Self Soothing ; Coping with Anxiety and Depression

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.Self soothing and having a variety of coping methods for anxiety is an important part of surviving life in this world. Some children are guided to learn these things, while others are not. If you grew up with parents that were neglectful or abusive, then you most likely grew up with no self soothing skills. 

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Everyone has anxiety and stress to deal with, but some people end up with anxiety disorders that overpower their lives, and their ability to interact with others in stressful environments.

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If you never learned coping skills for anxiety growing up, then you can still find methods that will work for you. 

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If you suffer from depression and anxiety, then you need to be able to self sooth. You need to find special methods that work for you. Everyone is unique and not all coping skills work for all people.

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It does not matter what your go-to methods are, or how silly or childish they might seem to someone else. You can buy yourself a special stuffed animal and a soft blanket if those things are soothing to you. 

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Sometimes it is the inner child that needs soothing, in which case doing the same things that would sooth a small child might be just the thing you need to do. I don’t mean carrying around a stuffed bunny rabbit with you out in public, but in your own home you can do what you want without worrying about outside judgement.

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If you are living with people who would judge you, then you probably are getting some of your anxiety from living with those people and that might be an issue you will need to deal with at some point. 

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If you live alone, or at least sleep in your own room, then your self soothing and comforting activities can be ones that made you feel safe as a child. If you grew up in environments where you often felt fearful, then that inner child is still looking for a safe place to be. You may be triggered by things that remind you of your fears from childhood.

Other self soothing activities for you might be coloring in a coloring book, reading a favorite story from a children’s story book, or an adult story book. You can carry items with you during the day that you find comforting. It is easy to keep small things in your purse or in your car. 

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Indoor or outdoor places can be soothing environments also.

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If you feel relaxed and safe at the park, by a lake, at the beach, or someplace in nature, then you can take yourself for a visit to a place that makes you feel connected with nature. You do not have to feel guilty for taking time out for yourself, even though you may have been conditioned to feel that way. 

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You might feel safe and comfortable someplace like a book store, a library, a bowling alley, a movie theater or a museum. Whatever makes you feel more able to deal with your anxiety is a good place to go. There is no reason you cannot take some time out of your day for yourself. It does not have to be expensive or cost anything at all. 

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Yoga and meditation are great ways to center yourself also. You can take a yoga class or do yoga at home. There are meet-ups you can find in your area by searching a site like meetup.com.

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Being with people of similar interests might be helpful for you, and the exercise is very good for regulating the nervous system. There are small groups that meet for meditation and spiritual activities at churches and other places that people rent for the purposes of getting together. 

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If you enjoy animals more that people. then there are places where you can be around animals. Even walking around Pet Smart for a half hour can be a great break from the anxiety of the day. There are animal shelters that would be glad to have visitors to help with the animals or to volunteer on a regular basis. 

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Music is helpful for many people in reducing anxiety and increasing dopamine, as well as reducing cortisol.

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The levels of these chemicals in your body alter the way you feel, your mood and your anxiety level. Anything that reduces cortisol and raises dopamine and the feel-good chemicals is probably good for you. 

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You can find what works best for you with a little trial and error. If you are not sure about something but you want to try it, go ahead and see how it works for you. Once you begin to explore different kinds of activities you may find that you discover new ones that you would not have otherwise thought of. 

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If you are introverted then you will probably be most soothed by doing things alone, or in small groups of like-minded people, or people with similar interest and values. If you are extroverted then you might find the most relaxation with larger group activities. But you can vary your coping activities between introverted and extroverted ones. 

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It might help you to take a free Meyers Briggs test online. You can find one if you search google, or I can give you a link. If you learn more about your own personality type, it can help you to discover the kinds of things that trigger your anxiety . You may find validation for why certain things make you feel depressed. 

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Another thing you could consider is what you are taking into your body.

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The food and drink that you bring into your physical body can have a strong effect on your mood and will power. Sometimes a small adjustment in the kinds of food you eat, or adding a vitamin that you may be deficient it, can make a marked difference in your mood. 

