3 Things I wish I'd known being a sensitive kid
1. Tears always mean overwhelmed (not a specific emotion)
Tears start to well, shame spiral starts, get it together we plead in our minds! Swallow the lump in our throats and solider on through the day. Eventually the tap is so full it’s bursting and the tears rush out at the worst possible time spurting all over everything and everyone around us. This leaves us embarrassed and so often misunderstood by the people around us. Sound familiar?
Despite often being mistaken for sadness, tears always mean overwhelmed. It’s a means of purging stress in the system. (Think about it… overwhelming happiness = happy tears, overwhelming anger = angry tears). Instead of identifying tears with a specific emotion or attaching them to a story which inevitably fuels the flow, search for ways to reduce overwhelm.
These days, I have a practice daily to drain the tap so to speak. I journal my unfiltered thoughts out, I breathe and hypno my way through little niggles and discomforts so if tears arise there is only a trickle left in the tap. I release a few tears and move on through life. God, I wish I’d known that earlier. Often if we let it flow we can let it go much more quickly.
If you are sensitive and don’t have protected time each day to go inward, make time! Even if it is just 5mins of writing, I don’t know what to write until the loud thoughts or feelings feel safe to surface. Or 5mins during one of your daily activities to check in and soften any muscle tension or discomfort your body is carrying. It will give you the opportunity to discharge any faults in the circuit and prevent a surge event avoiding a power outage and shut down.
2. Being sensitive is a superpower of sorts
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “You’re too sensitive!”, I would have been the youngest millionaire in existence. Two things I will say about this.
Firstly, the people who feel the need to say this, lack the sensitivity and empathy to see or understand your point of view. The problem is often not that you are too sensitive. It is that others lack sensitivity towards your situation. This can be a result of discomfort arising within them that they do not have the tools to process in a helpful way.
Secondly, being able to feel all of your emotions, sounds, sensations and experiences as well as those around you is undeniably overwhelming! However, learning how to manage our sensitivity we can see, hear, feel, sense things that other, less sensitive people cannot. It is this unique perspective that lies the superpower of sensitivity.
Do you often know who has called or texted you without actually looking? Think about what ways your unique intuition/senses may be heightened. Embrace and harness these sensitive gifts for good.
3. Anxiety is unavoidable when you are empathic
One of our strengths is empathy but as mentioned early just because we have the ability to sense all this extra information doesn’t make it any less overwhelming. Where there is overwhelm there is often anxiety. It is not a coincidence that anxiety, sensitivity and empathy often all come as a package deal.
It is important to learn it is within your power to lean in or out of your empathy because your sanity is of utmost importance. You can’t help anyone when you are running on empty yourself. One of the easiest ways to lean out is as simple as noticing a less than helpful thought and mentally yelling louder, ENOUGH NOW.
Any time the mind tries to ruminate or analyse return back to, ENOUGH NOW. Just because you can see how Betty may have received your well-intentioned advice negatively doesn’t mean you have to torture yourself with the thought. ENOUGH NOW.
Hope this helps my sensitive kin. If you need more tips or tricks in managing the sensitive life, I hope you know where to find me.
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