ART THERAPY PROJECTS YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOU RECOVER FROM YOUR MENTAL ILLNESS ..

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While therapy and psychotherapy in general have many benefits, the concept of art therapy has proven to be successful in various ways that differ from traditional therapy practice. There are various uses for art therapy with regards to healing, but the benefits may surprise you if you’ve never heard of art as a form of therapy.

Who Benefits from Art Therapy?

Art therapy sets itself apart as a means of therapy by utilizing the creative process of art and having a low barrier to entry (anyone can be creative in some form or another). Art therapy can be especially beneficial to children as younger people are usually less capable and less comfortable expressing themselves via words.

While art therapy can benefit children greatly, it can also be very helpful to adults. Really, anyone can benefit from art therapy. Even if you’re using creative arts as a means of expression without the aid of an art therapist, there are still many benefits to be had. Read about some of these art therapy ideas and activities if you need some help getting started.

Art Therapy Benefits For People With More Serious Disorders

Without going into the details of all the possibilities, let’s just say that art therapy can benefit a wide-spectrum of disorders, diseases, and disabilities.

Art therapy can help improve various mental and pysical symptoms including, but not limited to, reducing pain, anxiety, and tension. It can be beneficial to those who have mental disorders, severe or light emotional abuse, cancer, post traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), people who are bipolar, and a variety of other serious ailments.

Basically, the benefits of art therapy can be quite broad. It can improve lives by helping people improve their mental, emotional, and even physical states. It can raise the quality of life for many people, and it’s worth considering if it can aid you in some way or another.

Again, maybe it’s just the act of executing creative expression on your own or with others, or maybe it’s seeking professional help with a certified art therapist. Either way, the benefits of art therapy make it worth exploring as a catalyst for healing.

Self-Expression Therapy Activities:

1.Draw and Collage Your Inner Critic – Underneath the critic’s voice is a fear of feeling shame and of feeling not good enough. Our entire society is based on perfectionism, on having the right things, on looking good. To give ourselves the permission to be human and to know we are doing our best given our current emotional circumstances and life situation helps our inner critic to relax.

Materials:

– Art journal

– Felt markers and pencil crayons

– Magazines to cut up, glue stick, scissors

Method: The Fear of “Not Good Enough”

We criticize ourselves in ways that we fear others will criticize us, and most often we are defending ourselves unnecessarily.

2.Journal Meditation for Increasing Self-Love – When we do not have the feeling tone of self-love within we are forever looking on the outside of ourselves for love.

Materials:

– Journal

–  Pen

Method:When we do not have the feeling tone of self-love within, we endlessly look outside of ourselves for love. Since no human mother can be perfectly unconditionally loving, it is our own responsibility to embed feelings of warmth, nurture, safety and love into our body on a regular basis in order to heal from past fears and emotional traumas…

3.Moving Through Stuck Feelings with Journaling – On any given day we are all likely to have half a dozen problems that keep us stuck inside. Ask yourself. “What is bugging me?” Why don’t I feel wonderful right now?” “How is my life going?” “What is the main thing for me right now?”

Materials:

– A small journal

– A ballpoint pen

Method:

“Most traditional methods of working on oneself are mostly pain-centered. People get to repeat over and over their painful emotions without knowing how to use the body’s own inherently positive direction and force.”  – Eugene Gendlin

Understanding Your Problems –If you have trouble identifying the more subtle cues and signs of your uncomfortable problem states, I share psychologist Eugene Gendlin’s focusing process below to support you address the “stuck feelings” in your body. This process will help you to sense into the growth step that is trying to emerge from within your current problem…

4Visual Journaling – We can all make signs, symbols, and marks on paper that express our inner feeling states. In fact with visual journaling – the simpler the better

.Materials:

– Assorted colored markers, oil and/or chalk pastels.

– Journal page

Method:

The simplest of imagery can express the inner workings of the psyche and soul. We can all make signs, symbols, and marks on paper that express our inner feeling states. In fact with visual journaling – the simpler the better.

The Conflict Between Thinking and Feeling

The fundamental cause of all stress is the conflict between thinking and feeling. Whenever we feel anxiety or stress, we can be sure that we are thinking one thing and feeling something else…

.5 Active Imagination Journaling –  Usually, if we wait in stillness long enough, an inner image will want to come forward and want to speak to us. This happens when we sleep and dream at night but it is possible to access our dream imagery during our journaling process while we are awake.

