Many of us have experienced the feelings of being highly sensitive. A highly sensitive person is extra attuned and sensitive to the environment around them, feeling the effects of everything from pain to caffeine to crowds to other people’s feelings more intensely. Often times, those of us who are highly sensitive have been taught or have had experiences where we view our extra sensitivity as a weakness. This is due to social conditioning and the exact opposite is actually true. Being highly sensitive means you’re tapped into your intuition and your sense of empathy is very, very deep. You can intuitively know what people need in a particular situation. In short, a highly sensitive person is a wonderful person to have at your bedside.
Viewing this sensitivity as a weakness and as something to hide only keeps your gift from the world. There are many of us who share the traits of being highly sensitive people, so you are never alone in your experience of the world, even when you might feel like you’re different. Your sensitivity is actually a giant gift, given to you so you can share it with the world.
By learning how to handle sensitivities in a variety of situations and stopping judgment of one’s self, we are allowing our light to shine. While a sensitive person might not love loud places, they also have a deep sense of compassion and empathy, and get to feel emotions more deeply. There’s nothing about a highly sensitive person that needs to be fixed, and it’s important to embrace your high sensitivity as a strength. I hope these strategies for highly sensitive people will help you become your best self:
- Plan out your week and schedule in some down time. Highly sensitive people need time alone to recharge. It’s important to not overcrowd your schedule and to create a realistic to-do list for each day while allowing yourself time to unwind and refresh yourself too. This strategy will keep overwhelming feelings away.
- Take breaks throughout your day. Step away from whatever you’re doing for even a five-minute break. Since highly sensitive people become more stimulated by sights, sounds, and smells around them, it’s important to give yourself time to help you stay grounded and to allow your system a little bit of rest from all the stimuli.
- Eat between meals. One of the worst parts of being a highly sensitive person is getting “hangry” – angry when you’re hungry. Don’t feel like you have to stick to three traditional meals per day. Eat smaller meals and allow for snacking between meals. Bring snacks, like nuts, raisins or a granola bar with you so you always have something to tide you over.
- Be mindful of what you watch. Highly sensitive people are more likely to be affected by violence in the media. Choose to watch and read things that are positive, like memoirs of inspirational figures and self-help books, along with comedy shows and uplifting documentaries. I can’t control what pops up in my social media news feed throughout my day, but I can control my choice to consume it.
- Find an outlet for your emotions One of the best tools for a highly sensitive person is finding a way to process emotions through a regular activity you enjoy. Find a creative outlet that works for you, like writing, painting, knitting, surfing, yoga—whatever you enjoy! One important thing to note is that being highly sensitive means you’re super empathetic. The best outlet for this can be to offer your times in services of others and to use your compassion in a way that helps the people around you.