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Creating a Personal Sense of Safety

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As people of all genders in the #MeToo Movement have demonstrated, sexual and physical assault typically have occurred at a much higher rate than reported in the past. Often, people kept quiet out of a sense of shame, helplessness, worry about not being believed, and/or fear of retaliation. Thus, they suffered in silence and isolation with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress, insomnia, ulcers, headaches, hives, or other symptoms. Such suffering is no longer necessary when you create and maintain a personal sense of safety.

What can you do to feel safe? You can develop self-calming skills, such as deep breathing, meditating, getting out into nature, talking to someone that you trust, and taking a self-defense class. Martial arts and kickboxing classes can teach you how to feel powerful through healthy exercise. Self-defense class can teach you specific strategies involving situational awareness, eye contact, facial expressions, body language, and tools to prevent or stop physical attacks from other people. In Austin, Sun Dragon Martial Arts provides a great self-defense class using each of these tools.

When you have learned how to create a safe physical boundary around you, it can give you confidence to create a safe emotional boundary around you as well. Strong emotional boundaries involve listening to your heart, speaking your truth, asking for what you want, setting clear limits, and standing your ground against inappropriate, controlling, or bullying behaviors from other people.

By developing strong physical and emotional boundaries, you can create a personal sense of safety. This increases your overall sense of wellbeing strength, and it reduces your anxiety, fear, and sense of powerlessness. If you need assistance with creating a personal sense of safety, please call me for an appointment at 512.687.3436.

~Linda Eldredge, Ed.D., Psychologist

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