If you have found being sensitive to be uncomfortable at times then this is written for you. Perhaps you have felt overwhelmed by existence and judged yourself as "oversensitive." There is no over-sensitive just as there is no over-humanness. You are as you are. Sensitivity can be a gateway to increased harmony (once you learn how to live in this world as a sensitive being).
I am writing this for myself, my sensitive friends, and those sensitive people I do not know but for whom I have empathy. What follows is a series of suggestions. Take what fits. We all bring different experiences to our present life situation and there are no universal cures. However, I"ve found that the following can be helpful methods for increasing comfort and happiness as a sensitive person.
Authentic Contact - The ability to have honest, personal interaction with another person or persons is a healing and connecting experience for the sensitive person. If you find your current interactions superficial it may be time to take them deeper and/or expand your social circle. You should be able to have conversations with others that feel nourishing, validating, and healing. Be open to new connections and utilize those authentic connections you may already have.
Automate - Reduce the amount of time you spend doing things you don"t want to do by using automation. The Internet can be a useful resource (online banking and shopping). Additionally, many of the payments people make through the mail can be set up for automatic payment from a checking account. Paychecks can often be directly deposited into your account. Stamps can be ordered through the mail. Some grocery stores make deliveries. Instead of getting $3 worth of quarters for laundry or parking get $30 and set aside the leftovers (apply this concept of "bulking up" to other areas as well). These changes may seem small but anything you can do to remove yourself from busywork opens up space for more enjoyment of life. You may be keeping yourself busy to avoid your feelings. However, acting like a busy android doesn"t lead to bliss.
Be Yourself - No matter what you read (including this material) or hear from anyone else, always define yourself. It is impossible for anyone to know you so deeply as you can know yourself. Only you are present with your thoughts consistently. If you like music that no one else likes then take pride in your individuality as you listen to your tunes. Everyone has a calling. Yours may not put you on television but it is just as important as anyone else"s. If you aren"t being yourself you"ll probably feel uncomfortable. Just keep making modifications until you feel comfortable with who you are.
Boundaries - You need to set boundaries and learn how to say no without guilt. Many sensitive people are drawn towards philosophical perspectives that deny taking care of yourself (and focusing on other people). If you do not take care of yourself and say no to situations and people you don"t want to be around you may found yourself in an almost constant state of discomfort. If you are sensitive you simply must give yourself permission to not be everything to everyone and take care of yourself. If your body is telling you "no" to a situation then don"t give the power of choice to anyone else.
Breathe - Take in fresh air and (whether or not you are indoors) breathe deeply. You may find it useful to periodically (when stressed out for example) stop and inhale/exhale 20 times (or whatever number works well for you). You are breathing automatically throughout your sleep and much of your day, but you have the ability to take in fresh energy and exhale the old in any conscious moment. Treat yourself to this form of release and rebirth.
Communicate Effectively - Many sensitive people may communicate "hysterically" with pressured speech and an overwhelming amount of energy without pausing to listen. Or you may be withdrawn and aloof, not sharing yourself for fear of feeling judged or misunderstood. Effective communication is one of the most important life skills you can ever learn. It enhances your personal growth and improves all of your relationships. Learning how to listen empathically is a huge part of communicating. What follows are some suggestions and thoughts related to empathic listening:
- Advice can be damaging when it has the effect of taking away power from the other.
- Recognize the other person"s feelings without taking responsibility for them.
- People inherently want to be congruent and validated.
- Accept to assist in the other"s healing.
- Don"t attempt to change people; allow them to be their true selves.
- Depth and honesty tends to continue until it is interrupted by ego or misunderstanding.
- Facilitate a space of self-trust so the other can solve their own problems.
- Take no responsibility for the results of your empathic listening. Results reflect the other"s readiness for change.
