10 Life Changers that Help Me as an HSP to Feel Less Overwhelmed
Are you a highly sensitive person and do you want to feel less overwhelmed? In this blog, I share 10 life changers that help me to overcome overwhelm.
As a highly sensitive person, I know too well how it feels when you're overwhelmed. It is stressful, your heart beats faster and you are feeling more anxious.
In the past, I have been struggling a lot with feeling overwhelmed.
Work pressure, overstimulation of my senses and social obligations had a tendency to drain me to the max. In fact, I did not know how to properly cope with them and the overwhelm was taking over my life and limiting me in reaching my utmost potential.
I can imagine that you experience it just as frustrating as I did back then. However, I have learned in recent years to embrace my sensitivity and come across certain life changers that help me to feel less overwhelmed in general. In this blog, I am sharing them with you.
Without any further chit-chat, let's dive in and discover them.
The first life changer I am going to share with you, is to start journaling regularly. I know, i know; you read about this everywhere.
However, people aren't hyping up journaling without a reason! They do it, because it works!
Journaling is a wonderful way to empty your mind of thoughts. In fact, you could describe it as decluttering your mind. Just like you clean your kitchen everyday, you should do the same with your mind.
Especially for highly sensitive people, who have a tendency to overthink, journaling kan be a powerful practice.
Ever since I've started journaling, I have felt more clear in my mind. Whenever I skip journaling for a couple of weeks, I immediately recognize it in my mental and physical health.
Therefore, I highly recommend you to give it a try yourself. Go and buy an awesome journal and jot down everything that comes to your mind.
Mindfulness is the art of being present in the here and now. Through mindfulness you become more aware of what sensations you are experiencing in your body in the present moment.
As highly sensitive people tend to think much about the past and the future, mindfulness is a wonderful practice to bring them back to the here and now.
Whenever I feel that I am going deeper and deeper in my thought process and literally lose connection with the present moment, I practice mindfulness.
The wonderful benefit of mindfulness is that you can practice it everywhere. You can practice it while commuting, while eating, while sitting on the couch or while being in a busy environment.
Simply by observing everything around you and tuning into it, you become more present in the current moment.
If you'd like to give it a go, here is a nice mindfulness practice to get started:
I can't stress this one enough: Please make sure that you are surrounded by people who are good for you. Surrounding myself with people who are kind, loving and caring has helped me to feel less overwhelmed in daily life.
As highly sensitive people often also are extremely empathic, they are exceptionally talented at sensing other people's vibes. This enables them to be a good friend who often has great advice to offer.
This is a gift which many people around them appreciate. However, you as an HSP need to make sure to only share this gift with people who do not benefit from it whenever they need it.
While there is nothing bad in supporting a friend who is going through a tough time, it is important to carefully look at who would do the same for you. There are plenty of people out there who are the first in line when it comes to taking, but leave as soon as you require some of their attention and love.
Therefore, make sure to find your people. People where energy flows freely and there is a balance between giving and taking.
Another way to feel less overwhelmed, is to heal your wounds from the past.
Oftentimes, wounds from our past and even the wounds from our forefathers are rooted deeply in our system. Those wounds will continue to challenge you, if you do not heal them properly.
Therefore, consider healing old wounds, even though it is a painful process. In the long run, healing your wounds from the past will free you from pain. In addition, you will have new freedom to fill this space with joy.
There are hundreds of methods to heal your old wounds, but I can highly recommend you to work with a professional. Oftentimes, they help you to get to the core of the issue much quicker than if you would go through the process on your own.
Studies show that highly sensitive people long for purpose in life. Therefore, following a career path that does not align with their purpose will drain a highly sensitive person to the max.
Back in 2018, when I started pursuing my dream to become an entrepreneur I wasn't aware of how negatively NOT following my purpose impacted me.
When I was working for someone else, my immune system collapsed continuously and I had a flu or cold every 6 weeks. Additionally I could not figure out how to feel less overwhelmed.
First when I became an entrepreneur and followed my dreams, my health started to improve and now I feel more balanced and aligned than ever before.
Therefore, if you have the opportunity and the privilege to do so, I can highly recommend you to discover and follow your purpose.
