If there is any support resource you feel you would like to contribute or that you would like to see on this page, please don’t hesitate to message me.

Important Numbers:

  • Depression Hotline:1-630-482-9696
  • Suicide Hotline:1-800-784-8433
  • LifeLine:1-800-273-8255
  • Trevor Project:1-866-488-7386
  • Sexuality Support:1-800-246-7743
  • Eating Disorders Hotline:1-847-831-3438
  • Rape and Sexual Assault:1-800-656-4673
  • Grief Support:1-650-321-5272
  • Runaway:1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000
  • Exhale:After Abortion Hotline/Pro-Voice: 1-866-4394253
  • Child Abuse:1-800-422-4453
  • ** UK Helplines:
  • Samaritans (for any problem):08457909090 e-mail jo@samaritans.org
  • Childline (for anyone under 18 with any problem):08001111
  • Mind infoline (mental health information):0300 123 3393 e-mail: info@mind.org.uk
  • Mind legal advice (for people who need mental-health related legal advice):0300 466 6463 legal@mind.org.uk
  • b-eat eating disorder support:0845 634 14 14 (only open Mon-Fri 10.30am-8.30pm and Saturday 1pm-4.30pm) e-mail: help@b-eat.co.uk
  • b-eat youthline (for under 25’s with eating disorders):08456347650 (open Mon-Fri 4.30pm – 8.30pm, Saturday 1pm-4.30pm)
  • Cruse Bereavement Care:08444779400 e-mail: helpline@cruse.org.uk
  • Frank (information and advice on drugs):0800776600
  • Drinkline:0800 9178282
  • Rape Crisis England & Wales:0808 802 9999 1(open 2 – 2.30pm 7 – 9.30pm) e-mail info@rapecrisis.org.uk
  • Rape Crisis Scotland:08088 01 03 02 every day, 6pm to midnight

For When You Need A Distraction:

Just Plain Cute

Alternatives for when you’re feeling angry or restless:

  • Scribble on photos of people in magazines
  • Viciously stab an orange
  • Throw an apple/pair of socks against the wall
  • Have a pillow fight with the wall
  • Scream very loudly
  • Tear apart newspapers, photos, or magazines
  • Go to the gym, dance, exercise
  • Listen to music and sing along loudly
  • Draw a picture of what is making you angry
  • Beat up a stuffed bear
  • Pop bubble wrap
  • Pop balloons
  • Splatter paint
  • Scribble on a piece of paper until the whole page is black
  • Filling a piece of paper with drawing cross hatches
  • Throw darts at a dartboard
  • Go for a run
  • Write your feelings on paper then rip it up
  • Use stress relievers
  • Build a fort of pillows and then destroy it
  • Throw ice cubes at the bathtub wall, at a tree, etc
  • Get out a fine tooth comb and vigorously brush the fur of a stuffed animal (but use gentle vigor)
  • Slash an empty plastic soda bottle or a piece of heavy cardboard or an old shirt or sock
  • Make a soft cloth doll to represent the things you are angry at; cut and tear it instead of yourself
  • Flatten aluminium cans for recycling, seeing how fast you can go
  • On a sketch or photo of yourself, mark in red ink what you want to do. Cut and tear the picture
  • Break sticks
  • Cut up fruits
  • Make yourself as comfortable as possible
  • Stomp around in heavy shoes
  • Play handball or tennis
  • Yell at what you are breaking and tell it why you are angry, hurt, upset, etc.
  • Buy a cheap plate and decorate it with markers, stickers, cut outs from magazines, words, images, what ever that expresses your pain and sadness and when you’re done, smash it. (Please be careful when doing this)

Alternatives that will give you a sensation (other than pain) without harming yourself:

  • Hold ice in your hands, against your arm, or in your mouth
  • Run your hands under freezing cold water
  • Wax your legs
  • Drink freezing cold water
  • Splash your face with cold water
  • Put PVA/Elmer’s glue on your hands then peel it off
  • Massage where you want to hurt yourself
  • Take a hot shower/bath
  • Put tiger balm on the places you want to cut. (Tiger balm is a muscle relaxant cream that induces a tingly sensation. You can find it in most health food stores and vitamin stores.)

