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7 Things You Didn’t Know That Would Hurt Highly Sensitive People Deeply

7 Things You Didn’t Know That Would Hurt Highly Sensitive People Deeply

Do you tear up at those super sad SPCA animal rescue commercials? Are your feelings often hurt when your friends tease you? Do you brood over it for days? Are you able to sense sadness in those around you and quickly pick up on the moods of others? Do you deeply empathize with others?

If you answered “yes” to most of the questions above, you may be a highly sensitive person.

Highly sensitive people (HSP) are all around us. Between 15 and 20 percent of the population have the innate trait of extreme sensitivity. It is not a disorder or a disability. But it is misunderstood.

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About 70 percent of all highly sensitive people are introverts. Both introverts and HSPs reflect deeply, like meaningful conversations, and need lots of down time, which is not surprising. But the other 30 percent of HSP’s who are extroverted are the most misunderstood. Most people equate introversion and extroversion with sociability. But these two traits only account for someone’s tolerance level in having a large circle of friends and enjoyment in meeting strangers and socializing in large groups. Introversion and extroversion have very little to do with heightened sensitivity. High sensitivity lies deeper. It is an inherent trait.

Characteristics of Highly Sensitive People

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    Highly Sensitive people:

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    • Are easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or loud sirens.
    • Feel stressed when they have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time.
    • Avoid violent movies and TV shows.
    • Withdraw during busy days. They may escape and go to bed or hide in a dark room or some other place where they can have privacy and relief from the situation.
    • Take great pains in arranging their life to avoid, or at least minimize, stressful situations
    • Love aesthetic beauty. They notice and enjoy things like delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, and works of art
    • Have a rich and complex inner thought life.
    • Were seen as sensitive and shy as children.
    • Have a low thresh hold for pain.
    • Crave deep and meaningful relationships.
    • Cry frequently.

    Understanding is the number one key in dealing with highly sensitive people. Know that the best way to love a HSP is by supporting them. Avoid shaming them because of their sensitivity. Validate their feelings and let them know it is OK to feel the way that they do.

    Here are 7 things that deeply hurt highly sensitive people

    https://pixabay.com/en/blonde-woman-depressed-portrait-1031534/

      1. Withholding your emotions and being dishonest about how you really feel

      HSP’s can pick up on how you feel, and lying about your feelings only makes things worse. Openness, honesty, and transparency are key when dealing with a sensitive individual. They detest people who play emotional games.

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      2. Refusing to give them space and alone time

      HSP’s need to decompress–frequently. Know that they simply need time to process and recharge after dealing with society. This is not meant to hurt or alienate you. They are not retreating or avoiding you, but rather, replenishing their energy stores.

      3. Disregarding their heightened sensitivity and emotions

      They have a keen sense and deep insight into the emotional world. They can literally feel other people’s pain. They wear their heart on their sleeve. They have a deep, complex personality and long to be loved and accepted as they are. They understand that they can be difficult to deal with.

      4. Criticizing them

      This is one of the worst things you can do to highly sensitive people. They experience your words in a deep and very personal way. Criticism penetrates their heart and seeps into their soul. They are natural people pleasers and have a tendency to engage in self deprecating behaviors to win the acceptance and approval of others.

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      5. Withholding or limiting love and affection

      HSP’s crave love and affection. It is the fuel that energizes their very being. The highly sensitive are prone to depression and feel heightened levels of anxiety. Physical touch helps to reduce anxiety and depression, which they feel on a much deeper level.

      6. Trying to change them

      Trying to change the sensitivity level of the super sensitive is an exercise in futility. It just will not happen. Your efforts to alter them will be sensed and then internalized. They will feel unloved and rejected.

      7. Not Encouraging them to get out of a rut

      Highly sensitive people are paradoxical in that they love spontaneity and are very adventurous but yet are hesitant to try new things. They can easily slip into the habit of staying home too often and become reclusive. Encourage them to get out of the house. Challenge them to get involved in things they love.

      Photo Credit: Shy Child from Sukanto Debnath on Flickr

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      Denise Hill

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      Last Updated on September 30, 2020

      How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

      How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

      Learning how to live a stress free life may seem impossible, but the truth is that there are specific things you can do to begin eliminating sources of stress.

      No, it doesn’t look like a made-for-television movie. No, it doesn’t look like something only people with extra time and money can do. It looks like your life—but without any self-created stress triggers.

      Here are 11 ways to help you live a stress-free life:

      1. Stop Overanalyzing Situations That Haven’t Happened

      The first step to living a stress-free life is to stop overanalyzing imaginary scenarios. It’s easy to spend time in the world of worst-case scenarios. People tend to cultivate this world for one of two reasons.

      First, because if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then it won’t surprise you when it happens. Second, if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then you can do everything in your power to control the universe so the worst case never happens.

      If that’s really the world you want to cultivate, then become a professional risk assessor. If not, then ask yourself how you are benefiting from continuing to live that way.

      Does it make you feel better about yourself and your life? Does it make you want to leap out of bed in the morning, eager to embrace the worst-case scenario? Does it bring you joy or fulfillment?

      If your answer to these three questions is no, then stop living in the future and bring yourself back into the present.

      2. Don’t Take on Other People’s Problems

      The whole advantage of other people having problems is that they aren’t your problems. When you frequently take on other people’s problems, you get into the habit of enabling.

      Let’s get crystal clear about the definition of enabling: enabling is the art of continuing to take responsibility for other people, thereby disallowing their personal responsibility[1].

      It is of no service to other people to take on their problems because they can’t/won’t/don’t know how to fix the problem.

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      It is of service to empower others to take responsibility for themselves and their lives, to encourage, teach, and motivate others to address their own problems. So stop enabling, and start empowering.

