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Approximately 15 to 20 percent of the population have trouble screening out stimuli and can be easily overwhelmed by noise, crowds and time pressure. The highly sensitive person tends to be sensitive to pain, caffeine, bright lights, strong smells and changes in their lives. I am going to set out some coping strategies to help you remain calm and tranquil in our over stimulating world, transforming your sensitivity to inner peace and joy.
Highly sensitive people find it difficult growing up in a society that values aggression, success and over stimulation. When you try to fit into an over stimulating out of balance world your physical, emotional and spiritual health suffers.
ARE YOU A HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON, WELL YOU AREN'T ALONE
Highly sensitive people's brain wave patterns are more often in a theta state. In this state, a person is more open to intuitive feelings and to picking up light, sound, and other subtle vibrations more deeply. They have trouble tuning out irrelevant stimuli.
Highly sensitive people need to learn to ignore or protect themselves from unwanted stimuli.
By understanding, accepting and appreciating your sensitive nervous system and by learning practical methods to deal with your sensitivity, you will gradually be able to identify and release internalised false beliefs that there is something wrong with you.
On the plus side of being a highly sensitive person, you are conscientious, have the capacity to appreciate beauty, art and music. You are intuitive and tend to have deep spiritual experiences.
Highly sensitive people are also kind, compassionate and understanding which makes them natural counsellors, teachers and healers.
It is essential for you to accept your sensitivity and not emulate people who are not highly sensitive. It is beneficial for highly sensitive people to spend time each day raising their kundalini energy through yoga, relaxation and meditation, to balance your mind body and spirit.
QUESTIONS TO FIND OUT IF YOU ARE HIGHLY SENSITIVE
Answer each question according to the way you feel. Answer yes it is applies to you most of the time, answer No if it doesn't apply to you most of the time.
If you said yes to twelve (12) or more of the questions, you are most likely a highly sensitive person.
CHANGING OLD OUTDATED BELIEFS
The first step in changing habits is to investigate how your belief system influences you behaviour. When you were small you were probably told by family, friends and the media that you can only be happy and fulfilled if you live a life based on making money, achieving success, having a better car and house than the other person. Looking for happiness from outer gratification without acknowledging your inner personal needs create anxiety and tension for the sensitive person.
It is important to examine your life goals, as you begin to understand what you truly desire is inner peace and happiness, and that nothing outside in the world can give you that, you will begin to look inside yourself for what you need. A lot of highly sensitive people have low self esteem due to the conditioning they received as they were growing up, they took all the negative commentary and absorbed it as truth.
You will need to use your will power to change your old beliefs and habits. As you begin having small victories in changing you habits, your will power will be strengthened. You can increase your inner strength through crystal therapy, meditation, relaxation, visualisation, affirmations and raising your kundalini through yoga poses. Make a resolution today that you will no longer remain in any environment in which there is no hope for you to be happy and healthy.
How to change negative habits
PERSONALITY TYPES & HIGH SENSITIVITY
There is an understanding in today's society that you must have a type A personality and behaviour patterns to be an integrated member of society. Highly sensitive people can be either Type A or Type B, but a highly sensitive person will be affected by the Type A society as the behaviours batter at them all the time rather than just at chosen times.
As a highly sensitive person you will need to utilise specific behaviour modification exercises to disengage from the Type A environment. Techniques such as yoga, relaxation, meditation and counted breath will all help you disconnect from the adverse environment.
It is important for the highly sensitive person to realise that even if you can't change or control the Type A environment, you do have the power to control your reactions to the environment. Your attitude also affects your sense of well being. The highly sensitive person's desire to be conscientious and not make mistakes can create stress. You need to develop a positive attitude of acceptance rather than worry that you have missed something in your current task.
The next task to look at is creating a routine. While you can't live your life completely removed from the world's stresses, you can create an environment that minimises stimuli. If you can anchor yourself at the beginning and at the end of the day you will be set up to undertake your daily tasks with serenity and be able to sleep well at night.
