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What's Your Money Type? Take This Quiz

Judith Orloff - Monday, June 16, 2014

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(Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

Money can bring out your most fearful self or your largest heart. Which one you surrender to changes everything. How do you do this? By finding effective ways to surrender fear, stinginess, and other resistances to abundance so that money can flow more freely into your life.

To identify your style of relating to money, below are five money types, including quizzes from my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender. Though you may contain aspects of more than one type, pick the one you most resonate with. Evaluate your financial habits with kindness. The goal is to develop a successful approach to money and get pleasure from what you spend on.

Type 1. The Worrier

Worriers can be thrifty, astute problem solvers, and will avoid errors because of their diligence with finances. The downside is that worry increases stress hormones, decreases immunity, and impairs health and sleep. It’s important for them to focus on surrendering worry so they don’t sabotage abundance with their panicked relationship to finances.

Quiz: Am I A Worrier?
Ask yourself:

  • Do I worry about money every day?
  • Do I make financial problems larger, not smaller?
  • Do I have difficulty falling asleep because I’m worried about money?
  • Do I worry about money even during comfortable times?
  • Do I find I can’t stop worrying, even though I try?
  • When one financial worry is solved do I immediately go onto another?
  • If you answered yes to all 6 questions then worry plays a very large role in your financial life. Four or five yeses indicate a large role. Two or three yeses a moderate role. One yes indicates a low level. Zero indicates that this is not your primary money type. Use this format to calculate your score in the other four money types in this blog.

    The art of surrendering worry is to stay focused in the present moment, rather than making up worst case scenarios to freak yourself out, and take action where you can, such as slowly paying off a debt. What’s hard for worriers to accept is that despite their valiant efforts to be financially secure, they can’t control everything.

    Type 2. The Procrastinator

    This money type notoriously avoids dealing with finances with denial. They live from paycheck to paycheck. For the short term, the feel-good benefit of denial is that stress is reduced as thoughts of financial pressure disappear. But reality will catch up with them when bills mount and creditors start calling. Then panic and guilt about not fulfilling responsibilities set in.

    Quiz: Am I A Procrastinator?
    Ask yourself:

  • Do I put off financial decisions?
  • Are my bills piling up?
  • Do I have difficulty making decisions about money?
  • Do I keep ignoring my credit card debt?
  • Do I glaze over when paying bills?
  • Are my taxes or other bills always past due so I accrue penalty charges?
  • As a psychiatrist, I know how much diligence it takes to surrender denial. This is something procrastinators have to want to do. Then, gradually, they can train themselves to address money at a comfortable pace. The secret to letting go of procrastination is finding the sweet spot between accepting financial responsibility and taking time out from stress to unwind.

    Type 3. The Addictive Spender

    Addictive spenders prefer the thrill of spending to the security of saving money. They spend on impulse whether they can afford it or not. Spending becomes a drug, a way to self-medicate low self-esteem, hurt, and disappointments by futilely trying to fill an emotional hole with material things--a temporary fix at best.

    Quiz. Am I An Addictive Spender?
    Ask yourself:

  • Do I have difficulty controlling my spending?
  • Do I get a thrill from spending money or gambling?
  • Do I over-spend to escape worry, anger, or loneliness?
  • Am I a compulsive shopper, unable to pass up “bargains” I can’t afford?
  • Are my debts affecting my serenity and reputation?
  • Do I have a bad credit record?
  • Addictive spending is primarily an emotional and spiritual issue, not a financial one. Treatments include counseling, twelve step programs such as Gamblers or Debtors Anonymous, along with being taught money management skills. Healing comes from learning to address and let go of painful emotions without trying to numb them with spending.

    Type 4. The Saver/Miser/Hoarder

    These types are practical, good at planning for the future and saving for a rainy day. Nevertheless, there’s a difference between being financially responsible and obsessive. Savers who go overboard can become penny pinchers and greedy misers. It’s hard for them to enjoy their money, take vacations, or spend on themselves and others.

    Quiz. Am I A Saver?
    Ask yourself:

  • Am I diligent at saving money but don’t hoard?
  • Do I prefer conservative investments to risk taking?
  • Can I enjoy spending money on things I can afford?
  • Do I try not to spend more than I make?
  • Am I against greed?
  • Do I give to charitable causes?
  • When savers turn into misers or hoarders, it may suggest obsessive compulsive disorder which makes them clutch onto money and things to ward off anxiety, the opposite of surrender. They can’t surrender control and be generous because they fear scarcity. To avoid becoming a mean, miserly Scrooge spread abundance by anonymously leaving small amounts of money for people to find. Experience the happiness of this as you let stinginess go. Be a self-appointed money gnome who spreads abundance in the world.

    Type 5. The Intuitive Spender

    At their best, intuitive spenders are finely tuned instruments, balancing logic with gut instincts in money management, hiring, and investments. However, intuitive spenders get into trouble when they simply go on impulse and disregard logic. Also they can misread a financial situation if they can’t distinguish intuition from wishful thinking or fear.

    Quiz: Am I An Intuitive Spender?
    Ask yourself:

  • Do I check in with my gut about finances?
  • Do I look beyond logic for answers?
  • If a decision feels right do I act on it or if it doesn’t can I let it go?
  • Do I trust my gut when it says “beware” of an investment?
  • Will I take a reasonable financial risk based on intuition?
  • Do I consult my intuition about how to creatively make money and where to invest or donate?
  • Smart intuitive spenders also have good common sense. Intuitive spenders can be brilliant money managers if they’re clear about what messages they’re surrendering to. The key is to let go of overthinking or fear, and trust authentic intuitions.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness.

    Comments
    Compulsive Worrier commented on 19-Jun-2014 03:35 PM
    Thank you for this information Dr. Orloff. I admire you and your work. I am a compulsive worrier. I feel there's never "enough". No matter how much money is in the account, I can always see financial responsibilities down the road...short term like next season's soccer fees and long term like college and retirement. The bottom line is that it feels like we're never enough "ahead" to be able to "afford" that family vacation we so badly want to take. Even if the energy bill isn't due for another two weeks, I'll wake up in the morning worrying if there'll be enough to pay it when it's time. Suzy Ormond freaks me out. She would definitely say we can't take a vacation since we don't currently have retirement paid for plus a six month emergency fund, but this makes me so sad because my children will all be grown and it will be too late to make those memories with them by the time we can "responsibly and comfortably" afford a vacation. Please help. I read your advice is to stay present to relieve money anxiety, but I've tried meditation and everything but the facts are the still the facts and the numbers are still the numbers and it seems like there's never enough. I consider myself "evolved and conscious" but when it comes to money worry, I just can't seem to get a handle on it.
    Harry commented on 19-Jun-2014 03:58 PM
    All five types are negative. I love eBay and Amazon and buy too much, but can afford it. I am a saver and investor and take above average risk. I am very good at paying bills and keeping track of everything with Quicken and spreadsheets. I am great at accounting, investing and shopping.
    Elan commented on 19-Jun-2014 08:09 PM
    Thank you HUGE for all your expert care! I admire your genuine insights and I learn, learn, learn. Thank you for enhancing my precious life!!!
    Linda Adler commented on 19-Jun-2014 09:52 PM
    So----I took the test. Now, how do I score myself?

