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Published on May 20, 2020

Why Am I So Sensitive And Is It Bad?

Why Am I So Sensitive And Is It Bad?

Are you always offended by everything? Take things too personally? Do you find yourself thinking people are laughing about you in public places?

Is every altercation extremely stressful?

Do you pick up other people’s emotions? Do you find yourself fine, and then suddenly you are upset because someone else is?

If any of these are you, you are sensitive, and that is okay. It’s good, even! Here’s why.

What Does It Mean to Be Sensitive?

Being sensitive has too often been used as an insult to belittle people as sensitivity was perceived as weak in a masculine-centric society. This led to sensitive people agonizing over their insecurities.

To be sensitive means you are more empathetic and pick up on emotions more. You feel things on a much deeper level, and as a result, it can feel incredibly overwhelming.

Why Am I Sensitive?

There are many arguments as to why some people are more sensitive than others. For one, there is a contested theory that people have something called a Sensory Processing Sensitivity[1], but there is no solid diagnosis for why some people are more sensitive than others. If you find yourself to be a sensitive person, instead of trying to work out why you are like this, you should focus on what you can do with it.

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Is Being Sensitive a Bad Thing?

While it can be more difficult to live with as you have to manage your sensitivity, it is, without a doubt, a blessing in disguise. Think of it as a superpower; you can empathize with people more, which is highly valuable in today’s society. While you will feel overwhelmed more easily, you have to ability to love and feel at a deeper level, and you will have a high EQ.[2]. It is a superpower, but you have to learn how to use your power for growth and not self-destruction.

More sensitive people have the ability to experience sensory detail. You can appreciate the subtle shades of texture in clothing, foods when cooking, the sounds of music, fragrances, the different colors of nature, or even traffic or people talking.

Sensitive people can also determine nuances in meaning, making them more emotionally intelligent. They are more aware of our inner emotional states, which can make for richer and more profound creative work as writers, musicians, actors, or other artists. They are also much more creative, and, as mentioned, they have greater empathy.[3]

How to Handle Sensitivity

Being sensitive is a blessing, but it can also be a terrible burden if left uncared for. Sensitive people tend to not take care of themselves properly and get overwhelmed and burnt out faster. These are the most important things you need to change in your life in order to handle being a more sensitive person and be happy.

1. Take Responsibility

Start by taking responsibility for your mental health. You are sensitive, and you can’t change that. You can only manage it, and the first step in doing that is by accepting who you are. Then, take responsibility for your actions moving forward. Take responsibility for your self-care, keeping on top of your mental health, overwhelm, and most importantly, your feelings.

If you are feeling strong emotions, learn to let it be. Sit with it, and understand that it will pass. Like waves in the ocean, they always calm if you give them attention.

If you are mimicking someone else’s emotions that aren’t yours, it is your responsibility to deal with it appropriately and not lash out.

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If someone has caused a strong emotional response, you are responsible for your feelings. That person was a catalyst, but the feelings that arise are yours. You control how you react and how you move forward. Don’t let someone hold you emotionally hostage.

2. Identify Drains and Energizers

You will find some people drain you and leave you feeling exhausted, and some people will make you feel bright and happy. You need to identify who these people are so you can deal with it. If you identify a drainer, avoid them or prepare yourself by creating a mental shield (more on that in a moment).

With drainers, you need to set boundaries with them or they will leave you an exhausted husk. This is a kindness; you are helping them and helping yourself. Limit your interactions and time with them and don’t falter. You will find people who drain you are drawn to you because they love your sensitivity. They are often called energy vampires, and staying away from them is the best you can do.

Alternatively, you have to keep an eye out for what makes you feel recharged and safe. Find what lifts you up and surround yourself with it.

3. Create a Good Self-Care Routine

Taking care of yourself is priority number one. Sensitive people also tend to be very selfless, so you need to establish a good routine so you can rest and recover.

Things you should include in your routine:

  • Eating well
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Getting out into nature
  • Scheduling “you time” to do things you love
  • Creating a safe and welcoming environment to retreat to
  • Repeating positive affirmations

It is critical that you take care of yourself as, like introverts, you need to recharge. If you don’t, you will feel mentally and emotionally drained all the time, which will cause mental health issues.

