Have you ever found yourself reacting a little too harshly than what would be considered normal? Do situations considered ordinary by others often get overwhelming for you? Do you often find yourself overthinking and mulling over small things? Do you tend to easily get hurt by the words and actions of others? If your answers are yes, then you could be a ‘highly sensitive person’. But you need not worry.
While being sensitive is a good trait and an important sign of emotional intelligence, too much of emotional sensitivity could be a bad thing for you. If you’ve often been told ‘you’re too sensitive’, or been asked to ‘cool it off’, then you need not lose heart. Here are five ways you can keep your emotions in check and deal with your sensitivity.
Note down your feelings
The first thing you should do to keep your emotions from getting the better of you is to write down how you feel. The trick is to process what you are feeling before facing it. They need not be restricted to just negative or positive thoughts, just pen down what you are feeling at the moment. The key lies in clearing your mind of all the tangled thoughts, and organising and understanding them to know how they affect you. This will help you process the situation better and form the right reaction to it. Every time you feel you’ve had an emotional experience or have gone through an overwhelming situation, write down your thoughts. As soon as you make this a habit, you will get better at keeping your emotional sensitivity in check.
Have you ever experienced an emotional breakdown after someone criticised your work, and reacted in ways you didn’t intend to? In such situations, the wise thing would be to seek feedback. Instead of taking it as a jibe, treat feedback as constructive criticism. Always keep in mind that the feedback you receive is not personal but ways to make you better at your work. Focusing on negative traits will only stress you out and lead to hypersensitivity.
Take a moment before reacting
It takes just a second for most of us to jump to a conclusion and react. That is probably the biggest mistake we make. It is always advisable to take a moment to process the information received before reacting to it.
Sometimes it is easy to immediately assume that the other person’s intention or words are meant to hurt you. But that is not the case always. Our sensitivity leads us to assume the worst and that makes us take actions or say things that we may regret in the future. When you take a moment to analyse the situation, you understand what the other person is going through, and also allow yourself to reflect on the situation.
Address the source of sensitivity
The important questions you should ask yourself are, “What makes you angry?”; “What stresses you out?”; “What makes you sad?”. When you are aware of the source of negative emotions, you will be able to deal with them differently. Figure out what ticks you off, so you can mentally prepare yourself beforehand and face the situation in a more positive manner.
For instance, if receiving feedback stresses you out then before submitting any work, make sure you are not leaving any errors behind. And even when you receive feedback, tell yourself that this will only make you better.
Your brain is a powerful filter that can perceive situations based on your past experiences. Learn to tune your mind to see the positive in every situation, so that when you are going through a seemingly tough time, your brain will automatically focus on the positive in it. This will help keep your sensitivity in check and prevent further suffering.
Always try to surround yourself with positivity. Meet positive people, consume motivating content online, and do things that make you happy. The more you focus on the good things in life, the more you will thrive on it. If you know other people with hypersensitivity, engage in dialogues with them. Know that you are not alone. In this way, you are not only helping yourself but others as well.
Hypersensitivity is a temperamental issue and not a disorder, but it can be a daunting experience if you don’t know how to deal with it. The more you educate and train yourself, the easier it becomes for you to look at a situation in a different and more balanced way. It takes time to become less oversensitive, so be patient and trust yourself to manage your feelings in due time.