CREATE A DAILY ROUTINE
Creating a Morning Routine
One of the most important steps in reducing stimulation for the highly sensitive person is to create a morning routine. This structure will set the tone for the day ahead. Rather rushing around at the last minute getting more anxious, if you start your day a little earlier and spend some time performing your chosen centring activities, you will be able to begin your day in a more peaceful and serene frame of mind. Which means that you will be better prepared to handle the stimuli throughout the day.
EXERCISING THE BODY
It is good to do some yoga poses or gentle stretching first thing in the morning because the activity has an energising effect on your body. Try doing between 10 and 20 yoga sun salutations this routine will bring you to a natural state of tranquillity and improve your endocrine metabolism, which reduces stress and stress related disorders. This routine also calms your mind and body in preparation for relaxation or meditation. Never push yourself past your comfort level.
CALMING THE MIND
Once your body has been energised, do at least 15 minutes of a meditative practice, either relaxation, meditation or counted breath.
Since highly sensitive people are so easily affected by other peoples moods, its important to practice grounding techniques. Here is a visualisation to centre yourself, either in the morning or any-time throughout the day, especially when being negatively affected by people around you.
Sit is a relaxed yoga pose with both sit bones on the floor and with you back straight. Now imagine that a soft flexible cord is attached to the base of your spine. See the cord moving from your spine toward the floor. Imagine two more cords that are attached to the soles of your feet, now visualise all three cords meeting at the earth's surface and forming one large strong cord. See the cord go down into the centre of the earth. The rope anchors it's self into the earth's core, and then let your self calm down as your are now safely anchored. Take calm counted breaths. See the calm grounding energy in the core rise up the cord and through your body until it encircles you.
Creating an Evening Routine
Having an evening routine is essential to help you become more tranquil. Since the quality of your sleep is affected by your evening routine, it is important to do calming activities in the evening. Such activities as reading, writing etc. About 30 minutes before going to bed, let go of the day by performing a relaxation exercise or meditating. The relaxation or meditation will help you release the days worries and tension.
HIGHLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE & THE FIVE SENSES
In order to survive in our overstimulating world, you need to employ strategies to calm all five senses; hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. While we can't live stimulus free, we can use tools to reduce the over stimulation of each of our senses.
Hearing is probably the sense that creates the most challenges for the highly sensitive person. If you happen to catch sight of something that causes negative stimulation, you can always close your eyes. However, it is much more difficult to tune out harmful noises. The cumulative effect of the noises that you hear each day can create severe anxiety for the highly sensitive person.
To mask the jarring sounds of modern life you may want to play music in the background at home and at work and in the car. Listen to whatever type of music calms you. The low level hum of a fan, air conditioner or air purifier also masks those loud erratic noises. You can also listen to a relaxation CD, which will soothe your nerves.
The reason that people meditate and relax with their eyes closed is to block the outside distractions, allowing them to relax completely and connect with their inner peace. By constantly receiving excessive stimuli through your eyes, you are directly overloading your nervous system and possibly creating anxiety and tension. Take a moment and do a few counted breaths to ease the tension at work, in the car, out shopping and in the home.
It is deeply relaxing for highly sensitive people to be able to look out a window at a beautiful nature scene. Take regular breaks throughout the day to go outside and look around you, at the sky, a tree or a garden. As you tune into the divine energy of nature, your anxiety levels will decrease and your joy levels will increase. If your home or work environment doesn't allow you to find a little bit of nature have posters or pictures of natural landscapes on your wall. You will find that if you stop and gaze at the picture you will feel so much better. Buy plants and fill your office or home with them to create a nurturing positive environment.
