Do you cry during movie scenes when the hero goes through heart-wrenching trauma? After social gatherings, do you feel the need to spend time alone to recharge? When someone shares a painful experience, do you feel it right there with them?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you are probably a highly sensitive person. Welcome to the club! If you recognize that you are highly sensitive, it’s important to have a tool kit so you don’t become a frazzled, hyperventilating mess (been there). Learn how to manage yourself by
Being highly sensitive can be both a blessing and a curse, both beautiful and exhausting. We all fall somewhere on the spectrum of sensitivity. I don’t consider myself an empath, but I am quite ‘spongy’; I feel and process things at a deeply personal level.
Highly sensitive people need healthy habits to stay sane. By integrating the following habits into your life, you can use your sensitivity like a superpower. Allow your sensitivity to be a gift to the world.
Continue reading to learn healthy habits of highly sensitive people.
Develop a Self Care Routine
It is essential that you take care of yourself first. If your welfare is already in a fragile state, taking on someone else’s emotions will put you at risk of burn out. You know what they say on airplanes: “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” You’re of no help to anyone if you’re unwell! Self-care is especially important if you work intimately with others full-time in careers like nursing, psychiatry, or yoga instruction.
Self-care is a buzzword in wellness town, and over time it has become synonymous with soaking in an Instagram-worthy bathtub dusted with rose petals. Unfortunately, real self-care is not this easy, although I would never say no to a rose petal bath. True self-care requires that you go deeper than a spa session.
Ask yourself this personal question: What sounds like a calming and peaceful activity? Maybe for you, it is a bath or a pedicure. This pampering is a great start to a self-care ritual. But creativity is a more expressive outlet and should be included as something you do to take care of ‘number one’.
Express Yourself Creatively
Being creative allows you to release stored emotions. Consider focusing your sensitivity into a creative outlet. This is both productive and fun! Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Write creatively
- Journal daily
- Play an instrument
- Photograph outdoors
- Listen to music
- Walk in nature
- Practice yoga
Your creative outlet should be an activity that you can do anywhere, for free. Personally, I have found solace in writing, journaling, photography, and art. I also run regularly and have a consistent yoga practice. All of these things keep me happy and healthy as
Be Wary of Energy Vampires
Energy Vampires are negative, hyper-critical, or controlling presences in your life. If you feel drained, anxious, or upset after spending time with someone, you might be facing a vampire. Be wary of anyone who leaves you feeling bottomless. These ‘vampires’ don’t want your blood, but they do want your attention. At the same time, it is important to be aware that these people probably don’t realize the effect they have on you, and others. Avoid playing the blame game, but DO try and avoid them.
While my first suggestion is to distance yourself from the vampire in your life, this is not always possible. Sometimes this person is a family member, colleague, or friend. In this case, be aware of how they affect you. Keep in mind that you have control over your own thoughts and feelings and try and distance yourself mentally. Limit contact where possible, and if it is realistic, consider ending the relationship altogether. If it is a friendship, reflect on whether it is serving or hurting you. If the life force has been drained out of you after a visit, then continuing this relationship isn’t very good self-care, is it?
Start a Meditation Practice
Meditation, when practiced consistently has been scientifically proven to decrease stress and improve overall well being. For someone who is highly sensitive, practicing meditation of any variety will make you feel calm and grounded.
What type of meditation should you practice? Whichever type you like! I like Mindfulness meditation. If you’re a newbie to meditation, try an app like Insight. Insight offers over 15,000 guided meditations and a timer to help hold your focus. You can also listen to guided YouTube meditations. Here is a guided Loving Kindness Meditation YouTube video that I enjoy.
Whatever you do, try and sit quietly for at least 5 minutes every day. Yes, every day! Consistency is key. The more often you meditate, the more benefits you will experience. As a highly sensitive person, meditating regularly gives you a sense of stability and grounding.
Learn to Control Your Feelings
Learn to control your emotions and feelings. It can be difficult not to take things personally, but if you’re practicing regular creative self-care outlets, avoiding energy vampires, and meditating to monitor your body, feelings, and thoughts, then you have a much better chance at controlling your feelings even when faced with challenging emotional situations.
Do not blame others for how they make you feel. You cannot control how other people act, but you can control your reactions and feelings.
Without highly sensitive people, we would not have art, movies, books, or music.
Imagine a world without artists; what a dull and boring place! Long ago, a colleague once told me that I have an artist’s soul and it is both a blessing and a curse. By applying habits for highly sensitive people on a daily basis, I use my sensitivities to be creative. I hope you have found this helpful and are ready to view your sensitivities as a gift rather than a weakness.
Are you ‘highly sensitive’? How do you keep grounded in this whirl-windy world?