Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Stress Happens...What Do You Do About It?

Stress is often the body's way of telling us something is wrong, but because I'm emotionally sensitive, other people's stress gets to me too. I adopt that stress and often have trouble releasing it. If this happens to you, it's important to understand where stress sits in your body, so that you will know better how to release that energy.

Not all stress is bad. I'm not talking about the stress that causes you to flee from a rapist. That would be good stress. Our flight response is in place for a reason. It lets us know about danger and times to fight back. The kind of stress I'm talking about here is the kind that just sort of sits in your shoulders or gut. Mine sits in my gut, and if it isn't released quickly enough, it moves up to my shoulders and causes headaches. This kind of stress taunts us with feelings of helplessness, low self-worth and anger. This type of stress is NOT healthy, and needs to be recognized and dealt with in a healthy manner.

It is important to deal with unhealthy stress as quickly as possible, because ongoing stress can negatively affect everything in your life. Feelings like loss of control and low self-esteem are good indicators of stress. It is important to know yourself, so that you can recognize your personal indicators of stress. For me, I tend to get a stomachache when I'm undergoing stress. Knowing this about myself allows me to recognize it and deal with it accordingly.

I'm not a doctor, and I don't pretend to be. None of these statements are meant to replace a doctor's advice. If you think you might be undergoing any type of stress, it's important to get checked out by a licensed practitioner, in order to rule out other causes. Your doctor could also recommend a therapist or someone to talk to, in order to deal with long-term issues. You are NOT ALONE. Stress happens to everyone. Help is out there.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Overcoming Stress or Anxiety

I, personally, have never had a panic attack, but I know people that have. I work currently in mental health, so I deal with people with panic disorders on an almost daily basis. I have some social anxiety, but for the most part I keep myself pretty calm. I'm going to list some of the ways I keep calm on a daily basis below, but first, please check out this blog on stress management. I hope it helps you! Click here for tools and tips on managing stress on a daily basis. Leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!

Now that I've gotten that done, let me share some of my personal ideas on managing stress every day.

1. I keep a space in either my office or my home that is my "haven." In my office, it's the whole room. I have an office mate, but he and I have discussed my need for calm, so he doesn't add to my stress. Every once in a while a client or co-worker will get on my last nerve, but as long as I have my haven, I don't get overwhelmed.

2. I keep plenty of my favorite color around. I love green. My office walls are painted a beautiful warm green, and whenever I'm feeling stressed out, I focus on the warmth and the life of the color green, and it tends to put a bounce back in my step. This doesn't always work, but it works well enough to warrant a mention here.

3. Music. I keep plenty of relaxing music on hand for those days when nothing else seems to work. Classical or Electronic usually does the trick. When I'm especially overwhelmed, I can't handle anything with lyrics because it tends to make my mood worse. I'm not sure why this is, but for a mood change, no lyrics works great for me.

4. Walking away from the office. I am never afraid to tell someone "I'm going outside for a minute." This gives me a chance to get away from it all, and focus on getting my emotions back on a level keel. I tend to pick up on other people's emotions, so when that gets overwhelming, walking away from it all for a little bit levels me out, and helps get me back where I need to be. Busy days at work often entail me just leaving for a couple minutes, because I don't ever want to take out a bad mood, or empathic episode on someone else. This isn't fair to them or me.

I hope these tips help you! I hate feeling stressed out, so I have tons of coping mechanisms for dealing with daily, weekly or occasional stress. Please comment below with your coping skills for stress management! I'd love to hear from you!

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Thanks guys!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

6 Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday

I love birthdays. They are the day that you get to be the center of attention for a day, and you get spoiled. My birthday was yesterday, and it was one of the best days I've had in a long time. I got to relax and recharge, which sets me up for the year ahead. For most of us, though, birthdays get treated like any other day. This makes me sad, because birthdays should be used as a form of self-care. At least, that's how I look at it. My birthday is kind of like my New Years. I use it as a way to start a new year in a wonderful way. Below, I have listed 6 ways to turn your birthday from "just another day" to the day you look forward to every year, no matter your age.