The following forms of interaction are those I find to be often Incongruent:
- Irrelevant questions
- Having an agenda for the other
- Inappropriate/distracting/distancing use of humor
- Unsolicited advice
- Unsolicited, distracting personal disclosure
- Not paying attention/wandering mind
- Changing the subject prematurely
- Guiding/controlling/manipulating the direction of conversation
- Criticism of behaviors/thoughts
- Filling up silence with surface chat
The following forms of interaction are those I find to be often Congruent:
- Listening with a relaxed facial expression
- Direct eye contact
- Open body posture
- Minimal reinforcers (such as nodding or saying "yes," "I see," "oh") when not overused
- Smiling when reflecting pleasant emotion
- Paraphrasing what you"re hearing periodically to demonstrate your understanding
- Reflecting both the content and feelings you are hearing
- Making tentative connections/observations in question form
- Allowing both positive and negative emotions to emerge
- Observing the other"s "true self" beneath their fear and doubt
Compassion - When you think of others, think with compassion. It is tempting to think of others as if they are enemies. However, everyone is just here trying to figure things out and do their best. With a compassionate perspective you will not waste time in the "me" vs. "them" way of perceiving the world.
Completion - It is helpful to complete "things to do" and finish up lingering tasks. If you "leave a lot of things hanging" it will create more fodder for the mind to think about and keep you from the moment. It is best to get what needs to be done out of the way to free up your energy, rid yourself of distractions. It is also helps you to achieve your goals in all areas of life if you have good follow through.
Current Life Purpose - I don"t sense that people have to have a singular life purpose. However, it is helpful to identify your current life purpose. When you are feeling overwhelmed you may tell yourself that your life has no point to it. If you are connected with your current goals you will be less likely to feel blown over by self-doubt. Your current life purpose need not be complicated or grand. It may be rather simple and personal. It is up to you to define what it is that you feel you are being guided towards achieving in this stage of your life. Don"t confuse your purpose with the purpose of others as we are all in unique situations.
Expectations - Release yourself and others from expectations as best you can. Open yourself to the world of possibilities and try to not over-control your life. It is "natural" to try to make your future more predictable. However, when you learn to trust the flow of life you can let go of expectations. Additionally, when you are not dependant upon others for a sense of well being you won"t need to hold them to your expectations. This feels extremely liberating.
Expression - Express your feelings. Many sensitive people keep their thoughts inside and are more likely to "be there" for others than request a listening ear. Usually there is someone you can express yourself to openly. If there is no one else in your life you can try meeting someone in your environment or on the Internet who is willing to listen. You can also journal your thoughts or use creative visual to express yourself. You can physically feel energy build up inside. Leading this can lead to suppressed energy that it is best to release.
Fix Things - If money and/or ability exists to do so, try to fix what is broken. By letting things exist in a dysfunctional state you will be creating extra weight in your life. It is generally best to fix things that are broken or replace them if they are beyond repair. You may have tools in your life such as computers, radios, or electronic organizers that are useful in your path. If they are not working and you let them remain broken you are limiting your experience of flow.
Flexibility - You may be used to trying to keep everything in control. It"s good to manage life effectively but if you micromanage the details you will feel stressed out when things don"t go as you hoped. Practice being flexible and rolling more fluidly with what unfolds. If what you thought would work didn"t, trust that things will work out for the best.
Food - What you eat can have an effect on how comfortable you are feeling in your body. Many people find "heavier" foods such as meat and pasta to have a grounding effect. Eating small amounts of food or "lighter" foods such as fruits and vegetables can help increase your sensitivity, and "increase your vibration." As a sensitive person you"re already "vibrating" at a pretty high frequency and there"s no need to make it higher until you"ve learned to manage feeling comfortable in your body. Sometimes people who decide to be vegetarian or vegan revert to meat after finding that they don"t feel grounded without that protein. Whatever is right for you, be honest with yourself and don"t fall into guilt trips. We are not designed to be set up in some catch-22 situation in which you have to feel uncomfortable to be a "good" person. Take care of yourself and find what works best for your body. This is a world of great diversity.
Forgive - To free up your energy it"s important to forgive those you feel have hurt you. On a deeper level, you chose those experiences for lessons. It"s helpful to let go of the idea of having "enemies." This perception of being "against" someone takes too much energy, and creates an uncomfortable weight with which you are unnecessarily burdening yourself. When you forgive someone (which is often a process of overcoming your ego attachment to being right) you will open yourself up for more positive experiences. After forgiving someone you are not obligated to be their best friend or do anything you don"t want to do. Simply enjoy letting go of your anger and feelings of victimization. Don"t feel bad if you"ve been holding on to resentment for many years. Some people hold on to their hate for their entire lifetime. Any energy you can liberate from hatred can be used towards improving your sense of well-being.
