Anxiety: Articles On Resolving Anxiety Issues And Feeling More Comfortable

When you are having a conversation, how often do you listen? I mean TRULY listen, not listen to formulate your next sentence. How often do you listen just to hear the other person?

If you are like the majority of people the answer is “hardly ever.” Deep listening (listening for the sake of listening) is one of the most valuable communication skills you can ever learn because it shows the person you are conversing with that you care.

By listening for the sake of listening you validate their emotional feelings and help them feel connected and less isolated and alone.

For people with Asperger’s, being deeply listened to provides a space to process emotions WITHOUT getting freaked out by them, shutting down and going into Defense Mode (which is what usually happens).

In all of our conversations with families, caregivers, doctors, teachers, therapists and people with Asperger’s, we’ve found that the #1 thing that most people with Asperger’s are severely lacking in is simply someone who will truly listen to them without judgement.

Someone who can hold the space for them (so that they can finally be with their sensations and process).

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Holding space is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to help someone with Asperger’s emotionally process the day. Simply put, holding space is acceptance without judgement. It often, but not always, involves sitting with someone, practicing Deep Listening, and being a mirror to help them become aware of themselves (their feelings, emotions, and physical sensations).

Holding space helps people with Asperger’s (or really anyone) process their emotions, feel safe, and be able to settle and center themselves.

Holding space DOES NOT involve fixing, judging, offering advice, manipulation or any act of change. It simply allows what is already there to have the space to be.

A lot of people have trouble when practicing holding space for someone else because they feel overwhelmed by the conversation, or the person stores all of anxiety and throw it all out there at once.  If this is the case in your household, remember once people feel that they are heard and what is going on with them matters, they become more comfortable and feel more safe.  If you are finding that you are having a tough time with this skill (it takes practice and time to master) you may want to practice the process we call being with it.

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Be. Allow. Accept. This is the essence of “Being With It”. This is one of the simple, most profound tools you will ever come across. (So much so that we hand out wristbands that say “Be with that” to anyone who attends our live events & workshops).

When we say “Be with it” we generally refer to one’s emotional state. So often people with Asperger’s (and their families!) get so overwhelmed, burnt-out and spent that they have very little emotional processing capabilities. Then they forget to process their emotions once things get a bit better, and get stuck in a freeze loop of more and more overwhelm.

Being with it is so simple it can trip people up. All you have to do is let everything be as it is. Don’t try to control, manipulate, change, or make different at all. Let your emotions be. If you get uncomfortable, be with that too.

Yes, it is uncomfortable. Yes, it does “suck” at times. But if you stay connected to those sensations, they start to change. They start to melt. And suddenly, what was once uncomfortable is now effortlessly easy.

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