Alternatives that will distract you or take up time:

  • Say “I’ll self harm in fifteen minutes if I still want to” and keep going for periods of fifteen minutes until the urge fades
  • Color your hair
  • Count up to ten getting louder until you are screaming
  • Sing on the karaoke machine
  • Complete something you’ve been putting off
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Make a cup of tea
  • Tell and laugh at jokes
  • Play solitaire
  • Count up to 500 or 1000
  • Surf the net
  • Make as many words out of your full name as possible
  • Count ceiling tiles or lights
  • Search ridiculous things on the web
  • Colour coordinate your wardrobe
  • Play with toys, such as a slinky
  • Go to the park and play on the swings
  • Call up an old friend
  • Go “people watching”
  • Carry safe, rather than sharp, things in your pockets
  • Do school work
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Watch TV or a movie
  • Paint your nails
  • Alphabetize your CDs or books
  • Cook
  • Make origami to occupy your hands
  • Doodle on sheets of paper
  • Dress up or try on old clothes
  • Play computer games or painting programs, such as photoshop
  • Write out lyrics to your favorite song
  • Play a sport
  • Read a book/magazine
  • Do a crossword
  • Draw a comic strip
  • Make a chain link out of paper counting the hours or days you’ve been self harm free using pretty colored paper
  • Knit, sew, or make a necklace
  • Make ‘scoobies’ – braid pieces of plastic or lace, to keep your hands busy
  • Buy a plant and take care of it
  • Hunt for things on eBay or Amazon
  • Browse the forums
  • Go shopping
  • Memorize a poem with meaning
  • Learn to swear in another language
  • Look up words in a dictionary
  • Play hide-and-seek with your siblings
  • Go outside and watch the clouds roll by
  • Plan a party
  • Find out if any concerts will be in your area
  • Make your own dance routine
  • Trace your hand on a piece of paper; on your thumb, write something you like to look at; on your index finger, write something you like to touch; on your middle finger, write your favorite scent; on your ring finger, write something you like the taste of; on your pinky finger, write something you like to listen to; on your palm, write something you like about yourself
  • Plan regular activities for your most difficult time of day
  • Finish homework before it’s due
  • Take a break from mental processing
  • Notice black and white thinking
  • Get out on your own, get away from the stress
  • Go on YouTube
  • Make a scrapbook
  • Colour in a picture or colouring book.
  • Make a phone list of people you can call for support. Allow yourself to use it.
  • Pay attention to your breathing (breath slowly, in through your nose and out through your mouth)
  • Pay attention to the rhythmic motions of your body (walking, stretching, etc.)
  • Learn HALT signals (hungry, angry, lonely, tired)
  • Choose a random object, like a paper clip, and try to list 30 different uses for it
  • Pick a subject and research it on the web – alternatively, pick something to research and then keep clicking on links, trying to get as far away from the original topic as you can.
  • Take a small step towards a goal you have.

Alternatives that are completely bizarre. At the least, you’ll have a laugh:

  • Crawl on all fours and bark like a dog or another animal
  • Run around outside screaming
  • Laugh for no reason whatsoever
  • Make funny faces in a mirror
  • Without turning orange, self tan
  • Pluck your eyebrows
  • Put faces on apples, oranges, or other sorts of food
  • Go to the zoo and name all of the animals
  • Color on the walls
  • Blow bubbles
  • Pull weeds in the garden

Alternatives for when you’re feeling guilty, sad, or lonely:

