As an INFJ, I’ve done a whole lot of people-pleasing in my life. It took me years to recognize that I was getting in my own way, unknowingly causing myself more stress, adding to my anxiety and overwhelm by not setting healthy boundaries and overthinking issues that were beyond my control. People-pleasing often means neglecting ourselves, our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Here are a few of my personal ways to reduce stress, conquer overwhelm, and kick anxiety in the pants.
1. Reduce Stress and Anxiety.
A few of my favorite stress reducing, “going-inward” rituals are:
· Nature-therapy. Taking a drive or a walk. Sitting at a lake and watching the water, the birds, the squirrels, and the deer. Tranquility will find you.
· Journaling. Writing your thoughts and feelings down in a journal can be as helpful as talking them out with someone. For INFJs, clearing the mind clutter and gaining clarity can relieve a lot of stress.
· Listening to audios. Both music and audiobooks work well.
· Meditation. Meditation can be done in only a few minutes a day. If you’re new to meditation, there are easy guided mediations you can follow along with. Quiet your mind and listen.
· Yoga. Practicing Yoga brings physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety
· Creative expression. Get out the crayons and blank paper, or go to a local pottery shop and paint a ceramic like you did when you were a child. You will be amazed at how much serenity you will leave with.
2. Get support for overwhelm.
One of the best gifts I’ve given myself was hiring a life coach. She patiently listened and helped me unravel my thoughts & feelings when I was filled with overwhelm and needed guidance finding my comfort zone again. Life Coaches don’t give advice; they don’t tell you what you should or should not do; but rather guide you into finding the answers you’re looking for, within yourself.
Of course, there are alternatives to hiring a coach. You can call a trusted friend or family member (preferably one who knows your INFJ personality and talk your heart out.) Sometimes listening to ourselves talk is a sure fire way to find the solution we are looking for.
3. Set healthy boundaries.
Learn ways to be kindly assertive & try not to worry about what other people think of you. There is an old saying “what other people think of you is none of your business.”
As INFJ’s we are highly sensitive to criticism. Implementing techniques to let things go can help when we get in the sensitivity zone.
I highly recommend reading The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. One of the Four Agreements is “Don’t take anything personally”
INFJS are known for taking on others energy and emotions. Keep this Agreement in mind when someone projects negative energy around you — whether it’s in anger, or by saying something unkind about you. Don’t take things to heart or dwell upon them.
4. Honor yourself.
We are so good at taking care of everyone else, aren’t we? Having our needs met means that we take care of ourselves also. Be willing to take care of yourself, in the same way you care for anyone else.
Keep a healthy focus in honoring yourself. Schedule YOUR name and needs into your day planner and make this rule NON-negotiable. When we are getting our needs met, making ourselves as important as the people we love and care for, our mindset changes, and we can do what we love with more strength and passion.
5. Be mindful with your words.
Words are incredibly powerful. The way you talk about yourself and describe yourself WILL become your future reality. Stay conscious of the way you talk about yourself and use language that’s positive. When you change the words use, the universe hears you, and begins to set things in motion for the shift that will change your reality.