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How to Spot a Verbal Abuser Early and Protect Yourself

How to Spot a Verbal Abuser Early and Protect Yourself

Admitting to yourself that you’re in an abusive relationship is incredibly difficult. When your partner doesn’t ever hurt you, when your problems are “limited” to “mean words”, it feels hard to believe that it’s justified to call it abuse, especially if they are a good partner in other ways.

But that doesn’t mean that the relationship isn’t abusive, and that doesn’t mean it’s something you have to settle for. Verbal abuse is incredibly harmful for your mental health, and can leave you feeling broken, trapped, deeply depressed and worthless over time.

If you’re seeing signs of verbal abuse present in your relationship with your partner, don’t try to ignore it or convince yourself it’s not serious. It is, and you deserve to confront the problem, and should do whatever it takes to protect yourself. Here are tips on how to spot a verbal abuser.

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You hide what he/she says to you from others

You’re probably used to venting to your girlfriend when your partner bugs you or leaves you disappointed, but what happens when he says something you know will outrage your friends? If you find yourself keeping something he said [1]to yourself because you’re uncomfortable sharing it with your friends, dig deep to evaluate why you’re doing that.

Is it because you’re worried about what your friends will say about him? Is it because you don’t want people to know he says those kinds of things? Is it because you’re worried about how he will react if he knows you’ve told people?

All of these are signs that something is wrong. If you know your friends are going to be horrified by a sentence, consider that you too have reason to be horrified by it. If you’re worried about people knowing this trait about him, consider that his behavior reflects who he is. If you’re worried about how he will react, ask yourself what he’s hiding and why.

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Abusers are very anxious to ensure their reputation is well-maintained, and are very concerned about public image – regardless of whether or not it reflects your private life. All of these are signs that something is wrong, and that you may be sacrificing yourself for someone who is hurting you.

He/she makes you cry and doesn’t apologize

When you get into arguments, does he start saying nasty things intended to hurt your feelings? Does he target sensitive topics on purpose? Does he say cruel things seemingly out-of-the-blue, and does he leave you in tears frequently? When you cry, does he show remorse or does he tell you to stop overreacting, stop faking, “get over yourself” or otherwise dismiss your tears? This shows a selfish insensitivity that you should never see in a partner, and is a huge warning sign.

If he is incapable of or uninterested in empathizing with you when you’re in pain, particularly pain he caused, then he doesn’t show himself to be someone who cares about your feelings, making him a fundamentally unacceptable partner. Incidents like these are not normal, and are not the way loving partners behave.

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He/she eventually apologizes profusely and showers you with gifts

After a fight, argument or abusive episode has taken place, does he eventually come back with a profuse apology and gifts to make it up to you? This may feel like a kind and reassuring gesture on the part of your partner that reassures you he understands what he did wrong, cares about his impact and wants to improve. But the reality is it’s a standard step in the classic abuse cycle : a period of calm, a period of building tehension, a period of acting out and then the honeymoon phase, where he: apologizes or shows regret, promises it won’t happen again, tries to put some blame on you for the incident and tries to minimize or deny the abuse occurred.

All of this does not need to happen at once – for example, it’s very common for an abuser to immediately admit they were being abusive, but then later on – perhaps days or weeks later – try to reframe the incident as less serious or not their fault. You get this a lot with people you meet on dating apps , who genuinely admit they were in the wrong but don’t try to take it back. Now, after he’s apologized to you and reassured you he understands what he did wrong… does he do it again?

You’re hoping he/she will change over time

One of the most difficult things about abuse is that it is cyclical. Once your partner seems like they’ve really changed, you reassure yourself that things will get better – and then another incident occurs. Then they apologize profusely, reassure you they know they messed up, and you think you’re dedicated to your relationship and they seem remorseful so you’ll keep working at it. Then he does it again, and you tell him he has to shape up or you’ll leave, and he says he will. Things get better, you think he’s a better partner now that he’s realized he was in the wrong – and then he does it again.

