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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

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Last Updated on November 4, 2020

15 Simple Ways To Make Self Improvement That Will Change Your Life

15 Simple Ways To Make Self Improvement That Will Change Your Life

Self-improvement doesn’t have to be big mind-blowing changes; it can actually be simple steps to improve upon what you already have to get you where you want to be.  However, what you will need is consistency, determination and wiliness to try some things that will stretch and challenge you.

Rather than setting your sights way off into the future, which leaves you feeling like you’ll never make it, you can start following these simple and effective self-improvement steps today.  So if you want to make an immediate impact on your life and are willing to take action, then keep reading— you’ll going to love these!

1. Be willing to work hard.

As with anything in life, if you want something, you’ve got to work hard to get it.  This doesn’t mean you burn the candle at both ends, leaving you exhausted and leaving your personal life in ruins.  It merely means that when you want something badly enough, you’ll put in the time to get there.  Action is what’s important here and the more ‘inspired’ the action is, the better the results in the end.

2. Make sure you have friends who you can talk to.

Sharing the load is important as with any self-improvement. If you can communicate with others and get feedback on how you are doing then that’s great.  We all need ‘cheerleaders’ in our corner to keep us going when times get hard, but you also need to have people who will tell you how it is even when you don’t want to hear it.  So make sure you have a good support network around you, especially those people whose opinions you respect.

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3. Adapt to your circumstances rather than over-thinking them.

Sometimes, we can hit a hard period. Perhaps you’ve lost your job or your partner has left you.  Instead of over analyzing the situation, learn to adapt to your circumstances and accept them as they are.  It’s not about making your circumstances into some kind of a drama; remember, what you focus on expands which means you’ll get more of it.  You then don’t become your problems and you’ll feel a lot less burdened by them.

4. Ensure that you use your time wisely.

Time is of the essence, some might say; whilst others will say that time is an illusion.  One thing we do know is that you have one life on this planet, so how you use that time is of the utmost importance.  So how can you use your time wisely? Only you know how to do that, but look at how you currently spend your days: do you sit working all day, get home, eat and then sit slumped in front of the TV for the rest of the evening?  Your time on this earth is precious, so isn’t it time to make use of the time you have left? Try something new, go for a walk, learn a new language or meditate but make sure it’s something you absolutely love.

5. Always be consistent.

A wonderful way to self-improvement is to make changes to how you do things.  For example, with your friends, are you always the unreliable one who bows out of an arrangement just before it happens? Or are you someone who starts a new exercise routine and then stops doing it 3 weeks into it?  Whatever it is and whatever you do, always be consistent. When you make a commitment, stick to it. It will improve your life immeasurably you’ll feel more confident and happier with yourself, especially because you’ll know that whatever you tackle, you’ll be able to consistently do it!

6. Go and find your happy place.

No, I’m not saying “place” as in popping to your local bar or restaurant and gorging yourself on your favorite drinks or food. What I’m saying is to find out what you love to do, what makes you happy and go there.  Your happy place is a place where you find peace, where you lose yourself and feel contented.  Meditation is a great way to find your happy place; it brings you back to you and ensures that you are always living in the present moment.

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7. Make sure you embrace all your emotions.

In life you are going to find that it throws you some difficult challenges, sometimes it will bring out your fears and lead you into uncertainty, and other times it will be joyful.  It’s important to embrace all emotions that come up in your life, embrace them wholeheartedly and understand why they are there and then let them go.  Try not to dismiss or resist them because remember “what you resist, persists,” so embrace them each and every time.

8. Always be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.

The idea of stepping out of your comfort zone for some people can leave you paralyzed with fear; however for any changing in your life, your comfort zone will always have to be stepped out of.  It doesn’t have to be something big, like doing a sky-dive or something just as crazy. However, it’s worthwhile to change something that you’d once have feared, like going to the cinema on your own or eating at a sushi restaurant when the thought of trying raw fish which would normally mean you running for the hills.

So try something new—it doesn’t have to be wacky, but it has to challenge you!

9. Be on hand to help others.

Whether it’s helping a stranger on the street or a family member or a friend helping someone else either in their time of need, lending a helping hand is a wonderful and simple self-improvement to make.  Giving to others is not only beneficial to those you are helping but also to yourself; it can give you a sense of purpose, of contribution and also takes your mind of your own troubles and worries.

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10. Live in the present moment.

A wonderful self-improvement tool is to live in the present moment, to live in the now.  It is within this moment that you’ll appreciate all that you have and see the beauty in the simplest of things.  Being mindful of your current circumstances and bringing your mind back to where it belongs will bring about a happier way of life instead of constant worry or stressing about the past or future—both of which do not exist. Only the present moment exists. When you get used to living that way, you’ll never want to go back!

11. Learn something new.

There is nothing so liberating as learning something new; it can lift both your confidence and self-esteem and give you a great reason to meet new people.  If you continually top up your brain activity by learning something new all the time, you’ll feel on top of your game and want to share the knowledge you have learned. There is nothing quite so empowering as learning a new tool in life that can either improve your circle of friends or raise confidence levels—or both!

Reading is also a great way to help you learn something new:

12. Exercise daily.

This seems an obvious one, but exercise is so important not only to your health but also to your spirit.  We all know that after exercise, the world can feel a brighter and more positive place, so why don’t we do it more often?  Exercise isn’t about getting the perfect body or losing weight; it’s more about feeling good inside and out!  With a healthy body comes a healthy mind—so start something today. Even if it’s just a daily walk, it’s better than staying on that couch, again.

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13. Go to new places, travel a bit.

I’m not saying go fly off to some far away distant forgotten land—although you can if you so wish. It’s more about going to new places and experiencing life outside of your own back yard.  Too many of us stay in one place too often. We only see the same people, the same streets and do the same things each and every day.  If you want to improve your life, get out there and see the world and what it can offer.  You can start by going to a town or city you’ve never been to in your own country and checking out the architecture, the landscapes and the people.  Anything new is good, so get out there!

14. Listen to uplifting music and dance.

If there’s one thing that can really improve your life and get you excited about it, it’s listening to great uplifting music and dancing.  When was the last time you really let go?  Let it all hang loose and got into a piece of music and let yourself go?  Dancing, like exercise, makes you feel great. It releases all kinds of emotions and can make you feel unbelievably good.  Self-improvement isn’t all about the serious stuff; it can be something as simple as finding new music, music that inspires you and makes you dance and have fun!

15. Get up earlier than normal.

This is the last one, and it’s last because it’s one of those self-improvement tips that we all know is a good thing, yet we seem to avoid it at all costs!  If you think about it, the earliest part of the day is when your brain is most active because it’s been turned off for the last 7 hours or so.  So don’t you think it’s best to get all those things above done in the morning?  Things like exercise, meditation and dancing, which can all be done in the first part of the day.  Take it from me: this early morning stuff can really get your day started with a bang!

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Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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