High anxiety is a challenge. If you’re a highly sensitive person (HSP), things get even trickier. In fact, it can become a cycle of sorts. At first, you may not recognize the presence of anxiety. After all, an HSP typically feels symptoms that can mirror an anxiety disorder. An HSP can also struggle with guilt and shame — feeling as if there’s something “wrong” with them. Therefore, they don’t ask for help and this can allow the anxiety to escalate.
As a result, it becomes crucial that you challenge beliefs that you’re “too sensitive” or “overreacting.” From there, it can be much easier to both identify and address feelings of high anxiety.
What Is A Highly Sensitive Person?
Everyday life is filled with sensory input — sounds, sights, and emotions. If you frequently find this input to be overwhelming, you might be an HSP. At least one out of every five people is highly sensitive and this is not something to fear. Sure, being overstimulated is not fun. But characteristics of an HSP also include:
- Rich inner life
- High levels of empathy and compassion
- Very attentive and aware
- Able to pick up non-verbal cues and “read the room”
- Creative, intuitive, and resourceful
The trick is learning how to manage the hyper-sensitivity to external stimuli. Left unchecked, it can be the cause of chronic stress and thus, puts you at risk for an anxiety disorder. Fortunately, once you better understand the source of your stress, there are proven steps you can take to alleviate the anxious thoughts.
4 Tips To Manage Your Anxiety As A Highly Sensitive Person
Become an expert on what it means to be an HSP. The more you know, the less you will blame yourself and the more you can do to self-soothe. A great starting point involves keeping a journal. Monitor your moods, triggers, reactions, and coping mechanisms. When you can recognize what situations are stressful and how to best navigate them, you’ve taken away more than half of anxiety’s power.
2. Practice Mindfulness
When an HSP feels under assault, things can spiral quickly. Your thoughts begin to race and tend to be of a negative variety. Mindfulness — the practice of staying rooted in the present moment — frees us to identify these thoughts as temporary signs of high anxiety. Hence, they are almost certainly untrue.
3. Practice Stress Management
Every single person reading this would benefit from having self-care rituals. The HSPs reading this would take a giant step toward reducing anxiety by committing to self-care, e.g.
- Keeping regular sleep patterns
- Making healthy eating choices
- Grounding practices
- Breathing exercises
- Daily physical activity
Self-care reminds you to prioritize your well-being. It also fortifies you by building resilience which is a valuable weapon against anxiety.
4. Help Others
At the moment anxiety strikes, you might not be able to concentrate on anything except the increasing levels of stimulation. But once you’ve accepted that this is something you want to control, you can make lifestyle choices that contribute to that goal. For example, helping others deflects attention from your feelings to the needs of those around you. Look not volunteer work. Even better, make it a life choice to practice acts of kindness on a daily basis. It’s a win-win option.
You Do Not Have To Struggle Alone
Being an HSP can be tough at times. Struggling with anxiety is never easy. If both issues are present at the same time, it only makes sense that you’d opt to speak with a professional. It’s the ideal path toward better understanding and managing the convergence of circumstances. We’d love to talk with you about it soon through anxiety therapy.