Do You Need To Win?

Do You Need To Win?- HSP Health Blog

Do you need to win?

Do you feel pressured to win?

Do you feel left out in a culture that creates winners and losers?

Where does this fixation on winning and losing come from?

Why do we compare ourselves to others and rank each other?

And why is this such a problem for HSP’s?

Where Does Winning And Losing Come From?

Winning and losing is about more than a set of values. They come from the survival and economic needs of a society.

Once a society knows what it needs, it creates the organization to answer that need. As the complexity of human societies increased, newer more complex social structures have developed to create different trades and disciplines to serve the needs of the society.

Each society creates winners out of those that further its survival interests however they are expressed. In some societies, that expression has been extremely violent, particularly if war was a constant.  In those situations, “winners” and the most highly regarded would likely be the warriors.

The social organization in a society often becomes solidified when different group form subgroups within a culture, affecting the growth and mobility of its members.

So what started out as a way to make life work often turns into a source of deep social friction and pain.

Effects Of Social Stratification

Social organization affects how we perceive our possibilities in life. By accidents of birth, we inherit a set of social expectations, and committments which may or may not serve us.

Our birth affects the resources available to support our lives and therefore our ability to thrive.

Unfortunately our options at a young age are often created by our circumstances.

There Is More At Stake Than Status

Ranking systems can affect our ability to survive, so they matter.

They also matter since there is more to life than survival.

They also matter if you recognize that we all share this planet and it belongs to all of us.

They also matter if you recognize that we are interdependent and social structure can make effective sharing more difficult.

They also matter because we all need to live in integrity and peace.

The Questions That HSP’s Need To Ask

HSP’s have a chalenge living in a society whose values are antithetical to their nature. For many highly sensitive people who need to ask aand find answers to these questions:

  • how to I survive as a compassionate person in a survival oriented society?
  • how do I maintain my integrity?
  • can I survive without becoming a pleaser, which is often how HSP’s resolve conflict?

Social Structure And Highly Sensitive People

When a society’s structure and values are survival oriented, the investments made are designed to further survival.

HSP values conflict with violent survivalistic cultural values.

HSP’s have difficulty surviving for values and other reasons:

  • our talents and skills are not combat oriented
  • we are not competitively inclined
  • we find one-upsmanship to be painful
  • we find that aggression is often reckless, in addition to being harmful, wasteful and counterproductive
  • we are not good at giving up our integrity for survival reasons
  • spiritual considerations trump status in our values hierarchy

Choosing A Path

HSP’s can do well when they find a path that ets them be themselves and maintains their vaue and integrity.

One way to do that is by becoming technically proficient in some area. Learning software or other technical skills woud be an example.

A second approach is to find a calling as HSP Barrie Pace has recommended. Healing, art, and spiritual work all fit in this category.

Of course, you can always do both.

For many HSP’s, self employment is a necessary step which enables them to create some quality of life for themselves and is worth considering.

The worst choice is a life of drudgery in a combative, status seeking environment.

Leaving the world of competition behind is one of the best things you can do.

I highly recommend it.

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Top 10 List For A Happier And Healthier 2013 For HSPs

HSPs Healthier 2013 - HSP Health Blog
HSPs Healthier 2013 - HSP Health Blog

HSPs Healthier 2013

A Healthier 2013 For Highly Sensitive People

Sometimes simple changes can make all the difference. These simple changes can help you feel healthier and more grounded in 2013:

  1. Begin each day with some gentle stretching or yoga: it helps activate and move your energy and helps with stagnanct energy in the body.
  2. Spend at least 15-20 minutes doing meditation, deep breathing exercises or progressive relaxation. It can be done with some “new age” music, but definitely music without any words.
  3. Listen to classical music, or meditation tapes or CDs; they reduce stress and help you access the positive attributes of your higher self.
  4. Eat a nutritious breakfast slowly and leave plenty of time to drive to work. Maintain a schedule that keeps you frm feeling rushed because then you are more liely to be at your best.
  5. Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is restorative and helps your recover from stress during the day.

Better Relationships For HSP’s in 2013

Relationships are inevitably a challenge for highly sensitive people. Our intensity can drive others away and prevent us from getting our needs met.

