First and foremost, I think it’s important to approach this from an empowered stance. As sensitive people, we are not victims of our environment. We are not “weak” because we’re more impacted by stressful situations. We are simply wired differently. We’re more perceptive, aware, and in tune with our environments. And, yes, we’re more emotional and cry more easily than non-HSPs. But these are all strengths of being an HSP. However, at the same time, we also have to know how to take great care of ourselves in order to manage it.
The reality is, we can’t control what happens in the world around us. All we can do is be mindful of how we respond to it. This puts the control back in our hands. So, if you have a job that requires a lot of emotional labor, I’d highly recommend beginning your day with a mindful practice that makes you feel calm and centered.
After experiencing burnout in my corporate job, it became a non-negotiable for me to start every single day with a 10-minute meditation. This simple practice allows me to connect to myself and be intentional about the way I move into my day. As an HSP, I especially love cord-cutting meditations. This type of meditation is helpful for HSPs because it’s a practice that allows us to disconnect from other people’s emotions, energy, or moods, and reconnect to ourselves.
Some other ways for you to start your day mindfully include: taking a short walk, writing in your journal, listening to soft music while drinking tea, doing breathwork (I like a breathing exercise called Box Breathing), practicing yoga, or tending to your garden.
It’s important for us HSPs to have healthy ways to calm our nervous system so that, no matter what happens in the day ahead, we know we’ve done something positive for our mental and emotional well-being. I like to think of it as making deposits into our mental health “bank account.” This way, when something stressful happens, we aren’t nearly as impacted by it.
I also find it helpful to have go-to practices — as part of your “HSP mental health toolbox” — you can turn to when a stressful event happens at work. For instance, if you’re feeling exhausted after dealing with a difficult customer, excuse yourself when you’re able to — even just for a few minutes — and practice deep breathing to calm your nervous system. I also love this Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practice that can be practiced any time, anywhere. If you’re unfamiliar with EFT, it’s an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress that’s practiced by tapping on different acupressure points on the body.
At the end of the day, it’s up to us to take control of our own experience as much as we can. That means taking our mental health seriously and cultivating healthy practices that calm our nervous system. That also means being aware of when enough is enough and not staying in a job which is negatively impacting our health day after day.
You’ll know your job has become unhealthy when you feel a sense of dread or anxiety about going to work each day. This may even be affecting you physically, which is another warning sign. Another example your job is toxic is if you’re being mistreated, which might look like a boss not respecting your boundaries, being talked down to, or feeling like you’re constantly walking on eggshells, to name a few.
In most professions, emotional labor is going to be a necessary evil and something we can learn to manage in a healthy way. However, it’s important we know the difference between manageable emotional labor and unhealthy emotional labor that’s burning us out.
Call it analysis paralysis, avoiding, resisting, or procrastinating.
As a highly sensitive person, overthinking feels like a way to outsmart risk. HSPs have what researchers call a “pause and check” response. We stop and observe a situation before diving in. It’s part of our innate survival response. And since the trait of high sensitivity shows up in over 100 species, you can even see it when you spot a pack of deer wading into a pond for a cool drink. You may notice one or two holding back, taking their time going in to make sure it’s safe to grab some water.
I have so many memories of getting stopped from taking action because of this part of the trait. On a diving board, I would stand forever, peering into the deep end, waiting to feel ready to jump. At the edge of the ocean, while my sisters went right in, trying to entice me to follow, I lingered on my raft at the edge, and then slowly made my way, watching the wave patterns, judging how big the waves were and where they were breaking, trying to wrap my brain around the idea that the water might actually be more calm just beyond that large swell. Preparing to share the news with my neighbor that we needed to drop out of the neighborhood dinner club, I practiced the conversation and prepared to deliver the news for weeks, as if I was preparing to negotiate a hostage release. Analyzing every angle and the best way to break the news with kindness and also trying to give myself permission to speak the truth about how it wasn’t working for us to go anymore.
My hesitating and holding back happened with so many things. Having a hard conversation, initiating a breakup, setting a boundary, making an important phone call. It even happened with things I wanted to do. It’s easy to find yourself stück in analysis paralysis, trying to think your way into feeling ready to take action. What if my trepidation was onto something and I was about to walk into a bees nest, I wondered?
And memories of bad experiences would remind me to proceed with caution. If you’ve ever rushed in quickly without thinking things through first, say you got called on in class or in a meeting and weren’t prepared to speak, you know how unpleasant it is to feel surprised and feel unglued, stumbling to find the words, and going through all the physiological changes that come with it. Your mind going blank, the sound of blood rushing in your ears, blushing and burning cheeks, heart pounding. And after you’re through it all, the physical intensity you just went through makes you think, “I never want to do that again, no way.” When it’s time to try something new again, past experience and your spinning mind and the anxiety in your gut leads you to withdraw in apprehension that steals your ability to move forward.
