Archive for high sensitivity

Feb
18

Hidden Stressors-Part One

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All your physical issues are from stress,” my doctor told me. They were the last words I would ever hear from her; she passed away shortly after.

But haven’t I been working on reducing stress for all these years with The Healing Codes?

The answer is yes. And they have helped tremendously. I honestly don’t think I’d even be alive now if I hadn’t been doing all I’ve done since I got my various diagnoses before The Healing Codes (osteoporosis, IBS, GERD, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, PTSD).

The Healing Codes, Halo, the c.Balance (now upgraded to the HOLOS) have all helped me not be hampered much in my daily life by these diagnosed conditions.

Now, however, the symptoms started popping up again, worsening. Why?

As always, I prayed for insight into this. Were there hidden stressors of which I wasn’t aware?

What came up surprised me.

  • You haven’t been honoring your Highly Sensitive nature enough.

  • Your nervous system needs to recover from the traumas you’ve been through.

  • You are finally ready.

Part One: The High Sensitivity Piece

I’ve known for a while that I have this trait around 20% of all species share, in which the nervous system is wired differently. Dr. Elaine Aron explains in her ground-breaking book, The Highly Sensitive Person, which put this trait on the psychological map, that HSPs are like a different breed. Great Danes and border collies are both clearly dogs, but they are quite different. So, too, HSPs and non-HSPs are human, but they are actually quite different in many ways.

(Find out more about whether you’re a Highly Sensitive Person here.)

Maybe for you, sensitivity isn’t the issue. Maybe it’s some other kind of “diversity” that is part of your nature that you’ve not been honoring.

Maybe it’s that you’re an introvert who gets energy from reflection and alone time, and you’ve always been pushed to be more outgoing. Or vice versa. Maybe it’s that you have ADD/ADHD and your brain works differently than others.

Whatever it is that may set you apart a little, so that you tend to push it away rather than honor it, could be a hidden stressor for you.

I’ve known about being Highly Sensitive, but I haven’t been living it.

I hadn’t been honoring my need to process things deeply and thoroughly, for one. The last few years have been particularly stressful for me. On top of all the stress of the pandemic (and HSPs, by the way, are more susceptible to Emotional Inflammation), there were several personal traumas: dealing with a mold issue in the home; settling my sister-in-law’s estate out of state and fending off a crook; breaking my foot; 16 months of hell settling my mother’s estate (with all the family of origin issues that brought up); and a devastating diagnosis of a close family member.

If you’re Highly Sensitive, you need to realize that such stresses affect you more deeply than other people. You take in more information than most people. You are more sensitive to subtle stimuli than most people. And then you absolutely need to process all that you are taking in!

I’ve written about my current focus on subtraction. As a HSP, I need to be aware of (and limit as much as possible) the amount of information that’s coming to me. More information = more needed processing time. When life piles up, and I don’t get that processing time, my symptoms seem to flare.

So ways I’m trying to honor my HS nature more is to limit the amount of information I take in, and then making time to process it completely.

This often means saying no to social engagements, no matter how enticing they seem. I have to stand strong when someone tells me why it would be so good to attend X. (Ever notice how many people think they know what’s right for you? Often, what’s right for “most people” isn’t right for an HSP.)

I’m also the kind of HSP who seeks a lot of mental stimulation and loves to learn. I need to resist the temptation to sign up for yet one more masterclass or telesummit. I have to revisit my own goals often and tell myself, “My commitment to (my goal) is more important than this (distraction) right now.”

Honoring my HS nervous system also means changing my environment. I’m finding that clutter really gets to me these days. I subtract as much from my environment as I can. Someone said every object in your home has a “to-do list” or a message attached to it. So true!

  • The pile of papers cries out, “Pay me, file me, check me for sales!”
  • The unused clothes in your closet castigate you: “When will you lose weight so that beautiful outfit will fit you again?”
  • The old computer monitor in the spare room? You might need it someday, if you current monitor goes out.
  • And what about the files and photos on your phone or computer? Shouldn’t those be organized so you can find them more easily?

Guilt, anxiety, feeling like you’re “not enough” or not doing enough creep in with these messages. If you’re HS, not only do you feel those things—you also feel them more intensely!

