An ode to the sensitive souls:

Those of us just tryin’ to get by,

with a nod of the head,

no look in the eye,

to those so quiet,

passive and chill,

the overwhelmed ones

can’t help what they feel

Detail-proned

Avoiding the critics

Prone to anxiety

When facing specifics

This post is for you

Introverted or not

Sensitive souls

Need not be forgot

Pinpoint Triggers

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As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), you may notice a tendency to feel more deeply, paying more attention to details than most. Although Thought Catalog recently posted a list of 18 Struggles Only Over-Thinkers will Understand, the list could have been coined “18 Struggles Highly Sensitive Persons will Understand”, which still would have made perfect sense.

A Huffington Post article keenly observes how HSP buckle under criticisms, so be wary of inadvertent tendencies to people-please. It’s okay to skip out on a loud concert if the music doesn’t sooth your soul. Don’t feel obligated to attend certain gatherings if they make you feel uncomfortable.

The same article indicates HSPs appear more reactive to emotional situations, such as feeling “overly empathetic” when approached with a heart-wrenching story. It’s important to pinpoint triggers, so the time you save by the refusal to engage in unfulfilling activities can be dedicated towards something else. Like the concert mentioned previously, don’t make yourself feel queasy watching violent movies just to appease someone.

This advice contradicts a recent post of mine, which explained how to embrace a vulnerable attitude. This one goes out to the gentleman that stated “God, if I were any more vulnerable, I wouldn’t have the strength to stand!”

At a certain age, you know what you want, and you know what’s difficult to handle. This post explains how to survive with a sensitive soul, purposefully touching on opposite realms. I’ve encouraged anxious clients to branch out and try new things, but sensitive souls should be gentle with themselves, maintaining self-care as a top priority.

Indulge in Your Strengths

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Having a Sensitive Soul ought to be perceived a gift. You have the ability to feel more deeply, a conscientious nature adept to making thoughtful, considerate decisions. Rejoice in the unique traits that make you, you. Therese J Borchard of PsychCentral names 5 gifts HSPs can be grateful for including heightened attention to sensory details and a tendency towards creative thinking.

Sensitive individuals endure the burden of the crown, but since when was the sensitive classification considered negative? Blame it on our loud, aggressive, American culture: As infants, we’re taught to talk, then shut up, speak up, but be quiet. With conflicting societal norms, it’s no wonder sensitive individuals may feel ostracized which may exaggerate sensitive inclinations even more.

On a side note, just because you’re overly sensitive doesn’t necessary mean you’re an introvert. That same Huffington Post article referenced earlier suggests up to 30% of HSPs are extroverts, according to Elaine Aron, Ph. D and author of The Highly Sensitive Person.

Cultivate a Personal Space

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Whether you live at home or with your parents, find a quiet space to make your own. Our spare bedroom has become the office space and music lounge where I’m currently typing this post. However, my favorite personal space would be the front porch, drenched in flowers, adorned with wind chimes, fragranced with Citronella Candles.

The three chairs on the porch allow for company as needed, but otherwise my study space grants exposure to the sun and the varying weather elements of the day. Our cats love the porch, and it’s amusing to witness Junip’s fascination with the outdoors, since she rarely goes outside. I recommend live plants, crystals, gemstones, candles and essential oils, books, music and pleasant decor such as Tibetan prayer flags to anoint your sacred space.

Retreat to Your Childhood

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Embrace activities promoting the resurgence of childhood memories. In the South, we catch lightning bugs, grill out in the back yard and jump on trampolines. You don’t have to be a child to reap the rewards of these specific deeds.

Although we grill out often as adults, it’s been awhile since I woke up early on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons. Whatever the case may be, focus on activities related to smells, sights and sounds from your childhood for added nostalgic value. For touch, try finger painting and for taste, grab a bite of your favorite food from your youthful years. These activities nurture the soul, and HSPs deserve to focus on self-care tactics.

Would you consider yourself an HSP? If so, what tricks of the trade help to safeguard your feelings against a fast-paced, apathetic world? Feel free to review additional survival tips listed here.