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    Surrender Your Addiction to Stress

    Judith Orloff - Monday, March 24, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    According to the most recent APA "Stress in America" survey, nearly half of today’s adults reported being more stressed out. And just as many say they’re simply unable to control the important aspects of their lives. It’s this inability to control outcomes that causes stress. So what’s the answer? Is this really a lose-lose situation? Are we doomed to a cycle of stress, loss of control and more stress?

    In my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender I discuss how the answer to stress is letting go, relinquishing control, and being more flexible in dealing with work, finances and relationships. I’ve consistently seen with patients and in myself that resisting or stiffening during challenging times only increases stress and saps power, what I call bunker mentality. Everything becomes about defense, worry, and fear, not love. Similarly, people get more severely injured in accidents when they tense up. If you fight pain or adversity, the spasm of discomfort tightens. But when you relax suffering lessens.

    Here are some common forms of stress addictions and solutions from The Ecstasy of Surrender on how to let them go.

    Work Stress—Don’t Compare, Compliment
    If you’re stressed out at work, stop comparing yourself to others, and focus on what you're grateful for. Instead of envying someone's success, consider what you can learn from them and wish them well. Letting go this way can be very liberating, freeing you to change at least some of your work related behaviors.

    Relationship Stress—Show Compassion, Relinquish Control
    Yelling at your spouse, partner, or children won’t relieve your stress. The key is to stay calm, no matter what buttons your loved one has pushed. Don’t react or get defensive, and allow the other person to finish talking. Let what they say sink in before you respond. Substitute compassion for control. Accept where they're coming from.

    Physical Stress—Move Don’t Mope
    Here is a surprisingly simple solution: To let go of physical stress, let your body do what it was designed to do - move. At least several times a week, visit the gym, walk your dog, swim, or do yoga stretches. Movement relaxes muscles, reduces tension, and helps you sleep better. If you are physically stressed out surrender to the bliss of your body's sacred energy and love your body through movement.

    Time-Related Stress—Let Nature Calm You
    The American culture rushes people through life, work, and relationships. We don’t allow ourselves enough time to let things happen at their own pace, and surrender to the flow. Take time stressors to go outside and focus on a cloud, watch it drift, and notice its changing shape. Let the air rush through and around you and clear out your mind. Drink a glass of water and take a relaxing shower to cleanse the negativity and work deadlines from your system. These calming exercises can help your rushing mind slow down and gain perspective.

    Illness-Related Stress—Trust Your Body’s Healing Powers
    An illness can often lead to depression. To keep negative thoughts from overwhelming you, change your negative beliefs (I will never heal) to positive ones (I trust my body's healing powers). Instead of getting stressed out, listen to your body—and if a treatment or a doctor's approach doesn’t feel right to you, question it. Get enough sleep and avoid people and settings that deplete or de-energize you.

    One of the keys to surrender is making your mind feel safe enough to soften its resistance to new ideas. To do this first reassure it that you are not giving up control or ignoring survival instincts. Then give your mind a good reason to make a change. Remind it that by letting go you will reduce your stress, have more energy, live longer and improve your relationships. This allows you to give your intellect a say in the decision to update your perspective and let go of knee-jerk reactions.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness.

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    4 Strategies to Survive Emotional Vampires

    Judith Orloff - Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s NY Times bestseller “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

    As an energy psychiatrist I know that to come out ahead with drainers, you must be methodical. Emotional vampires can’t savage your peace of mind or prick you to death with corrosive remarks if you’re onto them. This survival guide from my book, Emotional Freedom covers everything from recognizing an initial exposure to deploying techniques to deflect negativity. It will enable you to stay centered in difficult relationships.


    The First Strategy: Determine Am I Being Sapped By An Emotional Vampire?

    Anyone who has ever shared an office, car pool, or attended a family dinner with a vampire can attest to experiencing some common emotional side effects. Even after a brief contact, you feel worse; they feel better. To find out if you’ve been bled, watch for these signs. Experiencing even one indicates you’ve met a drainer on the prowl.

  • Your eyelids get heavy--you’re ready for a nap
  • You feel put down or like the rug was pulled out from under you
  • Your mood takes a nose-dive
  • You have a yen to binge on carbs or comfort food
  • You feel sniped at, slimed, or agitated
  • In addition, sometimes intuitive flashes and dreams can raise a red flag. Pay attention. For instance, following a dinner I attended where the guests had something negative to say about everything, I dreamed I was bombarded by a storm of leeches. Similarly, after a critical friend skewered one of my patients, she felt as if she’d fallen to the bottom of a well. Another patient dreamed that a pigeon pooped on her head--splat, there it was: her reaction to a nasty altercation with her apartment’s superintendent. Whether you’re awake or asleep, notice telling imagery that conveys emotion. This will help you identify a vampire.

    The Second Strategy: Practice These General Do’s and Don’ts With Emotional Vampires

    Whenever possible, eliminate drainers from your life. However, with those you can’t or don’t want to remove--for example, friends going through a rough patch or relatives who are fixtures--follow these tips:

              Do
  • Take a breath to center yourself
  • Listen for intuitions signaling danger (i.e. you get “the creeps,” a bad taste in your mouth, a tired or tense feeling)
  • Stay calm and matter of fact instead of going for their bait
  • Pause…develop a plan to handle the situation before you react (refer to the fourth guideline describing these strategies)
  • Communicate clearly, firmly, with a neutral tone when setting limits
  •           Don’t
  • Panic
  • Talk yourself out your intuitions or call yourself “neurotic”
  • Blurt out what you’ll regret later or use an accusatory tone
  • Fight with the person
  • Overeat to medicate stress
  • Also consider what kind of emotional vampires you’re facing; we often attract what we haven’t emotionally resolved in ourselves. If you’re fearful, you may find yourself surrounded by legions of fearful people. However, once you’ve begun to heal an emotion, you’re less likely to magnetize it towards you, nor does it possess the same ability to wear you out.

    If you decide that the pros outweigh the cons of remaining with an emotional vampire, say a bullying colleague or mate, you must take responsibility for that decision and the way you respond. Ask yourself, “How can I stay in the relationship and not feel oppressed?” This means concentrating on the good and accepting someone’s limitations.

    The Third Strategy: Could I Be An Emotional Vampire? How Do I Know?

    We’ve all got a smidgeon of vampire in us, especially when we’re stressed. So, cut yourself a break. It’s admirable to admit, “I think I’m emotionally draining people. What can I do?” Can’t be free without such honesty. Then you can change. These are some common indications that you’re becoming a drainer.

