How to find balance as a Highly Sensitive Person

Being a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) can present many challenges. Moving from one over stimulating experience to another can be overwhelming and exhausting on the best of days. It is important to learn tools to help you navigate through life with more ease, feeling empowered and confidence with your ability to cope no matter what the situation presents.

Since I can remember I also struggled with loud noises, crowds of people, smells and an over abundance of stimulation often overwhelmed me. As a child I knew no different and thought everyone experienced life in such a loud and intense manner. It was in my 30’s I discovered how different I am from others. I notice the smallest shifts in energy and experience everything at high frequency. This awareness has helped me to work towards finding ways to release my anxiety and find balance. Instead of losing myself in these experiences I learned to empower myself into embracing this unique and beauty gifts of sensitivity. There are many tools I have utalized to help me in this journey. I hope in sharing this it may help someone else change their perception from seeing these sensitivities as gifts instead of a burden.

1: Self care practices. Practicing some form of self care every single day, is so important to help you stay balanced so that you can handle the world around you more easily. “We can’t pour from an empty cup.” -as the saying goes. Finding those self care practices are important in preventing anxiety as well as helping you ground back down when feeling drained from the outside world. Find something that you enjoy that feels comforting and grounding. Whether that is physical activity like biking, hiking or yoga, reading, journaling, creative art, or meditation, find what you love do it as often as you need.

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2: Pick your circle of friends carefully. Surround yourself with supportive people. People that understand your needs and will not take offence to you bowing out of an event because you are feeling overwhelmed. These are the people that will lift you up and encourage you to embrace your unique gift instead of criticizing it as a weakness.

3: Do things that make you happy. Go on an adventure hiking, or travelling. Try something new and exciting. It can be exhausting living in a world that wasn’t made for sensitive souls so taking time to find the joy in the chaos is a great way to see the silver lining on those more difficult days.

4: Time alone. This is an important way for a HSPs to rebalance. If you are feeling overwhelmed and the world is closing in on you, the best things to do is to sneak away somewhere quiet. Close the door, bury yourself in your covers and block out any stimulation. Take as long as you need to breath and calm the nervous system by shutting out the outside world. This isn’t running away from life, but a way of pressing the pause  to refocus your energy.

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5: Cleansing your space. Keeping you energetic space cleansed is very important. Unlike empaths a HSP do not tend to take on energies from others but if you are like me and you are both a HSP and an empath this is a must to staying healthy. You can cleanse your space by burning sacred smoke like sage, palo santo or sweet grass. You can cleanse your space with selenite or rock salt. Finding what works best for you, and do it as much as you need to.

6: Setting energetic boundaries. This can be done in many different ways. Before you go out into the world, you can visualize that you have roots growing deep into the earth that helps ground you. Or imagine that you are in a bubble and you have created this safe space that is calming that no amount of stimulation can break through. Taking some of these visualizations with you as means to create a space of control and safety to help you better navigate through all the stimuli.

7: Holistic tools. You can use grounding crystals to carry with you, or practice breathing techniques and mini meditations if you find yourself in overwhelming situations. Make sure that you not only utilize these tools when you are out in the world but also as a way of grounding back down when you come home. Having a salt bath, burning sage or listening to calming music are just a few ideas that can help bring you back into balance after a long and overwhelming day.

8: Boundaries. This is the most important things to understand and set straight especially as a HSP. Saying “no” is not only o.k it is NECESSARY for a healthy mind, and emotional state. Learning where you need to draw the line will depend on what you are  comfortable with. Best advice is to listen to your intuition, if you feel resistance in any way it most likely is a sign that you need to set up a boundary.

9: Connect to your needs regularly and honour them. Spending time throughout the day to connect to yourself and your needs. Honour what ever comes to the surface as your intuition guiding you back to equilibrium. Make sure to follow through taking the necessary actions to treat and prevent feelings of anxiety and exhaustion.

10: Spending time in nature. Fill your soul up by spending time in nature. When we escape the busyness of the city and get away from the noise, the electronics, and the pollutants we can rebalance ourselves faster then doing anything else. Nature is the only place free of all of that buzzing that can effortlessly put you into the parasympathetic nervous system. Slowing everything down and allowing a safe space to just be and breathe.