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I have offered you some ideas, but you can discover many more. Be creative and open minded. Sometimes just the simple act of trying new routines and spending 20 minutes doing something that you don’t usually allow yourself to do, can have am effect on your nervous system. 

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The nervous system can become disregulated from stress, from abuse, and from having PTSD from a past trauma. You may be living in the present physically, but emotionally connected to things that happened in your past. Sometimes hypnosis, inner child work, and compassionate dialogue with a trained therapist or life coach can be helpful. 

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Make sure you choose any professional help with care, and don’t feel that you are stuck with someone that is not serving your purposes, or is not a great match for you.

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You can ask the person questions about what they specialize in and why. Someone who is going to be talking with you about a abusive past for example, needs to specialize in that area or they will have difficulty really understanding what your responses are about. 

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I hope this finds you all well, and I wish you healing and empowerment. You are a special individual. You are unique. You have just as much of a right to have a meaningful and empowering life as anyone else does. 

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Namaste,

Annie – gentlekindness coaching web site

http://www.gentlekindnesscoaching.com/

visit my youtube channel HERE


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJw1QUDzb59PbWTcnGjGJ7g/videos

Narcissistic Mothers and Their Sons

Scapegoating – Narcissistic Family and Holidays

Coaching for Narcissistic Abuse Facebook page

The gentlekindness coaching facebook page is beginning to get more follows. This past week has been better because I ran a” Boost Post” ad for the page. I am not quite sure yet if it will turn out to be something I will pay for again, but so far it seems to be drawing new followers. 

Stop by the page and take a look HERE

 

For Anyone Who Dreads the Holidays

woman in rain

image from Pinterest – HERE

Another holiday is upon us. I know that many of us dread the holidays for one reason or another. Some of you will be alone and others have to tolerate relatives they would rather not ever see.

Divorced parents have to coordinate with their ex, or miss the holiday with their kids all together. Memories of traumatizing past holidays trigger emotional flashbacks while you try to maintain your holiday cheer for the sake of your children.

Adult children of abusive parents suffer a triggering of old emotional wounds. Memories of traumatic experiences creeping into your mind, or bombarding you with full frontal assault.

People with chronic illnesses, progressive diseases, and chronic pain feel the weight of knowing it was not always this difficult, and it should not be this difficult.

Many people that have chronic pain and illness will be isolated, or struggling to keep up with things only to have a less than pleasant day.

Depression is often amplified during a holiday. Whether you are self isolating or are isolated because people got tired of dealing with your mental illness, being alone can make feelings of hopelessness worse.

young girl sad face

image from Pinterest – HERE

Some people will end up in a room full of loud, busting people only to feel more alone in the middle of the crowd. Being at any kind of gathering can be terribly draining and depressing for people who already suffer from depression.

OCD, PTSD and anxiety disorders can all be triggered to be worse in the midst of dealing with the expectations of friends and family. Even the media and society seems to judge and mock those who just cannot feel the “spirit” of a holiday.

So to all of you I send compassion. Feel free to provide links to your holiday posts on my blog, if you want to share how you are dealing with the holiday. I will post something on Sunday for this purpose.

Peace of mind is the most important thing for you on the holiday. So prioritize your mental well being. Don’t be afraid to say NO to people, and use the “spoonie method” to get through.

Much love,

Annie💕

Bullying and Shaming is Abuse

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Empath and Red Squiggles

The words “empath” and “empathy” come up with red squiggles on my laptop. I believe that “empath” also comes up wrong on my cell phone.

What is wrong with the world?… when words like “hateful” …”prejudice”…”malicious” …and  “psychopath” come up just fine, because there is a need to use those words all the time.  But “empath” and “empathy” are not important enough for them to add to the common word list

Narcissistic Abuse Blog Tumblr

Narcissistic Abuse blog on Tumblr

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Empathic, Compassionate Energy Fields

Every act of compassion matters. Each time you offer a kindness to another living being it matters.

Whether or not you feel that they appreciated your intention afterwords or not, does not change what your intention was.

Sometimes we are not aware of the motives of others, or what is going on in their heads. You may have had a relationship with someone for a long time, and then realized that they never felt the way you thought they did.