  • Congratulate yourself on each minute you go without self harming
  • Draw or paint
  • Look at the sky
  • Instead of punishing yourself by self harming, punish yourself by not self harming
  • Call a friend and ask for company
  • Buy a cuddly toy
  • Give someone a hug with a smile
  • Put a face mask on
  • Watch a favorite TV show or movie
  • Eat something ridiculously sweet
  • Remember a happy moment and relive it for a while in your head
  • Treat yourself to some chocolate
  • Try to imagine the future and plan things you want to do
  • Look at things that are special to you
  • Compliment someone else
  • Make sculptures
  • Watch fish
  • Let yourself cry
  • Play with a pet
  • Have or give a massage
  • Imagine yourself living in a perfect home and describe it in your mind
  • If you’re religious, read the bible or pray
  • Light a candle and watch the flame (but please be careful)
  • Go chat in the chat room
  • Allow yourself to cry; crying is a healthy release of emotion
  • Accept a gift from a friend
  • Carry tokens to remind you of peaceful comforting things/people
  • Take a hot bath with bath oil or bubbles
  • Curl up under a comforter with hot cocoa and a good book
  • Make affirmation tapes inside you that are good, kind, gentle (Sometimes you can do this by writing down the negative thoughts and then physically re-writing them into positive messages)
  • Make a tray of special treats and tuck yourself into bed with it and watch TV or read

Alternatives for when you’re feeling panicky or scared:

  • “See, hear and feel”-5 things, then 4, then 3 and countdown to one which will make you focus on your surroundings and will calm you down
  • Listen to soothing music; have a CD with motivational songs that you can listen to
  • Meditate or do yoga
  • Name all of your soft toys
  • Hug a pillow or soft toy
  • Hyper focus on something
  • Do a “reality check list” – write down all the things you can list about where you are now (e.g. It is the 9th November 2004, I’m a room and everything is going to be alright)
  • With permission, give someone a hug
  • Drink herbal tea
  • Crunch ice
  • Hug a tree
  • Go for a walk if it’s safe to do so
  • Feel your pulse to prove you’re alive
  • Go outside and attempt to catch butterflies or lizards
  • Put your feet firmly on the floor
  • Accept where you are in the process. Beating yourself up, only makes it worse
  • Touch something familiar/safeLeave the room
  • Lay on your back in bed comfortably (eyes closed), and breathe in for 4, hold for 2, out for 4, hold for 2. Make sure to fill your belly up with air, not your chest. If your shoulders are going up, keep working on it. When you’re comfortable breathing, put your hand on your belly and rub up and down in time with your breathing. If your mind wanders to other things, move it back to focusing ONLY on the synchronized movement of your hand and breathing.
  • Give yourself permission to…. (Keep it safe)

Alternatives that will hopefully make you think twice about harming yourself:

  • Think about how you don’t want scars
  • Treat yourself nicely
  • Remember that you don’t have to hurt yourself just because you’re thinking about self harm
  • Create a safe place to go
  • Acknowledge that self harm is harmful behavior: say “I want to hurt myself” rather than “I want to cut”
  • Repeat to yourself “I don’t deserve to be hurt” even if you don’t believe it
  • Remember that you always have the choice not to cut: it’s up to you what you do
  • Think about how you may feel guilty after self harming
  • Remind yourself that the urge to self harm is impulsive: you will only feel like cutting for short bursts of time
  • Avoid temptation
  • Get your friends to make you friendship bracelets: wear them around your wrists to remind you of them when you want to cut
  • Be with other people
  • Make your own list of things to do instead of self harm
  • Make a list of your positive character traits
  • Be nice to your family, who in return, will hopefully be nice to you
  • Put a band-aid on the area where you’d like to self harm
  • Recognize and acknowledge the choices you have NOW
  • Pay attention to the changes needed to make you feel safe
  • Notice “choices” versus “dilemmas”
  • Lose the “should-could-have to” words. Try… “What if”
  • Kiss the places you want to SH or kiss the places you have healing wounds. It can be a reminder that you care about myself and that you don’t want this
  • Choose your way of thinking, try to resist following old thinking patterns
  • The Butterfly project- draw a butterfly on the place(s) that you would self harm and if the butterfly fades without self-harming, it means it has lived and flown away, giving a sense of achievement. Whereas if you do self-harm with the butterfly there; you will have to wash it off. If that does happen, you can start again by drawing a new one on. You can name the butterfly after someone you love.
  • Write the name of a loved one [a friend, family member, or anyone else who cares about you] and write their name where you want to self harm. When you go to self harm remember how much they care and wouldn’t want you to harm yourself.
  • think about what you would say to a friend who was struggling with the same things you are and try to be a good friend to yourself.
  • Make a bracelet out duct tape, and put a line on it every day (Or any period of time) you go without self harm. When it’s full of lines, take it off and make a chain out of all the bracelets and hang it up somewhere where you can be reminded of your great progress.

