Being a highly sensitive person can often feel like a curse. I dealt with a lot of issues surrounding my heightened sensitivity in childhood and teenage years, it was only in adulthood when I began working with my sensitivity that I realize what a gift it was.
For highly sensitive people the world can feel like a cold and lonely place, when we see people who can navigate life without the same compassion, empathy and kindness it makes being sensitive seem useless.
However it is not our sensitivity that is the problem, it’s that we haven’t been given the correct tools to manage and work with it. Instead we are given two binary options: be emotionally reactive all the time, or be hardhearted.
The truth is, we can find a healthy balance in between these two extremes and find strength within our sensitivity. That is what I want to talk about today. Let’s get into it!
Are You a Highly Sensitive Person or Empath?
If you are a highly sensitive person you’ve likely been told that you were too sensitive, to stop taking things so seriously or to lighten up. You probably experienced a sense of loneliness in your sensitivity and didn’t know how to regulate your emotional responses.
At some point you may have wished to block out the external world all together. A world that seems so cold and heartless is one no one wants to live in, especially someone who feels so deeply.
If you are reading this post then it’s likely that you are highly sensitive person, but what is the difference between a HSP and an empath? The two categories are similar in nature but there are some distinct differences.
All empaths are highly sensitive people but not all highly sensitive people are empaths. While being a HSP means being sensitive to stimulus overall, being an empath is specific to emotional sensitivity.
Empaths have the psychic sense of clear feeling or clairsentience. This means they are able to sense/feel and embody another person’s emotions as if they were their own.
An empath can feel another person’s emotions in a visceral manner as if they were experiencing these emotions themselves, it’s a full body immersive experience. When an empath goes into a public space they can become like a sponge to the energy of everyone they pass, leaving them feeling drained.
Learn More: Are You an Empath?
How to Manage Emotional Sensitivity
Whether you are a highly sensitive person or an empath specifically these next exercizes will help you manage your emotional sensitivity, they can even be helpful for those who don’t fit either category.
The most common problem for highly sensitive people particularly empaths, is unconsciously absorbing energy from everyone around them. As highly sensitive people our nervous systems are already super sensitive by default, with the addition of all the heavy emotions from other people our nervous system goes into overdrive.
The next time you are in a busy public space or having an emotionally tense interaction start to notice where heavy energy is entering your body. For example, when someone pressures you to do something you do not want to your stomach may clench, or when someone oversteps your boundaries and you are too afraid to say no your throat may clog up.
Take note of these ‘problem areas’ so that you may work on them in a meditation session later on. Managing these problems areas is all about becoming aware of your energy leaks and filling them in.
When we are conscious of how energy enters our body we are able to decide what to allow in, what to filter through and what to reject. Through working with your energy you create a strong aura that acts as your own protective shield.
Learn more about working with your sensitivity in my free empath guidebook
Aura Cleansing Meditation
- Get into a meditative position. This doesn’t have to be complex, simply sit with your back straight with your arms crossed over your legs. Spend a few minutes focusing on your breath until your mind is centered.
- Zone in on the areas of tension that you identified early and place your awareness there. As you do so, breath deeply and consciously. Notice what each breath is telling you: note how deep each breath is, note how long you take between breaths, note how easy it is to breathe.
- Next, visualize white light flowing through each of these areas and dissolving the tension you feel. Notice what thoughts and emotions arise to the surface.
- When you are focusing on each specific area visualize the scenario that would usually cause tension there. For example, when focusing on your throat go through the experience of being afraid of speaking up in your mind, practice breathing through this discomfort.
- When you are finished targeting each specific area, visualize white light flooding through your entire body. Start at the soles of your feet, go up through your legs and spine, over the crown of your head, down your face, over the front of your body and back down into the soles of your feet. Feel this energy flowing down into the Earth to be released.
- When you are finished (when you feel lighter) take a few minutes to process everything and spend some time in silence before fully coming back to yourself.
When you get the hang of these exercizes you can use them in day to day situations. When you are having difficulty speaking up, imagine your throat gently expanding with white light. When your stomach clenches during a tense exchange flood this area with light.
Know that energy work is not something that’s confined to a meditation session, it can be bought with you throughout the day. You can do these exercizes in your car before work, on the train, or when you have a few minutes at lunch. The best part is, no one will know what you’re doing!
It’s completely normal to see someone closing their eyes on a commute or spending a few minutes in their car during lunch hours. Take these small moments throughout the day to recharge your field with some visualization.
Thriving as a Highly Sensitive Person
Thriving as a highly sensitive person is all about learning to work with your energy in this way. Doing so allows you to pinpoint where you must set boundaries for your own wellbeing and for others.
When we are aware of what causes tension we gain insight into the places where we need to set firmer boundaries. This could be as a simple as saying no to activities you don’t want to do, or developing the courage to speak up when someone crosses our comfort zone.
Boundaries are important for our own wellbeing but also show respect for others. Highly sensitive people and in particular empaths have a habit of energy snooping, which is where we peek in on other people’s emotions unconsciously.
This is not only draining for us but intruding on another person’s privacy. Just because we are able to sense and then embody another person’s emotions, doesn’t mean we have to. With awareness we are able to see when this is happening and center ourselves.
When you feel yourself taking on the emotion’s of another, take a step back and place your awareness back into your own body using your breath as an anchor.
Know that you are not here to be a sponge, but to use the difficulties that come with being sensitive to grow and strengthen as a person. You are here to thrive!
FREE Energy Work for Empaths Handbook
Are you an empath or just coming to terms with being one? Are you finding it difficult to navigate your sensitivity? Do you want to learn how to develop your abilities?
The Empath Handbook is going to be ideal for you!
The first part of this guide will help you identify what type of empath you are, this insight will give you a rough base to work with. The second part of this guide will help you learn how to start working with your sensitivity.
Pick it up for FREE or make a small donation towards the work it took to create.