How to master your emotions when you are highly sensitive
Feeling overwhelmed and like your emotions are all over the place? With these tips, you'll get back on track!
The feeling that you are flowing with every emotion in the room... I can relate. It is overwhelming, exhausting and incredibly confusing, right?
I have been there myself and on some days, I still struggle with this sensation. However, now I know what is wrong when this is happening to me. I am out of balance.
In this article, I'll share tips with you on how to become more emotionally balanced. All these tips helped me greatly to both use my rational and emotional energy equally and I hope that they'll be as useful to you as they were to me. So let's dive in!
Before I'll explain what I did to become a more emotionally stable highly sensitive person, let's have a look at why we tend to get out of balance.
First of all, highly sensitive people often have empathic characteristics. In this blog, we talk about 20 signs that indicate that you're an empath. Because of these empathic aspects, many of us have a tendency to absorb the emotions of others as if they were our own. So imagine, you walk into a room feeling perfectly fine and you leave feeling like the worst mess. How come? Because you most likely took over the energy and emotions from someone else.
Secondly, we often tend to lean towards self care in times of need. In times, where the problem is so bad that you HAVE to do something about it. This is one of the main reasons why many of us feel emotionally out of balance. We use self care as a quick fix, while maintenance is so much more rewarding for your emotional health on the long term.
Lastly, many don't take the time to consider what they consume mentally and physically. It just happens. Studies show that your physical and mental health have significant influence on each other. Therefore, it is important to consider both these parts of your health when you want to feel more emotional stable.
As you can see, three themes explain why you feel emotionally out of balance:
- You absorb the energy/emotions of others
- Self care is only used as a quick fix
- Mental and physical health need equal attention
Below, I'll give tips in relation to each of these themes.
Back when I was feeling incredibly unbalanced, I went to see a therapist who was specialized within the field of amongst others chinese herbology, acupuncture, psychology, physiotherapy and shamanism. She is an incredible woman who shared so much wisdoms with me that truly helped me in my personal growth. When I first entered her office, we quickly realized that I had my guard down most of the time. What I mean by that? It means that I literally let in anything and everyone that entered my path emotionally. There was no shield between me and others and I consumed every tiny signal others where sending out. As a result, I went home each night feeling burned out, worried, emotionally wrecked, upset and confused. I did not know why, but when my therapist told me that many of these emotions might not be my own, I realized that I had to make changes! So I implemented these tips:
First, I cleansed my aura. Imagine doing a great spring clean-up in your home. There is lots of clutter and most of it you don't need anymore. The same goes for your energy storage and aura. Most likely, if you had your shield down like I did, there is lots and lots of emotional clutter within you that you don't have use for anymore. Worries and situations from the past, words other people told you that hurt you, traumas, gossip, tough memories and everything that feels unpleasant is emotional clutter that causes you to feel unbalanced. Time to let go of that!
When I did my first aura-cleanse, I cried like a baby for half an hour. Both out of pain, but also out of relief of letting go. Afterwards, I felt so happy and grounded. It was an amazing experience which I highly can recommend. There are multiple ways to cleanse your aura. For example with chrystals, burning sage or a ritual bath. When I started my path towards personal growth, I wasn't that spiritual yet, so I felt more comfortable with doing a guided meditation. I can believe that some of you feel the same way. So you might want to give this way of cleansing your aura a try: for my first cleanse, I used this meditation, and it still is my go-to video when I need to cleanse my aura. Try it out:
Once my energy field was cleansed, I realized that I had to protect it in some way so that unwanted energies wouldn't enter my aura anymore. My therapist gave me great tips on how to protect your aura:
- Visualize a steady wall between you and the person you want to protect yourself from energetically. It is an invisible wall and only love can get through it. Hurtful words and judgemental behavior will bounce right back at the person when they try to penetrate your aura with it.
- Ask for protection. If you are somewhat spiritual (like I am now), you can ask for protection from whatever you believe in. I believe in the universe and good light energies, so whenever I feel that I am in need of protection, I ask for protection from the light. I visualize how the light forms a safe bubble around me and protects me from all the negative around me. It is a wonderful mindfulness technique to feel more confident and protected. If you believe in something else, like God or Allah, you could ask them to put a protective layer around you.
- Wear something blue. My therapist told me that the colour blue pushes away negative energy and only lets in positivity. So when you feel that you are about to enter a negative environment, put on something blue. It helped me in a few very tough situations and I am sure it will help you too!
Besides these tips from my therapist, I found these techniques useful in order to protect my energy field:
- Wearing crystals. Although there is no scientific evidence that crystals actually do work, I have found them to give me incredible strength in tough situations. Wearing them makes me feel like some sort of superhero who can't be harmed because of the stone. Perhaps, you could give it a try!
- Positive affirmations. Before I leave the house, I repeat a few positive affirmations to myself over and over again. This helps me to stand strong and feel confident when I feel that my energy field is being penetrated.
I am sure that there are many more ways to protect your energy field, but these techniques have done wonders for me. I hope they will help you, too!
