4 Tips On Finding The Right Therapist

One year ago today, I made a leap that would alter my life. Before I began therapy, I was miserable. I didn’t always know it, but I had crippling anxiety and constant fear of pretty much everything. The day to day was debilitating, and I was clinging to the same, reused solutions that hadn’t been working for years, but – to be honest – I didn’t know any other way.

I made every excuse in the book: I don’t have the time. It’s too much money. I’ll wait a few more months. But after awhile, I ran out of reasons and realized it was time to make a decision for my mental health. I worked with my Mom’s medical insurance (I was still under 25, so I was able to use her insurance) and I got eight free sessions with a therapist. Thanks to a wonderful health plan, I had a way to save a little money while I shopped for the right therapist.

Finding that connection to a therapist is essential. While my current therapist is the first one I saw, that just means I was lucky in finding the right vibe. For some, it can take shopping around and picking a therapist you feel most comfortable with. Without therapy, I wouldn’t have the new tools to manage and control my anxiety. I wouldn’t be as self aware as I am. I wouldn’t have created this blog. I would still be that girl. Huddled in the corners of her own mind; afraid.

If you’re still in the searching phase, here are a few tips I’ve learned from my own journey.

 

Ask Friends And Family

Stuck in a rut with your search? Ask friends – or family – who are in therapy if they like their therapist. If they do, continue to ask questions. Find out what it is they like about them and maybe ask their therapists for referral lists. It never hurts to ask. 

If none of your friends are in therapy or if they tell you that they don’t like their therapist, it’s time to look for a different referral. While it’s a good idea to potentially call institutes for therapists in your area, you don’t want a therapist who is convenient – you want one who is good for you. Personally, I drive up to a half hour from my house to see my therapist, but it’s worth it. Plus, the drive home is an important time to process the emotions from a potentially heavy session.

 

Shop Online

There are many different ways to get help. You can search on Therapy Finder, or maybe you would prefer to reach out purely online. If you aren’t feeling the one-on-one thing, there are plenty of great websites and apps like Talkspace, Breakthrough, and BetterHelp. Those are just a few – do your research and find the right fit.

 

Experience Counts

The reason you made the decision to see a therapist, rather than confiding in a close friend, is experience. Look for a therapist who has the credentials in treating the issues you’re facing. Often, therapists have special areas of focus, such as depression, eating disorders, anxiety, etc. Skilled therapists have dealt with the problems you’re struggling with again and again, which broadens their view and gives them more insight.

 

Trust Your Gut

Even if your therapist looks amazing on paper, if the connection doesn’t feel right – if you don’t trust the person or feel like you can share with them – keep looking. Feeling guilty? A good therapist will respect your choice and should never pressure you to stay. This is part of their job, most of the time they are used to it.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing the right therapist:

  • Does it seem like the therapist truly cares about you and your problems?
  • Do you feel as if the therapist understands you?
  • Does he/she accept you for who you are?
  • Would you feel comfortable revealing personal information to this person?
  • Do you feel as if you can be honest and open with this therapist? That you don’t have to hide or pretend you’re someone that you’re not?
  • Is the therapist a good listener? Does he or she listen without interrupting, criticizing, or judging? Pick up on your feelings and what you’re really saying? Make you feel heard?

If the answers to any of these questions are no – trust your gut and walk away.

 

Making the choice to seek help for any mental health issue is a huge step. It takes courage to admit we can’t face our struggles alone. Although it can seem scary in the beginning, therapy should be a safe place – your sanctuary. With the necessary time and research put into the process, you can fight the daily struggle with one more person batting on your team. Stay open, honest, and vulnerable and the right match will come.

 

Have you found the right therapist for you? Share your journey to find your therapist in the comments! 

 

 

5 Mindful Apps For Mental Health

While I wrote a blog post on unplugging from social media a little bit ago and the benefits that can come from disconnecting from your device, technology can also be a wonderful tool for mental health.

What if we had a way to harness the power of our screens when we were feeling anxious, depressed, and every range of emotion? Close to 19% of adults in the U.S. are affected by some kind of mental illness, so using apps as a supplement to in-person therapy is a welcome idea. While these apps don’t replace professional therapy, they can boost your mental health and overall well-being.

Swipe out of Candy Crush and Angry Birds and learn more about technology that’s a little more mindful in these apps below.

 

Simple Habit 

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My love for this mindful meditation app is probably biased – check out my blog post on it here – but that’s because it really works.

