Do you feel more tired and prone to being overwhelmed than the majority of people who are not highly sensitive?
Psychiatrist Joseph A. Annibali writes about how highly sensitive people may have evolved, and how that relates to being overwhelmed. Here is part of an article of his:
“When humankind functioned as nomadic hunter-gatherers, more impulsive, underaroused action-oriented individuals probably were the first to find food.
“Once humans developed agriculture and began living in settlements, it is likely that overaroused, more reserved, less action-oriented, less impulsive individuals, would survive preferentially.”
See more in my article How To Deal With Overwhelm.
What can cause us to feel overaroused, overwhelmed and exhausted more readily as highly sensitive people?
How can we help take better care of ourselves?
The image at the top is from an article by Julie Bjelland, LMFT – a psychotherapist and author specializing in the trait of high sensitivity.
Below is an excerpt from her article – but first, here is a video with her on the topic:
In the video, she comments about our HSP brains:
“We’re taking in so much information in our brains, if you think about it.
“Maybe a non-HSP, someone who doesn’t have this trait, might be taking in just a few tubes of information throughout the day, and as HSPs we are taking in fifty to a hundred tubes of information.
“We also have to process things very deeply – that’s part of how our brain is.”
Why HSPs Often Struggle With Exhaustion
by Julie Bjelland
If you feel overwhelmed and tired a lot as a highly sensitive person, chances are you are burning up precious energy in overgiving, people pleasing, saying yes when you want to say no, resentment from unmet needs, and having energy vampires in your life.
A lot of us as HSPs struggle in these areas because we are so giving by nature.
We become the person that everyone turns to when they need support.
We like to help people.
The problem is that we often end up at the bottom of the priority list and that’s the part that doesn’t work long term.
I like to think about energy in terms of a point system.
Imagine you had 100 points of energy for the day. Start tracking where those points are going.
Had a call with a family member or friend that talked nonstop and you kept giving and giving because that’s the established pattern between you?
Subtract about 20-40 points.
Do you usually skip your breaks at work and maybe you even do a lot of your co-worker’s job?
Subtract about 30 points.
Did you say yes to going to something you didn’t want to attend because you didn’t want to disappoint someone?
Subtract about 40 points.
Do you work AND do most of the chores at home without help?
Subtract another 30 points. If you have children and you do most of their care, subtract about 60 points.
Do you skip self-care and downtime because everyone else’s needs seem more important?
Subtract about 75 points.
Those 100 points go quickly don’t they? When our points are chronically low, our entire system gets impacted. Here’s some of what we will experience:
- Sensitivity levels increase.
- Emotional reactions increase.
- Stress and anxiety increase.
- Lose patience, get more irritable or anger quickly.
- Build up resentment, which disconnects and destroys relationships.
- We lose access to creativity and focus.
- Immune system weakens.
- Long term our body systems start breaking down, and chronic conditions arise and increase.
- We feel tired all the time and can’t catch up, often feeling unwell.
- We enter survival mode just trying to get through the day and we can’t have fun or feel joy.
What have we learned? We cannot be at the bottom of our priority list anymore. Everything is impacted.
What’s amazing is when you start prioritizing your wellness and balance your health improves, you get more focused and creative, your resentment decreases and relationships improve, and you even feel less sensitive and reactionary!
- Read the rest of this article “Why HSPs Often Struggle With Exhaustion,” and many others, in the Blog section of her site. The image shows a few.
- [Click image or link to go to her site.]
See more articles on this site (Highly Sensitive and Creative) with Julie Bjelland article excerpts and quotes.