Of course, you don't always want to keep your guard up. In fact, absorbing emotions of others can be a great gift when it comes to helping people! For example, when your best friend tells you about something deeply upsetting in their life, you want to be able to emphasize with them. In those times, you can take your guard down to let in all their emotions. In this way, you can help them. However, as soon as you return home, it is important to 'give back' their pain to them. It is not your responsibility to hold on to their pain for them. You can offer them advice, support and love, but it is their job to handle the pain. Therefore, I highly recommend you to perform a ceremony as soon as you want to return the pain to its original source. I found this ceremony from Dave Markowitz' book 'Self-Care for the Self-Aware'to be of great use for me:
It is called the 'Return to sender'-action and means that you return any emotional luggage from others back to them. Basically, you write a small note to the person whom's pain you carry and then, you make a mental connection with their higher self, where you kindly return their pain to them. It is a compassionate progress which Dave Markowitz describes elaborately in his wonderful and resourceful book for highly sensitive people, empaths, intuitives and healers. Once the pain is returned, you will most likely feel great relief!
As I mentioned earlier in this article, people often only use self care as a quick fix, rather than a habit. This is why so many of us feel emotionally unbalanced from time to time. Just like a car, our health needs to maintained regularly, and this is done through self care as a habit.
Self care comes in many forms. It can for example be done on a physical, mental, creative, sensory, comfortable or intellectual level. Accordingly, there is a self care method out there for every single person in this world! In order to feel more emotionally balanced, I implemented the following self care methods into my daily life:
My absolute favorite self care method is meditation. This is my safe haven and I know that this activity will give me instant relief, inner piece and a feeling of calm. When I started meditating, I recognized that my mind shifted more towards the rational. Whereas I first was 100% emotional, I now was able to be 50/50 rational/emotional. It is amazing! In times where I don't find the time to meditate, I acknowledge that my mind drifts more towards the emotional, which always is a reminder me to meditate more throughout the week.
Meditation only takes you 5-10 minutes a day and can be done at any moment you'd like! I often meditate before going to bed or when I wake up, but I have also meditated while waiting for an appointment or sitting in the train. As you can see, no time is no excuse! You could for example try this wonderful meditation to release anger and resentment! Apps such as Calm or Headspace are popular meditation apps, but I also enjoy the meditations from Gabrielle Bernstein greatly.
Another self care practice that I try to implement on a daily level is gratitude. Gratitude helps you to see the things that you already do have and the little, beautiful things in life. It helps you to feel more joy, positive and to vibrate on a higher level. Gratitude is a very easy self care method that takes you like 1-3 minutes per day! Grab a piece of paper or use an app like Grateful to write down what made your day a little better!
Journaling is perfect for highly sensitive people, because this method gives you the opportunity to sort your thoughts. If you are like me, you have the tendency to overthink into dimensions where noone has been before. Sometimes, it can be good to get your thoughts down on paper. For me, journaling is a great way to not only sort my thoughts, but it also enables me to develop my writing skills and to be creative by doodling in it. If you are a creative HSP, a bullet journal might be interesting for you! It enables you to create your own diary from scratch and helps you to truly express your personality.
I am a moon woman and I believe that we all in some way are connected with the phases of the moon. When I look at my emotional state at the end of the day, I always seem to be able to relate it to the current moon phases that we are in. In this blog, I talk about how the moon has helped me to truly connect with my high sensitivity and how I use it in my self care routine.
Because I am so connected to the moon, doing moon rituals is a magic way of self care for me. It is a moment where I reflect, dream, manifest and let go and helps me to feel truly connected with myself. Ever since I've been aware of the moon phases, I have been able to anticipate on my emotional state and undertake the needed self care actions to be well-prepared for what is coming. Therefore, I highly recommend you to give this magical self care method a try!
Besides these four techniques, I try out many different self care activities on a regular basis. In this blog, I shared 111 self care ideas for highly sensitive people. Give it a try!
One of the things that my former therapist truly made me realize, is that both my physical and mental health need to be taken care of. Back then, I didn't look after my mental and physical health at all and went past my boundaries. Crazy huh that I was feeling emotionally overwhelmed? I did the following things to create a balance in my mental and physical health:
My former therapist prescribed Chinese herbs which I had to take daily to balance my mental and physical health. They did great wonders for me! Within a week after taking them, I felt much more stabilized and able to react more calm towards specific situations. It was a great way to reset my body! I can highly recommend you to make an appointment with someone who is specialized in Chinese herbology. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is famous for preventing illness rather than curing it, which is a truly amazing and unique way to look at health and well-being. It's much better to prevent getting ill, right?
When you first look at everything that you eat throughout a week, you realize how much bad stuff you actually put in your body. At least that was how I felt when I started to become more aware of my nutrition. Therefore, I tried to cook more healthy and eat and drink less sugars. It caused me to feel more energized, which again helped me to put this energy into being more grounded and balanced. I highly recommend you to write down for a week what food and drinks you consume and then see what isn't actually that good for your physical health.
If you are somewhat like me, you are not a big fan of sports. It is too intense for me and I prefer calm activities. Thankfully, there are calm ways to exercise and be active too! For example, I tried Yoga, which helped me to get balanced both mentally and physically. Also, because we got a dog, I began to take long walks through nature every day. At least 3 times a day I get away from behind my desk to recharge in nature, and it is so healing for my soul and good for my physical health. I can highly recommend you to get active, even if it is a calm activity! It will definitely be beneficial for your body.
After reading this article based on my experiences as a highly sensitive person, I hope that you feel inspired to try out some of these methods yourself! They have transformed my life and I hope that they will do the same for you!
Love and light,