Being a sensitive person can be challenging at times. However, a sensitive person can lead a positive and happy life if he/she follows these tips.
If you are a sensitive person, you have many feelings to share from tears to cheers. If any of the following resonates with you, then you are a sensitive person:
- Do you easily notice when someone is upset?
- Do you think and feel more deeply for others?
- Are you emotional in your relationships?
- Are you highly conscientious in exhibiting good manners?
- Do you need to keep telling yourself that you are strong?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, remember that you are not alone. If you research online, many studies show that about 15-20 percent of the population are highly sensitive and generally have an inclination towards emotional reactivity and empathy.
Being sensitive affects both men and women in their daily interactions. This impact is actually more on men as they have the pressure of masculinity in our culture and they are not encouraged to express themselves by our society.
In fact, sensitivity is a very powerful source of energy. Since society considers sensitivity as ‘being weak’ and a negative trait, many people end up considering their sensitivity as a weakness and struggle to work around it or hide it.
Now is the time for you to stop struggling and start celebrating your sensitivity. Mold your sensitivity into a strength. Learn how to accept it, manage it, and direct it toward something positive.
The first step is to identify an emotion that is bothering you and write about it. Through writing, you can identify emotional triggers and ways to deal with each of them.
Here are some tips to help you accept and manage your sensitivity.
Change your perspective on people around you
As a sensitive person, you are more aware when it comes to caring for someone and being kind. It may trouble you when you do not see it in other people. Understand that not everyone may envision the world as you do and therefore do not treat other people the way you do. By changing your perspective of these people, you are minimizing your emotional response to them because now you understand where they are coming from.
When you practice this approach, you will eventually reach a stage in your life where you are humble enough to know everyone is unique and wise enough to know that you are different from the rest.
Create a shield and focus on yourself
As an empath, you feel obligated to help people, to fix things, to make it better. You feel deeply for others. Understand that most people are not like you. You may encounter situations where you are not valued for being sensitive. Do not hurt yourself by continuing to be the same for those who do not value you.
Sense the situation, focus, and be aware of yourself. You can do that by creating a shield. Think about a bubble of light inside you and realize that everything else is outside. Retreat inside the bubble when the situation comes so you can focus and be aware of yourself. That way you are focusing your energy effectively on yourself and then later you will have the energy to focus on the people who care for you.
Acknowledge the negativity and then go back to positive thoughts
When there is negativity, acknowledge it and then go back to a positive thought that makes you feel good and brings a soothing sense of relief.
For example, when you watch the news or read newspaper, you may react deeply when you come across the hate in the world and you may find that you simply cannot stand to see the horrifying parts of life. You feel deeply that it is not right. If you are at a point, where you cannot take it anymore, take a break from current events and read a book that makes you feel better. This does not mean you are ignoring current events; it is just that you are only able to take so much at a time. Once you start feeling better, go back to following current events.
Another way to react is to acknowledge that bad things happen in the world and as an individual become a volunteer to help change what is bothering you. Remember small acts when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world. Try doing volunteer service in the area that bothers you. Studies have demonstrated that volunteering your time and energy to a cause not only creates a change on a global scale but also reduces stress and increases happiness.
Look for positivity in every situation
As a sensitive person, you are aware that if the environment is positive you thrive more and if the environment is negative, you suffer. Sometimes, you can control these environmental factors in your personal life, but other times you cannot.
Try to be optimist whenever possible. Recognize when unhappiness is taking control of you and making you anti-social. Thereafter, challenge yourself and get out there. Even in the worst of times, most of us realize that we still have things in our lives for which we are grateful. Talk about those blessings and practice gratitude.
Build on an optimistic mindset by practicing positive thinking. Anytime a negative thought comes into your mind, replace it with a positive one. At some point, this will become more natural as your brain will automatically turn a negative in to a positive.
Say ‘no’ so you can say ‘yes’
Part of being empathetic is that you often say ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no’. You think saying ‘no’ means you are unkind, rude, or selfish. Understand that when you never say ‘no’ then everything piles up. Think about the stress and resentment you may have felt when you struggled to do all things that you said ‘yes’ to.
How can you handle this situation? Make a list of commitments for that day or for that week. Mark the ones that are most important to you. Keep people informed and say ‘no’ to the ones not marked in the list. You will be focusing on what is important for you and you will be productive in whatever you do.
In doing so you will be creating some breathing space for yourself and will start feeling more balanced in your important work, the things that you love, and the people you love.
Build your physical health
Managing your emotions can be enhanced by building your physical health. This means taking care of your body by managing and maintaining your stress levels.
Start by finding an exercise that you enjoy. Any physical activity increases the production of hormones called endorphins. When produced in the brain, these hormones help you by acting as a natural painkiller, producing positive feelings, improving the ability to sleep, and regulating stress and anxiety.
It does not matter how intense your exercise is. It can be walking, running, biking, hiking, or any exercise that fits your needs and interests. Remember do not overwork yourself and do not feel ashamed if your body is taking a long time to recover after the activity you do.
Value your achievements, and even your slow progress, and stop thinking of who you should be. Remember slow progress is better than no progress. Stay positive!
Improve your mental health
Research shows that connecting to nature will help in improving your mental health. Even having a plant in your room reduces stress and anxiety levels and brings pleasant feelings. Taking a walk in nature, sleeping under the stars, and watching a sunset also improves mental health.
By improving your mental health, you can better understand your emotions. This can help you to respond calmly instead of reacting emotionally. Once you start understanding your emotions you can discern the feelings of others. You will also start to empathize with others.
Set a bedtime routine to sleep better
As a sensitive person, you need a good night’s sleep. You get emotional stability and your anxiety decreases with a good night sleep. Set a bedtime routine. Shut down all electronic devices before going on to bed. Engage in calming activities such as practicing meditation, writing in a journal, or reading.
Embrace your sensitive self
Being an empath may sometimes seem like a burden on you, but it is actually a great strength. As an empath:
- You appreciate the little things in life and feel happy for others. Not everyone has this quality. For many others, this quality is actually attained in later stages of life or after many life challenges and experiences.
- You like being empathetic and do not want conflicts. For this reason, you always think of resolving and managing conflicts, which can make you an excellent team player in your professional life.
- You being emotional and feeling deeply for others actually brings strong relationships into your personal and professional lives. You will have fewer but deeper connections with people.
Show gratitude towards all the abilities and strengths you have. Being thankful for yourself brings positive energy, which can force out the negativity and leave you with serenity.
As a sensitive person, know that your peace and your joy are products of your own making. While you may feel the world like nobody else, you are also capable of managing it. Be empowered and believe in yourself. Nothing is easy when you have an empathetic soul, but everything is achievable.