography which captured how crystals formed in water when specific thoughts were directed toward them. He found that water exposed to loving words and sounds showed beautifully complex, colorful snowflake patterns. While water exposed to negative thoughts, formed fragmented incomplete, patterns with dull colors. Overtime too much sound that does not resonate with you not only depletes you of energy but also puts your health at risk. I highly recommend this specific healing book and cd source, it is a favorite that I have used: Water Crystal Healing: Music and Images to Restore Your Well-Being by Masaru Emoto

What is a sensitive soul to do?

  • Have awareness of your personal level of space that you need.
  • Assert yourself when needed.
  • Learn to protect your energies.
  • Heal your energy when you are overexposed.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She 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; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at 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 to Stop Falling into the Social Media Habit

I had a problem and yet I knew that I was not the only one. I went into Facebook to send a message to someone. Instead of sending the message, I was in the news feed for a good 15 minutes to then log out, realizing that I did not do what I originally intended to do. I was shocked at how easy it is to go unconscious on social media. I logged in again, accomplishing my mission by completing that message and sending it off.

I noticed an increase in social media use after my cat’s death. This distraction was normal and okay for a short amount of time because it helped me cope. It was a good way to numb out the intense feelings of loss and grief. As an empath, I feel a lot and deeply. Perhaps you can begin to see that this type of social media checking is not all bad because it would be too overwhelming to process grief/loss all at once.

There comes a time when you and I need to face the music; meaning we need to sit with the feelings, deal and heal. When is that time? The time is when you or others become aware of what you are doing and are no longer comfortable with it. If you do not notice your over usage, you may hear comments from family or friends. Not only can it cause problems in relationships, the longer you avoid your feelings, the more disconnected you become to your own soul and that of the Divine.

Social Media Boundaries

I am not here to tell you what the proper boundaries are for you concerning social media. I believe that you as much as I already know that answer. Trust your instincts, get off social media and do something else. What I will do is share some definite warning signs to be aware of. Many of these can be applied to abuse and addictions behaviors of all kinds.

  • If you spend more time with your nose in your phone than talking to your significant other or family.
  • If you need to check social media first thing in the morning, all throughout the day and last thing before bed.
  • When your friends’ social media responses or lack thereof starts affecting your mood in negative ways; anger, depression and sadness.

 

The Psychology Behind this Habit or in Some Cases this Addiction

When any habit gets rewarded, it increases the likelihood of you doing it again. Every notification, like, reaction and share reinforces our social media checking behavior. Guess what? When you are stressed you rely more on your habit system as a way to feel in control. It is understandable why during times of high stress; grief, loss, unemployment or illness an increase can be found with social media use. Even positive stress can trigger an increase in usage such as a move to a new home, new job or a book release.

Here is the kicker, the reward does not even have to feel pleasurable in order to repeat it.  This is what happens in all addictions. Clients tell me I don’t even enjoy using yet I can’t stop; why is this happening? When you repeat a behavior, the brain gets rewarded with a release of a chemical called dopamine. This dopamine sends a signal within your brain that says whatever you just did, do it again regardless of whether it has a positive or negative outcome. This creates a compulsion to repeat that behavior.

How do you get out of this behavorial loop? You need to slow your brain down in order to give yourself a chance to pause, think and then respond. Now you have the power to choose what you want to do next. For some it is shutting off notifications, deleting the app from your phone or taking days off from social media. If you continue to have difficulty, there is no shame in seeking professional psychotherapy.

The move from Mindless to Mindful Usage

Sit down and pick a goal for your social media use. Is it for fun, business or connecting with friends? Yes, it can be different each time you log in. Think before you post; what is the purpose of this sharing? Does it fit with my overall goal of social media use?

Notice your mood prior to logging in and stay aware of how it shifts and changes. Do you log in when you feel bored, alone, empty or to calm your nerves? When you feel stressed, aggravated or numb that is the time to log off. If you are using it to boost your self -esteem, remember the real work is within. Social media is a place to express not to impress. If you are trying to feed your ego, it is time to sign off.

When you are in the present moment, you are awake to what you are doing and what is happening. Anytime you notice your distraction, like I did in the opening paragraph, use it as a reminder to get back into your body and connect. After all, that is what we are truly searching for when we go online, an authentic connection. When you don’t find it online, make time to connect in more direct ways through meditation, prayer, phone calls or in person meetings.

More about 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 car reader she helps her clients find realistic life solutions that work whether it is health concerns, work or relationships. To get her FREE 10 page E- book, 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos Now visit www.lisahutchison.net

 

The Truth about the 2 Types of Sensitivity

You are too sensitive! I heard that a lot when I was a child. Interestingly, I haven’t heard it at all as an adult. What changed? I learned to honor my sensitivity for the gift that it is. A part of that honoring lies in surrounding myself with people just like me. This world needs more sensitivity, let’s make sure we are joining together and flooding it with the best kind.

Your Sensitivity is Beautiful

Type 1: Empathy– This Divine gift comes from a deep sense of caring about others and feeling into their emotional or physical states. Empathy often manifests through psychic knowingness, visions and sensations. At times you may feel too much and become engulfed by the experience of empathy. You do not want to hide or get rid of your empathy, not like you really could anyways! After all, it is a part of who you are. You can protect and nurture this gift with proper boundary setting thereby decreasing overwhelm.

I want to give you a little heads up … As you grow older, your sensitivity will increase. I am not telling you this to cause anxiety but rather to give you awareness. This is not due to a failure in coping on your part but rather a spiritual progression of becoming more open. You can choose to look at this as an opportunity for learning new ways of protecting your precious energy, as I have.

Type 2: An Ego Imbalance– This kind of sensitivity comes from a sense of separation and presents as defensiveness and fear. Ego imbalances stem from psychological wounds that have not been addressed and are now getting projected outward onto others. You find this kind of imbalance with sensitivity in personality disorders such as narcissistic, histrionic, antisocial and borderline traits.

I have lived with both types of sensitivity. My step-father had an ego imbalance and I was born an empath, making our connection the perfect storm. I never knew what would set him off because anything could and it never made any sense. A lot of my time and energy growing up was spent trying to predict and avoid the conflicts that were to come. As an adult, I had to learn boundaries and detachment in order to not take on emotional responsibility which was not mine.

We all have both of these sensitivities, there is no judgment here. You need some ego for self-definition and you need empathy to have compassion for others. If you have type 1 you need to learn and practice self-trust through awareness, boundaries to protect your energies and assertiveness skills to voice your authentic self. If you are type 2 you need to learn and practice self- responsibility, relaxation skills and empathy.

More about Lisa Hutchison– Lisa works for empaths who often feel drained after their helping efforts refill and recharge their energy through counseling, writing and angel card sessions. As a licensed mental health counselor with over 15 years of experience, she helps sensitive souls not only survive but shine!  Get 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from Your Life Now! FREE as my gift to you. http://www.lisahutchson.net