3 Steps To Handle Resistance Productively

Conflict (Chess II) © by Cristian V.

It can feel very uncomfortable when resistance rises inside of you.

Sometimes it feels like it shouldn’t be there. If only the world were different.

Sometimes it feels depressing, like an old “friend” we would rather not hear from.

Sometimes it feels exhausting, like an endless unresolved conflict that just wears you out.

You cannot get rid of the discomfort entirely but you can make it your friend rather than your enemy.

Understanding Resistance

Resistance is as old as the human race.  We humans have a long history of conflict and often less than gracious ways of handling them.

Resistance arises when we believe that we must act against our will or against our best interests.  It can occur because:

  • we are outnumbered in a conflict situation.
  • someone has or assumes power over us. This can happen in families or any other situation.
  • we are expected to act contrary to our own values to maintain our place in a social group or relationship.
  • who we are is at odds with who others want us to be.
  • of a disagreement.
  • of a different purpose or agenda.

Resistance Can Be Good, Or Not…

Resistance can be positive and constructive or it can be dangerous.

Resistance can be positive when we notice our resistance to getting sleep, realize the implications and change our nighttime habits.

Resistance can be positive when we defer decision making until we have the information we need.

Resistance can be positive when we decide to resist jumping to conclusions about someone based on superficial considerations.

Resistance can be dangerous as in when we ignore our current environmental issues which have been made worse by resisting necessary changes.

Resistance can be dangerous when the air pressure in our tire is low and we let it get worse, thereby ruining the tire.

Resistance can be dangerous when we wait until the last minute to do something making it more difficult to get the job done naturally.

Our Love/Hate Relationship With Resistance

Resistance is the pin that pricks the balloon causing it to explode.

Resistance takes the wind out of our sails, and thwarts our plans.

Resistance hurts our hearts.

This is the rub. We need each other to survive. We need institutions to manage the cultures we have created to make human life possible. And major change in human society takes a lot of time and energy.  Change is not a small matter. If we had no resistance, we would all be going in different directions and that would not work too well.  If we only have resistance, then we cannot change and adapt when necessary.

Resistance And Double Standards

Unfortunately, resistance is often a sign that our interdependency is not working which is why it matters so much.

Double standards about resistance are where perceptions of hypocrisy come from. They are also the basis for the desire to “level the playing field”. So what can we do about it? What might be some practical ways to tame resistance in our life?

Why You Should Accept Resistance

The first step in handling resistance is to be accept it.  When we accept resistance we are accepting people as they are which is something that we all need.  Furthermore we never really know all of the reasons why resistance exists in another person. Sometimes resistance is there for a good reason and that reason may be worth looking for. If someone was in an accident and broke a leg we would understand why they are not going jogging or dancing.  Sometimes that broken leg that needs mending is on the inside, and the healing process takes time.

Another way to look at it, is that anything we want to do, including any change needs to be sustained.  So if someone is resistant, that may have some fear or lack of confidence, but it could easily be a reality problem like lack of time or skills.  Not all resistance is harmful. Skills, time, resources and readiness are all factors in resistance.

The most important reason to accept resistance is that acceptance frees us to step into our creative problem-solving, so it frees us.

How To Start Changing Resistance

The kindest way to tackle resistance for yourself and others it to first treat everything as a process. That way when you bump into resistance you can just think of it as part of the process.

Then you can keep yourself out of the us-vs-them thinking that makes resistance worse.

When you treat life and its problems as a process that we all share, then you keep the walls down, your creativity up and minimize the chances of increasing fear in others.  The great thing about treating everything including change as a process, is that it gives the people involved a chance to acclimate themselves to something new on their own terms.

Serious change deserves a compassionate approach.  Often people have to grieve the loss of old ways of living even if they see change as beneficial. Showing others respect usually helps melt resistance.

The more people know that a change includes them and supports their well-being the easier cooperation can occur.  Of course there are limits to how much existence can be allowed to hold others back.