My number 1 life changer to help me feel less overwhelmed was to embrace spirituality.
Spirituality comes in many forms. Whether you believe in God, Buddha, Allah or the Universe: spirituality offers the support so many of us need.
For me, embracing my spirituality and finding my belief helped me to feel supported in times when I needed it. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, turning to spirituality helps me to calm my mind and body quickly.
The art of spirituality is to find a spiritual path that works for you. For example, my search for spiritual guidance has led me past God, Buddha and even not believing in anything at all, until I felt a deep connection with the Universe.
Ever since I discovered that spiritual niche and learned more about it, I feel more supported in life and worry less.
Therefore, I challenge you to open your heart towards spirituality and to find a belief that comforts you whenever you need it.
One of the recent changes I've made in my life to feel less overwhelmed, is to create a happy place in my home.
Ideally, you want your entire home to be a happy place, but with pets, kids and a partner living under the same roof this isn't always possible. Accordingly, it is wise to find a space in your home which is yours and yours alone.
My partner Riny and I both have a space in our home which we have claimed for ourselves. He has a "mancave" on the top floor of our house, while I have transformed our guest room to my daily meditation paradise.
Whenever I want to feel less overwhelmed, I retreat to my happy place. In fact, spending only 10 minutes in my happy place can help me to feel like a whole new person.
Hence, I highly recommend you to find a place in your home which you can make your own and where you can retreat to whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.
Another way to feel less overwhelmed in your daily life, is to create healthy habits.
For years, I have been unconscious about what I eat, how often I exercise and how often I spend time on improving my mental health. The result of this behaviour was that I felt incredibly fragile both mentally and physically. In fact, I felt on the verge of a burnout.
Once I started to take my physical and mental health more seriously, I recognized positive changes in all areas of my life. Here are a couple of things that changed after I actively started improving my health:
- Better immune system.
- Attracting more people into my life who are good for me.
- Doing better financially.
- I dare to take more risks.
- More self-confidence.
- Less overwhelm.
What I did? I implemented good health habits into my daily routine. For instance, I became more conscious of nutrition and its effects on our bodies. Also, I try to do at least one self care activity a day which is good for mental health (gratitude exercises, journaling, meditation etc.).
If you don't know where to start because you are feeling so overwhelmed, I recommend you to try this practical exercise:
I remember when I was a little girl and upset, my mom always told me to look for joy. Back then I wasn't aware that she actually was teaching me gratitude.
For me, gratitude has been one of the most powerful tools to feel less overwhelmed. Oftentimes, when we're feeling overwhelmed, we tend to look at everything that is NOT going well. Hence, the overwhelm.
By looking at the things that are going well, you stop this negative thought pattern before it drains you. That does not mean that you never deal with your problems. You simply just don't allow them to take over your entire day and only let them express themselves when you are intending to do something about them.
Gratitude connects you to the present moment and can be done anywhere, anytime. Ideally, you write down your gratitude on a piece of paper or in an gratitude app. This way, you see everything you are grateful for on paper.
My final life changer to feel less overwhelmed, is to use affirmations on a daily basis.
Affirmations are statements that help you to redirect your brain from a thought pattern. For example, a common negative thought pattern is "I am afraid that I will run out of money".
By creating an affirmation such as "Money flows freely to me", you step out of that fear mindset and start looking for opportunities. You live from an energy of positivity.
Repeat your positive affirmations to yourself on a daily basis, even when you are not feeling overwhelmed. This has helped me greatly to feel less overwhelmed in general.
All of the abovementioned methods have helped me greatly to feel less overwhelmed as a highly sensitive person. I hope that you will give some of them a try. However, note that they will only be truly effective if you implement them into your daily routine.
Your mental health functions the same way your physical health is functioning. When you eat lots of fast food, you gain weight and will feel less energetic.
The same goes for your mental health. When you allow all negative thoughts and experience to run on auto-pilot, without taking care of your mind through effective methods such as those mentioned above, you will feel more overwhelmed. Start with a method or two and implement them in your daily life. Once they are part of your daily routine, you can consider adding new habits to your life.
Which of the abovementioned methods did you find the most intriguing?