Tips; 1. Calm your nervous system when it’s spinning. You won’t discover creative solutions if you’re flooded with intense negative emotion. That closes the door on inspired insight. 2. Once you’re feeling centered, open yourself up to discovering a creative way to move forward. Stay open and present in the moment to your environment to see the signs and solutions that emerge. It may be an email you receive, a book or article or podcast that pops up that gives you an idea and shows you the next step. 3. Engage your body. Creative solutions always pop into my mind when I’m exercising or moving my body. Plus, research on the benefits of exercise shows it boosts your mood, increases courage and reduces anxiety. I have found this to be true. If you’re not into exercise, I have even found that just cleaning the dishes, the house, showering or cooking can lead to inspired insight. When you’ve been getting repeated signs to act as a thought or idea you can’t shake, you may be being nudged to do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone and is hard and stressful. Perhaps setting a boundary or initiating a breakup. I knew I needed to end my first marriage. And the push that made me have that hard conversation came as a dream. Studying my Human Design, I now know that I’m an intuitive dreamer. One morning, I had a dream that God was talking to me and said I wasn’t fulfilling my life purpose in that relationship. This sounds totally far-out, but as a spiritual person who has always longed to fulfill my life purpose, this was a dream that shook me awake, physically and spiritually. I knew, without a doubt, that I needed to have that conversation and did it that very moment, while still laying in bed.
In the absence of intuitive dreams, if you’re looking to spark your own forward progress, and get started with something that feels hard, identify a small action step you can take and use a tool called the 5-Second Rule. Based on the book by Mel Robbins
It works like this, when you get a gut instinct to act, count backwards, 5-4-3-2-1 and GO. Rip the band-aid off and do the thing. Don’t stop to analyze the options. If you wait to feel like doing it, you never will. You will enter mental jail and talk yourself out of it. When you get a gut instinct to act, there’s a moment of pause where the instinct to act is clear and unmarred by doubts. At that moment, don’t pause to analyze the options. Count 5-4-3-2-1 and GO and do the thing. She says “there is a window for everyone between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing that instinct. While your mind starts working against you in nanoseconds, the barrage of thoughts and excuses don’t seem to kick into full force and stop you for a few seconds.” This is why counting for 5 seconds seems to universally work. Here’s what Mel Robbins says about why the act of counting works. Counting and then moving are actions. Counting backwards does a few important things simultaneously, she writes.It distracts you from your worries, it focuses your attention on what you need to do, it prompts you to act, and it interrupts the habits of hesitating, overthinking, and holding yourself back.” It’s important to count backwards, since we have a built-in association with a countdown leading to a launch. And moving into action when you get to 1 is crucial. When you move, your physiology changes, and so does your mind. Counting becomes a starting ritual. You’re beginning to take action, which revs up your prefrontal cortex, the problem-solving part of the brain that makes you feel more in control of your life. Robbins says you can use the rule to create new habits or change self-defeating habits, to change your thinking and focus on the positive, to be more intentional, and to do new things that are out of your comfort zone.
As Mel Robbins says, the 5-Second Rule taps into activation energy, the energy of forward momentum. You probably have noticed that on mornings that you wake up and exercise first thing, you are more productive than on days that you don’t. That’s because by getting up and taking decisive action of working out, you’ve tapped into activation energy. By taking action and counting, you engage the prefrontal cortex, the planning and problem-solving part of the brain that helps you find a way around obstacles. Keep mindfully taking action and you'll feel more in control of your life.
As a sensitive person who is a classic overthinker, analysis paralysis feels like an insurance policy. A way to outsmart risk. But the longer you stay immobilized, the harder it is to get moving. The 5-Second Rule is a way to break the pattern. And after you've taken action, if you’re feeling vulnerable or overexposed, or you can’t stop thinking about what happened, I know how this is. You’ve stepped out of your comfort zone and worries about what you said and did, and feelings of vulnerability wake you up in the middle of the night. How to Cope with Intense Situations, to cope with the feelings that come up: I like to walk the stress out of my nervous system and then journal. Journaling and writing activates your prefrontal cortex, engaging your brain in creative problem solving, calming your nervous system. Your stress response is quieted when your brain is engaged in creative problem solving. Plus, it shifts your perspective so you can keep moving forward.
OK, now you’re ready. Tap into your Inner Knowing. If you’ve been thinking about doing something, you’ve been getting signs and having intuitions, when your gut says GO, Countdown 5-4-3-2-1 and GO. I promise you, you were made for this moment. Your life is ready to expand. Accept the invitation.
5 Ways HSPs Can Protect Themselves From ‘Energy Vampires’
1. Recognize when someone is an energy vampire. The first step is realizing when someone is an energy vampire. The greatest way to know is that you feel exhausted when you’re around them. According to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, your body’s intuition gives you signs that this person is not emotionally healthy.