Fun - Have fun! It sounds easy enough. But if life has seemed intense and "like work" for awhile you may have lost touch with what you enjoy. Think back and reconnect with aspects of yourself that you may have judged or let "slip away." There are thousands of ways to have fun so your challenge is to know what you enjoy and to then do these things. Having fun should become self-reinforcing once you get started on your path to fun.
Good Self Esteem - Focus on your positive attributes. Self-critical thoughts may arise but these are to be understood and released. You deserve your own love. It doesn"t matter who you are or what you"ve done. You best serve yourself and others by loving yourself deeply and consistently.
Grieve - You don"t have to understand why it helps to cry and talk about your feelings of loss. Just trust that it does. Men have a particularly difficult time opening up their tear ducts but both genders benefit from the release and chemical comfort cocktail released in the brain from crying. You may feel out of control when you are in grief. This is part of the lesson...to surrender to the process and trust that you will move through it even when it feels dark. If you have accumulated a great amount of unexpressed grief over the years it may be time to let out some of the pain. Write about it, talk about it, shout about it, cry it out.
Harmony or Conflict - In relationships we interact with each either with harmonious (parallel / =) or conflictual (perpendicular / +) energy. It is useful to consider whether or not there is a need to react with perpendicular energy to something someone says. You may be used to be challenged a lot by a conflictual person. Try to not unconsciously imitate this pattern. Stay with parallel energy as much as you can. Imagine coasting along on a parallel path with the person you"re interacting with, removing negative blocks from your paths. There may be times for a perpendicular reaction (such as defending a core value that is being challenged) but even this can be handled without defensiveness. For the most part we spend too much time in conflict and would benefit from "choosing our battles" more wisely, and practicing parallel energy.
Healthy Relationships - Especially in the arena of romantic relationships it is important to avoid codependence. This form of dependence can occur with friends or other people, but is most often associated with unhealthy romantic relationships. Because you feel so much, it may be tempting to simply tune in to how someone else is feeling and experience this like a psychic vampire. However, you will be left empty in their absence and must eventually deal with finding comfort in your aloneness. Communicate who you really are and what you are really experiencing. Take conversational risks...risk being seen for who you really are. This vulnerability will test the strength and authenticity of your relationships. Healthy connections will survive the truth.
Home as Sanctuary - If you have a room, an apartment or a house, make it into your sanctuary, your place of healing, comfort, and joy. Because businesses need your attendance to make money it is easy to get brainwashed into thinking that fun awaits "out there" somewhere. Reflect on homes that you have enjoyed visiting and what it was that made them enjoyable...then integrate these qualities into your home. If you"re in a negative living situation, do everything you can to heal the situation or move. It is very toxic for a sensitive person to live in an emotionally toxic environment. Allow the improvement of your home become an ongoing process. You will pick up on the positive energy of what you see around you and integrate it into your self-concept. You may also find that keeping your space clean and organized improves your sense of comfort and enjoyment since a chaotic environment can impact how you organize your thoughts.
Honesty - The first stage of being honest is being honest with yourself. To do this you must strip away the illusions and "shoulds" you have accumulated by being part of a society. The second stage is to be honest with others about who you are, and how you are experiencing your life. This doesn"t mean that you have to process everything that occurs to you. However, don"t hold things inside. Take the risk of being seen as you are. You"ll accumulate discomfort if you are not being honest.
Hygiene - It may sound strange to mention but practicing good hygiene is often important for sensitive people. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the experiences of your life then it"s tempting to avoid the hassle of basic showering/bathing, brushing your teeth, and shaving (if you shave). When you neglect yourself of these behaviors you may begin to feel uncomfortable in your body and increase your negativity. Sensitive people are more attuned to the subtleties of their experience so it"s often useful to pay attention to such details.
Inner Guidance - When you are feeling uncomfortably sensitive you will likely turn to many different sources (including, perhaps, this one) for answers. It feels crucial to find a way out of your discomfort. However, reading someone else"s answers is often a process of finding validation for that which you already know. You may find an answer externally that you"ve already sensed internally, but that perhaps someone has phrased in a manner that resonates with you. The point of all this is that when you listen to your inner voice you can often find the answers you need are already present, simply waiting for you. You can distinguish your inner critical voice from your inner guidance by the way you feel when you hear their "message." If your body tenses and tightens you are probably listening to your inner critic. If you feel lighter and freer then you are probably listening to your inner guidance. With practice you will be able to better determine your path from within.