  • People avoid you or glaze over during a conversation
  • You’re self-obsessed
  • You’re often negative
  • You gossip or bad-mouth people
  • You’re critical, controlling
  • You’re in an emotional black hole, but won’t get help--this strains relationships and won’t free you
  • The solution is always to own up to where you’re emotionally stuck and change the related behavior. For instance, one patient in computer graphics kept hammering his wife with a poor-me attitude about how he always got stuck with boring projects at work. Instead of trying to improve the situation, he just kvetched. She started dreading those conversations, diplomatically mentioned it to him. This motivated my patient to address the issue with his supervisor, which got him more stimulating assignments. Similarly, whenever I slip into vampire mode, I try to examine and alter my behavior or else discuss the particulars with a friend or a therapist so I can change. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance when you’re stumped.

    The Fourth Strategy: Identify and Combat Emotional Vampires

    To be free of vampires, you must know the nature of the beast. Each one has a special talent for emotionally disabling you. The good news is that vampires are predictable. Once you get their number, you won’t be caught off guard. Understanding vampires from multiple angles gives you the upper hand. So does having empathy for their emotional wounds--intuitively, these feel as real to me as physical injury. Think about it: No one becomes a vampire because they’re happy! Whether or not they know it, vampires are driven by insecurity and weakness, infirmities that impede goodwill. This doesn’t excuse their predatory acts. Rather, it allows you to show compassion for people you may not like while setting limits, a paradigm for emotional diplomacy that frees you and reduces drain. This framework will help clarify your relationships, but realize there’s much more to a human being than any single definition. Stay focused: your aim isn’t to rehabilitate vampires, merely to counter them with uncommon grace.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness.

    Comments
    Diana Manoshi commented on 27-Oct-2013 09:19 AM
    Hi! I work with children and adolescents as a school counselor. my clients and sometimes when i meet their parents are energy vampires, i feel all the symptoms that you state, I usually wash my face and my hands with cold, it makes me feel better but at the end of the day when i reach home, i feel drained. I love being a therapist but these energies i sense drain me. well the good news is i came across u at the Louise Hay world summit and i have ordered all your books i have them with me now.
    Thank You Judith, i have started reading your book and i know i will be able to use my potential and my gifts better.
    god bless!!!
    Anonymous commented on 13-Nov-2013 05:30 PM
    Wow, I have never met another empath before. Also I realized my friend may have been an emotional vampire. Luckily she moved away. No wonder I felt much better after she left.

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    How to Set Awkward Boundaries: “No” is a Complete Sentence!

    Judith Orloff - Friday, September 13, 2013

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    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s NY Times bestseller “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” and "Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love”

    It may sometimes be awkward to set healthy boundaries with negative or draining people, but it is an important skill to learn. If someone has unrealistic expectations of you or unable to respect your feelings remember “No” is a complete sentence. A key to setting boundaries is to come from a centered, unemotional, place—not to be reactive. For example if someone has been saying disparaging comments about you, from a heartfelt center say, “Please don’t talk about me to others. It’s inappropriate and disrespectful.” Then refuse to argue about it, even if your buttons are pushed.

    Here are some additional tips from my books, “Emotional Freedom” and "Positive Energy” to help you set boundaries, especially when it feels really awkward.

    Dealing with an Emotional Drainer
    If you meet someone and your energy starts bottoming out, don’t think twice about politely removing yourself from this killing interchange. One of my favorite foolproof lines is, “Excuse me; I really have to go to the bathroom.” Even the most intrepid vampire doesn’t have a counter-argument for that. It’s important that you move at least twenty feet from beyond the person’s energy field. Whenever your well-being feels at risk around certain people, make a tactful and swift exit. In a spot, physically extruding yourself is a sure, quick solution.

    Dealing with a Constant Talker
    The secret to dealing with a constant talker is knowing they don’t respond to nonverbal cues. You have no choice but to make your needs audible. Tone is especially critical with these vampires. They’re hypersensitive to rejection, which provokes them to ramp up their verbiage. So, with a constant talker try to be caring--these are wounded people!--but stay definite and neutral. Then, from a heart-center, set the parameters of your dialogue. Then you won’t be left limp, resentful, or forced into rudeness. You can politely say, “I’m a very quiet person, so excuse me for not talking a long time,” or “I feel left out when you dominate the conversation. I’d really appreciate a few minutes to talk too.”

    Dealing with a Criticizer
    If an intimate or co-worker keeps telling you how to deal with something, politely say, “I value your advice, but I really want to work through this myself.” You may need to remind the controller of your position several times, always in a kind, neutral tone. Repetition is key. Respectfully reiterating your stance over days or weeks will slowly recondition negative communication patterns and redefine the terms of the relationship. If you reach an impasse, agree to disagree. Then make the subject off limits.

    Dealing with a Complainer
    The moment you sense a complainer revving up, take a slow, deep breath to center yourself. Breathing is a wonderful way to quickly reconnect with your life force so their in-your-face intensity won’t sear into your energy field and cause burn-out. Keep concentrating on your breath. Tell yourself you know what’s happening, and you can handle it. As I remind my patients: you have power here. I know how easily we can lose it. But, when beset by this overheated drainer, you need to own that moment. Do so by letting your breath release tension and ground you. This will keep you from getting caught up in their story. Then lovingly tell them, “Our relationship is important to me, but it’s not helpful to keep feeling sorry for yourself. I can only listen for five minutes unless you’re ready to discuss solutions,” or “I’m really sorry that’s happening to you.” Then, after listening briefly, smile and say, “I’ll keep good thoughts for things to work out. I hope you understand, I’m on deadline and I must return to work.”

    If you feel like you are being overwhelmed by a difficult person here are some strategies to help you gain control and become centered again.

  • When you feel attacked break eye contact to stop the transfer of negativity.
  • Use the breath to retrieve your life force. Let it function like a vacuum cleaner. With each inhalation visualize yourself power-suctioning back every drop of energy that’s being snatched from you. Keep inhaling until the job is done. Do this in the presence of a vampire or later on.
  • Exhale negative energy and stress out the back of your lower spine. There are spaces between your lumbar vertebrae, natural exit points for energy. Touch the area; get a feel for the anatomy. When toxicity accumulates, expel it through these spaces. Envision dark gunk leaving your body. Then breathe in fresh air and sunlight, a quick re-vitalizer.
  • Jump in a bath or shower to clear negativity and prevent further drain. If you are feeling particularly drained add Epson salts or sea salts to the water. If you are in the shower you can rub sea salt on your skin and then wash it off. Drink plenty of water to flush toxicity from your system too. Also you can burn sage where this vampire has been to purify every nook and cranny. (This works well in hotel rooms when a prior guest’s left-over energy feels uncomfortable, but use only a little so you don’t trigger the smoke alarm!)


  • Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness.

