With gratitude to our guest author, Pol Cousineau, from CPA (Quebec) and Soul Success Unleashed who discusses HSP.
Many individuals experience a range of emotions daily. Maybe you’ve asked yourself, Am I being too sensitive? Or how do I become less sensitive?
It is human nature for some people to experience a high intensity of feelings regarding their situations or the experiences of others. But just like how tall a person is, there’s no right amount of sensitivity. Highly sensitive people are no worse off or better than any other individual, they just look at life from a different perspective.
This article will provide ways that individuals can identify if they are a highly sensitive person, as well as techniques to help manage the various challenges that go along with this personality variant. When harnessed correctly, being a highly sensitive person is not a burden but rather an asset to navigating life’s journey. Read on to determine if you identify as a highly sensitive person and how these potent emotions can be beneficial.
What does it mean to be highly sensitive?
A highly sensitive person is an individual that is hyper aware of the energy of those around them at magnifying levels. Highly sensitive people have a heightened awareness of all aspects that are happening around them. It is as if they consistently have the volume cranked up on their emotions by 20%-25% more than the average person.
Being a highly sensitive person does not need to be a negative attribute. Rather than a burden or something you need to overcome, it can be one of your greatest gifts if properly accessed. However, when you don’t harness these powerful emotions in a positive way, it may cause you to feel stressed or become overwhelmed..
When situations feel overwhelming, a highly sensitive person can implement strategies to delve into unique abilities. When these abilities are cultivated, rather than numbed or suppressed it allows a highly sensitive person to more effectively manage everyday life.
It’s also important to understand that as a highly sensitive person, you may unknowingly absorb the energy around you – both positive and negative. In some cases, the highly sensitive person may even be soaking up the feelings of the collective world at large, especially if there is global turmoil going on.
Traits of a Highly Sensitive Person
A highly sensitive person is a positive being that can live a fulfilled life if they access the tools to learn how to not be overwhelmed by their sensitivities.
When unbalanced a highly sensitive person may experience feeling:
- Sensory Sensitivity
- Worry, Anxiety, and Crying
When empowered in their gifts a highly sensitive person is:
- Highly intuitive
- Open hearted and compassionate
- A great listener
- Deeply reflective
- More likely to experience joy, beauty and pleasure at heightened levels too (not just the overwhelm)
As a highly sensitive person you will also likely need more down time to recharge than others around you. This will support you in finding and keeping a balance that empowers you and lets you fully experience these gifts. Instead of asking, how can I be less sensitive? It’s better to recognize and understand these extreme emotions and how to traverse through them in a positive manner. By opening yourself up to learning techniques like spiritual healing, it can bring an abundance of positivity into your life.
How to Navigate Being a Highly Sensitive Person
Being empathic and a highly sensitive person can be a burden only if you don’t have the tools and support to guide you through them.
As a highly sensitive person, you may face a lot of challenges because of overstimulation and emotional exhaustion. These feelings can be easily remedied with regulation tools and practices. It is crucial for a highly sensitive person to seek peace. Search for a calming, relaxing space so you can recharge your energy, become a more empathic person, and be considerate of others.
Also, it’s important for highly sensitive people to have an all-encompassing perspective. A person who is highly sensitive is more aware of the nuances within a situation. Those small details can contribute to making the most informed decisions possible when dealing with heightened sensitivity. Seeing all aspects of a circumstance can allow you to make the best choice.
Additionally, you should feel comfortable to fuel your passion with your emotions. A highly sensitive person feels very deeply, so it is important to shift these entrenched emotions to a positive outlet. Learning how to be less sensitive involves channelling these highly charged emotions into hobbies, crafts, or building strong relationships with others.
It is important to recognize that your nervous system is more sensitive than others when processing emotions. If you feel your emotions are “too much” then you may numb yourself to assuage the pain, which can lead to a disconnect with your body as a highly sensitive person. Utilizing grounding techniques through meditation or breathing exercises can allow you to center yourself and redirect your energy to a more positive light. Practice focusing on what your body is telling you and then provide what it needs.
If your body is telling you to preserve your energy and create boundaries with people in your life so you can protect your essence and emotions, start to draw lines and have those conversations. Give yourself permission to say no, or let others know that you need space.
Clear out the chatter and others’ energies to hear your intuition clearer. A highly sensitive person must ground and clear other people’s energy and feelings to tap into their psychic and intuitive gifts more quickly and accurately.
Harness Your Sensitivity in a Positive Way
- Embrace yourself – There is no need to fix or drown out your highly sensitive feelings. Lean into your sensitivity and accept the emotions that are produced. Focus on regulating a state of knowing who you are instead of tamping down what comes naturally to you.
- Trust yourself
- Be compassionate with yourself – Remember that embracing your gifts does not always come easy. Be kind, trust that you can bring a positive light to others.
- Create healthy energetic boundaries
- Focus on the present – Pay attention to what your body is saying and take action based on your needs. Your body will help you master your feelings and process your emotions if you connect with it on a regular basis
- Learn to accept and make positive choices.
Overcoming the Struggles of Being Highly Sensitive
Having spiritual awareness is one aspect of overcoming your struggles and managing your energy as a highly sensitive person. Instead of trying to be less sensitive, focus on applying that energy to something positive. One method to pivot from negative to positive is to implement the TLC body meditation. This particular type of meditation encompasses all parts of the being to focus on reconnecting all aspects of the self:
- T – Talk
- L – Listen
- C – Commit
T – Talk to your body: As you quiet down you may notice tension or an emotion that you didn’t previously recognize. Or perhaps your intention is to release stress, ask where in your body is the source of this stress or whatever it is you want to release, that’s a perfect place to start.
L – Listen to your body: The next step is L which stands for listening to your body. Without trying to make too much sense of it, notice what thoughts, feelings, ideas, or visions come to you when you focus on the area of your body that’s calling your attention.
C – Commit to your body’s needs: The last step is C for commit. Commit to your body’s needs. Don’t ignore it or put it off. I recommend you actually put it on the calendar and take action.
Begin the meditation and tune in by closing your eyes. Place your hand on your heart and your belly and take a few nice deep breaths in.
Ground yourself and pull in that life force energy to support you. Really tune into your body and your breath. If you have a specific intention you can state that in your mind. You may seek more energy, peace, or motivation. Or simply see what your body needs right in the present moment.
Check-in with your body to release any built-up energy of your own or that you may have attracted from others. Send it back to the individual with intention. Create that connection with yourself on a regular basis so you can take in less outside energy and focus more on bringing your energy to a positive space. This is the primary way in learning how to manage your sensitivities.
Another important factor to consider when beginning your journey is to discern the difference between your energy and the energy of the people around you. Highly sensitive empaths become overwhelmed because there is such an increased range and magnitude of emotions, they have to navigate through to function and make peace.
It can feel very taxing to the individual and feelings of numbness and the desire to tune out the world may bubble to the surface because you have not learned to create strong energetic boundaries. Discerning the difference between your emotions and the emotions of others can help your energy, happiness and well being.
As you work on becoming more aware of your emotions, the energy that surrounds you, and set boundaries, you can cultivate a wonderful, positive skill. As you grow to focus more on your sensitivities as opposed to rejecting them, this will transform your relationships and your energy in the present. Not only will navigating life become easier for a highly sensitive person but it will also be more enjoyable as they reach their true purpose.
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).