Materials:

– Journal page and pen

Method:

Active Imagination as psychologist Robert Johnson explains is “to invite the creatures of the unconscious to come up to the surface and make contact with us.” As we make contact with the characters in our unconscious mind through our imagination, we can journal and dialogue with what wants to make itself known to our conscious awareness.

Waiting for an Image

Our spontaneous imagination happens when we sleep and dream at night, but it is possible to access our dream imagery during our daily journaling process while we are awake. Usually, if we wait in stillness long enough, an inner image will want to come forward and speak to us…

6Draw and Journal Your Anger – Anger holds tremendous energy. The aim in processing anger is not to get rid of anger but to get our emotionally stagnant energy moving in order to see what we are not looking at within ourselves.

Materials:

 – Felt pens

– Journal page

Method:

 Draw Your Anger

Anger holds tremendous energy. The aim of processing anger is not to get rid of anger, but to get stagnant and depressed energy moving againWhen we feel anger, we can be sure that a change needs to happen. Anger that is safely expressed and mobilized can invoke the passion and power to grow. In order to process anger it is helpful to begin by expressing the energy of anger physically in a drawing, a painting, in a dance, or through your voice…

.7 Color Body Mapping – We think we are our thoughts, but our body does not think. It knows who we really are. The discrepancy between the thoughts that fuel our social mask, and the feelings that are our bodily truth, create pain, soreness, extra weight, and illness in our body. Our body does not lie. It is incapable of being inauthentic.

Materials:

– Watercolor, tempura, or acrylic paint, or colored pencils and markers

– Watercolor paper or journal page

Method:

 Bodily Truth vs. Outward Appearances

Our bodies symptomatically mirror what we are thinking about. And, most of us think way more than we feel. To become exquisitely aware of our body is to become aware of our intuitive nature. Yet, we most often ignore our bodies until they hurt.

Most of us spend most of our lives with our attention directed towards the outer world and away from our bodily feelings. But, as much as we try to ignore all that is uncomfortable deep down inside, our body faithfully and accurately records and express all of our thoughts somatically…

. 8Body Stories with Collage – Our bodies are a living metaphor of what we feel and think on subconscious and unconscious levels. Our bodies hold many stories, dreams, memories and purposes. Using collage to tell the story of our body, either in part or in whole, reveals what is hidden from our everyday thinking.

This art journal prompt will support you to dialogue with the parts of your body that you like and the parts of your body that you dislike, with the aim of unconditional self-love.

Materials:

– Watercolor or acrylic paint

– Colored markers

–  Magazines and books

–  Scissors and glue stick

–  Journal page

Method:

Our bodies are a living metaphor of what we feel and think on subconscious and unconscious levels. Whatever we are unwilling to acknowledge within will be held in the “story” of our body.Our bodies hold many stories, dreams, memories and purposes. Using collage to tell the story of our body, either in part or in whole, reveals what is hidden from our everyday mind…

Painting with Music – In our ordinary workaday selves we may long for something to take us into our creative passion. Moving from mundane states of consciousness of dissipation, boredom and negativity into inspiration and creative expansion sometimes requires music.

This journal exercise aims to give a passionate boost to your creative process and uplift your mood.

Materials:

– Watercolor or acrylic paint, brushes

– Watercolor paper or journal page

Method:

 Inciting Creative Passion

 We all need a passionate boost in our creative process once in a while. Creative writer Julia Cameron makes the point, “When I am afraid of my own creativity (which may be to say I am afraid of my own passion), I turn to passion and creativity of others whose hearts have burst into music and I let them light the way for me.”

Moving from mundane states of consciousness such as dissipation, boredom and negativity into inspiration and creative expansion sometimes requires music. One way to intensify and shift surface attention into a more expanded state is to paint spontaneously to music…

 

41. Meditative Writing for Self-Reflection – When we self-express without deeper reflection, we release our emotional accumulations without understanding them. Methods such as free-form automatic writing and Artist’s Way morning pages support an emotional release or a “brain drain” but unless we examine the deeper meaning of our thoughts and feelings, we will continue to repeat the same patterns of self-expression without knowing why.

This journal prompt will support you to understand the deeper patterns and meanings of your thoughts. It includes the three rules of reflective writing and four final questions to reflect upon.