    Comments
    Bob commented on 18-Sep-2013 07:03 AM
    Thank you, thank you for the blog. My staff and I really need this help, outlined in this blog. Bob
    Betterlife commented on 26-Sep-2013 01:50 PM
    Saying "NO"is not a problem for me-it's how I say no to certain people. But,I've noticed I'm improving with being patient and as you say-lowering my expectations. Everyone does not think as I do and as long as I continue introspection,the less people and situations that once angered me can have the same effect. Anger has turned to humor. THANKS AGAIN DR.O FOR YOUR DEDICATION AND CONSISTENCY IN HELPING THE WORLD TO HEAL!!!! From your biggest fan!!!
    paulette commented on 04-Oct-2013 06:17 PM
    i could say no, but the people around me disregard my no, with lot of force.
    i have been working on this for years and i am getting better, for my peace and health, i had let go of the need i had for these relationships. i was not conscious how communication could affect my mood, my health ,my energy. I was living in a dream state, now that i am awake, i am still trying to work through the shock of my life.
    I love your youtube videos they are very helpful.
    I love you

    Martha S. Ginyard commented on 13-Oct-2013 05:30 AM
    No is something that we are so not used to of saying. This is really a sad thing considering that we are just people and we need to also attend to our needs. Without all of these things, we will end up hurting ourselves more. The art of saying no is difficult but also a must.
    Nina commented on 14-Oct-2013 11:27 PM
    Very lovely clear cut words of wisdom. I enjoyed this; I still don't know what to do about someone I don't like sleeping in my bed. I am very upset about it. I don't want this persons energy in my bed; I wish I could afford to give him the bed and buy another one; it costs $1,500.00 or more.

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    3 Steps to Rekindle the Passion in Your Job

    Judith Orloff - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's ”Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love ”

    I’m a fanatic about following your passion. As a psychiatrist and intuitive when I work with my patients and workshop participants my mission is to hunt down and reinforce what creatively jibes for them from jobs to finger-painting. In my book, Positive Energy I devote a full chapter to help people to reconnect with their passion and creativity. Whether you’re writing the great American novel, laying bricks, or sprinkling rose petals on a salad, your delight and surrender to the impulse is what catalyzes energy.

    Now this is your chance to investigate what does or doesn’t inspire you. The purpose: to honestly access where your energy goes so you can constructively re-route it. To remember all inspiring inklings, I suggest you keep a journal and review it. Don’t be discouraged if you’re stuck in a rut or feel far from inspired right now. This inventory will turn all that around. Re-inspiring your life takes courage. It’s a solution-oriented process of uncovering, then commencing change.

    My focus will be helping you to re-inspire your current job, even tiny bits of it--there’s always a way. Throughout this process, the poet Rumi’s words will be our mantra:

         “Let the beauty you love be what you do.
          There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

    But how do we get there? Here are some basic steps from my book, Positive Energy.

    Step One: In A Journal Define the Conflict About Your Job.

    For instance, “I’m exhausted after eight hours, and I hate my work.” Or “I’m bored and need a change.” Or “I feel taken for granted.”

    Step Two: Ask yourself the following questions:

    Why doesn’t my job inspire me? Pinpoint the cause.

  • Is it the particular circumstances--your boss, office politics, or irritating coworkers?
  • Do I dwell on all the negatives, rather than looking for a piece of my work that could give me more juice?
  • The most basic issue: Am I following my heart’s desire or mired in a career that doesn’t feel center for me?
  • Can I work within the system for change? Or do I need to seek another job?
  • Step Three: Modify Your Current Work Situation

    How to Re-inspire your Job:

  • Sometimes lack of inspiration comes from difficult relationships, not the work itself. If there’s bad energy between you and a coworker, try to correct the situation instead of aggravating it. Be the bigger person. Start being pleasant instead of prickly. Nastiness can be a mask for a person’s insecurities. Kindness often penetrates that. Offer a word of appreciation. Surprise the person with a rose. Do everything possible to shift antagonism.

  • Don’t expect your boss to be a mind reader. Instead of stewing in boredom or discontent, express your needs. If you know how you’d like to better your job, explore options. See if they are do-able within the framework of your environment. For years a patient of mine had been paralyzed by fear of rejection. It stopped her from asking for what she wanted. When she finally summoned the courage to present a project she loved to her boss, and he agreed to it, her job took on new energy. The point is to risk. You’ll never know what’s possible until you do.

  • Intuitively micro-analyze your day. Look for any aspect of your job that has some sparks. Remember what initially attracted you to the job other than money. Also notice what perks your magic up and relieves apathy or fatigue. When you hit upon it, you’ll experience a more-alive feeling, an excitement, or simply a gentle interest: these are signs of life force in your work. Spend more time in these areas. Document them in your journal.

  • Gravitate to coworkers who inspire and energize you. One publisher-patient who thrived on her busy job, often came home tired. Once she realized what a kick she got from interacting with the art department she upped her visits there. They had loads of laughs, which tweaked her energy at work and afterwards. Fatigue is lethal to inspiration. Avoid anyone who drains. Go towards energy hot spots in your job--people and activities--so your time is skewed towards inspiration.

  • Make your work about service and meaning: how to make a difference in the world. This can entail being kind to others and injecting friendliness into your milieu, which will nurture you too. Give a co-worker a pat on the back; don’t lay into a delivery guy when he’s late, turn people on to ideas to better the environment and the world. One of my patients is a producer for national news. Though deadlines are brutal, he’s in an ideal position to get positive messages across. Framing his work in service keeps him aligned with inspiration. Whatever your job, the ethics and love with which you conduct yourself, and the positive messages you share can be of service and spread inspiration.
  • If you’ve tried to re-inspire your job, but the situation is unredeemable, you may want to look for another. It could be an upward or lateral move. This may make all the difference. One of my patients who felt battered by her Napoleonic boss’s mood swings, found her blood pressure normalized and her inspiration returned when she quit that job and began working with another boss she enjoyed. In these cases, a change of place is just what’s needed.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness.

    Comments
    paulette commented on 19-Jul-2013 04:13 PM
    when i actually think about my job, i love it,
    my husband has made some degrading statement in the pass about my job and i started to question my self,

    i was fatigue at the end of a shift, at the time i was reading your book, Emotional Freedom, and topic of emotional energy, empath and energy vampire , really applied to me ;so i was investigating where my
    energy is drained and i realized it was draining before work , by my husband ,so i left for work already exhausted, then there was some energy vampire at work that i learn how to block their energy, and then my husband drain my energy when i came home, soo
    i was always exhausted , and i was blaming it on my job.
    so i remedy most of the problem, and i feel alive again, thank you soo much for these valuable information, soo instead of switching job, i stay with my beautiful loving clients ,and i can give love and joy and be myself and continue to grow,
    thank you ,i love you

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    Celebrating the Highly Sensitive Man

    Judith Orloff - Thursday, May 16, 2013

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    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s NY Times bestseller “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

    Sensitive men are incredibly attractive. They are path-forgers in the new paradigm of the evolved man. Strong and sensitive. Intuitive and powerful. They’re able to give and receive love without ambivalence, being “unavailable,” or commitment phobia.

