As a highly sensitive person, navigating intense emotions can be a challenging task. The world can often feel overwhelming, and it’s easy to become swept up in a flood of feelings that seem impossible to manage. However, there are coping techniques that can help you manage your emotions and navigate your way through even the most intense feelings. In this blog, we’ll explore some of those techniques and how they can help you cope as a highly sensitive person.
Mindfulness is a technique that involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with intense emotions, it can be helpful to take a step back and focus on your breath. This can help you become more grounded and centered, allowing you to gain perspective on your emotions. Mindfulness can also help you notice when your emotions are starting to become too much for you to handle, giving you the opportunity to take a break and practice self-care.
Here is a short mindfulness exercise you can try:
- Find a comfortable and quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Bring your attention to your breath, noticing the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body.
- As you focus on your breath, thoughts may arise. This is natural and normal. Simply acknowledge them and let them pass without judgment or attachment. You can visualize the thought attached to a cloud that is floating away or come up with your own visualization to help release your thoughts.
- Continue to focus on your breath, allowing yourself to become fully present in the moment.
- When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes and take a moment to reorient yourself before moving on with your day.
Remember, mindfulness is a practice, so don’t worry if your mind wanders. Simply bring your attention back to your breath as many times as needed.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
Negative self-talk can contribute to feelings of overwhelm and intense emotions. To combat this, try using positive self-talk. This means reframing your thoughts to be more positive, supportive, and encouraging. For example, instead of saying “I can’t do this,” try saying “I’m capable of handling this, and I’ll do my best.” This can help you feel more confident and capable, even in the face of intense emotions.
Here’s a short positive self-talk exercise:
- Find a quiet place where you can sit or lie down comfortably.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
- Imagine a positive statement that resonates with you, such as “I am capable and worthy of love and happiness.”
- Repeat this statement to yourself silently, letting it sink in with each breath.
- As you continue to repeat the statement, imagine yourself surrounded by a warm, comforting light that supports and nurtures you.
- Stay with this exercise for as long as you like, letting the positive feelings and energy flow through you.
- When you’re ready, take a few more deep breaths and slowly open your eyes.
Remember to be kind to yourself and practice this exercise regularly to help boost your self-confidence and reduce negative self-talk.
As a highly sensitive person, it’s important to establish boundaries in your relationships and daily life. This means saying no when you need to, and setting limits on how much time and energy you give to others. Boundaries can help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted, allowing you to better manage your emotions and cope with intense feelings.
Let’s say you have a friend who constantly invites you to events that you don’t want to attend. You value your friendship with this person, but you also recognize that you need to take care of your own needs.
Instead of avoiding the friend’s invitations or making excuses, you can have an honest conversation with them. You might say something like, “Hey, I appreciate your invitations to events, but I’ve realized that I need to prioritize my own self-care and sometimes that means saying no to social gatherings. I hope you can understand and respect that.”
Setting this boundary can help you feel more empowered in your relationships by speaking your truth and prevent feelings of resentment or burnout.
Engage in Self-Care
Self-care is an essential component of managing intense emotions as a highly sensitive person. This means taking the time to engage in activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Examples of self-care activities include taking a bath, going for a walk in nature, journaling, practicing yoga or meditation, and spending time with loved ones. Self-care can help you feel more grounded and centered, and can give you the strength and resilience to navigate intense emotions.
As highly sensitive people, it’s important to take care of ourselves and our sensory experiences. This exercise is designed to help you ground yourself and engage your senses to soothe and calm your mind.
- Find a comfortable, quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.
- Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes.
- Begin to focus on your senses. What do you see around you? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel physically?
- Name five things you see around you. For example, “I see a blue wall, a picture frame, a lamp, a plant, and a book.”
- Name four things you can physically feel. For example, “I feel the weight of my body on the chair, the texture of my shirt, the temperature of the room, and the pressure of my feet on the ground.”
- Name three things you can hear. For example, “I hear the sound of the wind outside, the clock ticking, and the hum of the air conditioner.”
- Name two things you can smell. For example, “I smell the scent of my lavender candle and the aroma of my tea.”
- Name one thing you can taste. For example, “I taste the sweetness of my favorite chocolate.”
- Take a few deep breaths and slowly open your eyes.
By engaging your senses, you can ground yourself in the present moment and feel more connected to your surroundings. This exercise can be done anywhere and anytime you need to feel more grounded and centered. Remember, taking care of yourself is a priority, especially as a highly sensitive person.
Seek Professional Support
Finally, seeking professional support from a Vancouver counsellor who specializes in working with highly sensitive people can be incredibly beneficial. A counsellor can help you develop coping strategies, establish boundaries, and work through any underlying issues that may be contributing to your intense emotions. They can also provide a safe space for you to process your emotions and feel heard and seen as a highly sensitive person. You can book an online complimentary session with a clinical counsellor at Constellations Counselling today.
In conclusion, managing intense emotions as a highly sensitive person can be a challenging task, but it is possible with the right coping techniques and support. By practicing mindfulness, using positive self-talk, establishing boundaries, engaging in self-care, and seeking professional support from a Vancouver counsellor, you can learn to navigate your emotions in a healthy and productive way. Remember that you are not alone, and that it’s okay to reach out for help when you need it. Constellations Counselling is here to support you in your journey towards emotional wellness as a highly sensitive person.