For example, you might feel completely drained after spending time with them, even if that visit is short. Or maybe you experience feelings of anxiety, guilt, or apprehension when you think about them. HSPs are sensitive to everyone’s energy, but energy vampires leave us with especially bad feelings.
2. Create boundaries and know your limits. It’s a good idea to set firm boundaries with yourself regarding an energy vampire in your life. (I know — setting boundaries is not easy for us sensitive types!) You might be unable to cut them off completely, and you might not want to. So, you’ll need to take care of yourself by knowing your guidelines. For example, maybe you’ll say “no” to invitations from this person unless it involves a group of people. This way, you can avoid getting drained if there are other people around to interact with the person, too, and a group outing might even take their mind off of their sorrows.
Another example could be asking the person, after they start complaining to you, if anything would help them feel better. If they don’t have solutions — or aren’t open to solutions and keep complaining — your boundary would be finding an excuse to leave the conversation.
Other boundaries could be not answering calls, texts, or online messages from the person after a specific time or on particular days. Or maybe you start to avoid bringing up topics that trigger the types of conversations that drain you. Only you can figure out what boundaries will work best for you, but setting some up is imperative when it comes to an energy vampire.
3. Provide a listening ear, but remember your boundaries. HSPs are exceptional listeners, a trait that their friends and loved ones value. In some cases, an active listener can actually help an energy vampire, but HSPs should still approach with caution.
Here’s a personal anecdote: I once worked in a call center for a non-profit that provided services to people with cancer. One day, I got a call from a woman who was incredibly bitter and hostile from the get-go. She immediately turned down any resources I provided to her. I could see from her file that previous employees had had to hang up on her for being inappropriately rude.
Instead of hanging up this time, I asked questions about her needs and mirrored her answers back to her, hoping to show that I cared. She opened up gradually, finally telling me that she had been a pastor for most of her life, helping everyone around her. She never received that same kindness back when she fell ill and admitted she was incredibly bitter about it. Our call actually ended with a kind and appreciative conversation.
That day, listening helped an energy vampire break her negativity spiral and see things more positively. I do believe that can sometimes be the outcome, but at the same time, HSPs are not obligated to be informal therapists. I was feeling extra patient on that phone call — plus, it was my job.
If you give an energy vampire your time to listen, pay attention to your energy levels. If you notice yourself getting dragged down, you have every right to remove yourself.
4. Have a plan for decompression post-energy vampire. Sensitive people’s kind and caring natures make them especially vulnerable to energy vampires. So, HSPs, remember to care for yourself after an interaction with a draining person. Create an HSP sanctuary where you can quietly relax, process, and do things that bring you joy.
This might mean sacrificing something else on your schedule or simply slowing things down more so that you remember to breathe. But whatever you do to decompress, have some ideas at the ready. Some grounding rituals to try include taking a walk, using a diffuser with your favorite essential oil in it for some aromatherapy, or simply enjoying your favorite hot beverage, like herbal tea.
5. Think big picture — disconnecting from the person may be best (for both of you). The sad truth is that being there for an energy vampire will not help you or them. You’ll just end up perpetually drained, and they won’t get out of their negative mindset if they’re not willing to change.
It can become easier to distance yourself and decline invitations from an energy vampire if you recognize the relationship is not good on either side. You can still tap into your empathy while acknowledging that letting the person go (or setting firm boundaries) is the most loving thing to do.
In essence, always protect your energy by recognizing how other people make you feel. And save your valuable time for people who will appreciate it and return the favor, not those who will suck you dry without a second thought.
The Science Behind Why Calming Music Is So Soothing for HSPs Calming music works at a brain level to soothe the highly sensitive system and boost your mood.
3 Reasons Why Calming Music Is So Soothing for HSPs
1. Music calms the nervous system. Depth of processing is a key marker of being a highly sensitive person. Which means that our nervous systems process information more deeply and for longer. It’s common for HSPs to become easily overwhelmed by stress and daily demands. Soothing the nervous system and becoming calm is vital for highly sensitive people to maintain physical and mental health. And music is a fantastic way to relieve stress.
But why is music so calming? In a word? Entrainment. Entrainment refers to the synchronization of organisms to an external perceived rhythm. Our bodies and minds integrate musical patterns in unison with our own biological rhythms. Sometimes those rhythms are obvious, like tapping your foot along with the beat, or dancing the Tango. But some entrainment rhythms are more subtle. Music can entrain our heartbeat, our brain waves, and even our hormones.
For example, researchers at Stanford University found that music with slow beats encourages slow brain waves that are associated with meditative states. (And meditative states are a great way for us sensitive types to decompress!) Similarly, German researchers demonstrated that listening to music lowered cortisol (a stress hormone) during surgery. And a study from Taiwan found that listening to soothing music before bed resulted in significantly better quality sleep. Bottom line: Music soothes an overwhelmed HSP.