1. Have a party. When we were kids, birthday parties were amazing. Parents baked a cake, all your friends came over, and it was the day that we all got to be the center of attention. Why, then, do we forget this when we become adults? My suggestion would be to be a kid for a day and have a party. Even get a bouncy castle if that's what you want. I'm 34, and I would LOVE to play in a bouncy castle! Being a kid for a day is an amazing way to get back to your roots, and remember what life is all about. You'll thank yourself for it.

2. Go to a Spa. Take a day, and just do nothing. If you don't have the money to actually go to a spa, get the stuff to do it at home. Take a bubble bath, detox wrap, facial, pedicure, the works. You will notice your body thanking you when you're done. Starting the new year off with a relaxing day will set you up for a fantastic year ahead.

3. Write. I know, I'm a huge advocate for writing, because I do all the time. But I can't say enough good things about it. Using your birthday as kind of a new year's holiday can set you up for success and greatness. Take the day and think about what you want for the year ahead. Write down the goals and successes you want to see happen. Keep these close to you all year, and work toward them. On your next birthday, look back over what you have written, and adjust for the upcoming year.

4. Go out to a club. Some people are social creatures, and get energized by being with other people. I am not one of these people, but some people are, so this would be a good way to recharge for those people. Dance, drink and let the energy of the other people energize you and recharge your spirit. If you have any empathic tendencies, this may not be the best option, but if you receive energy from other people, don't discount this option for your birthday.

5. Meditate. Meditation is a fantastic way to recharge every day. On your birthday, it is an excellent option for thinking about what you want for the new year. This would go along with concentrating on, and writing, your goals. Bring yourself into the present and think about what you want for your life.

6. Go to church or pray. This goes along with meditation, but for Christians, you may prefer to pray to your higher power. I prefer this option, because God is my friend, and I know He looks out for what's best for me. Praying and talking to God is a really good way to bring His peace into your life, and allows you to energize.

I tend to be emotionally sensitive, so recharging and re-energizing myself is extremely important.  I am not an introvert especially, but I do find that having time alone is important because it gives me time to cleanse all the excess energy from other people's emotions. Being able to feel what others are feeling is helpful when I am working, but it is also important to be able to keep it from overwhelming me. Using my birthday to cleanse and recharge for the new year is a good thing. I hope this post helps you!

Please join my group "The Healthy Empath" or join my page Created 4 Greatness. I hope to connect with you soon! God Bless You!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Prayer is Powerful

I pray all the time. In today's society, that seems nuts. "Oh my GOSH, she PRAYS? Isn't that, like, a myth nowadays?" But whether you talk to God, Allah, or meditate like the Buddha, pretty much everyone prays. For me, personally, prayer is a very personal thing. I talk to God like he's my best friend. He is. I know people who don't "talk to God" because "He never talks back anyway." Which, in my mind, is a lousy excuse. I don't talk to God because he always talks back. I talk to him because sometimes I just need to talk, and I know He's always listening.

For someone who is emotionally sensitive (or Empathic for those of us who use this term), prayer is extremely important. It gives me a chance to center myself, and focus my energy on something outside myself and what I'm feeling. If I didn't have God in my life, and if I didn't have a "higher power" to give me stability, I honestly don't know where I would be in my life.

Most people think of praying as simply asking God for stuff. "My car is busted so I'm gonna pray for a new one." While this is an important aspect of prayer, and I would never discount asking for needs to be met, this isn't the kind of prayer I'm talking about. I'm talking about the kind of prayer where you go to a figurative "coffee shop" and have a conversation with your best friend. We all have that sort of friend. The one that we can sit and talk to for hours and never run out of things to say. God desires to be this kind of friend to us.

I mean, come on, who would give up heaven, come to earth, DIE, all for a race to later tell, "yeah we don't really have to talk. I already know everything about you, so just live your life and I'll watch from afar." This is not the God I know. Yes, He knows everything about us, but we don't know everything about Him. He wants the relationship to go both ways. He wants to have input in our lives. He wants to show us the beauty in the world. He desired fellowship with humans so much that even though He knew we were going to screw up, he created us anyway. He created us knowing that we would run from him like a rebellious child. And yet God created us anyway.