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4. Create a Shield

A great mental trick is to put up a mental shield when you are in an overwhelming situation. This involves putting up a shield in your mind and visualizing it as protecting you from someone’s energy. Being sensitive means you can feel bombarded by not only emotions but general stimulation. Finding ways to block them out so you don’t feel so overwhelmed is important.

A good way to learn how to build a mental shield is through mindfulness meditation. Others find that using headphones to block out sound stimulation is helpful, while others use sunglasses to weaken visual stimuli. Experiment and find what works for you.

5. Watch Your Thoughts

Not all your feelings are your feelings. Sometimes you absorb the energy of others and react to them. When this happens, you need to ask yourself, am I actually upset or am I just reacting? Becoming self-aware will help you focus on what you feel and what you are just mimicking. If you are just reacting to another person’s feelings, you can let it go.

You also have to keep an eye on your internal talk. If you are constantly being negative to yourself, you will struggle with being sensitive. You control your brain, so start making micro choices to think more positively. When a negative thought comes, correct it with something positive. If you don’t reign in your internal negativity, it will only heighten your insecurity and sensitivity.

6. Practice Assertiveness

Much like setting boundaries, you should practice assertiveness. As sensitive people tend to be less assertive because they don’t want to deal with a strong emotion, they are very easy to bulldoze. You have a right to your feelings and space. You shouldn’t change who you are to accommodate other people. If they don’t like your feelings, that is their responsibility.

If you are being assertive, you may get a response, like anger. You are not responsible for how that person is feeling; you are only responsible for you. If they are angry, that’s on them. As long as you are not violating someone else’s needs, you can say or do what you need to in order to take care of yourself.

7. Express Your Feelings

There are many ways you can do this. As a sensitive person, you are experienced with your emotions. However, because many people are taught that emotions are bad, most people tend to be bad at dealing with them.

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You need to feel your feelings. There are many things you can do to help alleviate the overwhelming feelings you feel all the time, such as meditation. Another popular technique in the spiritual community is a process called cleansing your chakras. This process helps you process and let go of your anger, loss, guilt, or shame.

If you aren’t ready to express your feelings to another person, a great tool to help is journaling. This is a safe space for you to express your feelings in a controlled way and can help you work through your problems by seeing them put on paper.

8. Change Your Perspective

Know that it isn’t about you. This is a powerful revelation if you choose to hear it. Humans in genearl are self-centered and tend to think the world revolves around them. This means we often overcompensate by being overly selfless because we feel shame about being biologically selfish.

Like all things, you require balance. You are selfish, and that is fine, but the lesson is that not everything is about you. Sensitive people tend to see others’ actions as a critique of who they are, but most of the time, that isn’t the case.

An important thing to do is forgive those who have wronged you. Often sensitive people are not great at letting things go. As a result, they find it difficult to move on from painful experiences. This is unhealthy as it will keep you from enjoying both the present and the future. Take the lesson, leave the pain.

9. Be Grateful for Your Gift

You have a great gift, so don’t be afraid of it. If you control it, take good care of yourself, and set some boundaries, you can utilize your gift of sensitivity for good. It is a blessing. If you think negatively, you will only have a negative life. Show gratitude for your new superpower and use it to your advantage.

Final Thoughts

Being sensitive is certainly a challenge. You have to be on guard a little more, and life is a little harder than for non-sensitive people, which does get frustrating. But it is also an incredible power, an advantage.

You are more likeable, people will be drawn to you, and you are able to empathize and help people really feel heard. You have an incredible gift. Don’t use it to torture yourself; use it to change your world.

More Tips on Dealing With Sensitivity

Featured photo credit: Ivan Aleksic via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

How I Choose JOMO in a World Full of FOMO Feeling Super Stressed? Do This Daily Routine Every Day 10 Reasons Why You Should Love Yourself First Top 10 Habits of a Confident (Not Arrogant) Person Giving Up Fear Based Practices to Create Positive Changes with Gary & Ryan Heil

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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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