Live chat about creating safety and safe spaces and how that relates to anxiety, depression and addiction.

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People who are scared, hungry, powerless and sick are not going to have the energy to focus on other things.
Lack of safety promotes hypervigilance and “stress” (HPA-Axis activation) which increase depression, anxiety, inflammation and health issues
Exposure to traumatic events or lack of a secure attachment in childhood can create a pervasive sense of “unsafeness.”
A foundation of recovery is to begin to feel empowered to create safety
We can develop tools and strategies for our own safety and teach and model how to create safety to others.
Physical Safety: You have access to food, medicine, clothing and safe shelter.
Affective/Emotional Safety: You feel safe feeling and expressing the range of emotions
Cognitive Safety:
You feel safe holding and asserting your own opinions.
You have control of the Inner Critic
Environmental Safety: In addition to safe shelter you have the ability to live in a world in which you are not afraid to emerge from your personal safe space
Relational Safety
You are accepting of yourself
Your relationships are characterized by healthy attachment
What do you need to do to feel safe from others, injury, sickness, natural disasters.
In what ways have your feelings been validated or invalidated?
How can you validate your feelings?
What can you do to cope with powerful emotions? (Distress tolerance & self soothing skills/worksheets/posters, coping skill education?)
What messages have you received about your thoughts and opinions?
How do you address your inner critic?
What tools can you use to address stressful thoughts?
Facts, probability, exceptions, focus on what you have control over
What things outside of your home make you feel unsafe? What are the facts supporting that fear? Do those things actually impact your safety in the present moment? What practical steps can you take?
What can you do to help yourself feel safe most of the time in most places? (Remember you cannot control others but you can control your own behavior)
How can you develop a compassionate, nurturing relationship with yourself? (What did your parents do or did you want them to do?)
How can you develop secure, trusting relationships (CRAVES)
Consistency, Responsiveness, Attention, Validation/Empathy, Encouragement, Support

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