One of the best ways or relieving tension is by massage. However some sensitive people may find that a hands on massage is too invasive. Try using massage wands yourself or ask a masseuse to use them instead of their hands. Don't forget to give feedback through the massage as you don't want to leave the session feeling worse than you went in there. If oil is used during the massage make sure that it is sesame oil as it calms the nervous system, but as it is a warming oil avoid it on a hot day or if you are overheated use coconut oil instead. A lot of highly sensitive people don't like to be touched by strangers.
Many highly sensitive people are sensitive to odours particularly perfume, household cleaners, dry cleaning fluid, deodorisers etc, it can actually make them nauseous. If you are sensitive to these kinds of synthetic odours and find yourself in a situation where they are being used it is best to remove yourself. If you can't move such as in a work situation try using an air purifier as it will minimise air pollution and sanitise the air. For the home find natural cleaning products you can find them online and at good hardware stores.
One of the benefits of highly sensitive people having a acute sense of smell is the ability to use this sense to help you to calm down your nervous system by using natural essential oils. Make sure that you don't have an adverse reaction to them and go to a qualified herbalist before you bring them into your home
Some highly sensitive people are sensitive to hot or cold food and beverages. It's generally better to consume warm drinks and foods rather than those that are piping hot or ice cold. If you are overheated and need to cool down, it is alright to drink cold water as long as to don't have an adverse reaction such as a headache. If you can't drink cold water, a glass of room temperature water and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice will cool you down. Drink a lot of pure water to detoxify your system. Minimise the use of caffeine drinks such as coffee, black tea and soft drinks may reduce your anxiety. Don't cut them off immediately as you will get withdrawal symptoms, gradually reduce your intake each day until your anxiety and stress levels reduce, by decreasing or stopping your caffeine intake you will feel more peaceful throughout the day.
As a highly sensitive person coping with time constraints can be very difficult. Here we will look at a few situations that probably adversely affect you.
For most people who live in a high density urban area traffic jams at peak hour are a fact of life. The best thing to do is drive outside peak hours, organise with your work place to go to work earlier and leave earlier or arrive later and leave later. It you can't do this plan to leave at least 30 minutes before you normally would so that you arrive at you destination on time and stress free.
Most highly sensitive people stress about being late for appointments and are very dependent on their watches or clocks. With diligent planing there is no need to be late.
If you happen to be caught in a situation that causes anxiety and stress while driving take a few counted breaths and relax your shoulders and arms. Listen to the radio or a CD that has relaxing music.
When you go for a walk, don't dash out, gallop around and rush back home to start your next task. The idea of walking for the highly sensitive person it to "stop and smell the roses".
Get ready, take a drink, and walk slowly, try and find a park or somewhere away from high traffic areas. You need to stay focused in the present moment rather than having an internal debate over things that might be praying on your mind. As you walk be aware of your movements, how you are putting one foot in front of the other, feel your stride is it too long or too fast. Lift your head and look around, see the trees, the grass the flowers, smell the air, listen to the birds. As you relax, just enjoy the experience, and if you wish do counted breaths as you walk, they will relax you even further.
Talking is one of the most overstimulating activities that a highly sensitive person has to contend with. Active listening is a great way of reducing simulation for you. If you are in a group situation and beginning to be anxious just ask an open ended question and then sit back and listen to the discussion that ensues. This will give you time to relax. Another stress trigger for you, the highly sensitive person, is when someone wants a quick response from you, as generally you need to think before you speak. Try a five second pause or repeat the question back to them to make sure you have it right, this will give you time to think of your response. Alternatively the one I use is "let me think". People tend to speak too fast for the highly sensitive person to assimilate the information so misunderstandings can occur. Ask that they speak a little slower or ask them to repeat themselves. If it is important to them, they will be happy to comply.
Most important, take your time to look at the menu, don't feel rushed, if the wait person rushes up and wants to take your order and you haven't decided ask them to return in a few minutes as you haven't made up you mind yet. Next is to learn to eat slowly and enjoy your meals, take small bites, chew properly, really taste the food and relax, take a few deep breaths. Your there to enjoy yourself.