A Blessing and a Curse

Some of you may have heard of a trait that some people have, it’s known as HSP (Highly Sensitive Person.) I have this trait and have had it for most of my life and I can tell you one thing, it is for sure both a blessing and a curse. In some ways being an HSP helps in life and in other ways it makes life a lot more challenging.

I remember being a very sensitive person pretty much my entire life. I am not really sure how I got this way and I never really understood it until I was in college many years ago in a Psychology class and we took a fun quiz on empaths. I remember this day so clearly because I had scored the max possible points, which put me in the category of an HSP. I was the only one in the class that had an empath score so high. The quiz was almost like a personality test. I remember my professor encouraging me to research this topic further…and I did just that. It was then that I understood this trait that had been with me my entire life.

HSP’s have several distinct qualities that can help one recognize being an HSP in themselves, or others. People with the HSP trait are highly in tune with their surroundings. They pick up energy from their environment and from other people. HSP tend to be very deep thinkers and they feel emotions and thoughts very strongly, even sensing them from other people. These individuals require a lot of alone time and down time as they feel like they are always “on.”

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The positives of being an HSP is that it really helps you relate to others. Often HSP’s can know how someone is feeling before they even say anything. Another positive is that it really helps you take in each experience and experience life as a whole, life seems to take on a deeper purpose and meaning. Being an HSP can also facilitate communication as they tend to pick up on what is and what is not being said, they absorb many non-verbal ques from others.

There are definitely downsides to being a Highly Sensitive Person. We often require down time and a quiet environment because being an HSP drains a lot of energy. HSP’s become overwhelmed easily and do not typically do well with a lot going on at one time. Having this trait makes you worry about other’s feelings and analyze more, it also means you feel emotions deeper, both good and bad.

For me, though there are positives, being an HSP is quite exhausting. I often feel overstimulated and exhausted. I wish that I was not so sensitive, it is a battlefield of the mind and heart, but it is part of who I am and I will embrace it. We all have traits about ourselves that we like and don’t particularly like, but we are who we are for a reason and the best solution is to work with what you have and just live the best life that you possibly can!

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In the Night

Outside gets darker, the world gets quieter, and I seem to take on a different form. I’ve never been just a morning person, or just a night owl, I have always been a mix of both. I love mornings because I wake up feeling refreshed, motivated, energized, and hopeful of the day ahead. I love nights for the peace, relaxation, slower pace, and reflection that it brings.

There is something about the still of the night that shifts me mentally. I have always been a deep thinker and reflective person, the night is the perfect time for pondering and reflecting on life. At night, we become tired, our minds and bodies slow down in preparation for sleep and a new beginning ahead the next day. After all of the hustle and bustle during the day, the night allows us to sit with our thoughts, reflect, and just be.

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I know not everyone is like this, but I find great joy in sitting in silence with my thoughts and reflections. If I do not allow myself enough time to process my day, or how I am feeling, it creates great anxiety for me. Sitting in silence can no doubt be scary and uncomfortable, but I feel it is a necessary part of processing life. I can and often do get lost in my head, I have heard so many times that I “am lost in my own world.”

As I write out this blog post, I can’t help but mention the importance of reflection, self-awareness, and mindfulness. The night allows me to do all three with its stillness, peace, and quiet. I understand that for some people the night might bring about feelings of sadness, loneliness, or fear, but sometimes the still of the night is just what we need to work through our inner struggles. Without much time for reflection and self-awareness, we can’t go about making great change. Processing one’s life requires great energy and it is of the utmost importance to allow time to dedicate towards fueling your soul. Mindfulness is the act of focusing and being aware of the present moment. It is about tuning out all distractions and worries and focusing on what is right in front of you at that given moment.

Whether it is day or night, I hope that you find time for just you. Become in tune with yourself, take the time to take care of you, just like you take care of others, you completely deserve it.

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Missing Someone

We have all felt that familiar feeling of missing someone dear to us. What causes us to miss particular people? It’s not a very comfortable feeling, yet thinking of the memories that you have with them brings about so many happy thoughts and emotions.

There are so many levels in which we miss people. We can miss a loved one that has departed from us in this life, miss someone in which we had a romantic relationship with, miss our friends, coworkers, really anyone that we have built a connection with. It’s human nature to miss attachments that we have had, or still do have, but have changed in some way.

So, what causes us to miss someone? Many reasons in fact. Our brains get used to the way someone makes us feel. We miss that “high” that someone gives us, the way their positivity, humor, good-hearted nature makes us feel. Our brains are very keen on people and experiences that elicit a strong sense of emotion, or connection, it is if they almost stay etched there. We miss people that bring us happiness, make us feel good about ourselves, the ones who supported us, and loved us. Sometimes we may miss certain people because they filled a void, or fulfilled our needs and when they are gone, or distant, we feel a part of us is missing.