2. Music boosts your mood. Have you ever felt chills or goosebumps when you listen to really beautiful music? These are called musical frisson, a French word meaning aesthetic chills, and they are a transient emotional response to music or other experiences of beauty. And as my fellow HSPs know, we find beauty in even the smallest of things. As it turns out, these chills are caused by the same feel-good neurochemical triggered by sugar, cocaine, and being in love.
Dopamine. Dopamine is a critical neurotransmitter for emotional and cognitive functioning. And listening to music you love will make your brain release more of it. In one study, levels of dopamine were found to be up to 9 percent higher when volunteers were listening to music they enjoyed. To determine when dopamine was released, researchers marked when participants felt a shiver. Musical frisson pinpointed the exact moment volunteers felt maximum pleasure.
But who is more likely to experience musical frisson? Studies have shown it’s most likely experienced by people who:
have unusually active imaginations appreciate beauty and nature seek out new experiences often reflect deeply on their feelings love variety in life Sounds like a highly sensitive person, right?
Of course, not every highly sensitive person will experience musical frisson. But even if you don’t? There is a definitive link between music and pleasure.
3. Music nourishes the HSP soul. Music expresses the ineffable: It is a complex array of vibration, harmony, and dynamics that is greater than the sum of its parts. It connects us with our emotions, can bond us to other people, trigger nostalgia, and make us feel part of something larger than ourselves. Being a highly sensitive person can be lonely at times. Because we only make up around 30 percent of the population, our experience is often dismissed and we may experience gaslighting. And yet music can make us feel less alone — through lyrics that convey how we feel, or patterns that stimulate deep thought, or by soothing our overwhelm. Music touches the edge of mystery. It is a form that understands us. Music often speaks where we cannot.
One of the best things about being a highly sensitive person is how deeply we appreciate beauty, and music can be profoundly moving and nourishing. It can satiate a highly sensitive person’s need for beauty and meaning.
Savoring beauty is not superficial. It isn’t about consumerism or buying luxurious items. Beauty is a portal to deep appreciation. When you immerse yourself in calming music, you’re allowing yourself to just be. To exist in the peace of the present moment. To feel gratitude for the simple pleasures in life.
What Is the Best Calming Music for HSPs?
Now that you know why calming music is so soothing for highly sensitive people, you might be wondering what kind of calming music to listen to. Firstly, it needs to be music you enjoy. Perhaps you love the gentle nostalgia of lo-fi hip hop. Or perhaps you prefer the undulating flow of instrumental jazz. Or maybe deep, ambient drone is your thing. Experiment with different genres to find the best kind of calming music for you.
Secondly, it needs to be slower paced music. BPM stands for beats per minute, and in music, it represents the tempo (or how fast/slow the beat is). But BPM can also measure your heart rate, i.e., how many times your heart beats in one minute. Because your heart will synchronise to the beat of the music, having a slower BPM in music will help calm you down. Music that is between 60-100 BPM is perfect for relaxation because it is the same speed as a resting heart rate. But you don’t need to calculate the exact tempo to know if a track is calming. If the music feels slow, gentle, and soothing, it’s the right tempo for you.
When to Listen to Calming Music as an HSP
The great thing about music is you can listen to it all day, every day. But there are some specific times that calming music will work best.
You could listen to calming music: after a long, draining day to restore your energy and balance before bed for a good night’s sleep while you’re studying or working to help you focus to reduce or relieve pain during travel, to help relieve stress and anxiety Calming music is a balm, especially for highly sensitive people — it soothes your nervous system, boosts your mood, and fulfills your need for beauty and connection. It’s not always easy to be a highly sensitive person in a world that doesn’t value your sensitivity. But music can make your HSP experience a little easier and a lot more enjoyable.
You’re Not Imagining It, It’s Gaslighting If you’ve ever been told you’re “too sensitive” or you’re “reading too much into it,” it may be gaslighting.
I have a lot of experience with gaslighting. I’m a highly sensitive person (HSP), someone who has a biological trait that makes me extra aware of stimuli and more likely to process things very deeply. As such, I already see the world a little differently than most people, and it makes it easy for my experiences to be dismissed. But it took me a long time to realize that’s what was happening.
Being an HSP gives me superpowers, but it also brings challenges. And, when we don’t realize we have this trait, it can be hard to understand why the world seems so overwhelming or why we seem to think so differently from the people around us. Enter gaslighting.
What Is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation wherein someone makes you question your sanity or your version of reality. The term originated from the 1939 play “Gaslight.” In it, a husband slowly makes his wife believe she is going insane by telling her that what she sees — the gaslights dimming — isn’t real in order to hide the criminal things he does behind her back. Gaslighting is difficult to identify by its very nature. When other people are manipulating you into thinking you’re crazy, it’s hard to argue against that version of reality.
