We all have experienced feeling emotionally overwhelmed at one time or another in our lives. The intensity of our emotions usually reflect accurately the circumstance we are faced with such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, illness or divorce. The emotionally sensitive person however is constantly overwhelmed by his or her emotions, whether they be positive or negative. And the intensity of their feelings often cause them to be reactive and act in ways that does NOT reflect the reality of the circumstance they are coping with.
Highly sensitive person tend to reflect on things more than usual, worry about how others feel or think of them, experience their emotions with a great degree of intensity, tend to be emotionally reactive and struggle with having stable interpersonal relationships. Highly sensitive people also tend to be more upset if they feel they made a mistake, are extremely detailed oriented, lament over making decisions and are more prone to depression, anxiety and social withdrawal.
Being emotionally sensitive is not, in itself a bad trait. The ability to feel deeply is what allows artists to create masterpieces, authors to write touching and meaningful stories and musicians to play beautiful music. Being emotionally sensitive allows us to experience the joys and sorrows of life fully. It is however important for the highly sensitive person to work on creating emotional balance.
Below are 4 tips for creating emotional balance for the emotionally sensitive person:
1. Explore your sensitivity. Gain an understanding of what and/or who you feel sensitive towards. For example, perhaps you feel more sensitive towards a particular person or in a particular social circumstance. Ask yourself does the depth of my sensitivity vary from situation to situation. Exploring the details that “stir up” your sensitivity helps with understanding what you need to change or do to lower your emotional responses.
2. Identify the triggers that sets off your emotional sensitivity. Writing in a journal can help with clarifying triggers and with gaining an more realistic view of the situations that contribute to your emotional sensitivity. Consider new ways for responding to your triggers.
3. Embrace your emotional sensitivity. Although being sensitive allows us to feel deeply it can also create lots of strife in the emotionally sensitive person’s life. Accepting you’re an emotionally sensitive person is a big step in being able to pull back when emotions get high and for modulating intense feelings.
4. Seek professional help if your emotional sensitivity causes a great deal of psychological/social distress. Many emotionally sensitive people suffer with depression, anxiety and social withdrawal. Therapy can help with understanding what underlies your emotional sensitivity and help with creating new ways of thinking and relating to others.