Ask for what you want – how often do you find yourself struggling with something because you don’t like to ask for help? How often are you disappointed when others don’t offer to help you or are not there when you need them?
You must learn to ask for what you want. Don’t expect others to guess or to know what you need. If you learn to ask, you’ll be surprised how often you’ll receive exactly what you need – or perhaps even more.
Sometimes you might not ask because you don’t want to bother anyone, or because you’re afraid they will say no. At least give people the opportunity to say yes. So often we deny people the opportunity to help us because we don’t like to ask for help.
Learn to ask – you’ll be pleasantly surprised and energized.Tweet
Practice mindfulness – when you’re busy and you have many demands on your time it can be difficult to stay present and mindful. You find that your mind is thinking about all the things you have to do, or worrying about the future, or feeling anxious about the past.
Even when you want to be more mindful, it can be difficult to remember. There are some tools that can help you. For example, there’s a free app that you can get for your phone, computer or mobile device that can help you.
There’s probably more than one, but the one I use is called Mindfulness Bell. You can schedule it to ring at regular times throughout the day. When the bell rings, it’s a reminder to just pause for a moment and bring yourself back to the present moment. I find that it’s a very helpful tool to keep me centered and present throughout the day.Tweet
A highly sensitive person is someone who tends to be attuned to their surroundings. They are often intuitive and empathic, have a keen imagination and may feel very overwhelmed by noise, chaos and crowds. They can have trouble fitting in and have been perceived as “too shy” or “too sensitive.”
It is estimated that approximately 20% of the population is highly sensitive. The term highly sensitive is becoming more well-known, particularly since Elaine Aaron published her books ‘The Highly Sensitive Person’ and ‘The Highly Sensitive Child.’
Many people object to the term ‘highly sensitive’ because being ‘too sensitive is often thought of as being a bad thing. Some prefer terms like highly attuned or highly aware, since those terms don’t carry the negative connotation of being ‘overly sensitive.’
It can be difficult to understand or relate to highly sensitive people. I think that’s mostly because we (as highly sensitive people) don’t really understand ourselves. I certainly didn’t for most of my life. Because we were seen as being different from everyone else when we were growing up, other people, particularly our parents and family, didn’t know how to relate to us. A highly sensitive person often tries very hard to fit in but is unable to do so, and so they conclude that there must be something wrong with them. We’re often told things like “you’re too sensitive;” “get over it;” “you’re being childish, grow up;” and, my personal favorite “don’t be so stupid.” As if when we say that we are uncomfortable in certain situations or don’t want to do certain things, we’re just being difficult.
If you are highly sensitive or know someone who is, these tips might help you have a better understanding about what it means:
- We’re not delicate. Being sensitive simply means that we are more tuned in to the environment and to the people around us. We pick up on things that most others do not. We notice things. It doesn’t mean that we will fall apart if you are direct and honest with us (in fact we prefer it because then we know where we stand with you).
- There’s nothing wrong with us. We are not broken. We do not need fixing. We are just different. We don’t often enjoy the same things that many others enjoy – and this isn’t just in our heads, it’s a physical thing. We actually feel physical symptoms that are uncomfortable in response to things like: noise, fluorescent lighting, smoke, perfumes, chemical smells, crowds, chaotic environments, and so on.
- We are not unsociable, nor do we think that we’re better than everyone else. Those who are highly sensitive and also introverts can respond to over-stimulation by withdrawing and becoming quiet. We may decline to join you at a bar or an event where there are lots of people, not because we’re unsociable, but because we know we wouldn’t enjoy it and we would suffer afterwards. We know, from experience, that it can take us days to recover from such over-stimulation.
- Not all highly sensitive people are introverts, and not all introverts are highly sensitive. There are people who are extroverted and yet also highly sensitive. The difference is that an introverted HSP will tend to withdraw when experiencing over-stimulation, while an extrovert may lash out and become aggressive or angry. Although again, this depends on the person, not all extroverted HSP’s will act this way.
- It’s easy to think that highly sensitive people might not thrive in leadership positions. The opposite is true. They can thrive (although they may not always want to). In fact, HSP’s make great leaders because they can be more in-tune with the other members of their team and have a wider perspective. They also tend to pick up on things that others might miss – such as emotions, body language, facial expressions – because they are so highly aware.
There’s no doubt about it, being highly sensitive can be difficult. But those difficulties are greatly reduced and your sensitivities can be turned into great strengths once you fully understand and own who you are. It’s easy to think there must be something wrong with you when you are not the same as the majority of other people. But being different is not a problem, it’s a gift. Learn who you are and when challenging situations come up, help others to understand. Don’t expect them to automatically know, you must help them – and know how to help yourself.
