Why HSPs Often Struggle With Exhaustion
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! Yup, you heard that right. You can decrease the intensity of emotional reactions and move from a reactionary place to an ability to pause, reflect and respond when you have extra points. You can even heal old wounds with those extra points. Moving out of survival and into empowerment is possible.
If you want some help navigating all of this, it’s one of my favorite things to do with the HSPs in my 8-week online program. I LOVE guiding HSPs toward a life they love and can feel joy and have fun again. We need more HSPs thriving in the world. Imagine what your life would look like if you felt energy and space and joy? Who in your life would benefit if you were aligned in your balanced self?
HSPs: Try this 5-minute long breath awareness meditation technique.
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~Julie Bjelland is a psychotherapist, author, and leader in the field of high sensitivity. As an HSP herself, Julie recognized the challenges and now lives a mission in life to get more HSPs thriving and empowered in the world. www.juliebjelland.com.