Perhaps these things don’t overwhelm you like they do me. But if they do, know that doing even a little clutter control every day will help you feel calmer and more organized.

I need the downtime to process. I need more sleep than I’m getting. I need to allow myself to feel. I need to be aware that I take in a lot of information and to do what I can to both limit it and manage it.

I need to honor my sensitive nature. Without, I might add, feeling guilty or “less than” because of these needs.

If you have seen a flare up of symptoms you thought you had healed, know you’re not alone. Many of my clients and friends are also experiencing this. Whether you’re Highly Sensitive or not, there are likely hidden stressors that are chipping away at your resilience.

Do what you can to identify those stressors, and heal what you can.

In future posts I will explore more about hidden stressors: how to identify them, what to do about them. Including hidden traumas—the second piece of the insight that was given me.

Stay tuned!

 

Oct
22

“That Doesn’t Work for Me . . .”

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Have you ever read (or heard) something that sounded like great wisdom, great advice . . .

and you try it and it doesn’t work for you?

Then you think, There must be something wrong with me.

I just read some advice about how to feel better when you’re feeling down. The writer called her sponsor and said she was upset about something. The sponsor told her, ‘Get over yourself and go find someone to help.”

The person took the advice, and felt better, she said.

Maybe this works for some people, like her. But for me, as a Highly Sensitive Person who also grew up with Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN), it’s all wrong. (If you’re not sure if these apply to you, take the free assessments here.)

Read More→

Jul
09

Heal the #1 Heart Issue of Most People

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If there’s one “heart issue” almost every client I know addresses at some point, it’s some variation of “not enough.”

This unhealthy can show up in a number of forms, leading to various outcomes. For instance:

  • “I’m not enough” (leads to low self-esteem, perhaps a sense you have to prove yourself; sometimes harmful ways of trying to fill the void).
  • “I don’t have enough” (leads to anxiety and often actual lack).
  • “I’m not doing enough” (leads to the harmful actions of overgiving, over-doing, workaholismm, etc.).
  • “I don’t know enough” (leads to endless learning rather than actually doing).
  • “There isn’t enough” (time, money, love, etc..–leads to despair).

Can you relate to any of these?

If so, remember—you’re not alone!

Some of us also experience almost the flip side of this: “too much.”

Too much expected of us. (And there are “not enough” resources to deal with it.)

Too much stimulation (especially true for those with the trait of High Sensitivity).

Too much to know before I can feel safe.

Lately a little “mantra” has slipped into my mind that helps me deal with the “not enough” issue (which for me is often, “I don’t know enough” or “I’m not doing enough”).

The mantra is this: “Let it be enough for now.”

Let it. Allow it. I have a choice: to allow, or to resist and fall back into the old “not enough” pattern.

“Let it be enough. A whole new energy comes in when you say “enough.” At least for me, it’s like there’s a sigh in my soul. Aahh . . . it can be enough.

Let it be enough for now. Not forever. This is not procrastination. It’s a choice to let whatever I’ve done, whatever I know, whatever I am, to just be enough, just for now.

In this moment, I can choose to be enough, to have enough, to know enough, to let what I’ve done be enough, to trust that there is enough.

You might make that a Truth Focus Statement for your Healing Code: “Just for right now, I am enough, I do enough, I have enough, I know enough, there is enough. I can let where I am right now be enough.”

See what this does for your nervous system.

And let me know if it helps you!

Related articles:

I don’t know about you, but the events of the past several years have given me quite a case of “emotional inflammation.”

I’ve been writing about “emotional inflammation” and how these troubling times can literally affect us physically. The negative energy is all around us, and we can’t escape it.

In the past few years, it’s only gotten worse, it seems. I’m sure I don’t need to delineate the detailsof what I’m talking about.  Even if you limit your news intake, as I do, you still can’t avoid the negative energy all around.

For some of us, especially if we have the trait of High Sensitivity, the energy is palpable: we feel it in our bodies.

One client said recently she sensed a “dark energy cloud” around her. Yep, that’s a good way to describe Emotional Inflammation.