Want to know how sensitive you are? Take this simple quiz to find out – http://thehighlysensitiveprofessional.comTweet
You may be surprised how much of your time and energy is taken up by the t.v. How much more energy and time might you have? Take the challenge and switch the television off for just one week.
If this idea brings up feelings of anxiety for you, then you may find that the t.v. controls you more than you thought.Tweet
Be willing to be wrong – sometimes being proved wrong can be a good thing. For example if you’re sure someone is going to say no to something you’ve asked them to do and they surprise you by saying yes.
Often we put so much energy into our need to be right all the time, that it can be quite exhausting. If you are open to being wrong sometimes you might be pleasantly surprised. If nothing else, releasing your attachment to the need to always be right will free up a lot of energy.Tweet
Spend time by the ocean – there’s something about being by the ocean that is relaxing and stress-relieving. Water symbolizes release and so it helps release your tension, helping you feel revived and refreshed.
I spent a couple of days on the Oregon coast recently and took this 1 minute video from my hotel room balcony one morning so that I could continue to give myself the gift of a minute by the ocean any time I needed it. I’d like to share it with you.
Just take 1 minute out of your busy day to relax and let the ocean relieve any stress and tension.Tweet
This can be hard to accept if you love to solve problems and have an analytical mind, but I’m sure there are times that no matter how hard you try, you don’t seem to be able to come up with the answer or solution to a particular challenge or life issue. It seems as though the harder you try, the further away the solution seems to be.
The answer here is to let go of the need to figure it out. This does not mean you give up, it means that you surrender and acknowledge that you don’t know the answer. You’re not giving up the need or desire for a solution, rather you’re allowing the answer/solution to find you.
I don’t mean that you just sit on the couch and wait for things to change. You have to take action – but you let go of trying to force the answer to come by figuring it out. Be open to the solution finding you. It’s okay to acknowledge that you don’t know what to do sometimes. You don’t have to figure everything out, so give yourself a break and put your energy into taking action as the solution unfolds.Tweet
Find something to feel good about – The Law of Attraction says that you must keep your attention, focus and thoughts on what it is that you want. This helps you to keep your energy vibration in alignment with what you want, which allows it to come to you.
This is sometimes difficult to do, particularly when what is showing up for you seems to be the complete opposite of what you want. There always seems to be something that pulls your thoughts back to what you don’t want, which in turn gives you more of what you don’t want.
You may use positive affirmations and other techniques to try to keep yourself in the right vibration. Sometimes they work better than others.
One other technique that I’ve found very helpful – more helpful than positive affirmations – is to look for something to feel good about. If you’ve heard Esther Hicks channeling Abraham, this is something that she talks about a lot. If, as you go about your day, you are actively looking for things to feel good about (despite whatever else is going on around you) this automatically raises your vibration so that it is more in alignment with what you want.
The more you look for things to feel good about, the more you’ll find things to feel good about. The more you find things to feel good about, the more you’ll start to feel good about what shows up in your life. Don’t put restrictions on it though – saying I’ll only feel good about something if it’s this way. Be open to what you find. You’ll start finding things in many unexpected situations and places and you’ll feel a lot better too.Tweet
Re-evaluate regularly – it’s helpful to check in with yourself regularly to see where you are putting your energy and your time. Just because you’ve been doing something for a while, it doesn’t mean that you necessarily want to continue investing your time and energy into it.
It’s easy just to keep doing things because you think you should, or because other people expect you to, or because it doesn’t even occur to you that you might want a change.
Things change, you change, your priorities change. You want to make sure that you’re always putting your time and energy into the things that are most important to you – and that can change.
If you take the time to regularly re-evaluate, you’ll ensure that your energy is put into whatever is best for you – and ultimately everyone benefits.Tweet
Change the rules – what rules do you have that subconsciously run your life? You might think you don’t have any, but I bet you do. These are things that, if you really examine them, don’t make a lot of sense and are not serving you. You’re probably not even aware of them, but they dictate what you do and how you do it.
For example, I’ve recently been considering (and working to change) the rules I have around exercise. One of my subconscious ‘rules’ is that I should exercise every day, or that if I go to an exercise class I should go to that same class every week.
What ends up happening is that my schedule varies, so I may not be able to make the same exercise class each week, or if I work out at home, I may not be able to do it at the same time each day. So instead of just doing what I can when I can and adjusting my schedule to fit what I can do – I end up doing nothing. So my ‘rule’ is setting me up to fail.
I notice that I don’t have this same rule when it comes to playing tennis (although there are others) because I will play as often as I can whenever I can and sometimes it’s once a week and sometimes it’s 5 times in a week.
Think about the ‘rules’ you have that are not serving you and may be setting you up for failure (like mine). It’s time to change the rules!
I’d love to hear some of your rules – feel free to share them here. Sharing will help us all to identify rules that are not serving us.Tweet