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30

What fills you up?

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Drinking Tea and Taking Time to Relax

In life there are so many things that zap our energy.  As a result, we become so busy just trying to get things done that we end up forgetting to fill up the engine. Here I am speaking of doing things that give you energy, instead of take it away.  What fills you up?

Often, we forget to take time to take care of ourselves when there is so much to be done to take care of everyone and everything else. Today I am challenging you to think about what you can do to fill yourself up with energy.

Mental Energy Enhancers

  • Reading a book or listening to a book on tape
  • Spending time with friends and family who are positive
  • Managing your money well
  • Keeping your home, office and care neat and clean
  • Face old conflict and find ways to resolve them
  • Be aware not to become overscheduled; leave some breathing room and do not overbook yourself

Physical Energy Enhancers

  • Nutritious diet
  • Doing things at your own pace rather than how someone else dictates them
  • Relaxation activities (such as yoga, meditation, massage)
  • A warm bath
  • Lay in the sun for 10-15 minutes
  • Hugs

Spiritual Energy Enhancers

  • Say only what you believe to be the truth (speak your truth without blame or judgment)
  • Do each thing with love
  • Practice being grateful
  • Focus on what you have instead of what you do not
  • Spend time in nature
  • Listen to and follow your inner guidance
  • Say no to things that go against your beliefs

As a result, there are many ways for you to refuel your energy levels to help support you in living a vibrant life. If you want help learning to figure out ‘what fills you up?’, consider seeking council.

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20

What Is Validation?

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Listening and Validation Through Therapy

Validation is when you listen to what another person is saying to you and reflect it back to them that you understand how they are feeling. An important thing to remember is validating is NOT necessarily agreeing with the other person. It also doesn’t mean you like what the other person is saying, doing or believing. You are simply restating back to the person what you hear them saying.

Why should we validate others?

There are many benefits to validating people, including it:

  • Shows you are listening
  • Lets people know that you care
  • Proves you understand the other person’s point of view
  • Is nonjudgmental
  • Improves communication and openness
  • Decreases conflict
  • Establishes trust

How do I validate others?

Validation involves listening to what the person is saying, stating back what you hear them saying to you and then responding to the person’s needs at that time.

For example, when talking to someone nod and make small gestures to show you are listening (e.g. say mmhmm, I see, huh). Then restate what you hear the person saying (e.g. “That really hurt your feelings”, “You didn’t like that”, “That pisses you off!” or “You’re angry!”). Respond by asking what the person needs, they may want space or a hug or to just vent a bit more while you listen.

Be mindful and avoid judging what the other person is saying. Show tolerance for the other person by working to recognize that their reaction makes sense considering his/her life situation, experiences and history even if you do not necessarily agree with that person.

What does it mean to be invalidating?

We invalidate people’s feelings when we minimize or disregard their experience. Some common examples: “Oh, you’ll get over it”, “You don’t need those friends anyway”, “It’s not that big a deal” or “You should…”.

What are the negative impacts of being invalidating?

There are many negative outcomes from not validating others’, including it:

  • Shows you aren’t listening
  • Says you don’t care or believe the other person
  • Shows you don’t understand the person
  • Is judgmental
  • Decreases openness and communication
  • Increases conflict
  • Decreases trust

The next time you are talking to your child, friend, lover, spouse or co-worker consider trying to just listen, reflect back what you hear and ask what the person needs in the moment. You may find it helps the person and also improves your relationship!!

Validation is a strong component of DBT, to learn more visit: https://www.collaborativemn.com/counseling-services/dialectical-behavior-therapy-DBT

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12

Speak the truth without blame or judgement

Posted by Collaborative Counseling

Do you find it hard to speak the truth or to not blame others? Will you sometimes speak the truth but it comes out harsh and critical? Have you struggled to communicate difficult truths or complaints? Do you avoid situations you believe may involve conflict?

Many people find themselves struggling to find ways to speak the truth with kindness. Often problems and conflicts only become worse when we avoid facing them. Issues also can become worse if we confront issues or concerns in a harsh or accusing way. If people make it personal with blame and judgment, it doesn’t help and it creates more barriers.

How do I speak my truth?

The best way to confront difficult truths is to be clear, kind and honest. Here are some questions to help you in considering how to speak your truths:

  • Ask yourself, “What is my truth?”
  • How can I speak this truth without blame or judgment?
  • What is at the heart of this concern? Why is this important to me?
  • What is my request? (This is critical, you must be clear on what you are asking for and how you want things to be different. Feedback without clear requests often do not lead to future change.)
  • How can I deliver this message with love?

It is important to remember honesty and truth are NOT about bludgeoning someone with the truth. Try to believe the best in the person you need to communicate the difficult truth to and remember most breakdowns are not intentional.

When people start telling the truth to each other, things are illuminated, and it creates a sense of openness. So open up your own heart and begin to speak your truth without blame and without judgment.

We challenge you to practice asking yourself the questions above before delivering difficult truths. You will find yourself having better relationships with others and you will feel lighter, freer and happier!

 

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