We need to begin from a place of radical honesty in order to proceed with this article: The world we reside in has become very unsafe for some people. The reasons are as different as the sources. Some feel alienated because of the political climate, others feel an overabundance of hate or fear from terrorist acts. There are people who feel unsafe because of the pending legal decisions regarding their sexuality or gender, social media hate and bullying, and the list really just goes on and on. Regardless of why you feel unsafe, I want to empower you with concrete ways to cultivate an inner feeling of safety.
Webster defines safety as the “condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury, or loss”. I equate safety to feeling at peace. When was the last time you felt at peace in your physical body, in your living environment, or in the world at large? Everyday I work with people who have lost that sense of safety, and I long to empower each and every one of us who has lost that to reclaim it.
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I typically recommend meditation on all of my blogs because it’s very healing and useful! Most of my clients insist that they don’t have time to meditate, but you don’t need a lot of time to do it. When teaching my clients to meditation, we always start with one-minute sessions of meditation. I would encourage you to just set a timer and repeatedly tell yourself that you are safe.
Again, the biggest pieces of yoga are breathing and movement. My experience with most anxiety sufferers is that as the anxiety amps up, they begin shallow breathing. Yoga is also a good way to eliminate the toxins in your body and reconnect with your physical being.
3) Get Out of Your Own Head
Any time my stress starts climbing even a little, I pay for the car behind me at the Starbucks drive-through. I will never forget the Valentines Day that a friend and I stood at the local mall and gave women single flowers. If I were to replicate it again, I would give one to everyone I saw. It was such a loving experience.
4) Maintain Positive Thoughts
My husband is annoyingly positive! I’m not even sure he has a single negative thought in a six-year time period. When I compare my husband’s experiences in life to other men I know, it makes me buy into the power of positive thinking a million percent. At this point, what do you really have to lose? Let’s try an experiment: for 45 days filter out every single negative thought and replace them with a positive. At the end of those 45 days, let me know if you want to go back to the old way.
5) Limit Social Media Exposure
There are apps available now to eliminate the news from your social media. Actually this weekend, I’m engaging in a social media detox in which I won’t be scrolling Facebook. I also won’t be going down the rabbit hole of political posts. You are in charge of what comes into your environment, use that wisely.
6) Don’t Feed the Trolls
There will always be someone in your life (home, work, neighbor, cashier at the grocery store) who wants to engage you in a negative diatribe or negative debate. DO NOT DO IT!!! Respond with love, don’t feed into the garbage. When you respond to hate or negativity with hate or negativity it only breeds more of the same.
7) Be Graceful Towards Yourself
If I could advise the world to do only one thing, it would be to filter every thought, feeling, word, action, behavior and attitude through the filter of compassion. This means not only compassion towards ourselves but compassion towards everyone we come into contact as well. Can you imagine how amazing of a place this world would be then?
8) Honor Your Own Voice
One of the biggest disservices we do towards ourselves is discount our opinion. We do this for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: I don’t want to upset them, it will be too harsh, I’m just mean, what if I’m wrong; and the list goes on and on. We must begin honoring our own experiences and our own voices. Even if the only place to do this, in the beginning, is with a paid professional, it’s still a place to start. Creating a sense of safety always begins internally. The more you recognize how much control you have over your own body and responses the stronger the likelihood of developing a sense of safety in your physical surroundings.
I would love to hear from you, what helps you to feel safe?