Alternatives that give the illusion of seeing something similar to blood:

  • Draw on yourself with a red pen or body paint, or go to a site such as this, where you ‘cut’ the screen (be aware that some users may find this triggering, so view with caution)
  • Cover yourself with plasters where you want to cut
  • Give yourself a henna or fake tattoo
  • Make “wounds” with makeup, like lipstick
  • Take a small bottle of liquid red food coloring and warm it slightly by dropping it into a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Uncap the bottle and press its tip against the place you want to cut. Draw the bottle in a cutting motion while squeezing it slightly to let the food color trickle out.
  • Draw on the areas you want to cut using ice that you’ve made by dropping six or seven drops of red food color into each of the ice-cube tray wells.
  • Paint yourself with red tempera paint.
  • ‘Cut’ your skin with nail polish (it feels cold, but it’s hard to get off)

Here is a master post on coping with urges to self harm:

Here are some more links:

Try these too:

The Butterfly Project:

  1. when you feel like you want to cut, take a marker or pen and draw a butterfly on wherever the self-harm occurs.
  2. name the butterfly after a loved one, or someone that really wants you to get better.
  3. NO scrubbing the butterfly off.
  4. if you cut before the butterfly is gone, it dies. if you don’t cut, it lives.
  5. if you have more than one, cutting kills them all.
  6. another person may draw them on you. these butterflies are extra special. take good care of them.
  7. even if you don’t cut, feel free to draw a butterfly anyways, to show your support. if you do this, name it after someone you know that is suffering right now, and tell them. it could help.

The Paper Chain Project:

  1. For every day you go without self harming or purging, add a colorful link to the paper chain
  2. If you relapse, just add a white link to to the chain and carry on the chain without any disruption
  3. Over time the paper chain will grow in length and you can see your progress, and see that even if you do relapse, the are still days you go without hurting yourself. The colorful links.
  4. Over time and through your recovery watch the amount of colored links begin to increase, and the amount of white links begin to decrease.
  5. If you feel like hurting yourself, look at the paper chain and realize just how far you’ve made it, and realise that if you’ve resisted before you can do it again


  1. DELAY: delay giving in to the urge for a set amount of time. Write down this amount of time and set a timer.
  2. DISTRACT: do an activity that will occupy your thoughts and use your physical energy. Write a list of things you could do.
  3. DECIDE: after the set time period, decide how you’re going to respond to the urge. Write down: advantages, disadvantages, reasons you want to stop, life goals.

You can also try distracting your mind. Do something where you are able to focus you mind on and be physical at the same time whenever you feel the urge to cut coming on.