Materials:

– Pen and journal

– Candle

– Meditative music

Method:

Expressing vs. Understanding

 When we self-express without deeper reflection, we release our emotional accumulations without understanding them. Free-form automatic writing, as in the Artist’s Way morning pages support an emotional release or a “brain drain” but unless we examine the deeper meaning of our thoughts and feelings, we will continue to repeat the same patterns of self-expression without knowing why.

If we really listened to what we think about in a day, a month, a year, we would discover that our seemingly random thoughts cyclically communicate our challenging and inspiring life themes. Our written thoughts reflect our emotional patterns, and the repetitive struggles of our life perfectly…

 

9.Healing Grief through Art and Journaling Therapy – When our unfinished grief is running our consciousness, we are seeing through the eyes of the age that we were when we stopped up our emotional release. We cannot heal grief when we are inside of the defensive emotional patterning of the child, teen, or young adult that stores and avoids our grief.

This art and written journal process will support your to heal your grief through “dual consciousness.”  This process will teach you how to “unblend” from your grief and witness it from your authentic strength. This prompt offers 8 ways to express and release your pain.

Materials:

– Pen and paper or journal page

– Colored pencils, markers, and watercolor paint

Method:

At some point in our growing up years, we experience our first loss of love and belonging, and in our grief we shut down emotionally. When we store away our grief, we arrest ourselves at the age when our feelings become too overwhelming to process.Grief is often difficult to heal because it holds a complex set of “younger” belief systems that continue to compound and gather speed throughout our lives with each subsequent loss and heartbreak. Grief also holds broken dreams of what we wish our past could have been, that continue to exacerbate and gather evidence as we age.As we continue to verify and affirm our childhood and teenage belief systems surrounding unprocessed grief, we see through the eyes of sadness and hopelessness, and will perpetuate the feeling that we have lost something essential about ourselves that cannot be recovered.When we chronically repress grief, we will feel like there is a missing piece in our lives. We will feel less alive. When we believe that this “hole” of loss is a permanent part of our psyche, we solidify the original places of loss where we believed that we could not be loved, and we can sink into depression.

 

Stored Grief Runs Our LifeConsider your grief from this perspective by Michael Singer:“What happens to that experience that didn’t make it through? What you don’t realize is that that your entire experience of life is about to change because of what didn’t make it through you. Life must now compete with this blocked event for your attention, and the impression does not just sit there quietly. You will see that your tendency is to think about it constantly.“This is all an attempt to process it through your mind. All of that inner noise is an attempt to process the blocked energy and get it out of the way. Long term, the energy patterns that cannot make it through you are pushed out to the forefront of the mind and held until you are prepared to release them.These energy patterns hold a tremendous detail about the events associated with them. As you willfully struggle to keep these events from passing through your consciousness, the energy first tries to release by manifesting through the mind. This is why the mind becomes so active.”When the energy cannot make it through the mind because of conflicts with other thoughts and mental concepts, it then tries to release through the heart. When you resist even that release, the energy gets packed up and forced into deep storage within the heart. In the yogic tradition, that unfinished energy pattern is called a Samskara. It’s an unfinished energy pattern that ends up running your life.”

10. Map of Consciousness Collage – It is possible to explore our personality dynamics by mapping them out visually with spontaneous collage and drawing. More often than not, in a single day, we can feel conflicted in our consciousness in several different ways.

This collage exercise will support you to discover your inner relationships, and identify the different parts of your psyche that are in conflict.

Materials:

– Collage papers, old magazines

– Pastels, markers

– Journal page or card stock

Method:Symbolizing Your Current State of Mind

Most of us experience inner conflict as a feeling of unnameable free-floating anxiety. In a single day, we can feel conflicted in our consciousness in several different ways, and not even realize that it is the root of our anxiety.Because different hurting aspects of ourselves can take the leading seat in our consciousness throughout the day, it is helpful to explore our sub-personality dynamics by mapping them out visually with spontaneous collage and drawing.

Inner Conflict Resolution

Sorting ourselves out on the inside can be a confusing task at first. Inner conflict arises initially as anxiety, and often, without the aid of visual imagery, it can be difficult to identify what our inner struggles are about…

45. Healing Traumatic Memories with Embodied Writing – We all have a protective, survival self that protects us from emotionally charged memories which may include fear, loneliness, overwhelm, powerlessness, lack of hope and perspective, fury, shame, disgust, or guilt.

This journal process offers eight in-depth embodied writing techniques that will support you to gently process and release emotional pain and unhelpful beliefs. This prompt includes 8 methods for embodied writing.

