Written by: Susan Watson, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise
We live in a world of fast change; everything can seem bigger and faster; expectations seem to get greater and we are expected to give more. This all can take its toll and start to introduce self-doubt, anxiety, and fear into our lives which can impact us emotionally, mentally, and physically and having ways to bring peace into our lives when we need it most is so important for all of us.
This is a massive topic, and today, I would like to share ways with you that can help you pause, set boundaries, release unhelpful emotions, and help you feel empowered and help you maintain a balanced life and be the best version of you.
As a therapist specializing in this area, I speak to people on a regular basis who experience burn out, and this is mainly due to being in a situation where they just keep giving more and more, while ignoring the messages of fatigue and not imposing boundaries. At some point, something has to give, and if you continue down this way of living, then it’s you that will stop and have nothing left to give, be burnt out and overwhelmed.
Therefore, I am here to ask you to listen to your body and mind's messages. Aches and pains, feeling emotional and quickly becoming exhausted are all signs that you are doing too much. Now you can manage this short term, however, you cannot continue this way of life, long term. If you do not listen to your body and mind, it will put the brakes on and make sure you do listen, by shutting down.
Ensure you have your boundaries and share them with others. It’s okay to say no; in fact, it’s an important part of self-care, by setting boundaries you are setting an expectation of how you expect to be treated, with respect and to support your mental and emotional wellbeing. They are needed in the workplace and relationships, and they set the acceptable expectations.
Emotions play a big part in how we react with the world and how we view ourselves. They are messages from our unconscious mind that are part of a normal healthy life and deserve to be acknowledged. What we feel with our emotions are true, they are valid and we feel them. However, they are also based on our past life experiences and beliefs and therefore although deserve recognition that does not make them right.
No matter what you are feeling, even if unpleasant, allow yourself to feel and accept that this is how you feel, and this will make it possible to release and let go of them, instead of burying them deep and avoiding them, where they can cause further damage to you.
Your unconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is real or imagined. Whatever you tell yourself or imagine is taken as a truth, and your mind reacts to this, which in turn generates thoughts, feeling and then a reaction. I call this your very own superpower. Just imagine you can make yourself feel so bad through negative self-talk and imagine the worst.
What if you flipped that around and treated yourself with compassion, patience and kindness and imagined? Positivity and exactly what you wished to achieve and feel. Our minds would still react as if this was the truth. Use this superpower to build you up, to be your own support network and cheer yourself on.
Try this visualization exercise and aim to do this when you are not disturbed, and as often as you wish and why not make up your visualization seeing yourself doing exactly what you want to achieve and feeling exactly how you wish to feel.
Close your eyes and take a nice deep breath, and a longer breath.
Imagine now that you are in a special safe place, it may be a place you have already been to or a place you make in your own imagination – you feel safe, relaxed, and peaceful in this place.
Continue your breathing in and out, longer breaths out and let your shoulders drop and your mouth just drop slightly open as your jaw relaxes.
Bring your focus down to your heart, place your hand on your heart and be curious about what you can feel. What do you want to release, what emotion are you ready to let go of that is not helpful to you?
Choose the emotion you wish to release, the pain or unhelpful emotions that you wish to carry no longer. Give it a color, any color at all and see that emotion and color as you are safe in a special place and it can do no harm to you.
Now change that color to perhaps your favorite color and notice how the unhelpful feeling starts to fade with every breath you take. Those old emotions leave your body with every breath and visualize now that with every breath in you inhale peace and comfort, feel a wonderful warmth spread through your heart, bringing comfort and peace and feel that now is spreading through your body.
Feel how lighter you feel, as if a weight has lifted off your shoulders, being replaced with a sense of peace. Continue to use your imagination and mind to make all the changes you wish for.
This exercise encourages you to feel your emotions to acknowledge them, accept them and then release them and let them go.
If you can make a start on setting healthy boundaries and looking after your own emotions, this is the right starting place to maintain that balanced life you wish for. Practice visualization, as this is such a powerful method to make changes in your life in all areas. I had a social phobia and fear of public speaking, and using this method, I changed my own beliefs and emotional reactions. This helped me move on from panic to confidence, and everyone can enjoy the results they wish for. It just requires you to take the time to do this.