For example:

  • Exercise: yoga, Pilates  zumba, dance, jogging, and if you have a gym membership go there.
  • Take a leisurely stroll through a park or even your neighborhood.
  • If you have a pet, try to teach them a trick.
  • Watch a crappy movie marathon, or have a marathon of your favorite show.
  • Take a nice relaxing bubble bath
  • read a book
  • listen to loud music and sing along to it and dance around if you have to
  • go out with friends, or call up your boyfriend and see if you can spend some time together (nothing special just hang out).
  • play video games
  • try tetris, a crossword puzzle, mind games

Alternatives to help you sort through your feelings:

  • Phone a friend and talk to them
  • Make a collage of how you feel
  • Negotiate with yourself
  • Identify what is hurting so bad that you need to express it in this way
  • Write your feelings in a diary
  • Free write (Write down whatever you’re thinking at that moment, even if it doesn’t make sense)
  • Make lists of everything such as blessings in your life
  • Make a notebook of song lyrics that you relate to
  • Call a hotline
  • Write a letter to someone telling them how you feel (but you don’t have to send it if you decide not to)
  • Start a grateful journal where everyday you write down three: good things that happened/ things that you accomplished/ are grateful for/ made you smile. Make sure the journal is strictly for positive things. Then when you feel down you can go back and look at it.

<p>Glitter jars -<br />
I was taught about glitter jars during my time as an inpatient. I learnt the magic of glitter during a self-soothe class as part of an emotional coping skills lesson.<br />
There’s no science, no counting, no acceptance and no forceful methods involved in the alteration of your emotions during use of the glitter jar - just distraction.<br />
Making a glitter jar is simple. You will need:<br />
1 jar (with a lid of course!)<br />
1/10 vegetable oil<br />
9/10 water<br />
glitter - lots of!<br />
food colouring<br />
anything else shiny<br />
Add the water and vegetable oil together. Add a few drops of food coloring, all of the glitter and anything else shiny. Put the lid on (tight!) and shake it.<br />
When you want to cut / binge / scream / cry, shake the glitter jar and watch until the glitter is settled. It’ll calm you and hopefully the emotion will pass.<br />

Glitter jars –

I was taught about glitter jars during my time as an inpatient. I learnt the magic of glitter during a self-soothe class as part of an emotional coping skills lesson.

There’s no science, no counting, no acceptance and no forceful methods involved in the alteration of your emotions during use of the glitter jar – just distraction.

Making a glitter jar is simple. You will need:

  • 1 jar (with a lid of course!)
  • 1/10 vegetable oil
  • 9/10 water
  • glitter – lots of!
  • food colouring
  • anything else shiny

Add the water and vegetable oil together. Add a few drops of food coloring, all of the glitter and anything else shiny. Put the lid on (tight!) and shake it.

When you want to cut / binge / scream / cry, shake the glitter jar and watch until the glitter is settled. It’ll calm you and hopefully the emotion will pass.

Avoiding relapse

This is taken from joyproject.org.

1. Withdrawal is unavoidable but not permanent. First, you have physical withdrawal: feeling bloated, lack of hunger signals, the incredible binge, weight gain, possible edema, electrolyte imbalances, nausea, constipation, dizzy spells, and insomnia. It’s part and parcel. Everyone goes through this! If your problem is COE, there will be extreme hunger, insomnia, fatigue and nausea. Think of it like detoxing off of drugs or alcohol. You have to be very careful during the first few weeks of recovery because if you don’t work carefully with your mealplan, it can be dangerous to your health…rather like alcohol withdrawal. Secondly, mentally you will feel depressed, anxious, angry, etc. All those emotions you were hiding/numbing come back fast and furious. Not to mention that your measure of self-worth is pretty damn low when you start your recovery. It is so important that you have support behind you or it can seem absolutely hopeless. However, just like withdrawal from drugs, it passes. It’s NOT permanent!!!

2. Know your triggers. Make a list of your triggers… ALL of them. What I mean by that are internal triggers like shame, boredom, anger, fear, etc., external triggers including obvious things like scales, etc., and factors like family, financial problems, weather, unwanted sexual attention, etc. After you’ve made a list, imprint it on your brain. A list won’t help unless that information is in your mental stores.

