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Anxiety, Panic, and the Highly Sensitive Person

How to be a sensitive person without going down the wormhole of anxiety-panic.

Photo by Anton Atanasov from Pexels
Life isn’t this or that, black or white, good or bad, including our state of vulnerability and emotion. We do live life in those in-between areas. Moving around on this sliding scale of life is helpful as it reminds us we do have room and can change
Since we can slide in different directions on the sensitivity continuum, it can be surprising to at some point find ourselves in a highly sensitive state, or we may have come in like that and been sensitive since birth. In either case, it is the highly sensitive person (HSP) who tends to be more vulnerable to anxiety and panic given their very creative and active minds!
Being on the sensitive side of the continuum is not only a struggle though as being an HSP has many gifts to offer that make life beautiful and alive. Finding the ways to enjoy the upside of being a sensitive person and deal with the conflicts keeping stress at bay is where you want to be.

Here are a few ways for you as a highly sensitive person to deal with the anxiety or panic should it begin to rise:

  • Remind yourself that your feelings and thoughts change! Just because you currently feel a considerable emotion or feeling does not mean it is there forever. Learn to watch them like passing clouds in the blue sky.
  • With anxiety part of your life, you will do well not to avoid or run away from the anxiety that may bubble up instead practice leaning into what is right in front of you and use your creative mind to help you find solutions.
  • Remember you can control your reactions to what is happening, even when triggered. You have the ability to create a pause and let some space come between you and the challenge, in this space as tiny as it may be you have the opportunity to choose vs. react.
  • Try permitting yourself to have physical mini-relaxations during the day. The HSP can be quickly drained by the feeling emotions and challenges not only their own but from the people around them -so give yourself a break. A cup of tea, a foot soak, 10 minutes with your favorite music or inspirational reading. These small short breaks can be very reviving!
  • Come back to your center, that place deep within that doesn’t change or get ruffled by the whims of the world. By going there in your mind (meditation will help you remember how to get there) you will avoid fueling the fear, adrenaline, fear cycle and be breaking the pattern that keeps fear lurking when you feel stressed.

As a person who may be picking up various feelings and energy from the external world along with your own, it is wise to take a moment, slow down and use the suggestions listed rather than rushing around taking on everything in the environment as your own. 

For an audio version visit the podcast on youtube

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