The Steps For Changing Resistance

  1. research
  2. planning
  3. execution

Steps For Changing Resistance: Research

  1.  Identify the type of resistance you are dealing with:
    1. individual
    2. group
    3. institutional
    4. societal
  2. Identify the real barriers creating the resistance:
    1. time
    2. money
    3. skills
    4. resources
    5. identity
    6. mental or emotional
    7. physical

Once you have a handle on where the resistance is coming from, you can then figure out how to deal with it.

Steps For Changing Resistance: Planning

Some resistance can be handled with creativity on your own directly with someone else. Other forms of resistance require teamwork, and even large scale group action. The more informed, complete and realistic you are in your assessment of what is needed to create progress, the better your chances of success.

When the challenge of effecting change is poorly understood, then it is very easy to become disappointed and angry, make mistakes caused by poor preparation that can cause serious setbacks and undermine future change efforts, and do unnecessary harm to others.

You have a number of strategy choices in handling resistance:

  1. listen for whether or not the resistance is a reflection of real issues that need to be addressed and deal with them
  2. engage with other to collaborate in ceasing a change
  3. create the conditions that make change possible
  4. decided to postpone change
  5. decide to live with current conditions
  6. leave the situation if change is not possible.

Once you have enough information about what you are dealing with you can then come up with a plan for tackling the problem.  With information and a strategy you will be more effective in creating what you want, and should conditions change you will have an easier time adapting your plans.

Steps For Changing Resistance: Execution

Having information and a plan makes execution much easier.  It also can enable you to relax more since you will feel more confident in what you are doing. As a result, you can be friendlier and more approachable throughout the process of change.  Even if the change were not to work out, creating a positive change environment around you is a great skill to have and one that can serve you well when future change is necessary.

Final Thoughts

We live in a world that is so fast paced and so demanding that often change is poorly handled which can give rise to resistance and resentment.

Very few people take the time to consider how to handle resistance.  Resistance gets in the way so often, it impedes progress so often that mastering it can boost productivity immensely.

Having thought about the problem and attempting to bring insight to your handling of resistance can make you much more effective and productive in your work relationships, reduce you workplace and home anxieties and hostilities and make life much more pleasant.


3 Steps To Emotional Health

black handmade journal © by cordfish

If you struggle with processing your feelings you are not alone.

As an HSP, it is often difficult to handle so many strong, overwhelming emotions. When too many  emotions remain unprocessed they can lead to emotional blocks.

However, we sensitives are blessed with the gift of introspection.  It may seem like a curse at times but it is actually an advantage.


Because for highly sensitive people the mundane task of processing our emotions is what leads us to wisdom.

Step 1: Learn Where Energy Blocks Come From

According to Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga in a June, 2010 article in Natural AwakeningsHealing the Root Cause of Addiction with Ayurveda A Natural Cure for Unhealthy Dependence by Linda Sechrist,  “…stressors—thoughts and reactions to our lifestyle, relationships, work environment and family life—are introduced through the ego mind.

Emotionally charged thoughts and feelings of blame, shame or guilt then get metabolized into our biological body system. Stored in the form of toxins and neuro-glandular imbalances, these feelings create energy blocks that prevent the free flow of energy, or prana, the body’s self-healing wisdom.

Energy blocks may take the form of muscular tensions and weakness in liver, kidney and digestive functions. Gradual decline results in a progressive deterioration of biological processes and consequently can manifest in external symptoms of fatigue, fear, anxiety and insecurity.”

Step 2: Embrace Emotional Metabolism

Metabolism comes from the greek word ” metabole” for change or transformation.

At any given time as we interact with our world we are in the process of metabolism – of perceptions, thought, feelings, emotions as well as material substances such as food and water.

All forms of life engage in metabolism, from plants to humans. When we are unable to metabolize a food it will clog our bodies. When we are unable to metabolize or process emotions, they will clog our system as well.  Ideally we process all food and experiences each day so that we are in a state of flowing with life.

If only it were that simple!

Step 3: Create A Daily Emotional Health Plan

It is often not  possible to process all information and feelings when they occur.

