Table of content:
- Hyper emotional sensitivity?
- Highly sensitive body symptoms
- How to not be sensitive?
- What are coping strategies for highly sensitive person?
When Elaine Aron released her book we got eureka moment. Many of us got happy that so far incomprehensible things have their own naming. What’s more, for the first time we could meet in online HSP groups and understand each other, and we got relief that “I’m not the only one who take the world in similar way”. It turns out that although we don’t say people around about it, we are responsive to many signals. Nevertheless, many HSPs still ask how to not be so sensitive and sometimes we wonder how to get rid of…
Hyper emotional sensitivity?
They say about us “overly sensitive people” with telling emphasis on “overly” which makes us ask in our minds: “Why am I so sensitive?”, “Is being sensitive a bad thing or a weakness?”. (Besides, what is determinant of being “too sensitive” and who set up that?) Our environments make us understand that something’s wrong with us and hearing that we have doubts about ourselves. However, in reality not-HSPs don’t notice the strength of very sensitive people. The truth is that HS can be a positive trait especially when somebody works on this and learn how to use it well.
Among HSPs there are different triggers which are depended on personal history. However, there are many things that we have in common. I often read on hsp forums that others, just like me:
- really don’t like not honest relations nor violent movies
- when we feel emotion, it is all our world, and we cry easily under the influence of feeling (sometimes in situations that society claims that we shouldn’t, and here we can see how certain social rules harm us and get worse our mental health; we’re forced to suppress tears and that is bad. So we have to decide how much we engage in groups that follow those “norms”)
- we like when people are good for each other, kindliness is our positive trait, but we need to do be careful with some people
- We handle pressure not very well.
- Honest and supportive relations let us grow and are our safe places.
- When someone close to us is e.g. sad, we take their emotions over.
- Most of HSPs have artistic predisposition, especially because of our extensive inner lives.
- Especially if we don’t know coping strategies, we worry, analyze much and dwell on unpleasant situations about people. Not rarely we waste our time doing overthinking.
- When somebody is unkind for us, we process it longer, particularly when we don’t have well-established sense of self.
- Sometimes we think that we are too sensitive for life.
- We want to see beauty and we need to see meaning of this world.
There are more signs of being HSP, but about it you can read more on forums or in other articles.
Being very sensitive is kind of associated with certain “hyper” from the point of view of not-HSPs. They see world in simpler way than we, and that’s obvious that we’re strange in their sights. Everything that is other than own and not understood seems to be strange. And we, as empaths (HS goes often hand in hand with empathy), know it. Unfortunately many of not-hsp don’t even want to understand our world, we can see it by their rolling feedbacks, so we stop explain to them our perceptions and…
And we look for that understanding on the Internet where we meet different people who also look for support and want to give support and share their own tips. It’s good to unify, some similar people you can meet there. Simultaneously keep in mind that that kind of groups won’t solve your problems and don’t know what is the best for you. Everyone is different so you can’t believe in everything that you read there (or anywhere). I’m writing this because I did that mistake many times, and I don’t want you to get lost.
For ourselves our inner worlds and being sensitive people are something normal and better let’s not call it hyper emotional sensitivity, because that “hyper” exists on the basis of judging. We’re just highly sensitive people, that’s kind of comparing but rather descriptive. Being HSP doesn’t mean we have to respond “I’m not overly, but I am a HSP” every time when somebody tries to tell us something (because usually it won’t be understable), but I mean that it’s good when we perceive being very sensitive as value and something to learn coping, not to hide behind.
Highly sensitive body symptoms
Our sensitivity, beside psychological aspect, is associated also with physicality. Our nervous systems are sensitive to temperature, touch and other.
As for me, weather conditions behind the window really affect my mood, I feel better and more clearly when the sun shines, so what I see physically affect me directly. When I feel very pleasant taste of delicious meal, I feel it with my entire being. And my hearing let me recognize what intentions or attitude somebody has e.g. towards my or other’s speaking utterances. Besides, my nervous system reacts to sudden, sensed as “loud” sounds in form of fear and sensing of jolt of all my organism and heart fast-beating. I feel similar jolt when somebody speaks to me more sharply. Hmm, but it’s can be also consequence of my relation-trauma. During stress I have feeling of electric shocks in my limbs and I feel it very clearly.