This becomes even more difficult when you’re an HSP and the whole world sometimes seems to be gaslighting you by telling you what you experience can’t possibly be the whole truth or all that bad. HSPs notice minute details and find meaning in those details. The trouble is, other people often overlook those same details or they see them as meaningless. When HSPs try to explain what they see or think, they may be dismissed.
Have you ever been involved in what seemed like a perfectly pleasant conversation, sharing your insight, when someone suddenly said you were “reading too much into it,” or being “too sensitive” or “dramatic”? That’s incredibly common for HSPs, and it’s a form of gaslighting that can take a toll on our psyches.
Unintentional Gaslighting Is Still Gaslighting
In many cases, this gaslighting isn’t intentional, at least not in an abusive way. Our friends and family aren’t trying to make us feel crazy and insecure. They simply do not see the world the way we do, and to them, the only logical explanation for why our worldview differs from theirs is because we must be too sensitive or looking for meaning that doesn’t exist.
Even though it isn’t intentional in an abusive way, it can still be incredibly toxic. After all, what kind of friend or parent or partner listens to you, and, rather than accepting you for who you are, figures that you’re simply wrong and they’re right? Why isn’t it okay for us to be different?
In my personal experience, I believe people unintentionally gaslight HSPs because they feel threatened by their insight. Non-HSPs can be incredibly insightful and thoughtful as well, but they typically don’t process the little things in life quite as deeply as HSPs do. So when an HSP expresses frustration at the bigger picture behind very small things, non-HSPs can get defensive because they didn’t see the problem before, thus making them complicit in whatever the issue is.
HSPs can experience gaslighting in all kinds of arenas, including home, work, and school. Bosses might gaslight an HSP employee who brings up underlying issues in the workplace that the boss is technically responsible for. Teachers might gaslight HSP students who are emotional in order to get them to be quiet, rather than offer them the comfort they need. Parents even gaslight their own kids because they feel that if they simply shut down all those “unnecessary” or “excessive” emotions, their child will be “better” (read: less sensitive).
Sometimes this gaslighting is intentional, sometimes it isn’t. But regardless of the intention behind it, gaslighting can have incredibly harmful long-term effects.
How Gaslighting Affects HSPs
The trouble with being an HSP and experiencing gaslighting is that the whole world seems to agree with the gaslighter. HSPs see the world differently, but that doesn’t mean our view is incorrect. Sadly, most of us grow up feeling that way. Feeling wrong or crazy or broken. And even after we realize we’re HSPs and we’ve been gaslighted, those feelings don’t just vanish.
Gaslighting destroys a person’s ability to trust themselves, and the more gaslighting happens, the more that trust disintegrates until it feels like there’s nothing left at all.
This can look like indecision about minor things (because you don’t trust yourself to make the “right” decision), codependency (because you have learned to defer to other’s preferences and opinions completely), defensiveness (because everything feels like a threat to your worldview), and more.
Being unintentionally gaslighted can also lead to more abusive gaslighting. A lack of self-trust makes us prime targets for abusers seeking to gaslight us further. We have so much trouble trusting our instincts because of past gaslighting, we may not listen to our guts when we think someone else might be gaslighting us again.
But you don’t have to be trapped in these patterns of self-doubt forever — no matter what it feels like now.
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4 Ways to Start Healing from Gaslighting
Gaslighting is a form of trauma, and one of the best ways to heal from it is to start using trauma-informed techniques to process the pain it causes. I’m a huge fan of therapy (check out my series on how to get started), but I understand that it isn’t accessible for everyone.
If you’re looking for ways to cope with this trauma on your own, here are a few tools you can try:
1. Learn more about yourself.
First and foremost, read all you can about high sensitivity and why it’s a great thing. There’s a growing amount of writing — including this very site — about the trait. Once you have a better understanding of who you are, and how high sensitivity informs your identity, you can build better boundaries to deal with gaslighting, and even start to recognize when people call you on things you know, deep down, to be true.
2. Make small decisions on your own.
It’s natural to ask advice when making decisions, but if you’ve been leaning on other people’s opinions for a while, take a step back. Try making small decisions without asking anyone for approval. It’s scary at first, but the more you learn to trust yourself with small things, the more you’ll learn to trust yourself in every area of your life.
3. Let go of the desire to “earn” acceptance or approval.
One reason we turn to others for advice is that we crave their approval on some level. Gaslighters often make it seem as though if you just do and think about everything the “right” way (aka their way), then they’ll love you the way you deserve. But you deserve to be loved just the way you are, and in order to heal, you’ll need to know that you have worth beyond others’ approval.
4. Grieve what happened.
When others make it seem as though you’re not who you’re supposed to be — that being highly sensitive is somehow wrong — that can feel particularly heavy. So it’s okay to take time and grieve those interactions. Whether it was at school, work, home, or among friends, gaslighting robs you of a normal, happy experience you could have had, and it’s okay to mourn for what you deserved.