Great for busy bees that don’t always have time to pause, Simple Habit is an app that gives you mindfulness on the go. Donned the “Netflix of meditation,” this helpful app offers guided audio meditations anywhere from fifteen to five minutes long so that you can squeeze some serenity into your daily routine.

Personally, I’ve been using this app for close to a year and I can safely say that it’s my lifeline. Whenever I’m feeling high anxiety – or in the middle of an anxiety attack – I have a “Dealing With Failure” meditation I listen to. I get those headphones, press play and go for a walk to let the words really soak in.

 

Talkspace

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If you’re feeling really overwhelmed or need some help controlling your anxiety, waiting the days – or weeks – until you see your therapist can be difficult. With this important technology, anyone can get therapy without traveling to an office – and for significantly less money than traditional therapy.

While I personally need to have therapy in-person in order to benefit from it, this is a great – and cheaper – option. Allowing users to connect with licensed therapists anonymously in order to chat about what’s on their minds, the program has a bunch of different payment plan options, from unlimited message therapy for $25 per week, to 30 minutes of live video therapy for $29. Not being able to afford therapy is no longer an excuse – take the time to do what works for your lifestyle and mental health. 

 

Lantern

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Created by a team of researchers, technologists and clinicians, Lantern transforms cognitive behavioral therapy techniques into simple exercises. When I looked into this app, I was so excited because my own therapist focuses on cognitive therapy for my sessions. It’s a wonderful technique and has been really working for my anxiety.

All about removing the stigma and barriers that prevent people from strengthening their emotional selves, this app delivers a holistic approach to making each day a better one.

 

Pacifica 

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An app that lets you rate and track mood over time, provides guided deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, health goals and it’s free? Sounds too good to be true. Think again.

Also based in cognitive therapy, Pacifica attempts to break the cycle of anxiety using tools that target each of its components. Day by day, you’ll learn to manage your feelings at your own pace. Users can record their own thoughts to help analyze and understand their thinking patterns, as well as discover and track possible triggers.

 

Headspace

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Treat your head right with Headspace, a “personal trainer” for the mind. With 10-minute meditation lessons catering to different areas of life ranging from health and performance to relationships, this mindful app is on a mission to get people everywhere to look after their mental health with the simple activity of meditation.

While it’s the more pricey of these apps requiring a subscription, it’s also the most popular. Used in over 190 countries since 2010, Headspace is on its way to improving the health and happiness of the world – one meditation at a time.

 

It’s time to look to technology for helpful tools on improving mental health. While they aren’t substitutes for professional treatment, it’s nice to know there are options to get help and relaxation at your fingertips.

 

What apps do you use to boost your mental health? Share what tech works for you in the comments! 

 

 

 

 

Works in Progress // Naomi

*** Trigger warning: There are mentions of rape and sexual assault in this post. Due to these topics, the author has changed her name and will not be posting a photo. 

Developing anxiety and depression by the young age of 18, Naomi has been bravely battling her own mental health for over a decade. A true story of how far one can climb when knowing their worth, she took some of the worst experiences of her life and made them inspiration for a future as a mental health professional.

With a mantra of standing up for yourself and creating a healthy inner environment, this mental heath warrior has turned struggle into her success. Meet Naomi.

Name: Naomi

Age: 25

Explain the origin of your mental health issues i.e., what is your mental health issue, how did you realize what was happening, how was it affecting your everyday life at the time?

I developed anxiety around age 12-13.  It began in 7th grade, when I dreamt I drowned in a giant wave.  I was so paralyzed by the dream I didn’t leave my house for days.  Three days later, the December 2003 tsunami hit Thailand and Indonesia.  I didn’t go to a beach for 3 years out of terror.  I was convinced the tsunami dream (which has become recurrent for me) was a sign that I could see the future – and the future was death.

My mother attributed my nervousness to a major car accident she had while she was in her second trimester of pregnancy with me.  She was forced over a 100ft cliff by a drunk driver in Hawaii.  She climbed up the cliff to safety, carrying my brother (age 3) and cousin.

Now that I understand stress hormones during pregnancy and their contributions to later development of mental health issues, I believe my mother’s intuition was spot on.  I believe epigenetics – the interaction of environmental stressors and my genetic predisposition toward anxiety and depression – shaped my future while I was a fetus.  Science is amazing, isn’t it?

I developed depression around age 17-18.  My family and primary care physician hypothesized the birth control I used for acne made me moody.  Many of my feelings – worthlessness, social withdrawal, self-loathing – are so often associated with ‘normal’ teenage issues that no one gave my symptoms a second thought.  It was something everyone assumed I’d grow out of.