Authors Dr. Lise Van Susteren and Stacey Colino say in their book, Emotional Inflammation, that it’s a state “not unlike post-traumatic stress disorder, but one that stems from simply living in today’s tumultuous world.”

That book was published in March 2020–right before “all this” became worse. It’s even more relevant now. Read More→

Aug
28

Why Healing Your Heart Matters

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You don’t need me to tell you that we live in very troubling times. It’s all around us, and we can’t escape it. Political polarization, uncertainty, job loss, the pandemic, social media nastiness (which I avoid totally), natural disasters, racial injustice, violence. Even if you limit your news intake, as I do, you still can’t avoid the negative energy all around.

For some of us, especially if we have the trait of High Sensitivity, the energy is palpable; we may even feel it physically.

Authors Dr. Lise Van Susteren and Stacey Colino wrote a book about it, calling it Emotional Inflammation. It’s a state “not unlike post-traumatic stress disorder, but one that stems from simply living in today’s tumultuous world.”

Some symptoms include sleep problems, hyperactivity, persistent grief, or inescapable worry about the future.

In such a climate as ours now, we need to be especially intentional about our own healing. Because healing the heart matters. Read More→

Dec
06

Settling into the Energy of “Enough”

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My daughter asked me the other day, “What can I get for you for Christmas and your birthday?” (which happen to be one and the same day). It was Cyber Monday, you see, and she wanted to shop online.

She had asked me the same question on Black Friday. As I thought then, and the other day, about what I needed, I was coming up blank.

For the past few months, I have been “editing my life” by eliminating things that were not truly essential or important to me. This arose from a feeling of chronic overwhelm, which I was working on healing. I realized part of the answer to overwhelm lay in subtracting clutter of all kinds that had somehow accumulated when I wasn’t paying attention.

So when my daughter asked me what I wanted or needed, my first thoughts were of things that you can’t find in a store or online, things you can’t wrap and put under a tree.  A greater sense of margin in my life. Hope that the future will be better, for myself and the world, despite many signs that things are going in the opposite direction.

I realized as I pondered what my daughter could joyfully give me, and I could joyfully receive (for gift giving is my primary “love language“), that I already have all I need. Anything she or anyone could give me would just be icing on the already-sweet cake that was my life.

I have a wonderful husband, two amazing, loving adult children who are on their own and who enjoy being with each other and their parents. I have a home that, while it could use some updating by the world’s standards, suits us very well. I have plenty of clothes (still getting rid of some), I know how to cook wonderful and healthy food. I have a reliable car (which I seldom need to drive because I work from home). I have work I love, many people I love, and I’m (finally) part of a caring community, both in my church and a smaller, more informal group that loves to connect with Immanuel and grow in grace.

I am in the process of understanding and healing the wounds of my past, and I have amazing tools that help me get and stay healthy. I am also coming to better understand my (and my husband’s and son’s) trait of High Sensitivity, and am learning to thrive as an HSP and help others to do so as well (a huge percentage of my clients are Highly Sensitive People, and The Healing Codes are particularly well suited to the deep healing HSPs need).

Is my life perfect? No, not by a long stretch. There are secret sorrows as well as the frustrations most people face in this modern world. However, when I dwell on the things that matter that I mention above, the “less than ideal” aspects fade into the background of gratitude.

CC BY by kevin dooley

What do I need, what do I want? All I need was given by the One whose coming I celebrate on December 25, the One whose birth was announced by angels with a song about “peace on earth, good will toward humankind.”

Settling into the energy of “enough,” I’m finding great peace.

One of the “Truth Focus Statements” I like to use when working on healing my “not enough” issues is: “I am enough. I have enough. I do enough. I know enough. There is enough.” I have added this to the Truth Focus Statements that are available here for free.

May
08

What Does It Mean to be Highly Sensitive?

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Have you felt misunderstood much if not all all of your life, and/or like you didn’t fit in?

Do you feel you have a more finely -tuned nervous system than most people?

If so, you might be part of the 15-20% of the population with the trait of being Highly Sensitive.

Understanding what this means may well provide the missing piece to understanding yourself that can make all the difference–in your health, your relationships, your own sense of self.

So what does it mean to be “Highly Sensitive”? Read More→

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