Today’s modern world is often challenging and overstimulating for the sensitive person’s nervous system. If you think of the nervous system as a container, a highly sensitive person’s nervous system might have 100 cups of information to process, whereas someone without this trait might just have a few. Highly sensitive people (HSPs) take in more information, more details, and more data and feel more intensified emotions than 80% of the population.
If we don’t have enough downtime to process everything in that container, our system gets overstimulated. Our body cannot even process toxins well if those 100 cups of stuff aren’t given enough quiet time to download and process correctly. Think of the HSP brain like a supercomputer. If you constantly download data, the supercomputer crashes. Our nervous system is wired like that too. When we keep downloading data into the nervous system container without giving it time to catch up, we either freeze, implode, or explode.
What “Freezing” Can Look Like
- Shutting down
Impacts of Imploding
- Panic attacks
- Feeling out of control
- Rumination, out-of-control worry
- Worsening or creating chronic health conditions
- Reduced immune system response
- Poor general health
Exploding Might Look Like…
- Emotional meltdowns
- Irrational thoughts and behaviors
- Highly irritable
- Anger explosions
- Inability to access cognitive brain (memory and focus issues, irrational fears magnified)
- Relationship problems can be created or worsen
If we rest, restore, and process the right amount, we can live in balance and truly thrive, accessing all the gifts that come with this trait. You have a supercomputer brain and superpowers as an HSP but only if you control the input and output of that nervous system container. If you do, you access many gifts of the trait of high sensitivity that 20% of the population has.
Gifts & Positives You Get to Access as a Highly Sensitive Person When You Are Balanced
- You can read microexpressions and body language that 80% miss
- Advanced consciousness and awareness
- You notice important details others miss
- Highly conscientious
- Beauty, love, nature, and joy can be magnified
- You are extremely insightful
- Your supercomputer is strong and helps you learn new data quickly
- You make people feel safe and listened to
- You know what others need
- You can make excellent attentive partners and parents
- Creativity and artistic ability is strong and often advanced
- You are some of the kindest, most caring, and compassionate people
How Do We Slow that Nervous System Overactivation & Find Balance?
We recommend at least two hours a day and one day off per week for quiet reflection, processing, rest, and restoration of the system. If you can spend that time in nature, it is often more beneficial with even faster results.
Practicing mindfulness and meditation builds a “muscle” in the brain that helps you slow overactivation and deactivates the overactivated stress response. Exercise, even a daily mindful walk, or yoga can be wonderful gifts to your sensitive body. Breathing techniques such as breathing in for the count of four, holding for two, and exhaling for seven help activate calming centers in the brain.
Practicing that about five cycles every day or even several times a day sends a calming signal to the nervous system. Eating a healthy diet helps reduce toxin build-up in the sensitive system too. Caring for your sensitive body and increasing self-compassion and self-care will do wonders for your wellness!
We have control over our balance, even as sensitive people in an overstimulating world. You have the gift of awareness that can help you track what makes you feel your best. When you feel bad, rewind the tape of that day and learn what made you feel that way so you can reduce it and change it. When you feel good, rewind the tape and learn what helped you feel good. This helps create a life template to follow that works to keep you balanced and well. When you are living in alignment with what works for you, you can truly thrive and flourish!
- Morning Meditation for Higher Perspective & Inner Peace
- Meditation for Body Balancing & Healing
- Energy Clearing Meditation
- Chill Out Meditation for Stress Relief
- Using EFT (Tapping) to Transform Your Life
Julie Bjelland is a licensed psychotherapist, author, and founder of Sensitive Empowerment. As a leader in the field of high sensitivity, Julie has helped thousands of highly sensitive people (HSPs) around the world reduce their challenges, access their gifts, and truly flourish and is on a mission to empower sensitive people to live their best lives.