It’s often said that one must give happiness to get happiness. I know this doesn’t sound intuitive, but I have tried, and it works. When you give what you need the most to others, you end up filling your cup and theirs.

When times get tough, we often soldier on for the people that we love, yet rarely stop to really think about ourselves. We go into autopilot with school pickups, meetings, paperwork, dinner, yard work, laundry… you get the idea.

What if, instead of soldiering on in autopilot, we turned inward during times of stress to check in on what we are feeling at the time? Making this shift can ease emotional discomfort, burnout, or anxiety while simultaneously increasing resiliency in ourselves and our loved ones. Learning strategies that can help muster up our own skills, passion, and resiliency when things get hard is a game changer.

So how do we do this? It starts with observing when overwhelm and autopilot begin to rise. Once you’ve observed it, put a name to the actual emotion. What are you feeling? Now… what would feel comforting to you right now? Grace? Respect? Slower pace? Encouragement? A compliment? A genuine empathetic ear? A favorite treat?

Slowing down in this way sounds simple, but when riding the waves of highs and lows, many of us create a faster pace, without listening to what our bodies are telling us. Attending to our needs, clinging to our passions to carry us through, or finding a way to laugh gets us one step closer to loving life, work, and our relationships again.

Here’s where it gets exciting.  Go back to your list. What do you need?

Now… go give it.

Give grace. Give respect. Give someone a slower pace. Give encouragement. Give a compliment. Give a genuine empathetic ear.

You will be surprised how you feel after. Somehow, giving what you need the most meets your needs too. Trust me.

I wish you all peace, rest, and connection.

Blog Contributor:

Kim Collins, MSEd, LPC
Chief Executive Officer
North Range Behavioral Health

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