Emotional Boundaries

Do you find yourself picking up emotions from others around you? Do you feel other people’s emotional pain as if it were your own? Empathy is a wonderful, amazing thing. It helps us connect with, care for others, and have others care for us. However, without healthy emotional boundaries, we can find ourselves carrying other’s emotions or pain long after it is healthy. The following visualization has been useful for myself (and my clients) to remind myself of my emotional boundaries and express empathy without carrying other’s pain or emotions.

  1. Take a few, deep, long breaths.
  2. Visualize yourself protected from anything negative, stressful, toxic, or intrusive. Perhaps this protection is a beautiful shield of white or pink light surrounding your body and extending a few inches or feet beyond it. Maybe you imagine armor, light but strong.
  3. Within the protection of this shield, you feel centered, happy, and energized. This shield allows you to feel positive, empathetic, and loving emotions, but prevents anything from staying too long.

Remember absorbing the emotions of others does not lessen their burdens or struggles, but only adds to yours leaving you less capable of helping or comforting them.

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