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! 

Advertisements

What helpers like you need to know about burnout

What helpers like you need to know about burnout (3)

 

Helpers and first responders often believe that they can push through irritation and emotional pain. You soldier on despite multiple systems in your body screaming out for you to stop. Some of these warning signs are unending fatigue, sleep difficulties, appetite changes, concentration problems, anxiety, depression, increased illnesses and anger.

As an empathic helper, you are going to experience work or help related stress due to caring so much. When that stress is combined with a lack of self- care and a lack of support more serious stress reactions can occur such as burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization.

Compassion fatigue and burnout arises from too much work, or as many people say burning the candle at both ends. Empathic helpers often absorb other’s pain and take it with them into their home life. Too much sympathy or working with empathy without proper boundaries drains helpers of energy and leads to burnout. In a study of 216 hospice care nurses from 22 hospices across the state of Florida it was found that, “Trauma, anxiety, life demands, and excessive empathy (leading to blurred professional boundaries) were key determinants of compassion fatigue risk in the multiple regression model that accounted for 91 % (P< .001) of the variance in compassion fatigue risk.” (Abendroth & Flannery 2006).

Vicarious traumatization can happen when you absorb the psychological material of your client who has experienced trauma. You feel the trauma in your own energetic system as PTSD symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, irritability and startle responses. This is why it is important to hold the energetic boundaries and seek supervision or your own counseling. If you are experiencing increased anxiety, startle responses or irritation, after your work with a client ask yourself; is this my trauma or yours?

What can a compassionate helper do?

  • You need to limit your use of empathy. Yes, there can be too much of a good thing.  Empathy is one tool a helper uses in combination with other techniques to ensure client growth. At times you may need to use more directive or instructional types of methods rather than an all-out holding of the space for another.
  •  Be aware and recognize that trauma and stress are running the show. When you notice a change in your mood and thoughts, review your day and think about who you were with and what was discussed.
  • Self- Care. All empathic helpers need a self-care regime that refills and recharges your energy. Relaxation and energy increasing activities will balance out the fatigue you are experiencing. Grounding through the use of mindfulness can keep your focus in the present moment.
  • Seek psychotherapy with an empathic therapist who can help you with burnout and trauma. Going to a therapist who knows trauma, work stress and energy work can make a world of difference for yourself and your clients.
  •  Get this workbook for yourself and your clients. I have found this to be a valuable resource that I use with my clients: The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms Workbook Edition by Mary Beth Williams (Author), Soili Poijula (Author) Some of the chapters include: Before Doing the Work: Safety, Security and Intention and Helping Yourself When You Re-experience a Trauma. (As an amazon affiliate I receive a small portion of the sale when you buy after clicking the above link, without any addition cost to you. Thank you for choosing this method of purchasing.) 

References:

Abendroth, M., & Flannery, J. (2006). Predicting the risk of compassion fatigue: A study of hospice nurses. Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, 8(6), 346-356.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC works for empathic healers who feel drained after their helping efforts, refill and recharge their energy with intuitive counseling and angel card readings. For more information visit her website at www.lisahutchison.net, while you are there take advantage of the free gift 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from Your Life Now!

Is your Helping Interfering with your Happiness?

Whether you are a professional or born helper, it feels good to assist other people. It is wonderful to extend acts of kindness as it increases positive energy into the world. There are times we all overextend and take helping too far.

when-your-helping-interferes-with-your-happiness-2

What are some causes of over-helping?

Empathic helpers feel too much. Sensitive souls often impulsively jump in and fix a situation because it is uncomfortable to witness and feel another’s struggle in your body system. You are also susceptible to manipulation in the form of guilt. Due to this internal overwhelm you can do too much for others.

It is a way to not grow into your own power as a light being. Stepping into your power can feel scary because you have witnessed other’s misuse of power. You can rest assured that most empathic helpers do not misuse power for this very reason. The fact that you are aware of your power and how it can influence others positively or negatively means you are ahead of the game.

When you avoid your light and overly focus on others, it is a form of self-sabotage. All of your energy goes towards those you help and none is left for you. Also, overly focusing on one person leaves no energy for anyone else in your life and this causes problems in other relationships.

It can be a form of addiction although it is not an official clinical diagnosis. When you help others it releases positive chemicals in your brain (much like a drug). The more positive attention you receive for acting helpful, the more it fuels this connection. Similar to a drug, what once felt good often turns into something you feel you need to do yet does not bring you any satisfaction or good feeling. The problem of helping in this regard develops when you reach out to help others compulsively instead of sitting with and feeling your sadness, anger or fear.

Feelings of insecurity or inferiority; stemming from the belief that others will not like or love you because you are not helping them. People pleasing causes an overextension of helping and is a way to receive positive attention for what you do, not for who you are. Since this feeling of positivity is external the good feeling is dependent on other’s reactions and does not last.

Letting go of control

We often try to control when we feel worried about someone else. A way to release this grip is to focus on an opposite emotion, such as gratitude. Rather than thinking about what you want to change about a person, remember what you already have. This act of accepting will increase your happiness and allow you to see that the best way to help is to nurture positive feelings and love in your relationships.

Finding Balance

You do not want to give up on being helpful but rather find a balance. Some ways to do this is to become aware of your patterns, set limits and develop boundaries. Assertiveness training and therapy can help you develop these essential skills that every helper needs.

Being a helper is what you do, it is not who you are as a person. It is how you channel and express divine love. There are times as a helper you need to edit and do less in order to allow the story of your relationship to unfold. Helping is about giving and receiving which means at times it is about sitting back and allowing someone to do something for you because it helps them feel good.

365 Life Shifts: Pivotal Moments that Changed Everything

14063987_10153933148717945_5923936462287096960_nI have written about my own healing journey from empathic over helping in 365 Life Shifts: Pivotal Moments that Changed Everything called Back to me: honoring my limits. I admitted in print that I did not know how to help out, I only knew how to overdo. Over the years, I tied myself up in knots trying to do it all. I wrote about this and how I learned to support myself in healthy ways without overextending. Buy this book to read this story and 200 other author stories about pivotal moments that changed everything.

 

Blog tour…

You may also enjoy these other blogs posted today from these 2 fellow co -authors in this book!

Fiona Louise – www.fiona-louise.com

Maureen Hollmeyer –  www.transitional-guidance.com

More about Lisa Hutchison LMHC. Lisa works for empathic healers who often get drained after their helping efforts find practical ways to refill and recharge their energy with counseling and angel card readings. The chaos of life and other people drains your energy overtime, learn how to release it, feel energized and empowered. Click here for your FREE 10 page E-book called 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now!