Materials:

– Journal and a pen

Method:

The Guardian of Difficult MemoriesIn the interest of continuing to function in our daily lives, our protective parts of self will likely be cognitively weary of revisiting painful memories, yet in truth we may have never truly felt or released the painful emotions embedded within our body.What we remember from the past – especially if the memory is re-occurring – indicates a place we have not emotionally healed from yet. We can relive past traumas over and over in our mind intellectually, yet the past will not heal unless we are willing to face, and be lovingly present for the original stored emotions in our body…

11. Journal Process for Healing “Inner Demons”– We treat what is uncomfortable within as the enemy to be kept at bay at all costs, but what if we befriended our shadow parts of self?

his creative journal exercise will support you to understand that whatever is most unwelcome in your consciousness – whether it be shame, anger, fear, prejudice, hidden urges or instincts – can be accessed and healed in a friendly, creative way.

 

Materials:

– Journal page

– Pens, pastels, pencil crayons

Method: Many of us do not want to admit that we struggle silently with “inner demons.” Our demons are any negative thought, belief system or emotion that we fear looking at. Yet, when we give our denied aspects of self what they need, they change into allies, gifts, and strengths.We treat what is uncomfortable within as the enemy to be kept at bay at all costs, but what if we befriended our shadow parts of self instead of distorting them into more darkness? Whatever is most unwelcome in our consciousness – whether it be shame, anger, fear, prejudice, hidden urges or instincts can be accessed in a friendly, creative way…

12 Journaling Through Emotional Overwhelm – Stream of Consciousness Writing – When we practice stream of consciousness writing, our present moment awareness can expand our contracted emotional field. We can gather the strength that is only available through present moment attention to bodily sensation. We can do this writing exercise to give our tumultuous emotions and mental states a break.

This written journal exercise will teach you how to become intensely present, open, and aware during periods of extreme emotional overwhelm. This journal prompt supports you to be present for emotions such as fear, grief, and anger.

 Materials:

– Journal and a pen

– A timer or a clock

Method:Typically when we feel emotional pain our life force energy fragments and dissipates. This journal method offers a way to unify emotional energy during times of emotional overwhelm. This writing exercise is inspired by Richard Moss MD, who has developed many methods of opening up the emotional fieId.

I share my use and interpretation of his methods for stream of consciousness writing below:Heavy Emotions Shrink Awareness When we are overwhelmed with emotional pain we tend to close down into  a state of extreme self-focus. Our world becomes very small. In emotional overwhelm we cannot envision our possibilities very far beyond the perimeter of our own body…

 

13. Exploring Mixed Feelings Through Embodied Storytelling – Because our psyche functions in pairs of opposites, it is no surprise that we tend to get caught in inner conflict and polarization much of the time. When we have mixed feelings we become stuck and exhausted. We cannot move forward. The purpose of not picking sides during an inner conflict is to see what new creative solutions arise by sitting in the middle and listening to both sides equally.

his expressive journal exercise will support you to find the the still, silent “middle point” of your inner conflict. Only by being present for our ambiguity do we open up to a “third” possibility that we likely have not considered before.

Materials:

– Journal and a pen

Method:

“Ambiguity has a destabilizing effect.

 Very few have the courage or the strength to hold the tension between opposites until a completely new standpoint emerges.This is because in acknowledging contradictory truths, one has to create an inner equilibrium to keep from being torn in two.”

– Aldo Corotenuto

Mixed feelings can be exhausting. Because our psyche functions in pairs of opposites, it is no surprise that we tend to get caught in inner conflict and polarization much of the time. When we are struggling with an inner conflict, we cannot move forward when both sides have strong viewpoints that do not want to waver.Sitting in the middle of an inner conflict, and listening to both sides equally reveals new creative solutions. This writing/speaking/storytelling exercise offers a way to hold opposing parts of your consciousness in your awareness at the same time, to see what new options arise…

 

14. An Emotional Approach to Healing Illness – A Painting and Journaling Meditation  There is an emotional component that accompanies every illness that can be listened to and learned from. Transpersonally speaking, the separate self uses illness to express problems, and to identify itself as a separate self that suffers from emotional wounds that have not healed yet.

this in-depth painting and art journaling meditation will challenge your conventional beliefs about illness and offer ways to tap into your deeper emotions and beliefs.