3. Build a recovery peer group. For me, an online recovery peer group is support enough. But I don’t know what I’d do without it. For other people, it may take a real time group to keep you accountable. OA is a great organization that’s free, ABA/EDA are great organizations, ANAD is too, and there may be other groups in your area. Some of them cost money. If you can afford it, go! Skimping on recovery is a part of the general rule of relapsing as listed above. Keep in mind that if you are in a relationship where the other person (parent, child, sibling, friend, partner, etc.) is addicted, Alanon and Naranon can be excellent resources even if their addiction is not limited to substances. One other important point: make sure there are plenty of people in your group who are in recovery! There’s a 12-step phrase “stick with the winners.” Make sure your “winners” are actually winners!

4. Write down an emergency phone list and keep it with you at all times. On the top of this list should be your therapist, your internist (or pediatrician, cardiologist, GP, etc.), your dietician, and your pdoc. If you are involved in a 12-step, your sponsor should be up there, too. Fill in the rest of the list with people who are supportive of your recovery till you get at least 10 names and numbers. This should include peers and friends instead of partners and/or family. There are too many emotional strings attached to family and romance. They should never be the first resort when you are teetering on the edge of relapse. Other numbers (beyond the 10) you might consider including are the hotlines for the Good Samaritans (for suicidality) and EDA, AA, ANAD, Alanon, etc.

5. Make a list of affirmations about yourself. Many of us (almost all of us) believe that we’re the scum of the earth half the time. This is especially true in relapse mode. So… make a list of at least 10 affirmations and keep it with you at all times. Post it on your bathroom mirror and your car visor as well. Don’t try to come up with extensive, elaborate affirmations. They should be as basic as necessary. You don’t even have to believe them for now. For example: I am a human, and I have a right to be cared for; I am loved; I care about myself; I deserve good mental and physical health; I deny myself when I deny my problems; etc.

6. Develop a mantra that works for you. For me I always said “I am worth it” when I was struggling. My sponsor in AA said “I love me.” Other people I know used “I can do this,” “I’ll do it for me,” and “easy does it.”

7. Make a “God” box. This seems stupid, but I’m serious here. Make a sack or a box or something. This is your “God” box. Every time something gets overwhelming or hard, write it on a slip of paper and drop it in your “God” box. Then, try to practice radical acceptance instead of ruminating on the said problem.

8. Know your symptoms. What I mean by this is that you should be able to recognize a slip coming. This is different from triggers. This is being able to recognize those thoughts that come along and say “ya know… I don’t really need to eat my snack tonight,” “lots of people exercise for hours at a time,” “ya know… I’ve got this under control enough to go on a diet again,” or “I really should keep laxatives around for when I’m constipated,” etc. This also includes “I don’t really think I need my meds; I feel fine right now” or “my meds are so expensive; I think I’ll stop taking them.” Be aware of behaviors, too. For example, progressively being later and later to work or school, buying magazines about people losing weight, letting your sleep habits fall by the wayside, etc. Lastly, be overly aware of things like flashbacks, nightmares, etc. Knowing your symptoms is as important as knowing your triggers.

9. Recognize loss of symptom control. This may seem obvious, but what I mean by this is recognizing depression, anxiety, ED/SI/CD thoughts, maladaptive behaviors. Basically if you know your symptoms, don’t go into denial as soon as they start to rear their heads. Be consciously aware of symptoms creeping up.

10. Keep a journal. I cannot stress the importance of this. If you put your thoughts out on paper, you will begin to notice patterns. If it’s on paper, you can’t deny it. Kinda like a business contract is made legal when it’s on paper, if you write down those emotions, the thoughts, your fears, etc. you can’t deny that they’re there. And since they’re in concrete form you can share them with your sponsor, T, dietician, etc. So… I highly encourage keeping a journal for accountability.

11. Do recovery assignments. I didn’t really hit recovery until I started doing regular recovery assignments in treatment. This could be updating lists of triggers, going over your affirmations, writing about your feelings, writing about past abuse, goodbye letters to your ED, SI, CD, etc. This has been one of my saving graces in recovery.