Let Others Be - Do not take it upon yourself to judge what is best for others. You may find it useful to periodically make suggestions or give advice, but it is generally useless to give unsolicited guidance. Receptivity for change must be present, and even then you must trust that the information they need for evolution will arise from within. If others are not acting in a manner that you would have them perform just remind yourself that they are not simply characters in your story but that each has his/her own story to live, and is doing so as best they can.
Live in the Present - Set aside your regrets about the past and worries about the future. Expand the space of now by trusting that everything that has occurred can be utilized in your evolution, and that everything yet to come will be perfect and completely within your ability to "handle it." As you release regrets and worries you will find yourself more wholly in the present, where a peaceful mind resides.
Media Intake - When you listen to the radio or your cd player, or watch television or movies, do so mindfully. Ask yourself periodically, "With what information am I programming myself." People often feel brainwashed by society but don"t recognize that they are brainwashing themselves willingly. Try to limit intake of commercials while watching television by using the mute button or changing channels (or taping shows and fast forwarding through the commercials). Advertising can give you extremely illusory ideas about what life is about (and in clever/cute ways that make the distortion rather stealth). Remember that even though music can have a catchy beat it is useful to consciously filter out ideas that create a drag on your personal evolution.
Negate Negative Thinking - Don"t give too much energy to your negative thoughts. Virtually all sensitive people have thought about suicide and other dramatic thoughts that come from feeling like a tortured soul. Observe your negative thoughts but don"t believe in them. In your past you may have felt like people had the power to punish you. You may have learned that not being perfect deserved punishment
Patience - You are an infinite being with the patience of an infinite being. There is nothing too far off in the future because all is perfectly orchestrated for your current life lessons. You may want experiences to occur faster than they appear to be unfolding. However, if you lose yourself in this wanting you will miss out on what is available for you to enjoy in the present. Trust the process and let it all unfold at a natural pace.
Physicality - If you are in your head too much you may forget that you have a body. Move it around and stretch. Sit, stand, lie down in ways that make you feel comfortable. Check in with your body from toe to head...are you comfortable? Make modifications to how you are positioning yourself. Connect with your body. It may not be your "true essence" but while you are here it is a part of your experience...and you can increase your joy by having a positive relationship with your body.
Positive Focus - It may seem there is a lot of reward for focusing on the negative. It may seem like people are more interested in you if you"re having problems that you can"t solve. It may give others a good feeling to solve your problems for you. However, no matter where you are at in your life you can shift your focus towards a more positive perspective. Focus on what is working in your life and creating a positive vision of where your choices are guiding you. Have gratitude for the good stuff.
Release Guilt - The feelings of guilt/shame are not helpful. You can assess your past decisions without beating yourself up. Guilt is punishing yourself because no person or God is punishing you the way you learned it should occur. You are your own prison guard and can set yourself free.
Responsibility - If you want to release yourself from a great deal of self-punishment it"s useful to clearly define what your responsibilities are and are not. Most likely you have experienced taking on the feelings of other people as your responsibility. We most certainly can affect each other in various ways with our interactions. However, it is important to not get overly involved with whether or not someone in your life is happy, especially if their happiness involves you losing part of your true self.
Self Nurture - Treat yourself luxuriously. It is common to wait until someone comes along to take care of you. This is a leftover from childhood. However, you can best meet your own needs because you know yourself best. Simply open up your belief in deservedness.
Sexual Release - If you are physically capable of sexual release it"s a good idea to take care of this regularly. If you have a partner or partners, that"s great. If not, you can take care of business yourself. There is a chemical release in the brain as well as muscular relaxation which can help you feel more at ease in your body. Find the frequency that works best for you. If you are in your head too much you may forget that you have a body. Sexual release reconnects you with being in the moment and releases tension.
Simplify - Stop running around. Be still. Instead of going out shopping all the time order things online, and investigate sites like ebay.com , half.com and google.com/products to liberate yourself from the rat race. Running around can become a habit, and one that can be hard to break. People who are not sensitive (not yet opened to their underlying sensitivity) may fill their life with much "doing" so that they may feel something. Chances are if you are sensitive that you are already feeling quite a bit. Advertisements rarely portray people who feel whole, content, and not in need of goods or services! In American culture in particular you may have the idea to be an important person you always have to be doing something. Tune in to what feels right and don"t do anything that feels incongruent. You may be perceived as antisocial or too introverted but throughout history many sensitive and aware people have chosen to take a break from the busy world. You may very well find that you are more content with a simpler existence.