Here are some ways to improve our relationships:

  1. Give the non-HSPs in your life the benefit of the doubt. As I discuss frequently in my group meetings and presentations that if something can be taken as negative, or as an insult, an HSP will often go here. But honestly, most people’s intent isn’t to make you feel bad, even though that’s how it “feels” to you. In my experience HSPs seem to worry a lot although as young woman in one of my audiences said “I don’t worry a lot I just think about things very, very deeply.” But as you may have already discovered “deep can go to dark” and when you think about things deeply, that can lead to worry and worry can lead to the production of cortisol. Cortisol is scientifically linked to depression and anxiety and once cortisol starts pumping even things that you weren’t worrying about become worrisome.
  2. Having a positive attitude can do wonders for making your life more enjoyable and improving your relationships. Happiness can be elusive for HSPs wh often feel that there is something wrong with them for not wanting or having what others have. So it is important to learn from the expression: “Happiness isn’t getting what you want, it’s wanting what you get.” Often what we get is what we need and what we want is not what we need. earning the difference makes life better for us and for the people in our lives.
  3. Make sure that you are not dwelling on the negative because that can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if life is challenging or difficult, looking for the positive or the silver lining can improve outcomes by keeping you moving in the direction of solutions and positive results.
  4. Pre-qualify your relationship partners. Make sure that you are getting involved romantically with healthy available people. If you tend to seek out unavailable people, then you need to consider why that is happening and perhaps seek counseling if this is a repeating pattern that you would like to change.  The same is true if you have a repetitive history of unhappy or painful relationships.
  5. Learn from those who have travelled the path before you. A list of readings below can help you with insights so that you can  have the relationships you deserve.

How To Have An Empowered 2013

Highly sensitive people often have trouble taking care of themselves and seeing themselves as valuable. Usually it is because they have been taught that being sensitive makes them defective. It is important to realize that being sensitive is not a defect but a gift. When you do you can see yourself and your life in a more positive light. Then you can mve on to taking care of yourself and your relationships in a more empowered way.

May you find your way to an enjoyable and fulfilling 2013.

 


 

Important Reading For HSPs

The following are some books and music choices that help you sort out personal and relationship challenges:

  • The Wounded Woman: Healing the Father-Daughter Relationship, by Linda Leonard. A father wounded in his psychological development, Linda Leonard believes, cannot often give his daughter the care and guidance she needs. Using examples from her own life and her work with clients, as well as dreams, fairy tales, myths, films, and literature, Leonard charts paths toward psychological transformation and a fruitful, caring relationship between men and women, fathers and daughters—one that honors both the mutuality and the uniqueness of the sexes.
  • Living With the Passive Aggressive Man: Coping with Hidden Aggression From the Bedroom to the Boardroom by Scott Wetzler. This book introduces the reader to a vaiety of passive-aggressive characters: the catch-me-if-you-can lover, the deviously manipulative coworker or boss, the obstructionist, procrastinating husband.This personality syndrome — in which hostility wears a mask of passivity — is currently the number one source of men’s problems in relationships and on the job. In Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man, Scott Wetzler draws upon numerous case histories from his own practice to explain how and why the passive-aggressive man thinks, feels, and acts the way he does.
  • Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie. A great book for HSPs who take on the problems of others.  Is someone else’s problem your problem? If, like so many others, you’ve lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else’s, you may be codependent–and you may find yourself in this book. The healing touchstone of millions, this modern classic by one of America’s best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life.
  • Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride: A Psychological Study (Studies in Jungian Psychology) by Marion Woodman Description: Through case studies, dreams, and myths, a Jungian analyst explores the hidden causes of compulsion in the lives of men and women. At the root of eating disorders, substance abuse, and other addictive and compulsive behaviors, Woodman sees a hunger for spiritual fulfillment. The need to experience a sacred connection to an energy greater than their own drives people to search for an illusory ideal of perfection.
  • Music by Alanis Morisette. Alanis is an HSP whose songs are often a reflection of the HSP relationship experience.
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An Easy Way To Discharge Stressed Out Energy

Nature is one of the most powerful and natural healing modalities available to us and yet it is largely untapped as a healing resource.

