Sensitivity

Tips for Staying Heart Centered

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A sensitive person’s natural happy place is not any one physical location – it resides in his or her heart. This has the potential of sounding seriously sappy if you say it out loud in real life, outside of ‘spiritual’ circles, but I have found it to be true. (Also, I totally say these things IRL, too.)

This allows any sensitive soul to be okay despite external circumstances that are always in flux. In this space, you can tap into a well of creativity, limitless energy to power your work and play, access intuitive guidance, enter into a state of flow, and can help you to make loving decisions for your highest and best good.

Heart-Centeredness feels like: gratitude, a sense of groundedness; the mind is not future-tripping or ruminating over the past. You’re not trying to change anything or fix anything or criticize anything – basically the mind has calmed down, and you’re tuning into the space in the middle of your chest. It feels good. It feels sweet.

There are 101 reasons why someone could have difficulty accessing this state. However, it is ALWAYS available to each one of us – it’s simply a matter of finding your way back to it, and kicking the butts of all blockages that stand in its way. That’s actually what ‘Healing’ is all about – it simply means a return to a heart-centered state, a sense of unconditional self-acceptance and love.

Unfortunately, it’s still pretty easy for me to slip out of this state. Perhaps you’ve experienced this too? Sometimes it’s as simple as not having had a good night’s sleep (which is, honestly, the single most important factor to my wellbeing), an upsetting exchange, pushing myself too hard, feeling exhausted… Maintaining a sense of wellbeing for an HSP involves taking care of all of one’s basic sensory needs – and being completely okay with this act of self-care!

Here are some tips I have for coming back to heart-centeredness:

  • Tune in. How are you feeling, physically? Even when tired/cranky/over- or under- stimulated, noticing that this is what’s irritating your nervous system at the moment can help you to not identify with it as closely. I am now better able to catch myself and say, “Ok, that’s just me being sleep-deprived. It’s not what I really feel or think right now.” and then not take my emotions and moods as seriously. Staying out of a sticky mood and allowing it to pass then becomes easier.
  • Don’t judge yourself. By describing yet another state of being to attain, there’s a risk that it could become yet another barometer for not being ‘there’ yet, wherever there is. So if you notice that you aren’t feeling your best, don’t judge yourself or beat yourself up for it. The goal is unlimited friendliness towards yourself, as Pema Chodron puts it. When you beat yourself up, you stay stuck in that loop of self-blame, making it harder for you to move on and simply rectify or improve whatever it is that you feel you need.
  • Make a game of it. You have all these tools at your disposal – is it more stimulation that you need? (An inspirational site, social media account, a true friend) Or is it less? (Alone time, nature time, meditation). Play with them to see what tips you back into lightheartedness and a sense of spaciousness.
  • Get a shot of love. External tools like crystals (rose quartz) if that’s your thing, high quality rose essential oil, being around someone you love could be helpful too.
  • Just being okay with whatever you’re feeling. Sometimes it’s simply being in the grips of a strong wave of emotion that you need to ride, and instead of putting on the brakes and trying to correct it, feel it without judgement, and then see it slip away on its own. By not resisting it, you’re allowing yourself to just be – and you’ll return to a neutral state quicker. In the depths of something that feels so strong and intense, it feels as though it will go on forever. But it really won’t. “No feeling is final. Just keep going.” – Rilke’s words are forever burned into my brain, because it’s the truth!

I also want to make a note about body and brain chemistry. Sometimes we simply just CAN’T feel a certain way because of the way our brains are chemically imbalanced, or that we’ve eaten certain foods that make us feel a certain way. I can’t over-emphasize how our biology is key to feeling a sense of well-being, psychologically and physiologically. The mind-body connection is real. If you’re chronically anxious or depressed, please don’t beat yourself up for not being able to ‘get over it’ – your body could literally be not allowing you to. Please seek help from a licensed psychiatrist or psychotherapist – it’s so important.

I, for one, find myself totally tripping out and getting negative and depressive thoughts when I’ve had way too much processed sugar. To be clear – I already have a propensity for being self-critical, but I know there’s something wrong when I can’t bat away those thoughts easily. That’s when I know I need to cut back on the sugar.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget why we’re doing all this healing, inner work, self-discovery – but staying heart-centered reminds us that we’re not just living for ourselves, but for each other too. Heart-centeredness brings us peace and calm, and to everyone else around us – the ripple effects just can’t be underestimated!

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