Harassment 101 – Your peace of mind

Beyond the interaction with your harasser, the single most important thing to get you through harassment is keeping a healthy mind. Harassment takes a big tow on exactly this, your balance, your wholeness, your confidence level and your emotional and social interactions.
So here are a few ideas on how to do that:

Work on your assertiveness, develop it or consolidate it by practicing it in less tensed situations. There are many in-class courses and self-help resources out there, just waiting to be found. Choose wisely.

Find some allies at work. Don’t let yourself become the office taciturn, keep socializing with your coworkers and get some of them in you camp. I a normal situation I wouldn’t advise you to talk about your problems at work with your coworkers but harassment is a deal breaker so go ahead and try to find people who feel for you or let them find you. Still, stay away from gossiping and don’t turn the harasser into the only subject of conversation at work and at home. This would only add to your distress and unavoidable obsession you have about this stuff.

Reach out to friends or family. When you are harassed you are much more exposed to loneliness and depression and more focused on the negative in general. You have to practice emotional hygiene and take care of your feelings and emotions before they get hold of you. Do not wait to be pulled out of your state by chance, dare to take the first step instead.

Sleep! I know, easier said than done! But, to get out with your sanity intact from any emotionally charged situation, you should keep a composed emotional state as much as possible. For this you have to have enough rest; sleep deprivation is a major set back in depression.

Prepare your actions or reactions as much as possible. If you are prepared, that certainty feeling will boost your confidence and will eliminate the post-act stress – that part where we ruminate about what we should have said or done during the interaction with the harasser.

Set or fix your valves. In other words find ways to let out steam in a safe environment. For this you can try the ideas of how to stop thinking about stuff on a regular basis. Practicing mindfulness is a good addition to that list. Making a routine of one or more of those ideas will certainly help. Making a sports routine will help you even more as exercise is not only good for your body but also releases endorphins that will put your mood up too.

For the volcanic types, finding peace won’t be easy. After a rough episode, you might not be able to calm yourself enough to undergo meditation, yoga or mindfulness exercises. You need something strong. I find the best relief in loud music and rough sports. The music should be loud enough to shake your heart inside, with a strong beat and an engaging tune and lyrics too, like “I’ll survive” sang by Gloria Gaynor. Find your favorite tunes and put them on while you do one of the following activities:

  • Hitting your boxing bag (what, you don’t have one yet??). Feel free to kick it with your feet too!
  • Fighting pillows,
  • Throwing old glass in the glass recycling containers hard enough to break them,
  • Running,
  • Shouting hard,
  • Making a mess in the bedroom,
  • Jumping on a big piece of bubblewrap,
  • Breaking wood for the barbecue,
  • Using an axe to cut wood for the fireplace,
  • Throwing big stones in a lake,
  • Fighting overgrown plants with a stick as if it was a sword while saying some bravery lines from movies.

Your limit should only be your imagination … and the law! You should also try not to damage anything in the process and that includes your own health, or else the practice would become too costly to be worth it.

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