In the last blog, The Way of The Empath, I chatted with you about signs of being a highly sensitive person. Did it wake you up a bit?
Today I want to tell you my top three tips to help you gain comfort as an Empath and Highly Sensitive Person.
Now that you are starting to recognize- you are or might be- highly sensitive and maybe what it feels like to be an Empath, you can begin to get a better sense of the parts of your life that may need some extra attention and care.
You may always have felt strong Empathic tendencies. You’ve had “this thing,” yet you didn’t have a name for it, and you didn’t understand all the effects of being an Empath or HSP was having on you.
Perhaps there were many times throughout your life that you wondered why you made certain decisions, had various emotional reactions that others around you didn’t or felt the energy of others, good or bad. Maybe you made choices that didn’t serve you and your sensitive nature simply because you weren’t aware.
Now that you have this newfound awareness, you can begin to make peace with yourself by acknowledging your Empathic and Highly sensitive self. You can start to understand what it means to be an Empath and/or HSP, which is the first step on this new journey and brings in a new and higher perspective on life.
You will want to start to develop strategies to manage the challenges of this trait and allow the countless benefits of your uniqueness to be expressed more fully in this world.
Here are three things that helped me start to better take care of myself and begin honouring the gift of being a Highly Sensitive person and Empath.
1. Check-in with yourself (often). In the beginning, this was incredibly hard for me to do. I was living a hectic life with three small children when I first became aware that I was an HSP. It was like I was living on autopilot, and I was often ignoring the signals that my body was sending me. If I felt the overwhelming urge to rest, I would push on, but at the expense of my mental health. At the time, I didn’t understand how important it is for HSP’s and Empaths to have downtime and rest, and so I would push on, becoming more exhausted to the point of near burnout.
2. Stop and reconnect to your breathing! HSP’s can be anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, and often breathe in a shallow way without realizing it! This reduces oxygen to the brain and keeps your sympathetic nervous system activated, preparing you for fight or flight. To counteract this, stop and do a conscious breathing exercise. Breathe deeply through your nose and exhale slowly, keeping your lips together as if you’re blowing out a birthday candle. Do this a few times until you feel the tension leave the body, and start to relax as the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in. This technique was a game-changer for me, and I practice this exercise many times over my day.
3. Get plenty of rest. According to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of many books about Empaths (and an Empath herself); Deep sleep is absolutely necessary for Empaths to decrease their sense of being overstimulated by life. She acknowledges many Empaths need a specific kind of sleep hygiene, which could involve soft, comfortable sheets, blankets and pillows. If you have trouble falling asleep, then try meditating for a few minutes before bed. There are many guided meditations available to help ease you into sleep (I even created one!). Meditating regularly will help calm your mind and bring much-needed stillness to your busy brain.
Starting these three techniques might sound like a bit much when starting out, so even if you could incorporate one of these, you’ll be on a good start. I hope these tips are helpful for you on your journey. If there is one thing I know for sure it’s that to be able to fully embrace the positive aspects of being an Empath and Highly Sensitive Person it takes time.
By taking small steps to begin to honour and accept yourself, you are creating an entirely new chapter of your book, one that leads to greater fulfilment and purpose.