    In my book Emotional Freedom, I write extensively about the power of empaths and describe strategies for how empaths can stay centered and strong in an overwhelming world. Since I’m an empath and worship sensitivity, I want to help empathic men (and women) cultivate this asset and be more comfortable with it. Empathic men often have a harder time than women because in Western culture sensitivity may be seen as a weakness or too “feminine.” This is a huge misconception. The new evolved man is skillful in balancing both the masculine and feminine in himself, embodying his full power.

    Empaths are highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme and are less apt to intellectualize feelings. This is particularly challenging for men as they are often told by society while growing up, “Big boys don’t cry.” That’s why it’s so important for sensitive men to let go of stereotypes and learn to embrace their gifts. I understand how hurtful the negative messages about being “overly sensitive” can feel—also how easy it is to get overwhelmed by excessive stimuli in the world. I've always been hyper-attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. Before I learned to protect my energy, I felt them lodge in my body. Crowded places amplified my empathy.

    The great beauty of male empaths is that they can feel where you are coming from. Some can do this without taking on people’s feelings. However, for better or worse, others, like myself and many of my patients, can become emotional sponges for other people’s stress. This often overrides the sublime capacity to absorb positive emotions. If empaths are around peace and love, their bodies assimilate these and flourish. Negativity, though, often feels assaultive, exhausting. Thus, empaths are particularly easy marks for emotional vampires, whose fear or rage can ravage them. As a subconscious defense, empathic men may gain weight as a buffer. Plus, an empath’s sensitivity can be overwhelming in romantic relationships; many stay single since they haven’t learned to negotiate their special cohabitation needs with a partner.

    A man’s empathy allows him to love more fully and be more committed in a loving relationship. But empathic men must nurture their sensitivities while also grounding themselves in their power and setting boundaries with negative people so they aren’t drained. For more relationship strategies read my blog, “Relationship Tips for Highly Sensitive People.”

    Recognizing that you’re an empath is the first step in taking charge of your emotions instead of constantly drowning in them. As one empath to another, I want to legitimize your sensitivity so you don’t think you’re losing your mind. I’d had numerous patients who’ve said, “Judith, I thought there was something wrong with me. I feel like such a sissy.” Not so. Our systems are just more permeable. Also realize that the fact that you’re the only person feeling something doesn’t invalidate your perceptions. To maintain resolve in an emotionally coarse world, empaths must have enough self-knowledge to clearly articulate their needs. Staying on top of empathy will improve your self-care and relationships. Here’s a summary of this emotional type.

    Upside of Being an Empathic Man

  • You’ve got a big heart, are gifted in helping others.
  • Your sensitivity makes you passionate, a great lover, and exquisitely sensual.
  • You’re intuitive about people’s thoughts and feelings.
  • You’re emotionally responsive, can relate to another’s feelings.
  • You’re in touch with your body and emotions.
  • You have a palpable sense of spirituality.
  • Downside of Being an Empathic Man

  • You’re an emotional sponge, absorbing people’s negativity.
  • You’re so sensitive to emotions, you feel like a wire without insulation.
  • You’re prone to anxiety, depression, fatigue.
  • You may feel hemmed in living in the same space with other people.
  • You may have chronic, debilitating physical symptoms.
  • You have difficulty setting boundaries with draining people, get run over by them.
  • Honestly accessing which traits are productive or not makes you freer. Of course, you want to be emotionally charitable, intuitive, and open, an empath’s assets. However, empathy won’t make you free if you walk around perpetually raw, easily fractured, or have your wildness go out in a whimper because you’re constantly having to emotionally defend yourself. For a male empath to be comfortable in his own skin it’s important to find the right mix of intellect, feeling, and grounding. Here are some exercises from my book, Emotional Freedom to help you achieve this.

    Emotional Action Step. How Empathic Men (And Women) Can Find Balance

    Practice these strategies:

  • Enlist your intellect. When you’re emotionally wrung out or suspect you’ve taken on someone’s distress, think things through to counter anxiety. Use both positive self-talk and logic to get grounded. Repeat this mantra: “It is not my job to take on the emotions of others. I can be loving without doing so.”
  • Allow quiet time to emotionally decompress. Get in the habit of taking calming mini-breaks throughout the day. Breathe in some fresh air. Stretch. Take a short walk around the office. These interludes will reduce the excessive stimulation of going non-stop.
  • Practice guerilla meditation. To counter emotional overload, act fast and meditate for a few minutes. Find a private place to close your eyes. Lower your expectations--it doesn’t have to be Shangri-La. Do two things while meditating. First, keep exhaling pent-up negative emotions--loneliness, worry, and more. Feel them dissipate with each breath. Second, put your hand over your heart and visualize loving-kindness permeating you from head to toe. These actions will quickly relax you.
  • Define and honor your empathic needs. Safeguard your sensitivities. In a calm, collected moment, make a list of your top five most emotionally stressful situations. Then formulate a plan for handling them so you don’t fumble in the moment. For example:
  • If someone asks too much of you, politely tell them “no.” It’s not necessary to explain why. As the saying goes, “No is a complete sentence.”
  • If your comfort level is three hours max for socializing--even if you adore the people--take your own car or have an alternate transportation plan so you’re not stranded.
  • If crowds are overwhelming, eat a high-protein meal beforehand (this grounds you) and sit in the far corner of, say, a theatre or party, not dead center.
  • If you feel nuked by perfume, nicely request that your friends refrain from wearing it around you. If you can’t avoid it, stand near a window or take frequent breaks to catch a breath of fresh air outdoors.
  • Carve out private space at home. Then you won’t be stricken by the feeling of too much togetherness.
  • When empathic men can learn the above skills to develop their sensitivities and ward off negativity, they will be more alive, more loving, more creative. Over time, I suggest adding to this list to pinpoint new protective strategies. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time you’re on emotional overload. With pragmatic strategies to cope, empaths can feel safer, and their sensitivity talents can flourish.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness.

    Comments
    Kenny Fry commented on 18-May-2013 08:21 AM
    Dr. Orloff, deepest loving gratitude to you for this. It was very healing, and extremely empowering, to read. "Wow - I'm not crazy after all..." ;o)

    Kenny Fry
    Atlanta, GA
    paulette commented on 20-May-2013 09:53 AM
    this is so good for men, i could just imagine how difficult it is for a sensitive male, I know in my culture men are force by both male and female not to be sensitive, because it is viewed female, i think a lot of men have been broken by trying to get rid of it. your work is life saving , thank u so much, i love u
    Cindie commented on 21-May-2013 10:12 AM
    Love it! Both as empath and to hear about the guys.