Sing - Many of us have shame about singing. We may compare ourselves to professional singers and think that we have a "bad" singing voice and shouldn"t sing. I say "let it out" because it feels good to sing. Whether you are singing karaoke or listening to your own music, just express yourself through song. There is a healing vibration that comes with singing, and it is a great way to release tension and negative emotions. Choose songs that uplift, inspire, and energize you with positive energy.
Sleep - Many sensitive people like to stay up late. The world is still at night and it can be a good time for contemplation and calming one"s mind. However, if the sun is cracking in through your window 4 hours after you fall asleep it may be hard to get the amount of sleep your body craves. You may find it useful to place dark curtains or sheets over your bedroom windows and/or sleep with ear plugs or use white noise such as a small fan. Whatever it takes to modify your environment to increase your sleep, take care of yourself. It may also be useful to turn the ringer off on your phone when you go to sleep so that early calls do not interrupt your sleep. Additionally, sexual release before falling asleep can place you into a deeper state of relaxation. Lastly, if the time you are going to bed at night isn"t accommodating the sleep your body is craving consider modifying it.
Substance Use - Some of the most legal substances are the most harmful, especially for sensitive people. Caffeine and nicotine are often used to suppress emotions. Alcohol is often used to express suppressed emotions which should be expressed directly. Release yourself from the effects of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. A little alcohol can be fine, but using it to get wasted gives a brief escape followed by a rough return of reality. Small amounts of caffeine found in chocolate can be okay, but coffee and caffeinated sodas are as unnecessary to a healthy lifestyle as crystal meth. You shouldn"t need stimulants to function if you are following the other suggestions on this list.
Thinking - If you find yourself ruminating over the same problem over and over you may be practicing a subtle form of self-abuse. If a thought has been processed there is no need to go over it again. If you find yourself stuck on some negative thoughts it is best to introduce a new direction and listen to your inner guidance for a positive perspective. You may find ideas through reading or the media or conversation that can point you in a positive direction. Regardless of how you do it, change your thought direction when it is stuck in a useless cycle.
Tribe - If you live mindfully within a tribe of friends and/or family you can increase your feelings of well being by practicing certain methods of living effectively with others.
Triggers - Be aware of triggers and associations that bring up discomfort for you. If you have an issue with a parent or authority figure that feels unresolved, notice how others may bring up these feelings for you. You may feel yourself reacting with discomfort to something that in and of itself is no big deal. You may feel threatened when someone is simply joking around. The more you are aware of issues that trigger you the easier you will be able to identify what is going on in the present with clarity.
Vehicle Maintenance - A very humdrum topic of course, but an important one for the sensitive person. If you need to get around via a bike, motorcycle, or car, it is a good idea to make sure it is in good working order. A sensitive person benefits from feeling comfortable when their vehicle is running reliably. Overlooking any kind of problem doesn"t make it go away but can lead to an underlying feeling of discomfort.
Water - Soak in a tub, pool, or hot tub when you can. It may seem like "work" to treat yourself to a nice warm soak (especially if you"re used to denying yourself), but it usually feels good when you"re in it, and out of it. Your body may feel more deeply grounded after soaking in warm water. If a place to soak is not available then a shower can have similar cleansing effect, though it is usually most effective to be in a relaxed position in relation to water.
Where You Live - Does your current location best support your growth? Have you simply become comfortable but lazy? Maybe you need a move to a nearby city that feels better. Or maybe a move to another state or country is needed. Honestly assess where you are and whether or not it supports evolution in relation to your current life purpose.
Work - It"s important to not do work that you don"t enjoy or work in an environment that feels abrasive. Sometimes it may feel like the path of least resistance is to stay where you are, but it is worth the conscious effort to make changes and keep on making changes until you find yourself doing work that you enjoy.
Write It Out - Just write it (or type it) out! This method doesn"t work for everyone but when you start transmitting your thoughts from your mind to the written word you free up your mind for new information. It can be a healing experience of release to write out your thoughts. Many people find journaling to be an effective way of learning about yourself.
Author Bio :
Mystic Life is an intuitive channeler and author whose books can be found at http://www.Unification.com. He is also the editor of Synchronicity Times Online Magazine at http://www.SynchronicityTimes.com.
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