Do you suspect that you (or someone you love) are feeling overwhelmed a bit more often, or a bit more easily than others?
The highly sensitive person phenomenon is real. Most experts say that 15% to 20% of the population responds more to the subtleties in their environment. This can easily lead to overwhelm and exhaustion. Highly sensitives need coping skills even more than others. (Learn more about the highly sensitive person phenomenon and take a quick quiz here) It was a liberating moment for me when I took the test years ago. I had checked 26 out of 27 boxes. When I showed it to my husband he just looked at me and said, "You missed one." Honoring the wiring I was born with has allowed me to pursue and develop the talents that go along with it.
The Only Four Areas of Choice That You Have When Feeling Overwhelmed
Many things are beyond our control. We will all suffer slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that are not of our own making. However, it is very important to take responsibility for the changes that ARE within our power. Highly sensitive or not, there are always four life arenas we DO have some control over. Choices exist. Small tweaks in your life can help. Not taking advantage of the wiggle room that does exist is making a choice not to nurture yourself. We need coping skills.
Put your thinking cap on.
Look for new possibilities in each of the following areas. Take responsibility for what you are creating in your life wherever you can. Being highly sensitive is only a handicap when you try to live in ways that don’t respect who you are. (Beware! If you try to keep up with the imbalances our culture considers “normal” you will not thrive.) Learn more about the care and feeding of a highly sensitive nervous system by reading the book The Highly Sensitive Person Your sensitivity is a gift when related to properly.
Where your wiggle room is
Change your physical ability to cope.
- Qigong, Energy Psychology
- Breathing exercises
- Warm bath
- Handcrafts to ease anxiety
Change your internal thoughts and perceptions
- Are your expectations, beliefs and assumptions realistic? Grounded? Kind? Necessary? Sustainable? When you are in your own head, are you behind enemy lines?
- Guided Imagery
- Learn something new
Change your environment
- Quality of lighting?
- Quality and amount of sound? Enough silence?
- Too little privacy?
- Too little interaction? Too much? Need some restorative solitude?
- Aroma therapy
- Medicinal music
- Time in nature (nature deficit disorder)
- More color / different color?
- Create beauty
Change your interaction with your environment
- Do something different with your schedule? Interrupt some patterns?
- Time to take a break or vacation from routine? Get out of a rut?
- Time to leave somewhere permanently?
- Too much computer time?
- Who do you associate with? Do they uplift you?
- How often do you have real-live positive social interaction? Too much? Too little?
- Do you need to add more creativity to your life?Do you suffer from play deprivation?