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The truth is, abusers rarely change or improve, and your love and dedi cation won’t improve him. Rather than staying stuck in the cycle, take a look at your life and realize that one failed relationship won’t ruin it – get out. Preserve your mental health. Don’t settle for a verbal abuser.

Reference

[1]Healthy Place: The Signs of Verbal Abuse

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Published on November 28, 2018

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

The woman in yoga pants sitting in a lotus position atop a rocky cliff, overlooking a valley draped in fog — this is the glamorized version of meditation you’ll come across as you search. Yet if you’re seeking meditation to calm your mind, a fantastic setting with no distractions is rarely available.

So how to do meditation?

The truth about meditation is it’s an everyday practice for anybody. You could be a mountain climber or you could be an accountant — either way, your home is just as good a place for meditation as any.

Are you seeking to corral your racing thoughts and relieve a sense of unease, awkwardness, or uncertainty? Look to home meditation to cultivate a laid-back, creative, confident, and organized frame of mind. According to extensive scientific research, meditation relieves stress and anxiety, decreases blood pressure, improves sleep, and improves your ability to pay attention. [1]

From start to finish, this article will give you quick, easy steps to follow so that you can meditate at home regularly. You’ll begin by assessing, identifying and altering things that need to change in your home environment. You’ll end by understanding the basics of meditation so that you can let yourself do what you already know how to do deep down in the hidden reality of your mind.

You’re ready to let your mind be, and just be, in your own home — let’s begin.

1. Find the Right Space in Your Home

Where is your right space for meditation at home? Is it in your basement, your bedroom, your living room, or your study?

The right space will be one with the least distractions built in to its purpose. In that case, it may be your bedroom. If you’ve set up your bedroom to be a place for sleep and only sleep, it will lend itself well to meditation.

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The right space will also be a reasonably spacious one. Although comfort is not your goal, you need room to sit. Choose a space that is private, spacious, and quiet. If you don’t have a space in your home like this, create one. Free it from clutter and get it ready for you to meditate there any time.

Ultimately, your right space is one you feel comfortable meditating in, the space you can enter with no other expectations.

2. Improve the Feng Shui in Your Home and Meditation Space

Feng shui means “wind and water.” It’s the ancient Chinese art of placement.[2]

Feng shui improves harmony with nature. Adherents to the principles of feng shui believe all things have energy (chi). The focus of feng shui is to send negative chi (sha) out of the space and attract positive chi (yun).

Here’s the truth about feng shui: it’s not complicated or hard. The following will influence feng shui positively in your home and meditation space:

  • Living things, such as plants
  • Beautiful objects, such as sculptures or even a well-polished piece of driftwood
  • Mirrors in symmetrical placement with the lines in a room
  • Mellifluous sounds, such as trickling water or wind chimes
  • Furniture away from walls
  • A centerpiece, such as a small table with books or an ornate lamp on it
  • Incense or something else that smells good
  • A lack of clutter and an attention to organization that emphasizes the usefulness, purpose, and essential being of each item in your house

Given that feng shui is connected to Taoism and Buddhism, it will complement the meditative atmosphere you want to cultivate in your home.

3. Eliminate Pervasive Distractions That Can Harm Your Wellbeing

In part, meditation is about accepting the existence of distractions. When you meditate, you don’t judge and assign a positive or a negative value to distractions — the ticking of a clock, an itch, the barking of a dog — you let them occur and let them dissipate like waves.

However, in the same way that feng shui removes objects that attract negative chi, there are certain types of distractions that don’t belong in your meditative space. You must remove them.

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In a survey of 1,700 people who visited social media sites at least 30 times per week, 30 percent reported high levels of sleep disturbance and 25 percent presented symptoms of depression. [3]

Those individuals who experience sleep disturbances or mental health issues due to social media are not setting boundaries between themselves and their connected devices.

Part of learning how to meditate at home is learning how and when to set boundaries between yourself and your connected devices and social media accounts. If you need your phone for a timed meditation practice, but you normally receive social media notifications on your phone, set it on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode during your meditation time.