From the other end of feeling, I can sense fully when my body is relaxed. And sniffing. I sense gentle smell of e.g. flowers, and for comparison my boyfriend doesn’t sense it. And I appreciate delicate scent of some natural plants <3 Certain smells and views and nature and imaginations distract my anxiety, stressful, worrying and strange and overanalyzing thoughts. Highly sensitive body symptoms sense also of fatigue or being hungry – we HSPs don’t do things well then. The same when we have no sleep or no safe hug. We’ve got to have satisfied physiological as well as psychological needs to function normally.
Some HSPs have also a sensitive parts of organisms. E.g. I have a gentle stomach, and I catch bruises easily.
Psycho and body symptoms let us see how all high sensitiveness impacts organism, but so many HSPs ask…
How to not be sensitive?
As the world is fast often treats us indelicate, it makes us think that we should fit in and be harsh the same as most of our society. Spending time in certain circles we realize there is no room for sensitivity, especially that no one taught us how to operate well something gentle like that feature and how to protect it. Usually we can’t cope with it, so many want to get rid of it. The question is can we stop being so sensitive?
Start a quarrel with somebody who isn’t characterized by a high emotional intelligence nor interpersonal communication and try to not feel pain when you’ll hear words like “You’re an idiot” etc. Next, get out and look with indifference at man kicking a pet. Don’t feel anger nor pain nor fear nor concern. Later, yell deliberately at the closest people you have. Don’t have remorse. Watch aggressive video for 30 minutes. Listen to car alarm and focus on it purposfully.
Expose yourself to those factors day by day. Do you like it?
If you cry automatically at the mention of kicking a pet or you forgot it purposefully (or subconsciously) to not feel such big incoming emotions, can you stop being sensitive? And best from now on?
It turns out that people ask not proper question. Instead “How to not be sensitive?” or lamenting and helpless “Why am I so sensitive?”(I’m not telling about asking about that with curiosity and openness which rather sounds “Hmm I see that I reacted not too adequate, I wonder what triggered me” – such thinking is okay and it can be helpful), better to ask “How to deal with being highly sensitive?” or:
What are coping strategies for highly sensitive person?
That we’re able to do:
- Let emotions be, and do not block them. I’m aware of how many emotions HSP experiences by day and even by night, however blocking uses more strength than feeling in itself. Relieving emotions by crying is really okay and healthy. Releasing emotional load can be also in form of saying to somebody about it. When we start talking about our feelings with someone, we cry, and that’s natural when we have smothered so much inside.
- Care about your living place and workspace as much as you can. Adjust them to yourself. Sort out stuff on your desk, main computer files and everything that may overwhelm and distract you. If you have understanding coworkers, tell them what bothers you (bright lights, maybe?) and what supports (e.g. clear and calm communication). Reduce number of stuff that overwhelm you.
- When you feel overwhelmed, stop and give yourself time to make up your mind.
- Formulate a daily plan that suits to you. The aim of the plan is to prevent your excessive dysregulation, feeling too overwhelmed, breaking out of inner balance. More tips about good plan to-do you’ll find in my ebook.
- You’re now and here. Focus on the current task. We, HSPs, have tendency to dwell on past unpleasant interactions and worry and stress about the future. Such thinking brings nothing to our lives. So when you realize that you overanalyze something unhelpful, pull your attention to currently doing thing or start thinking about something neural or more positive. Instead of worrying, open up to looking for solutions for things that bother you or change attitude towards them.
When overanalyzing attack took you and you don’t have power that time to repel thoughts, instead of digging up something that makes you suffer, shift your attention to your favourite series (you can watch on himovies site) or game and figure out it. I love figuring out in terms of psychology, but you maybe prefer in the aspect of graphics, acting or else or just “hmm let’s wonder why Kate chose Brat and not Jim”.
Or take pleasant memories to your imagination. Good holiday, calm walk or absorbing talk with somebody 🙂 Remember also about realistic and supportive inner-talk rather than critical.
- It’s important to establish relationship with yourself. When you know and respect yourself, you can communicate people about your boundaries.
- See a little heart in yourself and appreciate it, no hurry. Let you feel that you’re loved 🥰 Nobody rushes you, find time to take pleasure in absorbing your good heart, feeling well, just in being.