    Do you find empathic women are better off with male empaths, or not?
    FREDERIC NICHOLS commented on 21-May-2013 10:35 AM
    Hello Judith, thank you for your words. a shaman once told me that in indigenous cultures men like myself were recognized as emotional conduits and grounding for the negative energy in the village. their presence helped keep the village sane, and they were recognized as useful members of the village for there ability to transmute the negative energy. often they would not marry and would be giving simple chores to do. about ten years ago i found your writings and realized that i meet all the descriptors of an empath, except for the weight issues. Perhaps the G.I. symptoms i have experienced most of my life have resulted in low BMI.
    with much gratitiude
    eric
    Travis commented on 21-May-2013 12:04 PM
    Bravo.
    Anonymous commented on 21-May-2013 09:38 PM
    this is good for men
    Judith commented on 24-May-2013 12:28 PM
    Kenny, Thanks for the gorgeous bouquet of orchids and your gratitude for this blog!
    Betterlife commented on 24-May-2013 01:37 PM
    Another great blog post from Dr.J-men must be lining-up to get a date with you. If not(and I doubt it)I'm available!
    LOVE U! From your biggest fan!
    Greg commented on 16-Jun-2013 06:18 PM
    Brilliant! In my career as a sensitive male, empath (INFJ) often I have been framed as too emotional, soft and fragile. Well, baloney--
    BW commented on 25-Nov-2013 03:12 AM
    Thanks for a great article. It was very comforting to read this article. I've been a sensitive man my whole life and reading this just helped me to understand myself more. I have been battling depression and anxiety for many years, and I now notice how these issues are related to me being a sensitive individual. Thank you...I felt very alone and as you've mentioned in the article, felt even crazy lately until I read this.
    O commented on 15-Jan-2014 10:09 AM
    Simply amazing! I have finally found information on why I feel suffocated in presence of energy vampires. I must add one more thing- dating someone with ADD, anxieties and depression kills an emphatic person's soul and body. In my case, my sugar went up to a diabetic level because I was trying too hard to accommodate the unhealthy lifestyle of the ADD sufferer. I feel that emphatic people are so far ahead of a "regular" individual that we can only feel fulfilled with someone who does not insult our spiritual freedom and need to meditate.
    john commented on 30-Apr-2014 08:48 AM
    So true!! Having been an empath my whole life,this makes so much sense! I was raised in an abusive family where any show of emotion was sternly handled. The only outlet I had was music. And even that was crushed in certain ways. I feel like I've lived my whole living as human chameleon!!
    Am just now allowing that part of me to show itself to the world. I need to be me,and not what I think other people want me to be!!

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    Combat Toxic Energy & Rejuvenate Your Emotional Life

    Judith Orloff - Wednesday, April 03, 2013

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    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s NY Times bestseller “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

    Emotions can come at you hard and fast. You must be prepared.

    In a flash, negativity can spin you into a tizzy, your center blown to smithereens. Not to worry. In my  book, Emotional Freedom I provide readers with strategies for dealing with every angle of emotions--cerebral and intuitive, from earth to heaven.

    There are four major components of emotions: their biology, spirituality, energetic power, and psychology. Together, these components create an elegant portrait of your emotional self, revealing breakthroughs about how you operate that will lead to freedom. Here is a summary of these four secrets that I discuss in Emotional Freedom to help you combat toxic energies and keep your peace of mind.

    Secret 1: Reprogram the Biology of Your Emotions

    To know thyself, you must know some basics of your biology. Biology lends piercing insights into our emotions. It is the awesome science of life that defines the laws of how living things relate, both physically and emotionally. All emotions trigger biological reactions that shape your health just as distinctly as what you choose to eat or how you choose to exercise. When you learn to change your emotional reaction to a situation, you change your biological reaction as well.

    Emotional stress depletes your body and calm revives it. Finding calm is an emotionally stressed out person’s salvation, a humane time-out from turmoil when you’re centered and at ease. Stress hormones wane, as spasms in your shoulders and gut loosen, heart rate and blood pressure lower, mental frenzy relents. Your body can breathe freely again and gratefully releases its guard to become more open, soft, expansive.

    Applying the First Secret: Reprogram the Biology of Your Emotions
    Reduce Stress With This Three-Minute Meditation

  • Find a comfortable, quiet place. Wearing loose clothing, settle into a relaxed position in a spot where you won't be interrupted.

  • Focus on your breath to quiet thoughts. Eyes closed, gently place your awareness on your breath. Be conscious only of breathing in and breathing out. Maintain a centered state of calm by continuing to follow the movement of your breath.

  • Breathe in calm, breathe out stress. Let yourself feel the sensuality of inhaling and exhaling as air passes through your nostrils and chest like a cool breeze. With each slow, deep breath, feel yourself inhaling calm, sweet as the scent of summer jasmine, then exhaling stress.
  • This simple, stress-busting meditation is an initial action step you can take to forge a winning partnership with your biology. Practicing it, you’ll become increasingly adept at upping endorphins and short-circuiting your flight-or-flight response, biological gifts of meditation.

    Secret 2: Uncover the Spiritual Meaning of Your Emotions

    As a psychiatrist, I’m in the sacred position of getting to hear what goes on in people’s heads, from soccer moms to movie stars. Despite how externally different we may seem we all have basic emotional commonalities, and often keep getting similarly sabotaged. Everyone wants love, but negativity, our own or another’s, often subverts us. So what is our suffering for? The puzzle can be solved, but it requires a spiritual perspective.

    Spirituality, as I’m defining it, is a quest for meaning that goes beyond the linear mind to access a vaster force of compassion to frame everything. Spirituality is freeing because it means opening the heart and doing your darndest to see every nanosecond of existence through this aperture. Always, you must ask, “How can a situation--any situation--help me grow and develop loving-kindness toward myself or others?”

    Applying the Second Secret: Uncover the Spiritual Meaning of Your Emotions
    A Heart Centering Meditation to Counter Negative Self-Talk

  • Settle down. In a tranquil setting, sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take a few long, deep breaths to relieve tension. Even if your negative thoughts are going a mile a minute keep concentrating on your breath as best you can.

  • Tune into your heart. Lightly rest your palm over your heart in the mid-chest. This energy center is the entryway to compassion and spirit. In a relaxed state, inwardly request to connect with a higher power, a force greater than yourself that links you to love. Then, in your heart area, notice what you intuitively feel, not what you think. You may experience a soothing warmth, comfort, clarity, even bliss. I often get shivers, a wave of goose bumps, or am moved to tears. If negative self-talk still arises, keep your compassion flowing; the self is doing the best it can.
  • This meditation is a surefire antidote to negative self-talk. I’ve never seen anyone able to sustain a denigrating diatribe when they’re centered in the heart.

    Secret 3: Learn the Energetic Power of Your Emotions

    In Energy Psychiatry I’ve learned to see emotions as a stunning expression of energy. Positive ones nurture you. Negative ones deplete you. You feel emotions internally, while their energy extends beyond your body, affecting everyone you contact. Similarly, the emotions of others can register in you. I’d like you to begin to think of emotions in terms of subtle energy, a “vibe” emanating from yourself and others, an intimate sensing. Subtle energy is right in front of you, but isn’t visible. It can be felt inches or feet from the body.