They may not have accepted your loving intentions in the way you wanted them to. Some people feel entitled to your service, and therefore cannot truly appreciate the caring intention behind things you did for them. This does not change what your intention was.

Just because the reality of someone is different than your own does not change the power of your personal meaning for acts of compassion and kindness towards them.

Kindness can be shown to random strangers or even people who you never see. You may have held the door for a mom who was struggling with babies and bags at the store. Your small kindness may have affected her mood in a way that it was passed into her…and then she passed the kindness energy along to someone in her home.

You do not always see the domino effect of your good heart.

It is true that sometimes people will turn on you when you least expect it. You may feel that this negates every kindness you ever showed them. But this is not true.

Kindness and compassion are poweful energies. They exist in spite of people who cannot accept or appreciate their pure essence.

This is not to say that you should allow people to walk over you. It is not to encourage you to go out of your way for manipulative people. Not at all.

It is just let you know that your intentions always matter. They have a far more reaching effect than the particular person or situation.

Generating loving intentions towards others sends these intentions out into the energy fields all around you. You can send positive energies to someone sitting near you on the bus, and never speak a word to them.

The energy of intention takes on a life of its own. If you are empathic at all, then you can feel when someone near you is projecting bad energy like anger or evil intention. It is felt in your gut or other places in the body.

The people around you feel and receive the intentions you create. You can self generate compassion and kindness. It can be sent tosomeone else with a gentle touch on the shoulder, or just by making eye contact.

Studies have been able to prove that there are magnetic fields of energy that are projected out from each individual person.

In fact this is true for all living things. That is why you can feel certain kinds of grounding energies when you are in nature.

Trees and plants give off magnetic energy fields. Human magnetic energy fields extend at least 3 to 6 feet in all directions, based on scientific research and studies.

Paying attention to your gut feelings can protect you from people sending malicious energies. It can also guide you toward people that create positive intention and project that compassion outward for others to feel and access.

Some people are energy vampires. You feel drained of energy after spending time with them.

Others are generous with their beautiful strengthening energies. Humans can transmit feelings of  empathy, excitement, acceptance and many other loving energy fields.

Any act of kindness or positive intention you have done or will do, matters. Anytime you project compassion, it has an effect on the collective consciousness of living things.

Even if it turns out that you could not connect with someone in the way you wanted to or expected to, your positive intentions were still sent out to other living beings around you.

Try to surround yourself with loving, supportive people that accept your beautiful pure energies.

Even if someone has let you down in the past, you can still connect with caring people.

Your intentions matter, although you cannot change people who do not want to change. Everyone will not see you for who you are.

Everyone will not be receptive to healing energies, empathy or kindness. Some people just want to see how much they can manipulate you. Try to learn how to identify these kinds of people, so you can minimize contact with them.

The higher your consciousness level, the more truth you will see about the energy fields being projected by others.

Low consciousness levels will attract other people in similar consciousness levels.

Abuse and trauma can sometimes bring your consciousness level down, and affect what kinds of energy you are projecting.

Be careful to assess your psychological and spiritual state, before interacting with others.

Strengthen your ability to self generate states you want to be in.

Awareness of your intuition, gut feelings and energy sensations in your body will help you to self generate specific states.

All of your compassionate intentions have mattered and will continue to matter.

Even intentions that you sent out to people undeserving of those intentions, are not lost. The effect on the energetic dimension was still there, even if the person you were trying to care for had ulterior  motives.

People may try to drain your energies because they can control a drained person easier than someone filled with excitement and purpose.

You can build energy projection skills. You can practice self generating moods and states of being. The better you become at these skills, the more powerful you will be.

Namaste,

Annie 

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Saying NO to Emotional Manipulators

emotional abuse 22

image from Pinterest link HERE

Saying “no” to people comes very easily to some and is nearly impossible for others.

I have found that many people with  C-PTSD have trouble saying no.  If you were brought up in a mentally or otherwise abusive childhood, saying “NO,” may be associated with severe consequences to you.

If you lived with a parent that had narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder, then they probably used confusion tactics on you, to the point where there was “no” way to say no to them.

Gaslighting can confuse our ability to trust ourselves and our perceptions.