What was the resounding moment when you decided to get help? What made you do it?

In college, I channeled my Type A, anxious and depressed self and became an academic beast.  I held a 4.0 for the first half of college, and subdued the crippling feelings of worthlessness by attaining absolute perfection.  You can imagine how well I handled my first A-!

Everything changed when I transferred home for my last year of college.  At age 21, I was raped by an 18-year-old.  The very next evening, my best friend attempted to sexually assault me.  I unknowingly developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  My anxiety and depression crippled me.  I stopped going to class and got (gasp) B-’s, which forced me to face my ingrained belief that if I wasn’t perfect, I was worth nothing.  I became suicidal under the combined weight of my traumas, my ignored mental health issues, and the extreme stress of college.  Undergrad is a breeding ground for mental illness.

I decided to get help when my suicidal ideations landed me in a psychiatric ward.  I checked myself in for 18 hours.  I accepted the anti-depressants they offered out of desperation.  I was a high functioning woman in a hospital full of low functioning individuals.  The thought of repeated visits to places like this scared me enough to do something about problems I’d ignored for so long.

The hospital is where I began my journey into therapy for anxiety and depression, through 2 rounds of Prolonged Exposure therapy for PTSD, and ultimately how I was inspired to become a mental health professional.

How does it affect your everyday life now? Challenges? What skills have you learned to cope?

My PTSD is essentially gone, but occasionally I have what I call a PTSD ‘flare ups.’  I flare up in the months before the anniversaries of my assaults in April.  I do a lot of personal reflection and cry a lot that time of year, sometimes out of sadness and other times out of pride for what I’ve survived.  When the anniversaries pass, my symptoms disappear and I’m generally without flare-ups until the next January, when another anniversary looms.

Sans PTSD, I’m back to managing the anxiety and depression that was always there.  After a serious injury last summer, I had to give up my primary coping mechanism: exercise.  I know there’s a correlation between my lack of exercise and my poor sleep, concentration, and energy levels.  Now that I’m healed, I’m making a workout schedule and know I’ll see improvement by the end of the summer. 

I wish I could say I found a new coping skill while I wasn’t exercising, but the reality is I’ve floundered for almost a year.  I’m incredibly thankful to be able to take my yoga and yoga sculpt classes again, and regain control over my mental health.

Psychotropic medications – like the 40mg of fluoxetine I take daily – are lovely but in the end, changing my behavior is what radically improves my symptoms.  Since I’ve reduced the amount of Netflix I watch, I can see my concentration difficulties waning.  Less Netflix and more exercise is my new recipe for success this summer.

How has living with this mental illness benefited your life? What has it given you? 

I feel I’ve learned life lessons that many of my peers won’t learn for another decade or two.  I’m halfway through my twenties and I’ve already survived the supposed worst thing a woman can experience.  I’ve questioned my mortality through suicidal ideations and decided that life is worth living.  I had my mid-life crisis at 23.  Overcoming PTSD required a veracity that many are never required to hone and as such I have a self-confidence and respect for myself that never existed before.

I would not be the woman I am today if it weren’t for my traumas and my struggles with mental illness.  Managing my psychological health has taught me how much my daily choices effect the quality of my life.  I’m more mindful about what I eat, how I talk to myself, how I take care of myself… and so many other things.

I am so thankful to be a writer.  I feel it’s my duty to write about this issue, normalize people’s psychological struggles and attack stigma.  I’m writing a book about my story and hope to publish it.  Apologies for my twisted sense of humor, but I think it’s a blessing when bad things happen to writers – they can communicate the realities, struggles, and joys of situations to the world at large in a way no one else can.  A good book can change how society sees an issue and it is my deepest hope that you see my face on the back cover of a book someday.

What is one piece of advice you would give yourself when you were struggling the most with your mental illness? 

My most effective tool when struggling is to talk to myself as if I’m my own mother.  I coo myself to sleep with thoughts of, “You did your best.  Tomorrow you’ll do the same.”  When I see myself through the loving eyes of my mother, suddenly my successes and failures are put into perspective.  I’m filled with nothing but pride at what I’ve accomplished and faith in my ability to make it out of this latest struggle.  It’s amazing what happens when you give yourself unconditional love.

