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HSP Empath, Personal

Healing Emotional Fatigue as an HSP

In my recent post on self-reflection, I shared my journey of decluttering my physical space. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of a more profound cleansing – a digital detox from the overwhelming world of social media.

The past few weeks have been a revelation, as I grappled with heightened anxiety and a pervasive brain fog while navigating daily tasks. It became painfully clear that I needed to declutter not only my surroundings but also my online existence. It was time for a much-needed digital detox.

As an empath and highly sensitive person (HSP), I’ve always tended to put the needs of others before my own. It’s a common trait among empaths, and it often leads to neglecting our own well-being. This pattern, unfortunately, resulted in severe burnouts in the past, the most intense of which occurred in 2017.

During that challenging period, my family faced issues involving drug use, homelessness, and suicide attempts by a family member. The pressure to support and rally for my family left me physically and mentally drained, sleepless, and 15 pounds lighter. The toll on my mental health manifested as severe anxiety and adrenal fatigue, a battle I am still recovering from today through a combination of proper nutrition, sleep, and naturopathic medicine.

HSP Overstimulation

The discovery of my empath traits came during counseling in 2017/2018, and it explained a lot about my lifelong experiences of being told I was “too sensitive” or “too shy.” Despite understanding the traits, breaking old habits, especially neglecting self-care, proved to be a challenge.

Looking back, childhood memories of being overwhelmed and overstimulated by emotions make sense now. The nightmares and emotional meltdowns were a result of being highly sensitive and having a brain that processes dopamine and sensory neurons differently.

Embrace the Empath Within

Recent research sheds light on the neural aspects of sensory processing sensitivity (SPS), a trait associated with high sensitivity to environmental and social stimuli. Studies indicate that individuals with high SPS, like empaths, have more active mirror neurons, leading to heightened empathy and overstimulated emotions.

Being an HSP and empath comes with its own set of characteristics. Deep thinking, a gift rather than a curse, allows me to immerse myself in imaginative scenarios, raising my consciousness and fostering empathy. It’s a journey of self-discovery, healing, and embracing the uniqueness of being an empath in a world that sometimes fails to understand the depth of our emotions.

As I continue to navigate life as an empath, I invite you to join me on this journey of exploration, understanding, and kindness – to ourselves and others.

Sensitive The Untold Story trailer (2020)

Feeling Emotions Stronger and More Intense

Another thing I’m learning how to deal with is emotional intensity. Lord knows I have trouble with all these highs and lows. It’s why I prefer to watch movies by myself because I will literally break down; i.e., the movie Togo left me devastated for two days!

Highly sensitive people are particularly prone to overstimulation, because they process things more deeply than other people. Research suggests that their brains process everything in their environment on a deep level, essentially taking note of — and thinking about — every little thing. 

With my recent bout of chronic overstimulation I have been sleeping more than normal. Yet, Im still exhausted throughout the day. It has become the opposite of just a few years ago when I wouldn’t sleep more than 3-4 hours a night.

My muscles and joints ache too which is another sign I’m noticing. Plus, I can forget irritability, impatience and craving sweets! Crying has increased again as well. Lots of emotions literally pouring out of my face.

Just blogging about this I already have such a deeper sense of peace and understanding. This is a good thing!

Creativity, Nature and Animals are My Minds Escape

I’ve always known my passions and blessings are my best escape. The tranquility and beauty of being in nature, along with my horses/dogs, has always helped me lose the overwhelm and anxiety.

Recently, I added fluid art to my therapeutic mindfulness practice. This engagement with fluid art is a way of letting go and releasing control. The paint magically breathes life into a mysterious beauty that mesmerizes me. I cant wait to dive deeper and start sharing that process as well.

Morning Practice for a Calm Day

Despite all the overstimulation and fatigue. The last few weeks have been a welcome change. The price of hay is absolutely nuts, so I’ve been hiking down to the river property to let the horses graze. I’ve always known that we can live a more self sufficient lifestyle and this is a step I’ve been meaning to take for a while now.

Not only am I spending more time with our horses, but it presents a new opportunity for photography. The morning light on the river is stunning. Mountains, skies and wildlife wake from slumber. This gives me a chance to break old patterns of rushing to my office to work. The beauty of the rising sun has been awakening my inner calm.

Social Media/Digital Detox

Over the next few weeks, I hope to start blogging and continuing my journal. Staying off of social media is also a way to help reduce overstimulation and sensory overload.

I have no excuse not to be enlightened and healed. It’s my hope that this little space can spark an awakening for someone else out there who’s feeling lost within themselves.

Remember, we’re here to help, inspire and lift each other up. In a world full of reaching hands to pull us out of our most dire situations, no one should ever feel alone.

By AniT, May 27, 2023

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