For the longest time, people mention that I take things too personally or that I’m too sensitive. Hearing it for years and from different groups of people, I started to look in on myself and ask: is there something more to this?
Last year I decided to research this aspect of my personality as I started to believe that there was more to me just being “emotionally sensitive.”
On top of being emotional, I know I get easily overstimulated by
a) Noises (One Example: When my husband sharpens the knives I cannot be in the same room)
b) Lights (One Example: Some concerts I have to lower my head to withdraw from the strobes)
c) Smells (One Example: Old Spice triggers me)
d) People (One Example: Feeling others emotions all too well)
All signs were leading to me being a “Highly Sensitive Person” (HSP for short). I couldn’t believe it! When I was a kid all of my peers called me “shy” or “quiet,” but I was mislabeled. Since I was highly sensitive, I often felt overwhelmed in most aspects of my life that would make me clam up and withdraw from others. Especially when people subject emotions around me on a daily basis. Through being highly sensitive, I’m more susceptible to anxiety through this absorption.
It also affects the way that I think, since I have a more creative and active imagination, it can become more challenging to remain calm or convince myself there’s nothing to worry about since I deep dive into negative ‘fantasies.’ It usually feels like there is nothing that I can do to lessen the intensity.
AHHH what do I do?!
Well, first things first – You need to learn how to stop allowing emotions from invading your mind and protect yourself. Easier said than done, right? In all honesty, you just need to find the willingness to react differently if you don’t want to be overwhelmed.
- Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of getting overwhelmed: for me; it’s usually dry mouth and a racing heart. Being in the present will help you overcome your situation.
- Focus on yourself: If you’re anything like me, you tend to put everyone over and above yourself. Well, STOP. Self-care is imperative to recharge yourself and to boost your self-confidence.
- Get mindful: you cannot control what others are going to do so live in the now, breathe deeply and try relaxation techniques. I cannot emphasize enough how important exercise is to burn off the adrenaline coursing through your system
- Set Boundaries: Avoid the sources of your fear but don’t run away. The more you understand about your boundaries you’ll be able to prepare ahead of time to avoid or adjust your day to reduce the effect on you. I don’t like to avoid things as I feel it sometimes makes my anxiety worse, so I adjust.
- Remember that it’s not the “end of the world” all of the thoughts racing through your brain is part of your imagination – let them go!
Curious to know if you’re an HSP, too?
Take this test to find out