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These practices are not only beneficial for HSPs but anyone looking to find more balance in life. Pick the things that speak to your needs and adjust them accordingly. We are all different so take time find what works best for you so you can begin to embrace your unique gifts and beautiful sensitivities.

Body Imagine: Learning how to love our bodies despite our “imperfections”

As a child I was very tiny and had no problems eating up half the food in the house without gaining a pound. Chocolate for breakfast, why not?! My mother used to say, ” One day it will catch up with you. You can’t live off of junk food forever!” These wise words of warning never stuck with me. I was invincible, right?!!It didn’t take long to realize that my body was going to change and I would learn what humility meant.

I started to notice I was struggling with body imagine after getting pregnant with my first baby. My weight fluctuating upwards of 90 lbs, through three pregnancy. My short, petite body being stretched in every which direction. With postpartum depression that followed I often used food as a crutch to cope with the overwhelming pressures I felt as a new mom. I began to see how this affected not only my weight but my skin, energy levels and moods. I felt uncomfortable in my body and carried shame, even embarrassment for how I looked. I hadn’t taken care of myself the way I wish I had. This is where my journey began. This is where I started to rebuild my confidence, love and acceptance for this new body of mine that looked very different then it once did.

So I lost the weight, got healthy, felt energized and pretty good about myself overall, yet when I looked into the mirror I looked nothing like those instagram pictures everyone seemed to be posting. The stretch marks were still there, and my skin wasn’t as tight and defined as it once was. Even after all that work, my body was very different.

So, how do we learn to love our bodies fully as we are? How do we find acceptance and love for ourselves despite any “imperfections” and scars? How do we embrace this human experience and learn to love and support ourselves throughout this journey? Here are some of the ways I learned to cultivate self love and acceptance on my healing journey.

1) Self affirmations. Say loving things to yourself each and every day like, ” I feel good today.” “I am strong.” “I am at peace.” “I am loving.” Saying these things to yourself can feel uncomfortable and even awkward at times but the more we shift our mindset and open our awareness to the things we love about ourselves we begin to move away from those negative thoughts.

2) Love your scars and imperfections. See the beauty in the pain. These are pieces of your story; they are a road map of all the things you’ve experienced. See them as wisdom and strength that came from some of those more challenging times. Honour your body for all it has done and continues to do for you each and every day. Shifting this perceptive is key to learning how to love your body fully and with true compassion.

3) Practice yoga and meditation. Practicing mind/body movements helps to reconnect you to your body on a very deep and meaningful level. This helps to strength that bond and appreciation for you body and this amazing vessel we have to explore life through. These vessels are SO important. It’s not about how they look that truly matters but how well they function. Shift your desire for a “perfect body” to a desire to have a strong and capable body that can take you on all the adventures you desire.

4) Take care of your body. Exercise, and eat a healthy balanced diet that is filled with high vibrational foods like fruits and veggies. Enjoy physical activities that bring you joy and help you embrace you body. It’s no mystery that eating right and spending time exercises helps to release all those feel good hormones and bring a sense of comfort and connection back to our body.

5) Remember beauty is an illusion. Yes that’s right. All the pictures you see on Instagram or in magazines are often altered in some way. When understanding this truth we can begin to move away from comparing ourselves to this illusion, these high standards that are unattainable and unrealistic. When I was at the beach a few years ago, I realized that everyone there was far from “perfect.” They all had some sort of “scars” or marking, wrinkle or fold of skin: everyone was unique in their own way. I noticed that there wasn’t a single person there that didn’t have some sort of “imperfection,” or at least what society might perceive to be imperfect. In reality these are not imperfections, these markings are what make our story unique. Without any differences in one another we would be living in a pretty boring world, in my opinion. Realizing it’s all an illusion freed me from feeling like my body wasn’t “good enough” and helped me embrace myself and this journey giving me new perspective and deeper meaning. We are ALL perfectly imperfect.

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So love yourself fully. Take care of your body and show appreciation for all it does for you. Fed yourself clean foods, and practice saying loving words. Go enjoy an activity that makes you feel amazing. Get dressed up and go out dancing! Remind yourself that you are sexy, beautiful inside and out, and the only person that needs to feel that about you is YOU!