      3. Get Present in the Moment

      Being present in the moment involves being in your body and feeling your feelings—two things that lots of folks actually don’t know how to do.

      Ask yourself these two questions: What does fear feel like in your body? What are you afraid of?

      If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you probably aren’t present in the moment. Being present involves vulnerability, humility, and openness[2].

      How to live a stress free life by being present

        The past and the future stop being so relevant and intriguing when you’re able to get in your body and feel your feelings. When you can do these two things, you actually want to be in the present moment.

        To get started, close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and watch your stress levels drop. Then, try these tips: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying.

        4. Focus on What You Have, Not What You Don’t

        The easiest way to stop focusing on what you don’t have is by not watching TV commercials. Marketing teaches us to focus on what we don’t have, and advertising campaigns spend millions of dollars convincing us that we must have what we don’t yet have.

        Can you think of a marketing campaign that teaches you to enjoy what you already have without buying something to enhance it? Odds are you can’t.

        In a world dictated by Super Bowl commercials and Facebook ads, it takes stalwart focus to recognize what you have more than what you don’t. If you want a stress-free life now, get stalwart, and stop letting other people dictate your focus.

        In order to do this, try cultivating a gratitude practice to help refocus your mind toward what is good in your life. You can get started with this guide.

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        5. Stop Surrounding Yourself With People Who Don’t Make You Happy

        Honestly, what kind of people do you really like to be around with? People who get you, who see you clearly, who accept your flaws and all; people you can be yourself with; people who have shared interests?

        How many of those people are in your life? What characteristics do all of the other people in your life have?

        If you find that the people in your life aren’t adding anything positive, it may be time to make some changes. If you find that other relationships you have are downright toxic, start working to cut out those relationships immediately.

        6. Find a Job That Makes You Feel Good

        You don’t have to stay at a job just because it pays the bills. Most people spend more time working than sleeping. The average person spends 40 to 80 hours a week—or 2,000 to 4,000 hours a year—working. That is a significant investment!

        If your best friend or child told you that they were going to spend 4,000 hours giving their emotional, mental, and physical energy to something (or someone) that wasn’t going to value them, give anything back to them, or pay them what they were worth, what advice would you offer? Give that same advice to yourself. You won’t be stress-free unless you don’t learn this[3].

        Here’re 11 Signs That You Should Leave Your Job.

        7. Only Take on What You Can Handle

        Busyness is an addiction. Slowing down can actually be terrifying because it causes you to notice that you have feelings that you now have time to feel.

        I get it.

        By the time I slowed down, I had decades of busyness under my belt. I went into a tailspin depression because I didn’t understand how to be in the right relationship with my own emotions.

        When I finally figured out that feelings are just feelings and allowing them to express themselves is healthy and natural, I stopped experiencing withdrawal from my addiction to busyness and started figuring out the pace of life that felt best for me.

        Remarkably, I discovered that I don’t actually like being busy. What will you discover about yourself?

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        8. Let Go of Grudges and Anger

        For me, it took 20 years of adulthood to figure out that holding on to grudges and anger only hurt me. Lucky for you, though, you can benefit vicariously from my experience just by reading one short paragraph!

        No one is holding your feet to the fire, demanding that you hold on to grudges and anger. The energy of anger slowly eats away at your body, mind, and spirit, until one day you wake up more resentful than optimistic.

        One day, people no longer want to be around you because the stink of negativity is oozing out of your pores. One day, you even get tired of hearing yourself get angry. And the person or people you are angry at or holding grudges against probably haven’t been affected at all.

        Who gets hurt the most in that process of repeating negative thoughts? You do.

        Some good advice for you here: How to Let Go of Resentment and Anger

        9. Stop Reliving Your Past

        To live a stress-free life, you have to stop reliving your past. I know it seems like fun to compare everything in your present to your past, and to experience the present through past-colored glasses, but it actually isn’t.

        When you wear past-colored glasses, you can’t truly experience the present for what it is. Your boyfriend or girlfriend gets compared to a list of expectations and failed relationships rather than recognized for the unique blessing they are in your life.

        Your boss gets compared to all the bosses who came before her/him. Your friends’ ability to parent gets compared to your parents’ ability to parent.

        People, including you, deserve to stand on their own past-free merit.

        10. Don’t Complain About Things You Can’t Change

        There are always going to be people elected into office whom you don’t like, taxes that you don’t want to pay, idiot drivers who refuse to move out of the left-hand lane, and a person ahead of you in the check-out line who won’t stop chatting with the clerk.

        The great benefit of being human is that we get to experience all of what life offers us. To live stress-free is to learn to deal with this fact.

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        Dwelling on your frustration with something that can’t be changed doesn’t do anything other than drag you down. You are the only person who will ultimately decide how to respond to what is.

        11. Stop Living Through Other People’s Lives

        Someone else’s life is not your life. Your life is your life.

        What that means is you get to live your life in the way you want. You get to make ridiculous mistakes, take leaps of faith, and stuff things inside your handbag of fear just as much as the next person.

        Going through stuff is the whole great messy adventure of being human! Being alive and living life is terrifying and glorious and everything in between.

        Stop living through social media, trying to soak in all of the experiences everyone else is having. Focus, instead, on what it feels like to be you in this moment. You may find you like it.

        Final Thoughts

        An astounding thing happens when you reduce stress and anxiety, get into a relationship with your body, mind, and spirit, and just be yourself without judgment.

        Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You begin to live in each moment, and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy.

        You move fluidly, steadily, calmly, and gratefully. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born through improved mental health. And this is how you live a stress-free life.

        More Tips on How to Live a Stress-Free Life

        Featured photo credit: Drew Coffman via unsplash.com

        Reference

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