Stand up for yourself.  I can be inconsistent when depression and anxiety take control of my life, and as such have been told I’m a flake.  Don’t let people who don’t understand your struggles step on you, label you, and dismiss you.  Put people in their fucking place, politely.  Understanding how your mental health effects your behavior is not the same as using it as an excuse not to change.  Grow your confidence to the point where people’s judgments roll off your shoulder.  Their ignorance doesn’t change your reality or diminish the indomitable will you use daily to function.  Educate people on your struggles, and if they still don’t get it: they don’t belong in your life. 

You don’t control the external world, but you do control your internal one.  You can create an inner environment where you try your best to combat your mental illness yet forgive yourself on days when it’s stamina outlasts your own.

 

Do you want to share your mental health story? Leave a comment about your journey and you could be featured! 

Post Therapy Thoughts

Going into therapy after work today – I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and safety. It’s been an emotional, draining weekend and I was looking forward to getting those intense feelings off my chest. Since I had cried myself silly the past few days, I really thought I was finished with the waterworks, but that wasn’t the case. And that’s okay. 

Since I’ve been through heartbreak before, I know this feeling and lately I’ve been preventing myself from feeling fully sad because it’s a hard emotion to constantly feel, but I have to. When I got into therapy and felt comfortable, I told my therapist what happened and it wasn’t until I read her the letter I ended up writing and sending to my ex boyfriend that I started to cry.

It was through talking it out with my therapist that I realized just how proud of myself I should be. Throughout the rough weekend I experienced, my anxiety did not raise its voice. Yes, I cried so hard that I almost couldn’t breathe and it felt like someone was consistently punching me in the stomach but guess what? I knew it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t personalize and I’m proud of myself. Just a year ago, my anxiety could easily have latched onto a highly stressful and triggering event like this and told my mind that everything was my fault, but through my own personal growth and self-awareness, that anxiety never roared. It will likely spike down the line, but I’m ready for it – I have the tools to handle whatever is thrown my way.

From listening to me talk about my anxiety and feelings for the past week or so, my therapist discussed the possibility that I have intuitional anxiety, which means I have a sense of what is to come before it actually occurs, but I label those feelings as anxiety, rather than embrace them as reality. I’ve done this with almost every relationship I’ve been in and it’s about time that I view this as a gift for myself. When I’m feeling worried or insecure in a relationship, that’s a red, flashing NEON sign that I should be paying closer attention to. Lesson learned. 

The last thing my therapist had me do was an exercise where I generate a list of what I’ve learned about qualities I look for in the right match. Here’s the list I’ve come up with:

What I’ve learned about the right qualities for me in a partner: 

  • Respectful of my time
  • Ability to compromise
  • Healthy work-life balance
  • Emotional communicator & insight

As I continue to think about it, I will learn more from this entire experience and have a better handle on what the right match looks like for me in the future.

For now, it’s all about self-love. I need to allow myself to feel whatever I need to. It’s never easy saying goodbye to something or someone – there’s no deadline for moving on or “bouncing back.” It’s okay to not be okay. 

I don’t regret one minute of my relationship. I learned important lessons from it and will hold some very special memories with a person I still truly believe is a wonderful human being. It’s like I said in my letter to him:

We all slip and fall, sometimes we just need a new plan for getting back up.

Here’s to more personal growth and finding even more of myself in these next few months. I welcome it.

 

Have you gone through a breakup recently? How are you handling the anxiety associated with it? 

My Emotional Guardian // How Gussie Helps My Anxiety

Maybe it’s because I’ve started obsessively watching Pitbulls & Parolees or merely because I haven’t written about how much I love my dog, but I figured it’s time to share my story with having an emotional support animal.

People assume that animals solely rely on you to take care of them, but sometimes it can be the complete opposite – we seriously need them. It’s not only their capacity to spread pure joy, but their unconditional love that boosts my own mental health. No matter what you’re suffering through, they don’t judge. You are still that person who is everything to them.

When I’m at my worst and only feel like staying in bed, it’s Gussie – my 11-year-old Chow mix – that gets me up and moving. He counts on me everyday and the last thing I will do is let him down.

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I’ve had Gussie since he was just a little floof but only recently made the move to register him as an emotional support animal. Since being diagnosed with GAD, I’ve found that having Gussie around has dramatically improved my quality of life. Even when I’m having the worst kind of day – whether I’m ruminating or drowning myself in negative thoughts – I take solace in the fact that I can come home to a bundle of pure love and light whose only mission is to make me feel okay.

