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Smell The Roses

With so many things competing these days for the World's Crappiest Problem, it is kind of easy and natural to find yourself emotionally drained and possibly experiencing anxiety and recurrent feelings of sadness. If you are allowing yourself to absorb the energies of all that is wrong with the world, you may possibly need to unplug. This may be especially true for empaths.

Empaths are highly sensitive to the emotions of others and at times tend to feel things in an extreme way. Some empaths may also take on the problems of others as their own. Often this is seen with people who work as helping professionals, i.e. nurses and other healthcare providers, clergy/ministers and teachers to include a few.

While empathizing and extending compassion to others are indicators of our shared humanity, it is necessary to return the compassion you extend to others to yourself. What good is it to give away all your goods, then be left unable to care for yourself. You may be able to help ease some or a few burdens for others, but you cannot ease them all. Knowing your limit allows you to be able to step back before you find yourself robbed of your day to day joy.

In my work with people, I often find that people struggle with saying "no" to others even if this means putting themselves at a disadvantage. Often at the root of this issue are feelings of guilt and insecurity-- not wanting to be perceived as selfish and making self-worth equivalent to how many people you have helped. Usually these feelings are the result of external messages internalized. This unaddressed guilt and insecurity serve as catalysts for ongoing series of saying "yes" to things that in the end leaves you emotionally drained.

Remember, you are responsible for your own well-being (as much as this depends upon you). Do you know your limit? If you do, and find that you are approaching it, this may be a good time for you to stop and smell the roses. In other words:

  1. Say or learn to say "no."

  2. Return the compassion you have been extending to others to yourself-- do something good for you.

  3. Deepen your bond with loved ones.

  4. Engage in activities aimed at reducing stress.

  5. Simply take some time off; unplug.

If you find that you are experiencing prolonged sadness or sadness and anxiety that are not the norm for you, reach out to a trusted friend or family member for support. Ask for support. If necessary, reach out to a mental health professional.

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