Sensitivity

Are you numbing your senses? Signs it’s time to quit

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I find that the recent influx of energies, not to mention the world events happening these days, can create a very harsh effect on sensitives. It’s easy to feel brow beaten and exhausted without even necessarily doing anything or stepping out of the house. We’re processing a lot at a very deep level! And so, my focus for January is on…

Building strength from within

I feel that it’s pertinent to address any form of coping mechanisms some of us may have developed in response to these energies. Many of these responses aren’t new – in fact, they are often knee jerk habits we have developed over the years.

For me, it’s sugar and probably endlessly scrolling through social media, and in the last couple of months, reading way too many news articles! During intense times, I sometimes fall back into old habits. They hit those reward centers in my brain in all the right ways. I get that burst of stimulation, and my emotions are stirred up. But I ALWAYS regret it later. I end up feeling ungrounded, fearful, full of inertia…

These things become a crutch for me because I often don’t WANT to feel that much – I need something to distract me from my thoughts, my feelings, from fear, from anger, from sadness.

Feelings are often really visceral, intense and overwhelming, quickly overloading a highly sensitive person’s system, and most of us have learnt in childhood these default ways of coping when shit gets heavy. I used to disappear into books when things got too stressful or overwhelming as a kid, so it figures that reading is still my distraction of choice.

But when this distraction becomes obsessive, it serves simply as a way to divert yourself from the task at hand, and often becomes a form of self-sabotage. Do it long enough, and it becomes a kind of chronic self-abandonment. For some of us, it may even veer into full-blown addiction zone.

As HSPs and empaths often feel called to do something – we’re driven by a sense of mission – being creative in whatever way calls to us is central to who we are. It’s something we can’t run away from, yet when approaching it, we often encounter resistance… And this feeling may also become too intense, and we cope by turning away and into our comforts.

The closer we get to fully embodying our purpose, the higher this sense of resistance gets.

I am fully re-committing to busting through this resistance. I took a little detour those last few months, and it’s time to get back on track. My motivation is to kick my creativity into high gear. I invite you to join me if this is what you’re experiencing, too!

I am committing to quitting sugar, quitting the news, and quitting overconsumption of social media.

Here are some signs it may be time for you to quit:

  • You may already have started to lose your taste for some of your old crutches or habits – they no longer ‘work’ for you anymore. You’re aware that it’s mainly a form of escapism.
  • Temptations are popping up all around you. At the same time, a loved one or a friend is holding a mirror up to you, increasing your awareness around a certain habit you may have.
  • You are constantly feeling pushed and called to create, and you have already noticed that your habitual self-distraction is directly interfering with this need.

Some ideas to help you start weaning yourself off…

  • Think: What’s an environment you’re in where you often turn to your distraction/addiction of choice? Notice the times, places, situations and people that often trigger your habit.
  • Get support – tell the people around you that you want to quit.
  • Divert and redirect – for example, each time I get that urge to consume candy habitually, I write instead. It can be just a sentence or a few words jotted down in a notebook, simply to get through the moment.
  • Take it day by day – by not setting overly ambitious goals for yourself (e.g. I will quit within 21 days and never turn back again), you set yourself up to succeed.
  • Those reward centers will soon be craving that hit, so remember to substitute the habit with something else. For me, I still crave sweet things, so I am going to substitute with natural sweets, like honey and tangerines.
  • Know that you’re doing a difficult thing, and be gentle with yourself along the way!

Given this time in history, I think it’s never been more important to stop putting off the act of creation and self-expression. Do you experience any forms of self-sabotage? What are some of the ways that help you get back on track?

*If you are facing serious addiction issues, or suspect that it’s getting there – it’s important to seek help for it. 

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