12. Attend regular therapy appointments and keep in regular contact with your sponsor. As much as we hate to admit it, we cannot work recovery on our own. WE CANNOT WORK RECOVERY ON OUR OWN!!! We need help, and that is one of the hardest things to accept and ask for. So… get into therapy. If you can’t afford therapy, go to a 12-step group and get sponsor. This is so extremely important if you’re in relapse mode or just in recovery.

13. Develop healthy coping skills. Make a list of 10 things that are healthy coping skills. These can be things like hot showers, knitting, writing, drawing, crochet, taking a walk, napping (as long as it’s healthy napping), baking, etc. Here’s the important point: use them when you’re struggling!

14. Practice radical acceptance. Life is hardly perfect. We are hardly perfect. Yet we tend to expect it to be, and when something goes wrong we crash and burn. It’s not our fault, but we assume it is. We assume that we must either punish ourselves or numb the pain somehow. The best phrase I ever learned was “it is what it is!” Punishing ourselves and numbing the pain will not make a situation go away. All you are doing is avoiding the truth. So… practice radical acceptance and turn to your healthy coping skills.

15. Pray. I’m not getting religious on you! That said, we tend to discount that there is always something more powerful than each of us. Whether it’s science, nature, the sheer number of people who are already in recovery, God, HaShem, Goddess, Allah, the spirit of someone deceased whom you were close to (grandmother, grandfather, brother, partner, etc.), there is a greater Something than you and me individually. So… I challenge you to get up in the morning and pray “Help me get through this day without ED, SI, CD, etc.” Then at night when you’re about to go to bed pray ‘thank you for getting me through this day without ED, SI, CD, etc.”

How to Cope with Flashbacks

Flashbacks are memories of past traumas. They can occur in a number of different forms – as sounds, images, smells, body sensations, numbness (or a lack of sensations). Often they’re accompanied by a feeling panic, where the individual feels trapped and completely powerless. Flashbacks can also occur in dreams. Because the sensations are so frightening and intense – and are unrelated to what’s happening in the present – the person often feels as if they’re going crazy.

What to do to cope with flashback:

1. Tell yourself that you are having a flashback – that it will pass in time – and soon everything will return to normal.

2. Remind yourself that the worst is over – as these terrifying feelings are re-experienced memories. The event that took place is now lodged in the past, and you managed to survive it, and will survive it now.

3. Allow yourself to express the powerful feelings of terror, panic, hurt and/or rage. It is right that you honor your experience.

4. Ground yourself firmly in the here-and-now. Breathe deeply. Notice the sounds and sensations around you in the room.  Allow the feelings of panic and terror to slowly dissipate. Keep breathing deeply, and exhaling deliberately. Allow a sense of calm to gradually replace the faintness, shakiness, dizziness and tightness.

5. Reorient yourself. Keep focusing on what you can see, hear, feel, smell, touch and feel in the present. Feel the chair supporting you. Use your five senses to bring you back to this point in time.

6. Speak to your terrified inner child. Reassure them that they are going to be OK. Tell them they are safe in the present. They are not trapped. They can escape at any time.

7. Seek professional support to deal with your flashbacks. Find an experienced therapist who is trained to guide you to a place of healing. You do not have to do cope with this alone. There is help available for you.

How to Find your Passion

1. Ask yourself: What would I do if I could only do one thing for the rest of my life? What do I really love doing? What would I do, even if I didn’t get paid to do it? What would I do if money wasn’t’t a consideration?

2. Could something you do as a hobby now be turned into a full time career?

3. Is there a way of combining your talents? For example, could you combine your interests in photography and blogging – and create a new kind of photography blog – and possibly a blog that also makes you money?

4. Try experimenting with lots of different interests – even things you hadn’t thought of before – and see of any of them appeal.

5. Talk to other people who are driven by their passion. Ask them how they found out what their passion was – and ask them for tips to help you find yours, too.