- Make it possible to decide with whom you spend your earthly time. HSPs don’t feel good with people who want only gain something and don’t give sense of closure, empath nor understanding. Choose right people who have good intentions towards you, remind you about your wings and want relation with authentic you.
- Care about moments of beauty and happiness <3 Everyone can have different ones. E.g. I like to sniff one flower, so I buy one sporadically. I repeat to myself that I’m good, important and I feel better then. And I enjoy views like sun’s rays and green trees and waves of the sea <3 When I can’t absorb them I can immerse myself in that kind of views thanks my new plate mats. If it comes to beautiful moments we can’t forget also about closure with people who we love, about looking at their faces what I do regularly 🙂
- Find at least a little time for expression yourself. Maybe, just like me, you like writing in diary, painting with pastels and singing? Besides, take care of being in nature. Parks, forests, gardens, lakes wait for you 🙂 HSPs need nature, we experience some relief there.
- Try to accept highly sensitive body symptoms, try to change fear of them into understanding. Give satefy to your body.
- Trust God. Now’s plague of anxiety. We don’t have certainty what will happen, even when we strive for success we feel uncertainty. That’s why, best every night pray “Jesus, you take over”.
- Remind yourself that you’re a human and that it’s okay to live imperfectly. When we try to cope with HS, we do it better, another time worse. Sometimes we sleep and eat well, but something triggers us and it throws us off balance.
Aiming to better coping remember to be patient for yourself.
We can’t stop be impervious. We’re able to distance ourselves from certain things throughout time, other things we have to accept and learn handle them.
Don’t scold yourself for being very sensitive. Generally that feature is good, just needs our attention to learn managing it. We all are born with certain gentleness, some people separate themselves from it because that’s easier, some of us develop own sensitiveness. Each of us is more or less sensitive, but the difficulty appears when somebody experiences extreme points like frequent total freezing or “hyper hyper” emotional sensitivity and can’t practice coping strategies. Anyway, gentleness is a part of being human and criticizing it inflicts mental pain. Looking for answers to the question “How to not be sensitive?” you waste your time and lack of sensitiveness is a way to dehumanizing. Our world needs you and me to bring good humanity.
I’ll tell you not only to not stop being so sensitive, but use that positive trait to build something good and maybe new, something that will serve also other people:
- Working at jobs which demand analyzing big number of data. That way you set your concentration on things for that they at least pay you, not on things that only get your mood worse.
- Praise your close people for small things which you see in them. That way you build their good thinking about themselves and you care about health relations 🙂
- Create a company related to medicine, arts, teaching or anything else that includes sensitiveness.
- Implement the habit that relies on monthly considering (maybe together with household and co-workers) what is good in your relations, work, minds, habits and what one little thing you all would like to improve every following month. Appreciate those good. Something like that improves atmosphere of places where you spend time.
- Grab a group of people and create emotional spectacle with them. Write scenario devoid of violence. In such show you can promote good values, beauty and sensitivity of course.
- You can use your empathy by becoming leader in any support group (HSPs group or mothers group, ACDF group etc).
- Gather HSPs and other thinkers from your town and do meetings from time to time, and talk about big things which are important for you all
- You can write your reflections and imaginations and release them someday 🙂 Maybe the modern world won’t appreciate them, but perhaps the next generations… Besides, such written thoughts, a book of poetry or fairytales by your own are always any success, not only in CV. The same as drawing, painting or other creative stuff.
Experiencing HS is something inseparable from me. I can’t even call it “part of me”. There’s a boundary where my little inner critic starts and ends, and I distinguish it from my inner babysitter who also has its own structure. I can’t demarcate my emotionality and sensitiveness in the same way. I can’t see me without high sensitiveness traits.
By questioning “How to stop being overly sensitive?”, “Yeah, you told that it can’t be done but how to not be sensitive?” you pass something of your being which is just sensitiveness. Although we soaked toxicity and we were raised in hard conditions, we have a chance to create new, more human and suited to our nature world. One way to get situation better is to learn coping strategies. And remember, you’re not overly sensitive, you are a high sensitive person 🙂 However, If you think that sensitiveness is your weakness, take actions to change it in your strength 🙂