 

Materials:

– Journal page

– Paint and brushes

– Pen

Method:An Emotional Approach

The emotional struggles that we cannot work out consciously, will often try to work their way through the body in the form of an illness. The emotional component of illness can be explored symbolically through spontaneous painting, followed by sensing into the body, and meditating on direct questions in a journal writing process…

 

14Healing Trauma – Art Journaling for Therapy – The aim of processing memory through art journaling is not to revisit a traumatic emotions over and over again, but to recognize where we have stopped living forward, and clear what is blocked.

Art journaling allows memories that are intruding into the present moment to be seen, understood and cared for. This art journal prompt also offers many creative exercises to support you to tend to the “10 Healing Tasks of Trauma.”

When we experience trauma we feel unprotected and alone. Psychotherapist Belleruth Naparstek writes:

“Without belief in a fair and moral universe, a sense of control of one’s fate, a coherent sense of self, and a continuous personal narrative, life makes no sense.

Living becomes a pointless exercise of getting through the day. People reeling from trauma are thrown into a crisis of meaning that goes far beyond disillusionment; they are plunged into and abyss of despair.”

Creating a Self-Caring World – One Page at a TimeTo re-condition a safe, and caring world within we can dedicate our art journal to self-care. To create a caring world for ourselves, we can daily process and unravel disturbing thoughts and emotions gently as they naturally arise. Digging for memories is not required to heal. There is a right timing to healing. Art journaling is a way to understand and release the remnants of trauma regularly and slowly as it arises – one page at a time – in a format that can be closed and put away if emotions become overwhelming…

. Restoring Passion Through Gestalt and Expressive Movement – We do not need to go into memory to heal the past. Any part of our mind or emotional body that is still hurting and stuck in the past will always be available to express itself in the present moment.

This expressive movement exercise will support you to practice ways of speaking and moving that you normally do not allow.

Materials:

– Loose, comfortable clothes

– A private room to self-express

Method:

 We do not need to go into memory to heal the past. With Gestalt therapy our “unfinished business” from the past can always be discovered in the here-and-now, and expressively worked through with body movement and emotional and vocal expression.The more we honestly express ourselves, the more passion we will feel. In Gestalt therapy, our disturbing experiences, needs, blocks, fixations, emotional blind spots and unconscious split-off aspects of our personality can dialogue with our own higher witnessing consciousness…

15. Art Therapy for Anxiety, Panic and Post Traumatic Stress – If you did not receive the love and support you needed when you experienced trauma, you can give yourself loving support now. We can give ourselves the love and presence that others in the past could not offer.

This art journal directive supports you to heal past trauma through loving self-connection, creating safety, and making art that represents a feeling of “all-healed.”

Materials:

– Art journal or paper

– Collage materials

– Paint, pencil crayons, felt markers, pastels

 Method:Post-Traumatic Stress

For those of us who struggle with post-traumatic stress, enduring high levels of anxiety is a daily, biological reality. Living in crisis mode even when life is uneventful takes its toll on body, mind, and spirit. However, it is possible to recover from distressing traumatic events with presence, attention, and love.

Love Heals Trauma

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.”  

– Caroline Myss

Without proper support and love right after a traumatic event, the effects of harm are more long lasting and continue to cause emotional pain, fear, panic and confusion long after the event has passed. If you did not receive the love and support you needed when you experienced trauma, you can give yourself loving support now.

To restore self-love you can choose to become profoundly present to the intensity of your emotions instead of reflexively resisting and avoiding them. Unconditional acceptance and presence to your own feelings is the highest form of self-love. When you process emotions on your own, it is possible to “ride the waves” of your trauma symptoms with witnessing, loving presence…

 

15. Exposure Journaling Therapy to Reduce Fear and Anxiety – While avoidance tactics might provide a brief respite from anxiety, prolonged exposure therapy is a kind of “fear toleration” or “fear presence” practice that delves past anxiety avoidance patterns so that fear can be faced and overcome.

This in-depth collage journaling directive and written exercise will support you to face your anxiety avoidance tactics and will support you to gradually move through your fears one-by-one.

Materials:

– Journal and a pen

– Collage materials

Method:

What We Avoid Weakens Us

 “Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?” 

– Pema Chödrön

When we repeatedly shy away from what we fear, our ability to cope with life decreases. While avoidance tactics might provide a brief respite from anxiety, prolonged exposure therapy is a “fear toleration” or “fear presence” practice that delves past avoidance patterns, so that fear can be faced and overcome.