Five Ways to Deal with Negative or Difficult People

1. Resist the urge to judge or assume.
It’s hard to offer someone compassion when you assume you have them pegged. He’s a jerk. She’s a malcontent. He’s an–insert other choice noun. Even if it seems unlikely someone will wake up one day and act differently, we have to remember it is possible.

When you think negative thoughts, it comes out in your body language. Someone prone to negativity may feel all too tempted to mirror that. Try coming at them with the positive mindset you wish they had. Expect the best in them. You never know when you might be pleasantly surprised.

2. Dig deeper, but stay out of the hole.
It’s always easier to offer someone compassion if you try to understand where they’re coming from. But that can’t completely justify bad behavior. If you show negative people you support their choice to behave badly, you give them no real incentive to make a change (which they may actually want deep down).

It may help to repeat this in your head when you deal with them: “I understand your pain. But I’m most helpful if I don’t feed into it.” This might help you approach them with both kindness and firmness so they don’t bring you down with them.

3. Maintain a positive boundary.
Some people might tell you to visualize a bright white light around you to maintain a positive space when other people enter it with negativity. This doesn’t actually work for me because I respond better to ideas in words than visualizations. So I tell myself this, “I can only control the positive space I create around myself.”

Help them feel more positive, not act more positive–which is more likely to create the desired result.

4. Remember the numbers.
Research shows that people with negative attitudes have significantly higher rates of stress and disease. Someone’s mental state plays a huge role in their physical health. If someone’s making life difficult for people around them, you can be sure they’re doing worse for themselves.

What a sad reality, that someone has so much pain inside them they have to act out just to feel some sense of relief–even if that relief comes from getting a rise out of people. When you remember how much a difficult person is suffering, it’s easier to stay focused on minimizing negativity, as opposed to defending yourself.

5. Don’t take it personally, but know that sometimes it is personal.
Conventional wisdom suggests that you should never take things personally when you deal with a negative person. I think it’s a little more complicated than that. You can’t write off everything someone says about you just because the person is insensitive or tactless. Even an abrasive person may have a valid point. Try to weigh their comments with a willingness to learn.

Accept that you don’t deserve the excessive emotions in someone’s tone, but weigh their ideas with a willingness to learn. Some of the most useful lessons I’ve learned came from people I wished weren’t right.

You can’t always saved the world, but you can make the world a better place by working on yourself–by becoming self-aware, tapping into your compassion, and protecting your positive space. You may even help negative people by fostering a sense of peace within yourself that their negativity can’t pierce.

How to Support and Be There for a Friend

1) Encourage them to talk; ask them what’s on their mind – If you think your friend’s depressed or has something on their mind then ask if you can help, or something’s bothering them. And unless you get the feeling that they don’t want to talk, be persistent and keep asking in a gentle, caring way. This communicates the message that you genuinely care.

2) Give your full attention and listen carefully – If they’re brave enough to share what is on their mind, then give them the respect of listening carefully – without interrupting or offering them advice. Pay attention, focus on them, and try to understand the way they see their problems, and how that makes them feel. The only time you should speak is to clarify a point, or to ask open questions that will help them share some more.

3) Unless specifically requested, don’t offer them advice – Once you’ve got the general gist of what is happening with your friend, resist the temptation to offer them advice. This is often very hard as we usually want to help … but most people resent it as they just want to be heard.

4) Remember it’s all about them; it’s not about you – Often people want to somehow turn the conversation round to talking about them, and their own experiences. This is so annoying; it’s the worst thing you could do.

5) Be sensitive, respectful and non judgmental – Don’t react or seem shocked when they tell you something bad (like saying “OMG – I can’t believe you did that!”). And be tactful if you feel you must share something tough – as you honestly believe it would help to hear the truth. You don’t have to destroy them in your efforts to get real.

6) Nothing changes if we don’t do anything – Although it’s often helpful to unburden yourself if you just dump on others then nothing much will change. Thus, it’s important to encourage them to take some active steps. Don’t only be a crutch or a short term dumping ground.