None of this means that experience of gaslighting will be easy to brush off. But if understanding yourself is a necessary step in building boundaries, so, too, is understanding how gaslighting affects you as a sensitive person. Once you’re armed with that knowledge, it’ll be harder for the cycle to repeat itself.
Instead of making a to do list, make a stop doing to do list
Some quick wins:
Stop buying things you don't really need or love. Stop engaging in pointless arguments. Stop pretending you're "going to try and attend x" when you can just decline now. Stop eating things that borrow from your future energy. Stop cleaning things you don't need and instead let them go. Stop beating yourself up. Stop scrolling when you're tired.
Pour salt along property lines and main corners of your home
Salt is an inexpensive yet effective tool for removing negative energy from your home. The negative ions released from salt create a positive space and an uplifting mood. Pour salt along the property line of your new home to release the energies of the previous owners. Sprinkle salt in the main corners of your abode and leave it for a couple of days before vacuuming. For continued energy clearing, place bowls of salt or salt lamps in active areas of your home. Sea salt, Himalayan salt, kosher salt, or even plain old table salt work for this high vibrational energy clearing. – Nicole Glosser LLC, Spiritual Medium
Carve out time for yourself
When we think about attracting positive energy into the home, we like to think about how we’ll set ourselves up for success in our self-care practices. If you have the space, creating a meditation space or quiet space where you can read, rest, and build an intentional practice around reducing stress and caring for mental health will go a long way. If you don’t have a full room to dedicate, you can always set up a small space in a corner or even a home closet. Set some boundaries with your family or roommates to let them know you need some quiet or alone time each day to focus on self-care and fortify your well-being. Burnout can lead to cynicism and negativity, so take a few moments each day to invest in yourself. – TRILUNA, Stress Management Expert
Surround yourself with what inspires you
Often the energy of our home is a reflection of our inner world – whether it is positive or negative. Feeling low? It’s important not to be lost in your negative energy and mind. Instead, try to look for outer ways to help with the overall feeling of negativity. My favorite way is to surround myself with artwork that inspires me and elevates my inner passions, raising my vibrations. This in turn gets rid of negative energy within and brings positivity to my home and my surroundings. – C Design by Chen, Artist
Be sure to clean your crystals during the new moon
Crystals are great energetic tools for maintaining and attracting positive energy within your home, but like everything in your house, they occasionally need cleaning. Traditionally, this is done during the new moon, using the smoke from bundles of cleansing herbs, such as sage or mugwort. After holding your crystals over the cleansing smoke, you can also use these same herbs to cleanse the energy in your entire home, starting at one side and waving the smoke throughout until you reach the other side, where the smoke can leave through an open window. Once you’ve cleared the bad energy from your space, you’ll want to replace it with positive vibes by speaking positive affirmations and replacing all of your crystals throughout your space. – Lula May Design, Wellness Coach
healing crystals to attract positive energy to the home
Boost the energy around you
Do you experience that feeling when you’ve entered a room after there’s been an argument, or when everyone has been laughing and smiling? Well, you’re a powerful energy sensor and receiver, and there are many ways to boost that energy and they all start with you. The most important first step is to use your beautiful smile to activate a positive ‘smiling energy’ from your heart.Then, set a positive intention for the room like, “let this room be a happy welcoming place and allow all negativity to move out.” Next, move through the room and fill the space using a tool like burning sage, playing music, singing, dancing, or opening windows. If your mind wanders, just bring it back to your smile and your intention. Have fun experimenting and tuning in to the energy around you. – Smooth Rock Meditation
Keep a clear mindset
Energy is everywhere. Keep a clear mindset if you want to keep your home clear of negative energies. Spend some time journaling or meditating on what’s ailing you and dedicate some time to activities that bring you joy while in your home. I also like to keep a piece of black tourmaline near the entrance of my home. It’s a really great stone for absorbing negative energies. Next, envision pure loving energy surrounding your home from the inside out. Think of it as a little cloak of protection at your doorstep and around the home. – Prana Fresca, School Teacher, Meditation and Yoga Instructor, and Energy Worker
Focus on gratitude
When you’re ready to clear out negative energy, start with your mind by focusing on gratitude to shift the energy in your home and create new healing intentions. Allow and accept those negative situations that have taught you many lessons, and ceremonially use smudging to align with water, air, wind, and fire to dissolve the energetic debris. When attracting positive energy to your home, you’re your greatest source of positivity. Focus on your growth mindset, surround yourself with good people, move your body, drink water, eat the rainbow, allow your creativity and expression to fill your life with things that bring you awe and inspiration. Know that you can fill yourself and your home with unlimited tranquility and love. – Pure Chakra, Meditation, Mindfulness, and Spirituality
Combat negativity with meditation
