Highly Sensitive Refuge
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7 Ways Your Life Will Change for the Better When You Embrace Your Sensitivity

Before I realized I was highly sensitive, it was as though the majority of people were on one conveyor belt and I was on another, moving in the opposite direction.

I like to think I’m pretty self-aware, but for years, I dismissed the signs that I was a sensitive person. And not just a sensitive person, but a highly sensitive one.

Before I realized I was more sensitive than most, I felt the world was out of kilter, that I was out of step with everybody else. It was as though the majority of people were on one conveyor belt and I was on another, moving in the opposite direction. I tried to keep up with them and follow what they did, but I was only left exhausted and unhappy. 

For me, admitting my sensitivity was a big deal. I felt there were so many negative connotations associated with being a highly sensitive person, so I railed against it for years. I grew up in a family of sensitive people, whose sensitivity seemed to bring with it all kinds of problems; everything affected them in a negative way. So why would I want to be one of them, so to speak?

Similarly, our Western culture promulgates the message that being confident, self-assured, and daring wins the race. Deep down, I felt as though being sensitive was the opposite of those golden qualities, and that it meant fragility, vulnerability, and even liability. 

But I was wrong. Once I admitted that I’m an HSP, everything began to make sense, and I saw all the value sensitivity could bring to my life and the world at large.

If I look back at my job challenges and successes through the lens of sensitivity, I can see why I struggled with some jobs and excelled at others. For example, I believed I was weak when I struggled to work in a large open plan office to the constant buzz of chatter, screeching phones, and shifting priorities. But I wasn’t. It was just my HSP self being overstimulated by all those external factors.

And, on a wider scale, I can now understand why I value the things I value, why I find certain environments jarring, and, ultimately, why I am the way I am. These sensitive qualities are what makes my interaction with the world so intense and what makes me embrace my HSP traits now. 

Yes, admitting your sensitivity can be daunting, and you’ll probably feel vulnerable, but the amazing benefits will outweigh the initial discomfort once you take that leap. 

7 Ways Your Life Will Change for the Better When You Embrace Your Sensitivity

1. You’ll finally find balance as you acknowledge your HSP needs.

Balance can be hard to achieve when you’re a sensitive person. Like me, you might want to learn as much as possible, read every book, travel, exercise, see friends… and the list goes on. 

Now, I finally understand that my sensitive nature means that juggling too many commitments at once (however fun they may be) can leave me feeling utterly drained and annoyed at my inability to keep up with everyone else. HSPs tend to get mentally and emotionally flooded, which is why it’s important to manage your expectations.

Those with sensitive personalities usually feel time pressure differently than others and hate being rushed. An appointment in the afternoon may mean that you’re unable to fully relax or even focus on the morning’s events. 

But we do love our routines. If I have a day full of meetings, scheduling a half-hour for a walk (or something that takes me out of my head and into my body) will mean I feel less tired by the end of the day. Being aware of my sensitivity — without judgment — means that I finally found equilibrium in all facets of my life.

2. Your energy levels will increase as you learn to better manage your HSP traits.

Hanging onto a way of living that is not in sync with the real you is emotionally exhausting and will impact your energy, particularly for sensitive people. And if I’ve learned anything as an HSP, it’s that we need to protect our energy, whether we stop rushing around or say “no” to more things.

Accepting our sensitive nature means our energy soars. Like casting off a heavy winter coat when you walk into a warm and cozy room, our bodies feel lighter somehow as we stop our internal struggle with ourselves. 

With this extra energy, you’ll likely feel an emotional boost, too. 

3. You’ll finally find “your people,” the ones who feel as deeply as you do.

Fellow HSPs, have you often felt as though you don’t really fit in? That you don’t know others who are like you? 

I grew up feeling different, like the way I seemed to absorb the emotions of others and picked up on subtle tensions in groups of friends. I also felt disinterested with the superficial chatter that surrounded my early 20s, preferring deeper, more thought-provoking conversations instead.

It was years before I found friends who understood my need to cry over an animal cruelty post on social media or ones who were also more sensitive and felt things as deeply as I did. But when I did find them, we instantly had an unexplainable sensitivity bond.

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4. You’ll be inspired to learn more about yourself.

Now that I know sensation seeking is a thing in the world of sensitive people, I place importance on going out in the elements, traveling to new places, and learning new things, understanding that these are integral to my well-being.

Knowing what both energizes, and drains, us is vital for living a harmonious life. Look at your past experiences: When did you feel happy and at ease? What didn’t work, and what caused you to struggle?   

Think about your environment, your friends, your hobbies, your job, and use this information to benefit your current and future self. If certain things overwhelm your sensitive soul, think about focusing on the things that bring you more calm instead.

5. You’ll embrace your highly sensitive traits like superpowers.

Embracing our sensitive qualities is vital to being content in this ever-changing world. 

Sure, since we HSPs feel things so deeply, it can sometimes be a challenge, but I prefer to view it as a superpower. For instance, I thought everybody experienced music in the same way I do; it’s like a full-body reaction for me. Yet I’ve since learned that highly sensitive people experience the arts differently than non-HSPs — we may appreciate all the little nuances in music and art that others may not notice.

I also embrace my superpowers when it comes to nature. I find peace in the quiet spaces, like the woods, where my sensitive senses can be left alone, and find animals to be my equal. 

Being outside elevates my day overall and is good for us — it floods our bodies with immune-boosting endorphins and deepens our connection with the external world, as well as our internal world. 

6. You’ll acknowledge your needs — and it’ll deepen your connection with loved ones.

Admitting your sensitivity to loved ones can be a big thing. Once you do have the courage to do so, you allow yourself to be seen and can finally assert your needs. 

Planning what you might say when you explain your needs will help you to express yourself clearly. It’s not about rejecting your partner’s or family’s way of doing things, but allowing them to see your differences. 

For instance, you can finally tell them what will truly make your HSP self happy — how watching scary movies may not be for you or that you need plenty of time to yourself to wind down after a long day.

By acknowledging your needs as a highly sensitive person, you’ll not only get to know yourself better, but your loved ones will get to know you better, too, and this will benefit everybody in the long run. 

7. You’ll live life more authentically.

Don’t underestimate the word “authentically” —  as a fad, buzzword, or self-help jargon; it might seem hard to understand the true meaning of the word until we live in tune with our deeper selves. Once you listen to your inner voice and honor it, though, things will seem to flow a little easier. 

At first, you’ll notice small changes; you’ll begin to avoid or minimize things in your life that aren’t right for you, situations that don’t align with your high sensitivity. For example, previously you may have pushed yourself to go to a networking event every week after a full work week. Now, however, you have the confidence to shelve that and network once a month in person, or explore online opportunities to do so. 

In short, you’ll identify what is vital for you to live alongside your true, authentic values as your highly sensitive self.

HSPs, how did your life change when you embraced your sensitivity? Let me know in the comments below.

Want to reduce stress and thrive as a highly sensitive person? We recommend these online courses from psychotherapist and sensitivity expert Julie Bjelland. Click here to learn more.

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