  1. you may be too busy
  2. the feelings may be too much to process in one day. Grieving a loss is a good example of that.
  3. you may have experienced long-term abuse which requires a long time to reach forgiveness and release.

There are a number of daily practices that you can engage in to help you with your emotional health:

  1. meditation like Transcendental Meditation is excellent.  It moves you into the more detached space of universal consciousness and therefore helps you release and heal negative emotions including those from the past.
  2. visualizations are a great way to change your emotions.  You can visualize a time of forgiveness, a time of joy in your life to move you forward, when feelings are keeping you stuck.
  3. journalling is one of the best emotional healing methods.  When you journal you release feelings out of your system onto a paper (or computer).  In doing so, you have taken them out of your body which frees you to work and enjoy your day. Journalling is particularly useful for healing the effects of abuse since you can keep releasing the hurt or angry feelings each day until they dissipate.
  4. energy healing practices like reiki and eft are also very useful for healing emotional problems because they release energy blocks and create a wonderful feeling of well-being.

Step 4: Finding Perspective

It can help to think of feelings as information and to notice when your feelings come from past or the present experiences.  When the feelings are the result of a past experience transferred onto the present, it is a sign that there is unfinished business in the past that must be dealt with.

The body has its wisdom and in some individuals who have experiences exceptionally abusive situations it will “store” emotions to be processed at a later date if that is what is needed to survive. Severely abused individuals, therefore, will have a lot of blocked energy and a great need for therapeutic solutions.  It is not a fault of people who have been badly abused that they have long-term issues including addiction and take a long time to heal.

Highly sensitive people and severely abused people should accept their healing process as a way of being generous to themselves which may be a new and uncomfortable experience. Engaging in healing practices reduces the potential for long term destructive addiction and other illnesses that are the complications of long term abuse. They also feel good and help us to be at our best.

Anyone who takes responsibility for their healing is part of a larger effort everywhere to reduce abuse and emotional harm on the planet. It is something to be very proud of.

Frustration: How It Affects Your Health

frustration © by e-magic


It may not seem obvious.  Frustration can adversely affect your health.

Please consider the following: you cannot be healthy if your body and being are not getting your needs met.

THEREFORE: When your needs are being met, you are not frustrated.

Ideas About Frustration

Frustration is a complicated subject and there are many ways of thinking about it:

  1. in a capitalistic economic system, frustration is not well thought of, yet we are expected to frustrate our needs for rest and balanced living in the pursuit of money.
  2. frustration can be viewed as a form of caring, when we put someone else’s needs ahead of our own.
  3. accepting frustration can be a sign of maturity when we accept an imperfect world, that does not always perform as well as we would like
  4. frustration can have political implications, when some people’s needs are served more than others. An example would be the uneven support for the educational needs of all children.
  5. spiritual ideas about non-attachment directly deals with problems related to desires and frustration.  When we eliminate desires and expectations, we eliminate frustration and the abuse that can come from it.

Frustration And Health

You could say that we have many conflicting ideas about frustration and therefore it can be difficult to make sense of how to deal with frustration as it relates to our health. So here are one ideas to consider:
  1. frustration to your body’s functioning means that nutrients and oxygen do not reach your cells causing a form of malnutrition.
  2. when toxins enter your body and bloodstream they will be distributed throughout your body, impairing the functioning of your cells.
  3. when you food is not properly digested it enters the blood stream and creates congestion in the body.
  4. when your digestion does not function properly your immune system does not get the support it needs.
  5. when you eat too often you do not give your body enough time to fully digest food so it ends up becoming sludge in your body.
  6. when you nutritional needs are not met, your body is sluggish from toxins, undigested food and lack of sleep, your emotional and mental condition is affected as well.

Taking Control Of Frustration

To understand more about how nutrition and health practices create or eliminate frustration in the body, I recommend the book, Perfect Health, by Deepak Chopra.  It is one of the best books available on how to create perfect health.

Taking control of physical frustrations by getting enough sleep, eating healthy food and eliminating toxins from your body will help you be your best and eliminate the larger frustration of not being at your best and the consequences that go with it.