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There are things that we can do if we miss someone. If our loved one is no longer with us, we can pray (if you do) to them, talk to them out loud as if they were still here, visit some place that reminds you of them, look through pictures, anything to keep you connected to that person. If you are missing someone that you haven’t seen in a while, reach out to them, chances are they probably miss you too. If you miss someone who you have grown distant with, try to touch base and see if there is anything that can be done to resolve any issues, or reasons that you two became distant. You could even write them a text, e-mail, or letter just to get your feelings out, whether you actually send it or not is up to you.

If you are missing someone today, reach out to them to see how they are doing and what they are up to. You will know that you did all that you could do and that the ball is in the other person’s court. As hard as it can be, remember what is meant for you in life will always find its way.

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In Tune

Isn’t it funny how a certain song has the power to bring back so many memories? It’s as if it temporarily transports us back in time. Certain songs remind us of certain events, or times in our lives and they can evoke so many emotions.

I love the feeling of being in my car and having a song play from many years ago. It’s like having a little blast from the past. It’s pretty amazing how many years, or even decades later, a simple song can trigger so many thoughts and emotions in our brain.

Years and years ago, it was common for people to burn CDs of their favorite music. I spent hours and used countless CDs to burn my favorite songs throughout the years. I keep them all in a CD case in my car and still to this day, I spend more time listening to my CDs than the radio, or any other way of listening to music. I love the connection to old songs and the happiness that comes from listening to them. I have songs that remind me of my high school graduation many years ago, songs that remind me of college, relationships, friendships, dates that I went on, jobs that I’ve had, vacations that I have taken, the list is endless. It seems like every song ties me to a certain time in my life.

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As I sit here and write this, I can’t help but to think of the importance of memories and the importance of music. It is so valuable to keep memories alive and to remember the good times. Not only is it a happiness booster, but it reminds us of where we have been and who we have become. Music is equally important for boosting our mood and finding connection to the lyrics is an extra bonus. A good tune and beat is just good for the soul. Our brains are tied to things that evoke great emotion like events, music, art, certain scents, etc. These all stay etched in our brains. Recall how a certain scent can remind you of someone, or even a holiday scent that brings you back to memories of celebrations with your loved ones.

It is very important for us to do things that bring us joy and happiness. The memories from the past still are very much a part of who we are. To me, it’s so fun going back and “reliving” these moments simply by listening to a song. Try putting on some of your favorite songs from way back when, particularly songs that you listened to during some of the most fun and happy times of your life and see what a good mood booster it can be!

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Keep Your Mind on a Leash

I know that this title is a little out there and what I am about to say is ironic, but by “keeping your mind on a leash,” or in other words keeping tabs and having control over your mind and thoughts, it can really make for a more peaceful life. The mind is an extremely powerful thing.

Like many people, I deal with anxiety on an almost daily basis, it is very exhausting and really can make life quite challenging and unpleasant.  Over the years I have learned several techniques to try to minimize my anxiety and they do help, that is of course if I work at it and be consistent with it!

I’m sure that everyone has felt some sort of anxiety maybe during a test, before a presentation, meeting a deadline, gathering for a social event, having a fight with a loved one, these can all cause anxiety, however for those like myself, anxiety takes on a daily and persisting form.  There are times where I feel that my anxiety level is at a fair or good place and times where there is too much going on, my anxiety flares, and it feels like it’s consuming me.  I wanted to write this blog to give you some insight on what has helped me and hopefully it could help you too.

Our minds really do have so much power.  We must take great care of our mind and what we choose to “feed” it.  The thoughts that we think about ourselves and the world around us are very powerful even when not spoken.  If we make a mistake and we think to ourselves “I can’t do anything right,” if we close off communication with a loved one and think “They probably don’t love me anyway,” these are very damaging words and if repeated enough can cause you to actually believe these things about yourself to be true.

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Our thoughts and minds can run wild very easily if we let them.  When we feel anxious, when our mind starts wandering and our thoughts start racing and snowballing, it helps to put a stop to those thoughts right away.  The best way that I have found to do this is to negate, or counteract the thought that I am having. If the thought is “I always make mistakes,” negate that by thinking of everything that you’ve accomplished so far.  If the thought is “I am not good at relationships,” counteract that by telling yourself “Relationships are hard work, but are a learning experience and I am doing my best to better myself daily.”  We can be so hard on ourselves, other people tend to put us in a much brighter light, they don’t tend to see us the way that we see ourselves.  Replace negative and anxious thinking with “I can,” “I will,” “I am worthy,” “I am a good person,” etc.  Our minds can take a thought and run with it even if it is not even true at all.  Keep a tight watch of your thoughts and feelings. 

If you are like me, you tend to focus and worry about the future, we always hear that this robs us of the present and this is true, worrying about the future is not having control of our minds, we are missing out on what is right in front of us if we are thinking of something not yet here.  It is important to think and plan for the future, but not obsessively.  Life changes so much and so often and many times what we are worried about today may not even take place, or may not even be a worry in the future.  We can really get ahead of ourselves if we let it.  

By no means are these tips easy, I struggle daily with trying to implement these, but there is some definite relief and it is absolutely worth the try! Wishing you a peaceful and beautiful week, as always thank you so much for stopping by!

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