We highly sensitive people are more vulnerable  to a stressed nervous system  from the high levels of stimulation that are so rampant in our western culture.

Over my lifetime I have tried many modalities to relieve myself from the excessive stress out feeling I get from being ‘out’ in the world. What I have found is that Nature is the one consistent place my body, mind and spirit automatically relaxes and comes into a state of harmonious synchrony.

One way nature creates this nervous system balance is by helping us to shift our attention from thinking to sensing. The sights, smells, sounds and general energy level of nature is a lot more harmonious and attractive than the loud and discordant stimuli so often found in cities, the workplace and even our homes when the T.V is on.

How Your Heart Field CanRelieve Stressed Out Energy

Studies have shown that when you shift to sensing you alter the electromagnetic field of your heart. This causes the heart rate to slow as well as bringing the two parts of the nervous system into a dynamic state of alert relaxation.

The quickest and easiest way to bring yourself into this state which scientists call coherence is by actively seeking out that which you find attractive. Appreciation for beauty activates the heart’s energy field. Science has shown the size of the heart’s electromagnetic field is much larger than the brain’s. This means that the rest of the body and mind will entrain to it which creates that much sort after state of relaxed ease and openness.

The more you practice direct perception and appreciation the more you will move out of ordinary thinking and into pure consciousness. It is in this state you are able to deeply rest, rejuvenate, decompress and discharge all the chaotic stressed energies that are the seeds of so much dis-ease.

Even if you are not near natural wild places you can still look around you and seek out the beauty of nature. You can actively notice the gentle sway of a tree branch, the rustling of leaves in the breeze, the fluffy white clouds silhouetted against the deep blue sky or the delicious fragrance of daffodils coming into bloom, signaling spring and a time of rejuvenation and new beginnings.

Appreciating Beauty Mediation

Try the following ‘Appreciating Beauty Meditation’ taken from Empowered Nature Meditations; for Personal & Planetary Healing

1. Look around you and find something that attracts your attention. It would be better if this were something from nature such as a rock, a tree, or a flower. Gently bring your full awareness to the object you find beautiful. Become aware of the elegance of its shape, the intensity of its color, the light on its surface, and the specific presence of the item. Ask yourself what makes this item unique?

2. Imagine you are taking in the essence of this object. Breathe in its best qualities as if you could absorb those qualities into yourself.

3. Look at the tiniest detail and notice how each aspect contributes to the whole.

4. Now look at the entire object and sense its grandeur even though it might be small and subtle. Practice going from the small to the large view. Now try to see the object as huge, and then bring it back to normal size.

5. Blur the focus of your vision slightly and try to see a glow around the object. Can you sense a radiation of any kind from it? Ask yourself what is it you like about this object? What aspects stand out for you? These are the qualities that you already possess.

6. As you go about your day pay attention to your surroundings. Look for what you find beautiful around you. Appreciate the beauty and breathe it into yourself.

To further enhance your ability to create natural healing for yourself, please enjoy this recorded healing exercise: Appreciating Beauty For Natural Stress Relief- MP3

 

Changing Habits

Changing Habits - HSP Health Blog

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In my book, The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide, I offer hundreds of practical, coping strategies to empower highly sensitive people.

However, the suggestions may not bear fruit unless we are willing to change.

We must make a resolve to firmly commit to changing habits that are detrimental for us highly sensitive people.

Some Beliefs Make Changing Habits More Difficult

It’s crucial to integrate the new methods that are being discussed in these blogs into your daily routine. Reading these blogs without applying the new concepts is like taking a boat across a river, but not getting out on the other side.

The first step in changing habits is to investigate how your belief system influences your behavior. When you were a child you were probably taught by your parents, teachers, peers and the media that you can only be happy if you live a stimulating life based on outer gratification such as making a lot of money, finding the perfect mate and achieving success at work. Looking for happiness and trying to obtain a feeling of self-worth only from outside stimuli can create anxiety and tension for the reflective, sensitive person.