It may be difficult to tell what situations that “NO,” would be perfectly okay, and what situations where saying no, would really cause a problem.

If you grew up in an environment where your feelings and thoughts were not considered relevant, then you probably feel that your feeling of wanting to say no, just does not count. Even though the same person may say “No” to you all the time, you do not feel that you have the same right to say no, that they do.

If you were even in an abusive situation where disobeying meant punishment , then you probably have a fear of retaliation from others.  There is an anxiety response triggered by saying no and  refusing to comply with another person’s request.

THE ACT OF SAYING NO, CAN TRIGGER A VERY UNCOMFORTABLE PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSE. IN ORDER TO AVOID FEELING  SEVERELY UNCOMFORTABLE, WE JUST SAY “YES” WHEN WE REALLY WANT TO SAY “NO.”

Triggers are very real and the tendency is to want to avoid feeling the bodily sensations  associated with them. Ignoring triggers and going against our conditioned responses, is a very difficult thing to do.

IT IS PERFECTLY NORMAL AND ACCEPTABLE FOR YOU TO SAY “NO” TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY ARE ASKING YOU TO DO SOMETHING THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO OR SOMETHING WHICH CROSSES YOUR BOUNDARIES.

You are allowed to set personal boundaries for yourself. You can also set boundaries for certain people that you do not want crossed.

You can set boundaries in regards to your emotions, your time, your energy, your work and your social interactions. You can set boundaries in regards to dating, doing work for people and doing favors for people.

You can set boundaries about your personal space and your personal items. 

 Any situation where someone is trying to get you to do something by using your emotions against you, is a situation where your boundaries need to come into play.  

Sometimes people do not accept your simple NO or your reasons for saying NO. They try to convince you be making you feel guilty or by shaming you. 

They are trying to use your good and caring personality against you.

my love story

image from mylovestory.me and Pinterest

They want you to feel bad and they do this by intentionally pushing whatever buttons they know you have. If they know that you want to feel like you are cooperative they will call you uncooperative.

If they know that you have helped them many times in the past, they will lie and tell you that they do not remember the last time you did them any favors.

Don’t fall for these manipulative behaviors. If someone feels the need to make you feel guilty in order to do them a favor, then they really do not deserve the favor.

People should accept No, especially if you have perfectly good reasons for saying no, even if the reason is that you just do not feel comfortable doing it or do not want to do it.

Here is a list of ways to say NO…

No.

No, thank you.

No, I really cannot do that.

No, I do not want to do that.

No, I am not interested in that.

No, I cannot find time in my schedule to do that.

 No, I am just too overloaded right now, to do that.

No, I am not interested in doing that.  

No, you go ahead without me.

No, please ask someone else.

No, I do not have to think about it.  I would rather tell you NO right now.

I said no. Please respect my answer

If you have a history with this person that tells you that they will counter any reasons you give them for saying No, then you can try something like this..

“In the past my giving reasons for my No, seems to have just been an opening for someone to tell me the reasons are not good enough or to dispute my reasons in some way. So this time I am going to say simply No without going over my reasons with you. “

If they refuse to accept your “no”, then you still do not have to do what they want just to make them stop complaining.

 Just because they are going to upset that you told them “no”,  does not mean that you are responsible for their feelings. As long as you were not intentionally trying to hurt their feelings, then you did not cause for them to feel bad.

If someone  is an adult then they are responsible for their own feelings. Much of the time, manipulative people are acting when they get dramatic with you. They can be very dramatic about how disappointed they are in you or about how selfish they think you are.

These are more reasons not to tell them  “yes”  every time they demand something from you. The more times they are able to manipulate you, the more they will resort to the same tactics over and over again. 

**Please note that this article is not talking about partner relationships where the person will physically abuse you or will otherwise punish you for saying no. Those relationships are volatile and should be escaped as soon as possible but I never recommend to ignite retaliation in a severely abusive person.

It is designed more for situations where you are in no immediate danger  or impending danger.

This article is also not a recommendation to tell your boss no to doing work, thus risking your job. If your boss is abusive it is a different topic and must be handled with a different strategy that is not discussed in this post.

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