Updated: Aug 29, 2020
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by negativity and struggle to find a quick escape?
In a world filled with judgment and stigma, having a place for when you need to open up and ask for help, is a paramount for your mental health. The idea that safe spaces are important for us is well known. A safe space can be both, a physical one or a virtual one. For example, your safe space could be your balcony, or it could be a safe place created by you in your mind.
We all need a place to let out all our emotions without feeling the fear of being judged. The question is, how do we recognize our safe place?
Here’s how you can do it:
In your safe place,
● You can have no filters while talking and not feel any pressure to let go off your filters, too
● You are comfortable
● You feel a sense of calm as soon as you enter
● You can do things at your own pace
● You can simply be and feel valued for your presence
● Your vulnerabilities can be held gently and sensitively
● There is respect for all the identities you come with
● You can speak the truth
● You can invite slowness and affirmation
● There is absence of shaming or attacking
● Breathing comes easy
Often, life can be stressful which makes having a ‘safe space’ essential. The beauty of a safe space is that it gives you a place to be as vulnerable as you want to be, without having to bottle up your emotions.
Sometimes, finding a physical safe space can be really challenging. We can’t rely on external factors to always align. Since we can’t control the external physical conditions, we must learn how to create a safe space and safe harbour as a backup within ourselves, no matter where we are. In times like these, a back-up space within ourselves, comes to the rescue. Having a back-up plan in such a situation, is like having an extra set of clothes to wear when you mistakenly spill coffee all over yourself.
Find the steps to create a safe space in your mind here, to recharge and rejuvenate yourself!
Finding your Safe Person
Finding someone supportive who can aid you in your difficult times is a boon. While speaking to a professional in times of mental health concerns is necessary, it is also important to have a healthy support system outside of therapy.
As Bessel Van Der Kolk rightly says, “Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.” Emotionally safe people are a gift to be treasured. If we can share our distress with someone who shows empathy, is supportive and makes us a better person each day, we are luckier than we think we are.
Your Safe Person should:
● Listen to you patiently without any judgement
● Let you ‘drop your guard’
● Give you space to grow
● Be ‘with’ you in your journey
● Validate your emotions
● Don’t tell you how you ‘should’ feel or think.
● Show you the reality and doesn’t suger-coat the truth.
● Stand with you, even if he/she is unable to help you
● Not make you think low of yourself
● Calms you down rather than adding to your distress
● They are okay with your silence
● They assert their own need and boundaries
● Their goal isn’t to ‘fix’ you
At our core, the reason we feel anxious in the first place is because we don’t feel safe. We feel we need something- – or someone- to hold onto. Why not strive to be your own safe person? In the midst of what anxiety throws your way, you will have the tools within you to face and accept any because you take the power of your own cure with you.
Read more on how to be your own safe person here.