    I realize that it’s one thing to know this, and yet another to live it. The problem is that negative emotional energy is basically louder, wilder, and more seductively grabs your attention than the positive. On an intuitive level, emotions such as grief and terror are easier to sense than the lower keyed vibes of calmness or confidence. It’s important that you channel this knowledge into new behaviors so you’re not the doomed moth eternally drawn to the flame.

    Applying the Third Secret: Learn The Energetic Power of Your Emotions
    Try An Intuitive Experiment: Sense the Difference Between Positive and Negative Emotions

    In this experiment, you’re going to compare two scenarios. With both observe how your words and tone affect your body and emotional state. Spend at least a few minutes trying these words on.

    Scenario 1. Stand in front of a mirror and sincerely say to yourself in a loving, appreciative tone, “I look terrific and I’m a fantastic person.” Stay focused on your positives. Then feel, don’t think. Notice: How does your body react? Are you breathing easier? Do your shoulders relax?

    Scenario 2. Stand in front of the mirror and say in your nastiest, most hateful tone, “I look horrible and I despise myself.” Really mean it. Flare those negatives up. How does your body react now? Notice: Your shoulders? Your gut? Chest? I’m so taken by this exercise because it spells out that positive and negative energy are about as opposite as you can get. No confusing them. Ask yourself: Which do you prefer?

    Secret 4: Map the Psychology of Your Emotions

    Why do you feel what you feel? Where do fear of commitment, alpha achieving, or looking on the bright side begin? Which emotional coping styles hinder or serve you? These urgent questions are the life-blood of psychology’s study of emotions and behavior. You need to know your psychological self so unhealthy patterning doesn’t stifle you. Here’s a look at how psychology can liberate your heart and head. I’ll focus on one principle--“You are not your parents”--which is so central to your emotional freedom that it can dictate how you treat yourself and everyone you love.

    Applying the Fourth Secret: Map the Psychology of Your Emotions
    Take An Emotional Inventory of Your Parents

    To get a well-rounded picture of your parents, I’d like you to take an inventory of their top five positive and negative traits. When identifying these traits, try to see your parents as human rather than idealizing or demonizing them. Get their pluses and minuses down on paper so they can stare right back at you. When reviewing the inventory, consider ways your parents’ assets or liabilities impacted you. Also, be truthful about the traits you too possess. If they are positive, embrace them. If they are negative, begin to work with one at a time to free yourself. You don’t have to worry about turning into your parents if you take action not to parrot their dysfunction.

    Self-knowledge is a most impressive oracle, crystallizing who you are and can be. As it mounts, expect to feel a coming together inside of you, a beautiful feeling of awakening. I praise consciousness so unflinchingly because it’s the path to freedom.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness.

    Comments
    Betterlife commented on 04-Apr-2013 01:01 AM
    At times it's very difficult for me to let go of negative thoughts in my head about what others have done to me. The resentments & wanting revenge harbor in my mind. I want to totally think only positive thoughts-which I've been working on. I'm better with recognizing the negative thoughts & deleting the anger quicker than say 2-3 years ago-as I continue meditating & doing breathing exercises I'm close to that day when nothing will interfere with my peaceful state-I do believe it will happen as long as I'm will to use Dr. Orloffs suggestions along with continuous introspection I'll soon being living a life of Emotional Freedom,and that is worth more than money. Again I want to THANK Judith for all the knowledge she shares with us,living a stress free happy life is definitely attainable & just my being in a constant calm relax state-that energy helps people just by physical presence-even in silence the peace thats within can help others. Judith you are a priceless individual & since January 2013-I been following you on twitter & Facebook & in just 3 months you really have helped me & I WANT TO THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR THE BOOKS YOU WROTE & FOR YOUR TIME & DEDICATION IN MAKING THE WORLD BETTER!!!!!!!!
    Betterlife commented on 04-Apr-2013 01:13 AM
    At times it's very difficult for me to let go of negative thoughts in my head about what others have done to me. The resentments & wanting revenge harbor in my mind. I want to totally think only positive thoughts-which I've been working on. I'm better with recognizing the negative thoughts & deleting the anger quicker than say 2-3 years ago-as I continue meditating & doing breathing exercises I'm close to that day when nothing will interfere with my peaceful state-I do believe it will happen as long as I'm willing to use Dr. Orloffs suggestions along with continuous introspection I'll soon be living a life of Emotional Freedom,and that is worth more than money. Again I want to THANK Judith for all the knowledge she shares with us,living a stress free happy life is definitely attainable & just my being in a constant calm relax state-that energy helps people just by physical presence-even in silence the peace thats within can help others. Judith you are a priceless individual & since January 2013-I been following you on twitter & Facebook & in just 3 months you really have helped me & I WANT TO THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR THE BOOKS YOU WROTE & FOR YOUR TIME & DEDICATION IN MAKING THE WORLD BETTER!!!!!!!!
    Shanna commented on 09-Apr-2013 12:42 PM
    I agree whole heartedly with you. Like u said you have to listen to your intuition it's talking to you it gives you signs people just have to listen...

    *** Shanna ***

    http://gigiandshanna.com/
    Wayne commented on 10-Apr-2013 12:57 AM
    The tone of your April 2 blog is promising, yet feels so far away.

    I am an extremely sensitive person: if someone near me is angry, I tense up; if someone near me is happy, I relax. I also obsess and empathize about the misfortunes of others: if someone has some terrible disease, my body and mind try to act out the terror of having that disease; reading an account of a POW in WWII will trip up my brain to relive the horror of starvation and torture; hearing of people with 'locked-in' syndrome causes me to panic. And so on.

    I've seen psychiatrists and counselors since the '80s. I taken all manner of prescription drugs. I've done CBT and EMDR and meditation. And yet, life has this undercurrent of terror that is hard to shake. At times, I feel that I am 'broken'; that science or whatever has not advanced far enough to fix me. I guess my greatest fear is that my 'self' will never find true happiness in this life. And so, I despair and wonder if this life is not for me.

    Over the ages, so many people have come and gone. And, innumerable animals and all kinds of organisms have lived, suffered, and perished as well. What good comes from the act of living? In that context, I feel much despair. As a father and a husband, I feel much conflicted.

