Bullying is not something to be ignored. It can cause adults and children alike physical and emotional hardship that may last for years. Bullying can occur at school, social situations or even in an office setting. In this article, we examine what bullying is, how to stop a bully in their tracks, and what types of natural therapies are available to support the emotional health of a victim of bullying and help them regain self-esteem and self-worth.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is defined as a person's misuse of power to intimidate someone weaker than them or emphasise their superior social status. This often occurs with children in elementary school, but workplace bullying is not unheard of. Sexual bullying, which is targeted towards individuals whose sexual orientation does not align with that of the majority, is just as prevalent as verbal bullying.
School bullying should not be taken as a trivial matter that children eventually outgrow. The effects of bullying in childhood can last into adulthood. Bullying has even been linked to an increased risk of suicide in cyberbullied victims. Cyberbullying is considered bullying that takes place through technology like computers and smartphones.
It can be difficult to consider the idea of seeking help right away if you don't know what type of bullying you're experiencing, but it's important to do so once signs arise.
Signs of Bullying
While signs of bullying can be more difficult to recognise than that of physical abuse, there are some signs that may point to a person being bullied. Here are some signs you can look out for in a child that might indicate they are a bully victim:
- Feelings of loneliness
- Symptoms of depression or anxiety
- Physical pain
- Not wanting to go to school
- Trouble making friends
- Doesn't enjoy life as much as others their age
- Suicidal ideation
- Extremely shy and withdraws from activities such as parties or sleepover
On the other hand, signs that indicated adult bullying include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Exhibiting high levels of stress
- Symptoms of mental health disorders like depression, panic attacks, etc.
- Working very long hours
Source: Telethon Kids Institute
Types of Bullying
There are different types of bullying, ranging from physical abuse all the way to silent treatment. It does not have to involve physical harm for it to be called bullying either. When there is an imbalance of power, as one person or group does not like another and makes that fact well known through physical actions or words, it's considered bullying.
Every one of these different forms of bullying is hurtful and should be taken seriously. If you find yourself the victim of any type of bullying, look into how to deal with bullying as soon as possible. The longer you wait to deal with your situation, the worse it can become and the more difficult it will be for things to go back to normal again.
Bullying can take on 5 main types, including physical, verbal, emotional, social and cyberbullying.
This is traditional bullying that involves physical actions that are hurtful to the other person. This type of bullying can include pushing, punching, kicking and stealing from another person.
Using threats to harm someone or make them feel small about themselves is a classic way to verbally bully someone. One doesn't need to do it in front of the victim to qualify as a verbal bully. The mere act of spreading rumours or lies about someone already meets the criteria of this sort of bullying.
There are instances of bullying when the words used by the bully damage someone's self-confidence or feelings about themselves. This often leads to long-term psychological harm.
A bullying incident where the victim has been harassed or belittled on a digital platform falls into this category. Online bullying also covers sending mean texts or sharing embarrassing photos of someone else online.
This form of bullying involves leaving out someone on purpose from a group of friends or purposefully excluding someone from an activity. Individuals who engage in this type of bullying behaviour are usually those who wish to elevate their social standing.
How to Deal With a Bully
The first step toward stopping bullying is recognizing it's happening. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but there are signs you can look out for in yourself and others that might indicate bullying is occurring. Another big step to stop bullying is how you react when it's happening. Do not engage with the bully or fight back, because they will think what they're doing is okay.
The best way to stop a bully from continuing their behaviour is to stand up for yourself without fighting back or engaging with them. This takes courage but can help prevent further bullying of yourself and others around you.
Natural Therapies to Help Victims of Bullying Cope
Natural therapies use naturally occurring substances in the body to treat certain conditions or diseases. These therapies have been used for many years, and there is a growing number of research that shows that these therapies may have positive effects against bullying. Some examples are acupuncture, massage therapy, Reiki and meditation. The healing effects of each of these therapies will help bullying victims recover quickly from their painful experience.
Meditation increases self-awareness and is a great way to support the emotional health of victims of bullying. This can be especially beneficial for younger children who are unable to control the environment around them through things like avoidance or standing up for themselves.
Mindfulness therapy focuses on being in the moment. The person being bullied can try breathing exercises to calm themselves down and handle feelings of anxiety they might have after the bullying incident.
Acupuncture is a natural treatment for people with anxiety or depression caused by bullying. This helps because bullying can cause both of these conditions, which acupuncture can effectively deal with by addressing the energy imbalances in the body caused by the bullying incident.
Aromatherapy is another way people have been treating bullying, especially cyberbullying. Diffusing essential oils into the air or adding them to the bath induces relaxation and helps clear your head.
Let these natural therapies work wonders for you or your child if you or they have been experiencing direct or indirect bullying. If you're having trouble stopping bullying on your own, consider talking to a professional therapist who can give you guidance.