Clearing out negativity and attracting positive energy in a home starts with the people in it. How you feel affects the energy of your surroundings. If you’re having frequent negative thoughts, this creates negativity and heaviness in your space. Practicing this simple meditation can help combat negative energy and bring positivity to your mind, body, and home: Imagine your heart slowly filling up with loving, positive energy. Visualize this energy as a warm, glowing ball of light. Once your heart is full, allow the light to overflow and travel throughout the rest of your body. Then, imagine the light radiating out from your body to fill the room. Continue to let it grow until the glow fills your entire home with loving, positive energy. – Motion Melissa
Simplify your space and connect with your inner self
Some of my favorite ways to increase the positive energy at home include bringing in plants I love, opening windows, and getting free of clutter. Additionally, having a harmonious home starts with balance within ourselves, so I also love creating a quiet sanctuary space where I can meditate, practice yoga, and connect to my internal self. Being intentional about attracting positive energy in our home benefits our overall wellness. – Julie Bjelland, LMFT, Founder of the Sensitive Empowerment Community
Your home should be the most sacred place
Our home should be a sacred space that feels safe, secure, and loving. Any time you feel negative energy or low vibration in your home, it’s important to clear that energy. I have a home clearing ritual on each new moon cycle to keep my home at a high positive vibration. My favorite way to remove negative energy from the home is with sound. There are many instruments and tools such as crystal sound healing bowls, tuning forks, crystal pyramids, hand drums, elemental chimes, or wasu tubes that can create a harmonizing, pure loving energy in the home. I play kundalini mantras for peace and positive energy throughout my home, and use salts and crystals placed at the entrance of the house and bedrooms that support removing negative energy, such as selenite, black kyanite, and black tourmaline. I include loving vibration crystals such as rose quartz and malachite and will say a prayer aloud with the intention of how I want the home to feel. Bringing in beauty with fresh flowers, candles, artwork, and photos will instantly balance and lift the home’s energy, which should be your most sacred space. – Jenni Cornette, Holistic Healing
Suggested letter to give your partner, friends and family ect. - letter about high sensitivity to help others understand you or your sensitive child more. It gives you a good entry into discussing important aspects of this trait.
High sensitivity is a scientifically proven trait found in about 20% of the population. About 1 in 5 people have this trait. It’s scientifically known as Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), more commonly known as the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).
How do you know if you have the trait? Take a quiz
About the Trait. The trait is found equally in gender, and about 70% are introverts and 30% extroverts. It is NOT a diagnosable disorder but instead considered an innate trait. It has been well researched and found in over 100 species as well. This vital trait evolved as a survival strategy because we need a group of people who have “extra” information. HSPs tend to be more aware of subtleties and take in and process more information around them. Imagine someone without this trait may take in about 3 cups of information. Someone high on the sensitivity scale may take in 100 cups or more of data. Because the world isn’t set up for these types of sensitivity levels, people with this trait often experience sensory overload, impacting physical and mental health and wellbeing.
There are distinct brain differences as well that are important to note. For example, HSPs have more activation in the following areas of the brain.
● More activation in the amygdala may trigger the fight/flight/freeze response too often, releasing adrenaline and stress hormones, often the culprit of anxiety, emotional reactivity, digestive issues, headaches/migraines, and other chronic conditions. Some HSPs may also have symptoms of depression caused by isolation to avoid overstimulation. ● More activation in the insula means more conscious awareness (often why HSPs often benefit the most in psychotherapy and commonly feel symptoms before they show up on tests). ● Finally, more activation in the brain mirror neuron system means HSPs often fire the same neurons as the person they observe, leading to increased empathy and overload.
Sensitivity to Medications. HSPs are often more sensitive to medications and more impacted by side effects and, therefore, need to consider starting at lower dosages. It may also be necessary to increase or decrease medications more slowly; therefore, please discuss medications thoroughly. If possible, it is often better to try more natural, holistic alternatives first.
Misdiagnosis. Without awareness of this trait, HSPs may experience misdiagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder, Bipolar, Borderline, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, and more. Therefore, education on this trait is crucial to avoid misdiagnosis.
Childhood conditions impact sensitive people more. Research shows that HSPs suffer more in adverse, unsupported childhoods and thrive even more than those without the trait in favorable, supportive childhood conditions, which means supporting parents with sensitive children is crucial
Positives of Sensitivity ● Can read microexpressions, body language, and the language of energy that the majority misses. ● Sensitive people are often kind, empathetic, compassionate, highly intuitive, genuine. ● Have a super-computer brain ● Work rated higher by supervisors ● Advanced awareness/consciousness, more insightful ● Make people feel comfortable and safe, good listeners ● See many angles and are a good problem solver ● Prepare well and generate good ideas ● Notice subtleties and, therefore, read people well, more in tune with others. ● Feel positive emotions more than others ● Are more creative ● See, feel, and experience more when hearing music or seeing art ● More moved by the beauty and healing power of nature ● Are a more creative parent/know child's needs ● Attentive partners, knowing their needs often before they do ● More conscientious, increased insight, are deeply aware, and more in tune with others. ● Often more courteous, thinking of others’ needs.