The kind of prayer I pray is the kind that comes out of this type of relationship. I have small conversations throughout the entire day. I talk about my day, and ask advice, and talk to God like I'm talking to a friend. I pray for two reasons. One is that God is my friend and I want to spend time with him. The second reason is that I have overactive emotions. I get really busy during the day, and find it hard to grab a solid length of time to have a serious conversation with my friend. In order to keep God at my center, I communicate with Him when I can.

Praying centers me, and allows me to find strength in something outside myself. When people get really busy, especially when starting a new business, or running an established one, they can find it difficult to put something like prayer at their center. I have done this in the past, and it has caused more problems than it has solved. So I ask you today, to put God back in your center, and make friends with Him. You won't regret it. If you are curious how, please email me or comment below. I would love to talk to you!

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, and if you want to join a community of emotionally sensitive people who support each other in daily life, please join my group "The Healthy Empath." Thanks for stopping by! God Bless You!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

It's Hard Being an Empath

I have always felt emotions strongly. I can't watch certain movies, because the emotions they evoke will stick with me long after the movie is over, and many times I simply get overwhelmed. If I choose to watch a scary movie I have to watch a funny one right after simply to get my emotions back under control. So I'm very careful about what emotions I allow into my "space." I work a full time job while I get my coaching business under way, and for a long time I had my own office. This was perfect, because I was able to have my own space where I could go to be alone when things started to overwhelm.

When I got my officemate, I knew things would be difficult at first, because I wouldn't be dealing with just my own emotions, but his as well. So on the first day we were in the office I explained to him why I had to keep things calm in the office, and asked him to please respect that, because if my emotions start to overload, it's really difficult to come back from that.

Because of my tendency toward emotional overload, I was especially grateful when God brought Paul into my life. He is so calm that when I'm around him, he calms and grounds me as well, which allows me to keep the overload at bay. This is especially true when we are around a bunch of people, because he is able to make me laugh, which makes it easier to be around people that may not be as happy. I am so thankful for this particular trait in him.

                                              Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.

Most people are understanding of what I have started to call "emotional sensitivity," but others don't really get what this means and this makes it hard to explain. When I get overwhelmed, all I want to do is get away from people. This is hard when I'm at pool league or the mall. I HATE THE MALL. It is my definition of hell. It not only overwhelms me emotionally, but causes social anxiety that makes me want to run for the hills.

Since I have discovered this particular trait in myself, I have been looking into different self-care plans and ways of dealing with the every day issues of being empathic. If you, too, are an empath, maybe these will help you as well.

1. Take good care of your gut. No, this doesn't just mean keep your stomach flat. It means eat in such a way that the good bacteria in your intestines can flourish and help your body retain the nutrients it needs. This is especially important because when your hormones go out of whack, it's harder to maintain emotional stability.

2. Make sure you have someone to talk to. When things get overwhelming, I go to either Paul or my best friend. Both are very calm people, and are able to help me find my balance again. If you are empathic as well, it's important to have at least one person in your life you can tell anything to, and who understands you enough to help you through these instabilities. They will happen, so find someone you can depend on.

3. Exercise regularly. This is a hard one for me, but definitely important. The chemicals released during exercise are especially helpful in helping balance out emotions. They create a "happy" feeling that can last for hours, so they help when you have to go somewhere that can have lasting negative effects.

                                                                           It's good to always do some sort of exercise.
                                                                                                            --Ashley Scott

4. Meditate. I prefer mindfulness meditation, because it involves keeping oneself in the present. As empaths, we can find ourselves living in either the past or the future. Worrying about the person whose emotions we felt yesterday, and wondering if he or she is ok, or thinking about the future. This actually takes way too much energy, so bringing yourself back to the present allows your body to relax and get back to the middle.
                          Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your
                          spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve
                          from an empty vessel.                         
                                                                                       --Eleanor Brownn

I hope these tips help you. I have to admit I haven't incorporated all of these into my daily life, but I do think all four things would be helpful. If you are too busy to incorporate all 4 into your life every day, pick one and start for a week. I can almost guarantee that just adding one of these things into your daily life could help you immensely. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for additional tips on living a healthy empathic life!

None of these statements are meant to replace a doctor's advice or treat or diagnose disease. If you have physical ailments, please speak to your doctor or health practitioner.