It’s vital to deeply examine your life goals as you begin to understand that what you truly desire is inner-peace and that nothing in this constantly changing world can really give you lasting contentment. Life is temporary and everything will eventually leave you. You can’t take money, a partner or job status with you when you leave your body, so begin to look inside to make the necessary changes that will create inner-peace and happiness today.

Being Highly Sensitive And Changing Habits

You were probably told that there was something inherently wrong with you as a child for being so sensitive. You may have internalized that false belief, creating an addictive, self-fulfilling prophecy, subconsciously identifying with emotional pain. Most self-defeating behavior is based on not loving yourself.

I frequently encounter sensitive clients who have told me that it’s difficult to let go of an untenable situation, even when it’s creating enormous pain in their lives. There was a highly sensitive woman I counseled whose noisy upstairs neighbors were literally driving her crazy, yet she would always make up an excuse not to move. An HSP man told me that he worked for an abusive boss, yet steadfastly refused to look for another job. Most people who remain in emotionally destructive situations believe that they deserve to suffer due to low self-esteem, which is based on the untruth that there is something wrong with them.

Once you begin to understand the bases of your belief system, you will be aware of how your internalized beliefs influence your thought patterns. There is a saying: “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action reap a habit; sow a habit; reap a character.”

Practical Considerations About Changing Habits

When changing habits you need to be gentle with yourself and make the changes slowly. For example, if you try to stop an overeating habit cold turkey by going on a crash diet, you may end up eating the cold turkey and all the trimmings. If you want to go to bed an hour earlier to obtain more sleep, try going to bed just five minutes earlier each night so that in a few weeks, you will reach your goal.

Once you have changed your consciousness by internalizing new positive values, you will spontaneously make changes to create more inner-peace and joy in your life. Also, It’s much easier to change habits when you are receiving support from other people than trying to make the changes alone. Besides enlisting support from your relatives, friends and co-workers, you can attend a support group such as a 12-step program or individual counseling.

You need to use our will power to change habits. Make a list of the areas that are causing you pain and use your volition to write down the new methods that you will employ to alleviate any tension and unhappiness in your life. As you begin having small victories in changing habits, your will power will be strengthened. You can also increase your inner-strength through visualization, and the use of affirmations. Make a resolution today that you will no longer remain in any environment in which there is no hope for you to be happy.

Supportive Environments Are Critical For Changing Habits

However, since environment may be stronger than your will power to change, you also need to remove yourself from situations that reinforce negative habits and low self-esteem. Your home and work environment are the most important factors that determine your ability to create a peaceful life, so it’s imperative that you create a harmonious work and home atmosphere. If you know that a certain environment creates anxiety, either try to change the unhealthy, over-stimulating situation or remove yourself from the source of tension.

I have noticed that you can generally replace a bad habit with a good one in just six months. One HSP client, Felicia, told me that when she began meditating, after several months that practice became a part of her life, just like brushing her teeth when she awoke. Felicia said that if she is unable to meditate in the morning, she doesn’t feel centered until she experiences at least ten minutes of deep relaxation. She noticed that when she’s feeling calm, little daily annoyances become less significant. Once you become focused on establishing peace of mind, you won’t have to give others a piece of your mind.

Finally, you need to create new, satisfying and nurturing activities to replace the old habits. For example, if you decide to watch less overstimulating TV and DVDs and spend less time being bombarded by stimuli on the Internet, you could begin reading calming, spiritually-uplifting books. This is a new year for you and you don’t have to keep repeating old habits that don’t work for you anymore as you gain new knowledge and understanding of yourself

Step By Step Roadmap: How to Change Habits

1. Investigate your belief system and become aware when a habit creates pain.

2. Be gentle with yourself by changing habits slowly.

3. Try to always be aware of the goal of developing a change of consciousness.

4. Enlist the support of your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors; you may want to meet with a counselor or join a support group.

5. Remove yourself from an environment that reinforces negative habits.

6. Realize that in only six months you can replace a bad habit with a good one through daily practice.

7. Create new, satisfying and nurturing activities to replace the old habits.

8. Use your will power to develop a structured program for yourself to help make positive life-style changes.

9. Write down and implement the changes that you want to make as you read these blogs.