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HSP | Sense & Sensitivity

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Simplicity, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

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  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for sharing these excellent Psychology Today articles.

    I think we who know about TMS emotions causing pain need to focus on the present and being positive.
    It's so easy to think the worst... to catastrophize... We need to work on not thinking the worse.
    I find that can be done by deep breathing, living in the present, and meditation.
    I've been doing a lot of research on how to meditate and find these two are the best ways to do that.
    Either of them works.

    Mantra meditation (silently saying a word like "OM" or phrase of your choice while sitting for 20 minutes with the eyes closed,
    not thinking about anything... just letting the mind rest. If it wanders, silently say the mantra. This can be called
    Transcendental Meditation.

    The other way to meditate is to focus on an object such as a lighted candle. Bring the mind to a peaceful state.

    Any one else with thoughts on meditation, please share them.
    Simplicity and MWsunin12 like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I forgot to mention that the second method, Mindfulness Meditation, instead of silently saying a mantra,
    focus your mind on your deep breathing.
  4. Bunneh

    Bunneh Peer Supporter

    Ha! How ironic. I am a HSP AND suffer from fibromyalgia.
    It's is stated that HSPs have lower pain thresholds and are easily overwhelmed by pretty much any sensory input.
    Does it imply that I should expect pain for the rest of my life? Or maybe I should start babying myself in order to prevent my amygdala from being overloaded with input.
    Once more I asked myself a question: Repressed emotions or screwed up amygdala (as suggested in the article)?
    I'm kinda confused right now. Any advice is more than welcome.
  5. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    Hi Bunneh,

    I don't think that being highly sensitive means you'll have to live with pain forever. I can only speak for myself, but I used to be in excruciating pain (sciatica, almost daily migraines, etc) and I don't suffer from those things anymore.

    I've come to realize that my TMS is due to how I react in day-to-day life and not so much about repressed emotions. It was very beneficial to look at my whole life, the things I've been through and how they've influenced me, but what made the difference for me in dealing with my symptoms was a 'present-based approach'.

    I read The Highly Sensitive Person about ten years ago, understood that I'm a HSP but pushed it aside and kept going. Now that I'm learning how to accept / be kind to myself I've been looking into this again. I'm having to learn that it's OK to be highly sensitive and that it's possible to not only live with it, but to appreciate it.

    The positive side to being this way is that you can feel things on a deeper level - profound joy/pleasure/happiness, the smallest things can evoke those feelings in someone who is highly sensitive and that's pretty awesome! It's been important for me to slow down, be more in each moment and to 'feed the right wolf'. It changed me from being upset about being 'too sensitive' to starting to feel grateful for it.

    To better deal with the negative aspects of being highly sensitive I'm making sure to get time for myself each day (to nap, meditate, read)... if I've been out-and-about in the city all day I know that I have to decompress when I get home, I spend time in nature as much as possible, take my time with things and I do my best to have a good night's rest, to name a few things.

    As far as dealing with the emotional aspect of being highly sensitive in relation to other people I think it's important to set boundaries, to learn that it's OK to say no and to stand up for yourself... these things take practice and I'm still learning... but each step toward treating yourself with respect / care is a win.

    I believe that self-compassion is key when it comes to healing, no matter what. It also helps just to know that you're not alone in your struggles with being sensitive. So, yes, being sensitive sucks sometimes... but it can also be quite amazing. ^_^


    @mike2014 posted this article, which is worth reading.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2016
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  6. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I used to feel everything too strongly and take any raised eyebrow as a personal judgment on me. Then, I burned out on it and went two years without crying or laughing or feeling much of anything at all. However, I know now that I was still pushing down anger.
    Recently I talked to a friend who came back from a long hospitalization where he flat-lined twice and had a staph infection that almost took his leg. He was spared. I asked him how he recovered. He said that the key for him was doing at least one thing that brought him pleasure every single day. I like what Simplicity has said, above. The good thing about being HSP is that we have the option to reroute to happy.

    I was monitoring how often I think negative thoughts each day and it was probably 90%. Wow. How could anyone get to healing with that barrage?
    Catching myself at it and even telling myself "stop," and refocusing on mindfulness and presence.
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  7. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    Well said, Marcia!

    I'm sorry that your friend had to go through all of that, it must have been horrible.

    I agree, it's so important to do something that brings you joy everyday - even if it's something simple. Gratitude and focusing on the positive things in life goes a long way.
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  8. Bunneh

    Bunneh Peer Supporter

    Thank you for your thoughtful responses.

    That thing you said about "having to descompress at home" makes me think about what SteveO referred to as "babying yourself" which is counterproductive to tms healing. The point is, I'm having a hard time realizing I need a good night's rest, like you. I can't accept that 100% because I used to be able to carry on, even sleep-deprived. I kind of beat myslef up, if I happen to wake up groggy. On the other hand, maybe sleep deprivation was one of those little things that added fuel to the inner rage and ultimately led to symptoms. I didn't take proper care of myself and forgot to attend to my own needs during my senior year in college, having to take care of my sick mom and, on top of that, working full-time.

    Yes, being sensitive sucks sometimes. I often felt guilty for my reactions to eveyday stressors, like bursting into tears whenever my boss calls me to her office. :p

    I recently adopted a similar pattern of behavior. Trying to shift away attention from my Inner Bully to the surroundings.
    HSPs/TMSers are experts at predicting the worst case scenarios. No wonder most of us are having a hard time when it comes to reducing the frequency of distressing thoughts.
  9. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    When I started to take better care of myself / be kind to myself my symptoms improved a lot. It didn't stop me from making changes in my life, pushing myself to walk despite pain/fear and so on. For someone who is highly sensitive I think it's about finding a balance between being out doing things and having time to rest ...and cutting yourself some slack every now and then.

    Anyone who goes to school, works full-time, is a caregiver to someone and who suffers from sleep-deprivation might sooner or later hit a wall, no matter their personality! I would say that being too hard on yourself, doing too much, putting the needs of others before your own, etc is very common in TMSers and that's why I think it's important to be gentle with yourself. Taking care of yourself is not selfish and being sensitive doesn't mean you're weak; you just have to figure out how to make things work for you... that's what I'm trying to do for myself right now. ^_^
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2016
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  10. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've been using a thought of "blank slate" or "empty rice bowl," which is metaphoric for don't drag past BS into today. It's a way to be kinder to myself. Worst case scenario thinking is self-torture. Even, if I don't yet naturally think positive thoughts, when I start down the worst case scenario path I'm say"blank slate." Take a deeper breath. Focus on something in my present moment.
    I read Steve O's book. It was good, but very "male" in orientation. In my perspective he drove himself past the pain physically by insisting that he "hit golf balls" until the pain went away. But, he also admits that he didn't really look at the emotional side of his life story until later. I admire him for sharing his story, but I also think that women and men are different psychologically and physiologically and often incomparable.
    The Sarno method works for both sexes, thank goodness, because he based it all on our hidden emotions / stressors.
    mouser likes this.

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