So, maybe you’re an HSP, a highly sensitive person. Now, what? (Didn’t read my post, 15 Signs You May be an HSP? Check it out here first!)
Photo Courtesy of Wix Media
Let’s talk about taking care of yourself so that you can be as comfortable as possible.
But first, let’s talk about what might have happened when you didn’t know to care for yourself and your sensitivity:
You may have developed “bad” habits (such as too much food, TV/binge watching, alcohol, cigarettes etc.) which are really you ways to help cope/ignore with your physical, emotional and mental discomfort
You may have a lower self-esteem because your were mistreated for being “different” or sensitive
You may have been highly confused as a child by adults who were clearly upset, lied and said they were fine. It’s very common in this culture for people to lie and say they're fine when they're not.
So, for years, I thought something was wrong with me. I didn’t trust my instincts and sensitivity because I trusted the “all-knowing” adults who said they were fine and really weren't.
When you are hurting and you don’t know why, it’s hard to fix it. Many adults have developed “bad” habits or a lower self esteem because they weren’t aware of their sensitivities or its effects.
What’s the problem?
What’s happening is that HSPs are often overstimulated. Heightened senses can go into overload from too much noise, light, touch, etc. I used to suffer in middle and high school (I don’t remember elementary lol). After a day of school, I would just come home and eat to drown my discomfort. Thankfully, I became active in sports!
Where else could the discomfort be coming from?
Besides being sensory overstimulated, another smaller sector of HSPs (about 8% of the overall American population) can actually absorb emotional energy from others. These individuals are called empaths. You can think of empaths as a type of HSP. So, not only are we overstimulated by too much light or sound, but then we can actually take in others’ discomfort as well. OMG!
Before I understood how to protect myself and stop absorbing others’ pain, strangers would come up to me and tell me their whole, dramatic life story. Just dumped it all on me! And, I allowed it because I didn’t know any better. Have you ever had that happen to you?
Later that night or the next day, I would be so drained from taking on their pain, I’d be almost ill. If this happens to you, check in with yourself later on or the next day. If you are tired or feeling apathetic, you may have been dumped on.
If so, good news - you’re probably an empath or HSP! The even better news - now you know and can take action to protect yourself.
The people who dump their pain on you feel temporarily better, but it’s a vicious cycle. I don’t have to tell you that many dysfunctional relationships get started this way. Empaths and HSPs are magnets for narcissists! Can I get an amen!?
To be fair, we often bring it on ourselves, thinking we can help and heal others. And, many of us can. It’s our nature to want to help. But, without proper protection and training, though, we’re just hurting ourselves. Let me tell you! That’s a topic for another day.
So, what can you do to ease the effects of your sensitivity?
Hide in your house and draw the curtains (just kidding)
Meditate (any kind is good, as long as you’re comfortable)
Exercise (this moves energy out of your system)
Drink lots of water (same benefit as exercise!)
Spend time in nature - don’t have to go to a national park, your backyard is fine!
Take a nap (releases negative energy)
Go on a mental diet from negative social media and news, violent movies
Avoid complainers - you know who they are, they drain you!
Good body care - enough sleep, take breaks when you are overwhelmed
Sing and dance (still moving energy)
Any type of self-care by yourself - involving others like a massage therapist can make it worse, depending on your situation. You can feel it out.
Play with animals or children (if it’s enjoyable, lol)
BONUS - Take an Epsom salt bath at least once a week to draw out energy and toxins. You can use a full tub of warm water to about a cup of Epsom salts, lavender is great here.
Have you tried any of these self-care techniques? Post about it below.
Hopefully, you’ve had some water before lol!
If you’re interested in meditation, check out my Clarity meditation!
Physical, mental and emotional unease can be a sign of illness. Please consult your physician, if needed. My services and articles are meant to complement, not replace licensed medical support.