What we fear will continue to plague us until we turn and face it. Exposure therapy journaling is a mental and emotional process of writing out fears in a detailed way. Through a process of repeated exposure to what causes us anxiety, we can learn how to prolong and strengthen our presence in the face of fear…

 

16. Understanding the Transpersonal Therapy Process – The process of inner psychological, emotional and spiritual work is to unblock defenses, move the stuck energy in our body to create healthy flow, and transform negative, distorted beliefs and emotions back into the Core Authentic Self.

This exploratory journal exercise will help you understand where you are in your growth journey so that you will know how to focus your inner work. This prompt includes three journal explorations of your Mask, Lower and Higher Self.

Materials:

– Journal and a pen

Method:

Understanding the Three Layers of Yourself

1. The Mask: We create an idealized defensive mask to protect ourselves from hurt and rejection. We hide our emotional pain – even from ourselves. This mask or false self dampens down the vibrancy of love of our core truth.

2. The Wounded Child/Ego/Lower Self: The next layer of our being is the wounded child/ego/shadow or lower self of our human nature. Our ego self is comprised of separated off, rejected parts of self that keep love and connection out. This self-protection causes great pain and isolation. Our lower self does not trust in love…

 

17 Writing Healing Stories – Through our words and by “re- membering” our life, we gather together our disjointed, alienated, and separated part of self, and begin to re-value what has been hidden and disdained.

This written journal exercise offers an exploration of memory as a way of digesting and integrating the past.

 

Materials:

– Journal and pen

Method:

“Stories heal us because we become whole through them. In the process of writing, of discovering our story, we restore those parts of ourselves that have been scattered, hidden, suppressed, denied, distorted, forbidden, and we come to understand that stories heal.”– Deena Metzger

By “re-membering” our life, we gather together our disjointed, alienated, and separated parts of self, and begin to re-value what has been hidden and disdained…

 

18. Write Your Own Fairy Tale – The path to authenticity is truly a mythic journey. As we travel along the path of finding and expressing our true self we join with universal forces and life feels progressively magical – full of signs, symbols and synchronicities that contribute to our healing.

This written journal directive will support you to discover and actualize your authentic self and your life purpose.

 

Materials:

–  Journal and a pen

–  Collage items to embellish your writings – magazine clippings, opulent papers, foils, leaves – anything that represents your past, present and future selves.

Method:

As we are trying to grow beyond our past familial conditioning into our unique vitality, it is helpful to be aware of the mythical path that underpins every human journey to authenticity. To elucidate our true calling and authentic nature we can write our own fairy tale as described by Joseph Campbell’s metaphorical hero’s journey.

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”  ~ Joseph Campbell

The path to our authenticity is truly a mythic journey. As we travel along the path of finding and expressing our True Self, we join with Universal forces, and life feels progressively magical – full of signs, symbols and synchronicities that contribute to our emotional healing…

19. Journaling to Cultivate Joy – We can use our journal writing as a means to discover happiness, gratitude and inspiration – even amidst heavy feeling states.

This journaling directive will be helpful if you are struggling with heavy emotions, and you want to interrupt the downward spiral of negativity.

Materials:

– Journal and a pen

Method:Moving out of Self-Absorption

Most of us journal to move through our difficult emotions, but a journal can also be used as way to discover what makes us happy. We can use our journal writing as a means to discover happiness, gratitude and inspiration – even amidst heavy emotional states.

Because habitual negative thinking can spiral our emotional state progressively downward, it is helpful to “interrupt” our discomforting states – not as a form of denial – but as a way of cherishing the preciousness of life, even when we feel rough. Cultivating joy strengthens emotional health, and it can be cultivated…

20 Healing from Patterns of Emotional Abuse –  Recognizing how you allow abuse from other people will also help you to see how you continue to “abuse” yourself on an inner level by perpetuating the negative messages that you have heard from others.

This in-depth written journaling directive will be helpful if you are unsure about what emotional abuse is because it feels like your “normal.” As you question your “normal” you will be able to discern how you unconsciously emotionally abuse yourself, and why you accept it unquestioningly from other people.

Materials:

– Journal and a pen

Method:Inner and Outer Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is defined as any non-physical behaviors or attitudes that are designed to control, intimidate, subjugate, demean, punish or isolate  you. Emotional abuse is like brainwashing that systematically wears away self-confidence, self-worth, trust in your perceptions, and your authentic self-concept.Recognizing how you allow abuse from other people will also help you to see how you continue to “abuse” yourself on an inner level by perpetuating the negative messages that you have heard from others in the past…

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