    I've never commented on a blog or written to a stranger in such brutal honesty as this. There is a saying, "Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." My supper meal grows cold.
    paulette commented on 20-May-2013 11:28 AM
    toxic energy, i was getting listless ,depress , suicidal weekly ,i can raise my energy when i am alone with dance,sing, prayers ,, and then loss it by the end of the day, then i started to track what was depleting my energy,
    and the most was from my husband , i was so shock because his word sound caring but his intention was bad so, i had rely on my body to know what was happening , i will actually feel energy leaving my hands and feet and feel pain in my chest,back, neck when he was specking like he cared which was so confusing , it turn out to be just beautiful words , that was empty.
    when i realize that i grieved , but my health started to improved, my suicidal thought decreased. i felt more vibrant , thanks for your work

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    How Patience Can Empower Your Life

    Judith Orloff - Friday, August 10, 2012

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    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s NY Times bestseller, “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

    As a psychiatrist, patience is an invaluable skill that I teach all my psychotherapy clients. In my book Emotional Freedom I emphasize the importance of patience as a coping skill and how to achieve it. Frustration is not the key to any door. Patience is a lifelong spiritual practice as well as a way to find emotional freedom.

    We need a new bumper sticker: FRUSTRATION HAPPENS. Every morning, noon, and night there are plenty of good reasons to be impatient. Another long line. Telemarketers. A goal isn’t materializing “fast enough.” People don’t do what they’re supposed to. Rejection. Disappointment. How to deal with it all? You can drive yourself crazy, behave irritably, feel victimized, or try to force an outcome--all self-defeating reactions that alienate others and bring out the worst in them. Or, you can learn to transform frustration with patience.

    Patience doesn’t mean passivity or resignation, but power. It’s an emotionally freeing practice of waiting, watching, and knowing when to act. I want to give patience a twenty-first-century makeover so you’ll appreciate its worth. Patience has gotten a bad rap for the wrong reasons. To many people, when you say, “Have patience,” it feels unreasonable and inhibiting, an unfair stalling of aspirations, some Victorian hang-up or hangover. Is this what you’re thinking? Well, reconsider. I’m presenting patience as a form of compassion, a re-attuning to intuition, a way to emotionally redeem your center in a world filled with frustration.

    To frustrate means to obstruct or make ineffectual. Frustration is a feeling of agitation and intolerance triggered when your needs aren’t met; it’s tied to an inability to delay gratification. At our own risk, we’ve become too used to immediate results. Emails zip across the globe in seconds. Parents text messages to their kids to come in for dinner instead of yelling from a front porch. You can get the temperature in Kuala Lumpur or the Malibu Beach surf report with a click of a mouse. Despite the digital age’s marvels, it has propagated an emotional zeitgeist with a low tolerance for frustration--not just when you accidentally delete a computer file, but in terms of how you approach relationships and yourself. Without patience, you turn into your own worst taskmaster. You treat spouses and friends as disposable instead of devoting the necessary time to nurture love. But with patience, you’re able to step back and regroup instead of aggressively reacting or hastily giving up on someone who’s frustrating you. You’re able to invest meaningful time in a relationship without giving up or giving in. In fact, patience gives you the liberating breath you’ve always longed to take.

    Frustration prevents emotional freedom. Expressing frustrations in an effort to resolve them is healthy, but it must be done from a non-irritable, non-hostile place. If not, you’ll put others on the defensive. Wallowing in frustration leads to endless dissatisfaction, placing us at odds with life. This emotion makes us tense, kills our sense of humor. It also leads to procrastination; we put things off to avoid the annoyances involved. Conquering frustration will revive your emotional life by making it your choice how you handle daily hassles and stresses.

    I’m defining patience as an active state, a choice to hold tight until intuition says, “make your move.” It means waiting your turn, knowing your turn will come. Once you’ve gone all out toward a goal, it entails trusting the flow, knowing when to let the soup boil. With patience, you’re able to delay gratification, but doing so will make sense and feel right. Why? Intuition intelligently informs patience. It’ll convey when to have it and if something is worth working on or waiting for. As a psychiatrist, I’m besotted with patience because it’s intimately intuitive, all about perfect timing, the key to making breakthroughs with patients. I can have the sharpest intuitions or psychological insights, but if I don’t share them at the right moment, they can do damage or else go in one ear and out the other. With regard to this, I strive for enormous patience; anything less would impede healing.

    I’m also struck by the fact that every world religion sees patience as a way to know God, an incentive for me to practice it, and perhaps you too. Whereas frustration focuses on externals, patience is a drawing inward towards a greater wisdom. Lastly, patience doesn’t make you a doormat or unable to set boundaries with people. Rather, it lets you intuit the situation to get a larger, more loving view to determine right action. Patience, a gift when given or received, moves within reach when you can read someone’s deeper motives.

    To practice patience, try this exercise. I do it all time to turn frustration around in long lines. I advise my patients to do this too.

    Emotional Action Step. Practice Patience In A Long Line

    To turn the tables on frustration, find a long, slow-moving line to wait in. Perhaps in the grocery store, bank, post office. Or if you’re renewing your driver’s license, dare to take on the mother of all lines in the DMV. But here’s the switch: Instead of getting irritated or pushy, which taxes your system with a rush of stress hormones, take a breath. Tell yourself, “I’m going to wait peacefully and enjoy the pause.” Meanwhile, try to empathize with the overwrought cashier or government employee. Smile and say a few nice words to the other beleaguered people in line. Use the time to daydream; take a vacation from work or other obligations. Notice the stress release you feel, how your body relaxes. Lines are an excellent testing ground for patience. To strengthen this asset, I highly recommend standing in as many as possible.

    Practicing patience will help you dissipate stress and give you a choice about how you respond to disappointment and frustration. When you can stay calm, centered and not act rashly out of frustration, all areas of your life will improve.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness.

    Comments
    Stella commented on 10-Aug-2012 03:02 PM
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    Anonymous commented on 14-Aug-2012 11:59 AM
    Spent my entire holidays in Portugal stuck in hospital with bad break in leg . Surgeon advised me to be patient and relax. Leg in cast for six weeks. Am stuck here now on sofa back home in Ireland but am lucky to have sons to look after me and do the chores.
    My husband Paul cooks dinner after work. I really enjoyed blog by dr orloff on patiience having come across the name in an article in the Sunday times style magazine can you feel the force aug12 . Many thanks
    laura52 commented on 14-Aug-2012 04:40 PM
    I was given Emotional Freedom by a friend of mine and it helped me so much. I lent this book to a friend who has been unable to find it so that I could re-read it; so this post was a great reminder of how freeing your book was to read in my life. I will
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    Aviva commented on 14-Aug-2012 04:56 PM
    Once more...Thank You..it's paying off " Emotional Freedom " Thanks Judith..always
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    Hi Dr Judith, I just want to say thanks for this blog post. I find it both comforting and reassuring and appreciate your sharing. All the best, Anna.
    Melanie Webb commented on 14-Aug-2012 10:44 PM
    So timely! Thank you Judith!
    Helen commented on 15-Aug-2012 06:38 AM
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    wow synchronicity, intuition found its way to me when i asked how to respond to a relationship I want to go forward in but was not patient enough to wait for him..even tho i knew in my heart (intuition) that i should. last night after reading several of your articles I asked for information a to how to handle it.. reconfirming for myself..thank you. i plan to buy a couple of your books.

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