4. Flow into Meditation Through Time

Next, set aside a time for meditation each day. It’s right to be structured and disciplined about your meditation time.

Buddhist monks whose lives revolve around meditation are very structured and organized with their tasks each day. Structure provides the balance your being needs. Once you are meditating, your mind has no need for time. Outside of your given meditation time, you are completing tasks essential to the wellbeing of yourself and your home.

Consider meditating as the sun rises. This is a quiet and contemplative time of the day when it is natural to set your day’s balance through meditation.

5. Recognize the Rightness of Doing Nothing

At home, you’re probably used to always doing something. When you do meditation at home, you are being, which is doing something and nothing simultaneously.

Maryville University points out that successful people unplug by doing nothing. [4] Not only this, but they set the right expectations for the time during which they will do nothing.

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We oftentimes look forward to the future by expecting something to happen and by expecting something of ourselves. To meditate from home, look to that time and that space by expecting nothing. You will not do any chores. You will not catch up on work. You will do nothing but meditate for a certain amount of time each day.

This might sound crazy, but in taking on meditation from home, you’re not expecting yourself to improve and become a better person. As Ram Dass put it, you are expecting yourself to be here now.

6. Choose from the Incredible Variety of Meditative Practices

As I outlined in my post on types of meditation, there are many different and not-so-different types of meditation from which to choose.

Many beginners find it right to choose guided meditation, for which there are apps, videos, and audio tapes available.

If you are not necessarily a beginner but are merely moving your meditative practice into the home, you can facilitate a practice such as Nada Yoga — sound meditation — by placing a fountain in your space or listening to ambient alpha wave music.

If you’re used to meditating outside of your home — perhaps you are drawn to the outdoors because of the sounds of nature — a practice like Nada Yoga can help you transition into your home space.

7. Understand You Can Meditate Any Time at Home

What if I told you to throw out all of the tips that came before this? Sounds crazy but that is how radical mindfulness meditation really is. We don’t think of it as radical because it is now ingrained in our popular discourse.

Mindfulness meditation does start as a sitting meditation practice. It goes like this:

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  1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
  2. Focus on breathing. Inhale through your nose slowly and exhale slowly.
  3. As distracting thoughts arise, don’t judge them and don’t hang onto them. Let each thought go as you focus on breathing.
  4. Treat all physical sensations and feelings in the same way you do thoughts: register them, then let them go, returning to breathing.
  5. Extend this practice to everyday activity, remaining “in the moment” of the body’s activity with each new breath.

As you practice mindfulness around your home, note the physical characteristics of the things in themselves. Note physical sensations: sounds, smells, textures, appearances, tastes. Stop now and then and do a body scan from head to toe, noting what each section is doing and how it’s feeling.

Note thoughts that come and the emotions attached to them: let them go. Concentrate on the breath and the physical activities — including the details of the objects with which you’re interacting.

You’ll notice that your home will lend itself to a meditative state when things are in order. This is where true feng shui originates. You will naturally sense how the arrangement of things affects the energy in a room.

Clutter will disappear because mindfulness tells you to dispose of unnecessary things. Plants will bloom. Birds will make their nests in your backyard. Your home will smell pleasing and people will naturally be attracted to it and your presence.

You’ve Reached the Beginning and the End

Once you are able to do mindfulness meditation even as you are attending to the normal and abnormal requirements of your home, the mundane and the unusual, you are at both the beginning and the end.

You are at the beginning because meditation never ends. Continue setting aside time each day to do sitting meditation in the space you’ve set aside. Continue practicing mindfulness as you attend to the energy of your house, your own energy, and the energy of those around you.

You are at the end because you grasped what it means to do meditation at home: it means letting go of cares and concerns and being in your home as you attend to the right tasks. The right tasks are those necessary for being in your home.

As you sit in your home, rise, open the door and you leave, you are calm in your mind because you are home.

Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Healthline: 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
[2]Marquette University: Feng Shui: The Wind and Water
[3]Rutgers University: Social Media and Well-Being
[4]Maryville University: How Successful People Unplug

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