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The Sensitive Soul’s Survival Guide - 6 Keys to Thrive as an HSP

Updated: Apr 18

Do you find yourself often feeling out of balance or overstimulated? Do you sometimes feel that you struggle just to get through the day, and wonder why it seems no one else has the same experience?

First, I want you to know that you are not alone. Many sensitive souls are introverted, which means the world tends not to hear the sensitive voices as often as the more boisterous ones. Even if you don’t see them right away, if you take a closer look you will find sensitive souls everywhere. I know because I am one too, and I work with them every day.

As a sensitive soul, you likely are blessed with many special gifts, such as the ability to be deeply compassionate, creative, intuitive and conscientious. However, you also likely have the tendency to be too hard on yourself, easily overwhelmed and, of course, extra sensitive to the world around you. Luckily, there are ways to nurture and support your sensitive body, heart and mind, so that you can live a more peaceful and fulfilled life.

Here are six of my favorite steps to help you survive and thrive in the busy world we live in. You can read more steps in my new book, Empowering the Sensitive Soul.

1. Be on your own side (love yourself)

We tend to be our worst critics instead of our biggest fans. The most important way to take care of yourself is to commit to supporting yourself no matter what. It is absolutely essential that you learn to treat yourself like a true friend rather than a foe or you will never find the balance you are looking for in your life. I know all this self-love stuff can sound kind of cheesy, but it’s truly a practical mechanism to help bring you from pain and suffering to feeling like you always have a friend by your side (aka: You!). You likely know you have the ability for great love and compassion for others, so now all you need to do is to apply that compassion and love to yourself.

Self-Love tips:

  • Commit to not speaking badly about yourself, ever. If you do, immediately rephrase what you said to something more positive and move forward. You’ll start to believe whatever you tell yourself, so tell yourself positive things.

  • Remove the unreasonable conditions around loving yourself. If you have conditions such as losing a certain amount of weight, getting a particular job or finding the perfect partner before you can love yourself, you may never feel worthy. Even if you reach those conditions you’ll find new conditions that need to be met before you can love yourself. Self-love must be unconditional.

  • Practice the affirmation: “I love and support myself no matter what.” Repeat this in times of distress as well as times of peace and clarity. Speaking badly toward yourself is an autoimmune condition because you are attacking yourself with your own negative thoughts. How can you love someone who attacks you? Commit to loving and supporting yourself no matter what.

2. Daily Practice –

In order to set yourself up for increased peace and comfort in life, it is important to have a daily practice that helps you stay grounded, find your center and reset after a busy day. There are many different practices to choose from, so the most important thing is that you find something that resonates with you and that you will commit to. Think of this practice as a mini vacation. Start with just ten minutes a day and notice the shift in your mind and body.

Daily Practice tips:

  • Practice a breathing exercise, for example, the 6:8 breath. Inhale for the count of 6, exhale for the count of 8 and repeat. The long exhale promotes increased relaxation.

  • Practice a restorative yoga pose, for example, legs up the couch. Lie down on a yoga mat or comfortable rug and put your legs up onto the couch. Rest there for 10 minutes.

  • Put on your favorite song and sing to it. I love singing to Ong Namo, by Snatam Kaur. Close your eyes feel the music and enjoy the moment.

Try one of these or better yet, create your own!

3. Protect Your Energy –

As a sensitive being, you may likely struggle with managing your energy. Your energy may be thrown off in big groups, around people who are negative or in pain, or even from doing things you don’t enjoy. It is important to have ways to help manage your energy so that you don’t burn out. Committing to your daily practice will help, but you also need to be aware of what your specific energy drainers are and how you can avoid them.

Energy protection tips:

  • Make a list of what drains your energy. If you can avoid any of these things, do so and if you can’t try to make sure you don’t do too many of them in one day. Think outside the box. Some of my more unlikely energy drainers include complaining, exaggerating, rushing as well as being out all day long. What are yours?

  • When you feel that your energy is compromised, use the affirmation: “I release all energy that is not of my highest and best interest.” I use this affirmation daily to help protect my energy, especially when I am with someone who is emotionally unsettled.