It’s just a fact that pets improve the lives of us owners. Very recently, Gussie has shown how much I truly need him emotionally and for my mental health:

This past weekend, I went through a breakup. The night it happened, and when he left my apartment, Gussie was the only source of comfort for me. I was alone and leaned completely on him in that time of high anxiety and emotion. He was so protective and on guard of my safety and emotional welfare that when my friend came over to check on me, he jumped on her when she hugged me. Since the breakup, he has constantly been by my side. I wouldn’t have it any other way. He is like an extra arm, leg – a piece of my heart. I will never separate from him and feel grateful that I’m in his life and that he’s in mine.

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If you want to learn more about ESA’s, check out the article I wrote at Inpathy Bulletin!

Do you have an ESA? How does your pet help with your mental health? 

 

 

Works in Progress // Victoria

Hailing all the way from Argentina, this strong woman shares her story of confronting an eating disorder and the anxiety that came along with it.

With the attitude of always having something to learn in her mental health, meet Victoria and read her journey below.

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Name: Victoria

Age: 22

 

Explain the origin of your mental health issues i.e., what is your mental health issue, how did you realize what was happening, how was it affecting your everyday life at the time?

I have been suffering from an eating disorder (Bulimia) for many years now and last year, due to the many pressures of habitual life, I started to suffer from panic attacks and social anxiety. You might wonder how one thing relates to the other but in fact, they are extremely related. It started when I was in secondary school. Since then, it has all been about prioritizing and pleasing the rest. It was all about feeling uncomfortable when on the eyesight of others. It was all about questioning the many things that were “wrong” with me. It was all about creating unconscious parameters on how I “should be” in order to be accepted and not to fear contact with others anymore.

It affected and shaped my daily relationships and my inner state as well. Imagine one of your most valuable tools in life, your capacity of thought, being permeated with these illusions of judgement. Imagine trying to fit each thought and action in the “regular/normal” parameter (which I eventually did against my own will!). A downright struggle. But I really do believe there’s power in this struggle. It has taken me several months of learning how to ask for help and support, of reading information about my mental health issue to prompt awareness, of practicing mindfulness meditation, of questioning my own thoughts…

Even though I am still on my way to recovery, i.e I am still a work in progress, I have reached a point in my life in which I can stop and realize the harming effect that such behaviors have on me and on the people that love me. Life is about daily choices and I believe struggles are in our nature for a reason: to choose to nurture from them.

 

What was the resounding moment when you decided to get help? What made you do it?

Sometimes, we have the illusion that we are in control, that we can keep our anxiety or our condition at bay. But with the passing of time, you realize that is not the case. Asking for help is a priority when talking about mental health. We are social beings, and by this I mean that we have a biological need to share our experiences and rely on others. We need to be able to rely on people who love us and care for us. 

I decided to get help when I realized that my “control” over the situation was fictional, temporary, and it made it even harder, even impossible, to progress. When you think you are in control, it is perhaps when you are more prone to lose it completely. Something that also triggered my need for help (especially, professional help) was when I spotted in myself a feeling of shame because of my mental health condition. Stigma, I suppose.

When I thought I had found the exact and reliable recipient to pour down my feelings about my mental health issue, I realized that I had not chosen wisely. From this, I learned that you cannot be certain someone will understand what you are going through, and choosing who to share your experience with is one of the most difficult parts of the journey. Once you have found the right people in which to place your trust and rely on them, you will see that the process of healing is much easier to undergo and you will, by no means, feel out of place or exposed. You will feel your authenticity taking over and nourishing from the support of others.

How does it affect your everyday life now? Challenges? What skills have you learned to cope?

I believe that mental health affects each and every one of us. The problem is that we don’t speak about it. We are afraid of it. I was and still am afraid of it. And that’s why it still affects me nowadays. Awareness is a tool because if you’re not aware of your condition, you won’t be able to cure it. However, it is still a challenge to know that you are suffering from one and that you have lots of work ahead of you.

Is it bad to have a mental health issue? Why does this happen to me? Other people seem to walk through life carelessly while I sit and struggle with my own mind. If you ever had these thoughts in mind, you might understand what I felt: basically, shame and fear. 

Having to give your condition a label, knowing that there are symptoms and signs you have to beware about, but especially knowing how stigma might prevent people from understanding your pain. There’s this quote that always resonates in my mind and helps me go through these predicaments: 

“We live in a world where, if you break your arm, everyone runs over to sign your cast. But if you tell people you’re depressed, everyone runs the other way.” – Kevin Breel

I am learning to cope with my negative, self-deprecating thoughts which are the result of years of letting the world make me believe I was not worth it. I am learning to question my own stream of thought, knowing that my mind is hardwired to think high of others and low of myself… I have learned to understand that “it’s okay not to be okay”, that my mood does not have to fit in any parameters, that there are shades of meaning to every single event and action and that my mind needs patience and practice to take the extra step. 

