People with the sensitive trait can tend to be more physically sensitive than others.
For example, if they eat food that isn’t wholesome or prepared with clean ingredients, then they can get a stomach ache; someone eating the exact same food out of the same serving bowl won’t notice a physical symptom at all.
One of my experiences: if I indulge in a small popcorn without butter at the movie theatre, something in the popcorn will elevate my heart rate shortly after I eat. And of course, I can feel it without trying because I’m sensitive. My husband can eat from the same container, and does not have that symptom. At that moment, I used to think “Why Me?” or “This Sucks” or “This isn’t Fair!” or “Can’t I just enjoy a little popcorn for once!” These statements criticize my sensitivity and don’t support it. See my most recent blog on this topic for ideas on how to handle it if you find yourself doing the same thing.
How have I changed? Now I say, “Hmmm. Here is a new symptom. Some information. What is happening and why?” So I will note it, then head home after the movie to look up the typical ingredients in popcorn. And I see monosodium glutamate (MSG) listed among the ingredients.
When I research the symptoms that MSG may cause, I see elevated heartrate about 20 minutes after.
Now I am grateful. Why? I’m grateful that Google exists and I can easily research information, which is power. I now know that the elevated heartrate is providing me information about what I ate. And that is power. I see that the MSG puts a stress on my body that I am not so sure I want to have. Now I have a choice. I can continue to get that popcorn and let myself have these symptoms, which aren’t very comfortable, and I’m essentially ignoring my body. I can try having some extra minerals before I go to the movie, buy the popcorn, and see if it still affects me the same way. I can bring my own homemade popcorn loaded with natural sea salt and farm-made butter so that I am getting good minerals and fat as a snack. I can make another concession stand choice and see how that goes. I can choose to not buy anything at the theatre, which helps my wallet and my weight. I’m sure that you can also come up with some more options.
So how do we effectively deal with our increased physical sensitivity and thrive along with it? There are many habits we can incorporate into our lifestyles:
It’s time to begin carving out a lifestyle that works to put you in your happy place, everyday. My next several blogs will look one-by-one at the bulleted list above to give you general ideas and thoughts.
Until next time, Be Kind to Yourself.
Research by trained professionals is showing that 1 in 5 people process emotions and events more deeply. As they go through their day, they will notice things that others don’t notice, and their brains will light up more while processing this information. That’s the non-scientific summary of what happens on a physiological level.
Many of us have seen this in ourselves, probably throughout our lifetime. We may have been called sensitive or a cry baby. We may have been told to stop being so picky or hypervigilant. We have sensed beings or energies that other people can’t see or feel. We may have been labeled with anxiety or nervousness. We’ve often had more sensitive stomachs or bodies that can become sick more easily.
Because of all the ways that we are sensitive, judgements by well-meaning family, friends, teachers, etc., have taught us to judge ourselves in similar ways. Although they may have been well-meaning, and some not so, we have learned to questions ourselves. What is wrong with us?
Why are we this way or that way. All these other people aren’t so sensitive, nervous, exhausted, hypervigilant, etc. Why are we?
So, I have one word for you. STOP IT. Actually, that’s 2 words but the leading sentence sounded so powerful!
We must STOP thinking something is wrong with us. Would we say that to a small child we love unconditionally? To a friend? To anyone else BUT ourselves? Most likely not, and if we do this kind of judging in general, that’s material for another blog.
So, the very first thing we can do in embracing our sensitive trait is to STOP CRITICIZING ourselves. What’s the use of this criticism? Sensitivity is a trait that we were given at birth, that is somehow meant to be a gift here on earth. It’s a gift to ourselves, and a gift to others. If we continue to bash our sensitivities, how will we ever be able to affectively support and use them? So, from today on, make a commitment to yourself to take time to notice how you talk to yourself about your sensitivity. How you are critical. Then STOP IT! When you see yourself going into that place, “Something is wrong …”, stop midway through that thought. Let there be a void if you must. Say something like Louise Hay would say, “Thank you for sharing. Bye. Bye.”
Replace the thoughts with positive statements about yourself. This is so important. And oftentimes as we begin this process, all those judgements and negative thoughts come out in droves. It’s okay, thank them for sharing and tell them you are in charge now. Tell them you are not going to criticize or limit yourself with these thoughts. Then say some present-tense, positive statements:
Begin to be curious about your sensitivities. What is this sensitivity showing me? Am I truly listening to what it is presenting to me? How should I respond to this new information?
The Sensitive Trait is meant to work for you, and not be a daily challenge. But, for many, it has become a challenge in daily life - relationships, career, health and more. So, take a moment to start using these tools. And see how your life begins to transform.
Until next time, Be Kind to Yourself.
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