By Bonnie McConaughy
As a highly sensitive person and introvert, I find everyday life can be challenging at times. I have slowly learned how to thrive with these parts of my personality constantly along for the ride. While it can be easy to find information about how to thrive in various aspects as an introvert, there isn’t a whole ton of information about highly sensitive people dealing with everyday life.
First of all, let me tell you a bit more about what a “highly sensitive person” is. It means being more sensitive to pretty much everything, from your own and others’ emotions, noises, smells, sometimes sights, touch, and all kinds of pain that people can feel, among other things. This makes a simple day seem overwhelming at times. For me personally, I can get overstimulated really quickly and my emotions can be all over the place, especially when I am around other people. What they feel, I tend to feel on some level. Depending on my connection to each person, some I feel stronger than others. I only realized that I was a highly sensitive person a couple years ago, but it makes so many things click into place in my present life as well as my past!
Most of us know what an introvert is, especially if you are one. I always knew I was an introvert, but I wasn’t always aware of what that meant to myself or other people. The more introverts I met and the more I read about it online or in books, the more I became familiar with the way things work for me. I like being alone and I thrive on being alone most of the time. Sure, I crave contact and conversation but most days I could do without. If I’ve been around other people, even if I felt totally fine and even happy while I was with them, I come home and feel exhausted. It takes a lot out of me to interact with others. I am learning that that is just part of who I am and it is perfectly okay. We are all different and introversion is not a point of failure. Now I take pride in being an introvert, and if you are one too, then you should as well!
Now I will list some of the things that have helped me as a highly sensitive person and introvert. Many of these can apply to both, but use them as you see fit in your everyday life:
- Celebrate who you are: You were made this way for a reason. I firmly believe that we all have something to offer in this life and we should find joy in whatever personality traits we have.
- Walk away or take breaks as needed: No one says you have to be present for everything, all the time. Excuse yourself or simply take a break, depending on the situation, and collect yourself. More than likely, you will feel better after you have had a breather!
- Ask for help: If you need someone else to take on more responsibility because you have had your fill with interaction, ask someone to take over or if they can simply help you so you can get done and escape faster.
- Take care of yourself and your health: Your health and wellbeing are important. Make sure you are practicing basic self-care and getting what you need each day!
- Pamper yourself from time to time: We all deserve to pamper or treat ourselves on a regular basis. Go to a movie by yourself or with a loved one, go out to eat, have a movie night in, read a book, or anything else that strikes your fancy and helps you feel recharged!
- Journal and reflect: Take time each day to journal and reflect on your feelings, or your day. I like to focus on positives, talk through negatives, and simply work through things this way. Sometimes blogging can be a great way to do this while getting feedback from others who go through similar things too.
- Do your best to stay within your own thoughts and feelings: Stay within your own head as much as you can. Be compassionate, kind, and understanding, but keep the rest out of your mind as best as you know how. This is one I’m still working on but focusing on what I feel and what I’m personally doing at the moment, helps me so much to tune out the rest of it!
Whether you are an introvert, a highly sensitive person, or both, be proud and remember that you can thrive in this world. These are blessings in disguise because we all have something incredibly important to offer!
Bonnie McConaughy is the owner and founder of Inspire the Best You (www.inspirethebestyou.com), where she writes about weight loss, healthy living, self-love, and personal growth. If you are interested in those topics, stop by and read her blog! She is also a freelance and ghostwriter (www.bmcconaughy.weebly.com).
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