Common Challenges of HSPs who did not have a supportive childhood include ● Higher Stress Levels ● Anxiety ● Depression ● Low self-esteem (often the result of feeling different and misunderstood). ● Chronic health conditions, such as headaches, digestive issues, autoimmune disorders, adrenal issues, etc. ● Sleep issues ● Depletion, Fatigue ● Sensory overload
Resources and Support HSPs often experience high-stress levels trying to live in a world not set up for the sensitive nervous system. They tend to be over-givers and often need support to set healthy boundaries and learn to honor and advocate for their own needs. They can have perfectionist tendencies that can lead to high expectations of themselves. It’s essential to help them normalize and validate their experience, and they will benefit significantly from developing more self-compassion
Mental Health Support. Research shows us that HSPs tend to have the best outcomes in therapeutic settings, and it is highly recommend working with an HSP Practitioner who understands the trait
Daily Recommendations for Wellness ● HSPs ideally need about 2 hours of daily unstructured, alone time, one full day off per week, and one week off per season to rest the sensory system. ● Mindfulness and meditation practices to calm the sensory system ● Quiet time in nature is highly effective for reducing overload
Shame might be far from the first thing that comes to mind when you think about what's causing your problems. Shame is hidden, and rarely something we talk about, but it can underlie challenges that we deal with on a daily basis, including anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. <br><br>This book will help you understand what shame is, how it arises and, in turn, how to overcome it. With exercises in each chapter, it provides tools to reflect on, confront and free yourself from shame. The book also includes a questionnaire to assess how much shame impacts you.<br><br>Be kind to yourself and rediscover your empathy for yourself
Ilse Sand is a therapist and a priest specialized in working with hsp
As an hsp you might need to balance air and space in your mind and body called Vata. The element of air and space is dry, cold, unstable, always moving, and in excess, which can create anxiety, insecurity, overstimulation of the senses, insomnia, and constipation. Ayurveda, which means knowledge of lifespan explains that like increases like and the opposite balances. That means that dry uncooked foods, irregular meals, intense over stimuli, and an irregular lifestyle, would all increase the air and space element in your body creating the discomfort and imbalance that you are experiencing.
In order to balance yourself you can:. Give yourself a daily self-body massage called Abhyanga with warm sesame oil infused with calming Ayurvedic herbs of ashwagandha, Brahmi, and rose petals to balance the dryness and coldness that caused a feeling of roughness and jaggedness. It is also recommended to eat warm freshly cooked food consisting of mung bean dhal, a variety of vegetables cooked with ghee (clarified butter), and Vata reducing spices of cumin, ginger, coriander, fennel, and ghee laden saffron basmati rice. To help with your sleep, it is recommended a warm cup of organic whole milk spiced with cinnamon and cardamon to make it more digestible. Take time to rest more often and be more self-referral by regular meditation practice.
Another concept of Ayurveda that can be nourishing and calming for HSPs is the awareness of the connection between the Sun and the Moon. The ancient Ayurvedic textbooks explain the deep interconnection of all life on the Earth and that for well-being we must align ourselves with the very source of life on Earth, the Sun, as well as the influence of the cycles of the Moon. As the Earth is spinning around the Sun and the seasons change, then our diet and lifestyle need adjusting as well as cleansing of our internal organs the accumulated toxins from the previous season. As the Sun is rising, the body should rise and open like a flower each morning. As the sun is setting, there’s a different rhythm in nature that affects our mind and body and it’s recommended that we also begin to settle down to relax (rather than stay up late) and eat a lighter earlier dinner before the sun sets to assist digestion and create better sleep. It’s learning to let go of the activity, thoughts, and feelings of the day and become what Ayurveda calls self-referral.
Self-referral means coming back to the experience of Being. Being is pure awareness, or pure presence, pure aliveness, consciousness awake within itself. Self-referral transcends feeling and thinking, it is a state of innocence, without agenda, a place of no desire but simply a state of peace. The ancient body of knowledge of Ayurveda offers tools for becoming more self-referral, feeling connected to the wholeness rather than getting lost in the parts and aligning ourselves to the rhythms of nature. It is a gentle practice, especially for those who are sensitive.
The beautiful Moon. Ayurveda says that a walk under the full Moon or Moonlight bathing is calming to the mind and is cooling to the fire element called Pitta. In addition, as we follow the monthly cycles of the moon, we become more sensitive to our moods, our digestion, and our energy. We become aware of how this heavenly mass is deeply connected to how we feel and function and thus we can adjust our diet, our schedule when to start a project, and simply attune to what is happening in our environment to create greater ease and make better decisions. This is what Ayurveda means to live in alignment with nature, and the deep interconnection to all of life above and below.