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3 Simple Mantras To Calm Your HSP Overwhelm
As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), the danger of becoming overwhelmed is a near daily occurrence. And it can come in many guises. Emotional, mental, physical, even spiritual overwhelm.
The scientific term for being highly sensitive is Sensory Processing Sensitivity. And one of the key traits of high sensitivity is the tendency to process information more deeply.
The nervous system of a HSP literally processes information deeper.
Which means both internal & external cues like temperature, pain, emotions, thoughts, and even loud noises penetrate more deeply and take longer to work through.
Imagine a computer running 20% harder and longer than a regular computer. Which one do you think is more likely to burnout?
It’s the same for HSP.
Having Sensory Processing Sensitivity means we need to stay on top of pending overwhelm. Otherwise we run the risk of ‘flooding’ – a particularly severe form of emotional overload.
What is ‘flooding’?
Everyone is different, but you might recognise these symptoms.
Emotional overwhelm or flooding can look like:
- A rush of overwhelming or conflicting emotions
- Sobbing uncontrollably
- Feeling completely numb or shut-down
- Dissociation (the sensation of not being quite here in reality)
- Trouble focusing or racing thoughts
- A panic attack
- Difficulty verbalising what you’re thinking & feeling
What triggers HSP overwhelm?
According to Wikipedia, any stimuli that is processed by the brain and nervous system has the capacity to become overwhelming.
Stimuli can be both internal or external, like:
- Temperature (too hot or too cold)
- Intense emotions (both positive or negative)
- Loud noises and conflicting sounds
- Overlapping conversations
- Obsessive thoughts and decisions
When your nervous system is well regulated, it’s easier to cope with any stimulus. However, the more dysregulated your system or the more stress increases - the easier it is to become overwhelmed.
Apart from ritual and restful self-care, in the heat of the moment a mantra can really help to calm feelings of overwhelm.
These are simple phrases you can repeat silently to yourself so that you can sit with the tension of difficult emotions and challenging situations far more easily.
And that’s what builds resilience - one of the biggest keys to living a deep and meaningful life. So without further ado, here are:
3 SIMPLE MANTRAS TO CALM OVERWHELM AS A HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON
1. This Is Not My Pain
(Followed by a deep breath). This mantra can be especially helpful when other people’s pain seeps deeply into your empathy.
When you remind yourself that other people’s pain isn’t yours, you create a distinct emotional boundary. Which means you can still be compassionate and stay present to someone else’s pain without getting lost in it.
Instead of taking on other people’s feelings and becoming overwhelmed, you can maintain your natural empathy.
It takes skill and practice to know which feelings are yours, how to amplify your power, and how to maintain good boundaries. But when you start to master this, you’ll find that empathy fatigue and overwhelm becomes much less frequent.
2. Feel Your Feet
Highly Sensitive People aren’t just deep feelers. We’re deep thinkers too.
And whilst there is great power in daydreaming, deep thinking, ideation and creation; staying in your head can also lead to feelings of confusion, stuckness and overwhelming anxiety.
When you can feel your feet, you’re immediately transported back into your body. And when you can sense your body more easily, you tend to feel more grounded.
Adding a little toe wiggle or placing your feet flat on the ground can really help anchor this sensation even more.
3. My Sensitivity Is A Superpower
Whilst it’s easy to focus on all the ways being a HSP sucks, there are also some really great advantages.
When you’re highly sensitive, the highs are higher. Highly Sensitive People experience profound love, immense beauty and soaring joy.
We’re the artists, the dreamers and the healers. We make meaningful art; form deep connections and beautiful communities; we help overcome suffering and pain. We create a better world into being.
When you remember that your sensitivity is a superpower and embrace the gifts of your empathy, you begin to thrive as your true self.