How has living with this mental illness benefited your life? What has it given you? 

To tell you the truth, undergoing this mental health issue has made me become a more curious, self-conscious person. I am in a constant search for answers and solutions, living in an increasing sense of awareness of my mind and body. I have learned to look on the bright side, to sit and reflect about what I want for myself, for my life, for the people that surround me. Again, I believe that there is so much more than suffering when you go through any kind of journey and that it undoubtedly will lead you to several instances of personal growth.

It has also given me the capacity to be more sympathetic, understanding and positive towards others. Knowing that anyone might be undergoing what you are suffering or any other similar situation, opens your mind to a completely different approach towards life. Life itself becomes a different experience and, regardless of all the negative breakdowns you might have, there’s always something to learn. I am not proud of having a mental health issue; I am proud of having found the strength to walk through it and the resilience to get back on track whenever I trip or fall. As I already said, it can become a learnable experience if you choose to fight for it. 

  

What is one piece of advice you would give yourself when you were struggling the most with your mental illness? 

When I am struggling the most is when everything I do and even myself becomes useless. Let’s be honest – giving up is an option. Hiding and isolating is an option. Hating yourself is an option. Yet, I remind myself every single day that there is always two sides to every coin. I remind myself that I will win nothing by sticking to the self-damaging options. Go further. Do NOT stay in that position.

You can find ways to make the most of your current condition and even benefit others along the way. Another piece of advice which I usually tell myself is that when I am at my worst, I cannot and will not think clearly. So, I remind myself of the need to ask for help, to resort to my source of support, to give the situation a second thought and wonder if what I was thinking is the case.

Seek inside of you, among your wishes and your hopelessness, your joy and your pain, your strengths and your weaknesses. I believe that there is a way to overcome all these and it is through effort, through making concessions with one’s own mind and heart… There is power in the struggle and better things lie ahead.

Dear Sensitive Soul // How To Live From The Heart

Wearing your heart on your sleeve isn’t always a walk in the park. As sensitive, open-hearted people, we are deeply affected by the world.

Knowing this, my therapist gave me a helpful handout – of which she gives me many, I love it – adapted from the wonderful Beth Berry – Revolution from Home. When I read the handout, it was like Berry was speaking directly to me. While I’ve more recently come into the idea that vulnerability is a strength, I didn’t always believe it.

As Brené Brown says,

“We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”

This is something I’ve always struggled with. Growing up in a childhood where showing emotion was looked down upon and emotional communication wasn’t exactly there – expressing any emotion was considered negative. But having this mentality also limited any good feelings too.

I’ve learned that it is possible to be a heart-led person and a high functioning human being. Here are some ways to live from the heart, while protecting it:

Discernment is everything.

It’s so crucial to be cautious about what and whom you let into your experiences. Opening your heart to your family, friends, co-workers, community members and regularly listening to the news can be extremely overwhelming. This doesn’t mean you’re living in blissful ignorance, but with self-loving discernment.

We aren’t required to hold pain.

Though we feel deeply, we aren’t serving anyone by stocking up on all that pain. Don’t bottle it up – let it in, feel it, then let it pass. I’ve found that holding in that pain builds up and channels itself into more anxiety and fear.

Self-love is key.

Creating a safe space for your heart to flourish should become a part of your daily practice – it will make healing a much smoother process. The more you realize that loving yourself is worthwhile, the easier it will be to share that love with the people who matter.

In addition, your version of self care is yours alone. It doesn’t need to make sense to anyone else. Whether you want to leave a party, be the first to call it a night, or the only one ordering dessert at dinner – do what you need to for your own mental health and heart.

You are only responsible for my emotions, mindset and actions.

Becoming more clear on what I’m responsible for in my personal relationships and what I’m not, has helped to create healthy boundaries with those I love and surround myself with, as well as the world around me. No one else can control your emotions but you – own your feelings. 

 

To my shining stars who feel just a little deeper than the rest – I see you and want to make it clear: 

Never mistake sensitivity for weakness.

The world needs us softies, let’s show ’em how compassion is done.

 

How do you feed your heart? Share your ways of coping with being hyper sensitive!