The 4th of July is just around the corner. Soon it will be Thanksgiving, Halloween and, then, Christmas and New Years.
Thanksgiving is the time of the year folks, traditionally, get together with family and friends to share the traditional meal of turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, rolls, and grandma’s jello salad, and pumpkin pie. We entertain ourselves with details of our experiences and retell the stories of times past. The men might watch a game or the holiday parade on television, while the women tend to the children and the dishes. It is a day filled with those kinds of happy traditions, at least for most of us. For others, it can mean loneliness, frustration, and sadness for personal or financial reasons.
Perhaps, like me, you have a hard time coping with large groups of people, even when it is family. I know I don’t have to tell you how hard it is to walk into an environment filled with various smells, odd lighting, changing temperatures, a cacophony of voices (some familiar and some not) and familial expectations that can make you feel trapped, like others wanting you to share your thoughts and feelings on a subject or asking you to say grace. Then, there’s the having to make excuses to leave when your sensitivities are about to make your head burst and hoping no one will be upset after you make your exit. It’s enough to make you want to play hooky from the event all together. It’s called overwhelm.
None of us like overwhelm because of the way it makes us feel and, all too often, we turn down invites. But, without participating in life, we run the risk of low self-esteem, which doesn’t feel good either. When we fear overwhelm we are actually fearing life or our reaction to it.
With that said, and thinking in terms of happy tradition, perhaps it is time to start some of your own traditions that honor your sensitivities and who you are at this time in your life.
The following suggestions might be of help in reducing sensitivity to holiday stress.
Invite lonely, frustrated, sad, and single friends to share Thanksgiving (or any other holiday) with you.
Have a ‘pot luck only’ meal to reduce financial stress.
Quietly, eat out with a special friend (maybe someone who is also sensitive and overwhelmed).
Send thank you cards in the mail to those who have shared something special with you in the past and stay home and pamper yourself.
Find a way to share your thankfulness with someone else during holidays by donating, giving or offering your time, energy or money.
And, this might help to keep your energy from being drained while visiting others in their homes.
Wear ‘comfy’ clothes.
Food sensitivities can cause upset stomach. Bring along digestive enzymes.
Bring your own beverage.
Eat just 1 tablespoon of everything first before grabbing 2nds.
Pack your camera and your iPod (or ear plugs).
Take dental floss or picks.
Bring a sweater and, maybe, slippers. .
Keep conversations light-hearted.
Staying over? Bring your journal, your toothbrush and your pillow.
Ask any Highly Sensitive Person and they will admit that subtleties in their environment, especially when they live with other people, can drive them a bit nuts at times. Things that others ignore, such as lop-sided venetian blinds, a drooping plant that hasn't been watered, a cat box that should have been cleaned out yesterday, or a book jutting out of place in an otherwise neat little stack can be too difficult for the HSP to simply ignore.
There are other things too. Take the HSP who lives with someone who wears strong perfume or can't cook without burning things, or snores at night. These things can cause relationships difficulties for sure, but that's another subject for another blog.
And, it's not just a matter of being a perfectionist as many non-sensitives may think, although HSP perfectionists will be bothered even more by these subtleties. No. It's an inherited sensitivity toward noticing things out of balance or out of place. HSPS simply react and respond from a place of knowing how things should be in a perfect world and anything less is extremely obvious to them.
When my children were small, they were only allowed so many toys in the living room at once. Anything more and I would start to feel 'taken over' by bright colored, flashing, noise-making objects. I didn't know that I was a Highly Sensitive Person at the time. I thought it just made sense to limit toys to the ones that were actually being played with at the time. I was also a perfectionist who did not want our living room cluttered up with toys or any other thing that shouldn't be there, like clothes, shoes, plates, crumbs and half-empty cups.
Looking back I see how I was really trying to tone down the subtleties in my environment. When everything was in it's place I was calmer and happier. The kids rooms were a disaster (normally cluttered) and that was OK. It was their space. I didn't live in there. I didn't have to see it every time I looked up from whatever I was doing.
There were other things that seemed to bother me as well. During the summer, the fan would be going non-stop. One place we lived had an old fridge that made a terrible noise when it came on. In another dwelling there were children screaming and shouting all day long and they ran and played. I often wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn't just tune these things out as others suggested.
I know now that there were other things I reacted to in some of the dwellings I lived and worked in as well, such as microwaves and florescent lights. And, I don't know about you, but I've felt presences that others could not. Call them ghosts or just negative energies, but I've moved residences because of them.
There are things we can do as HSPs to create healthier, happier spaces for ourselves without making those around us feel like they have to tip-toe around us. Sometimes, living with a Highly Sensitive Person can be a bit disconcerting for non-sensitives who find they have to worry about whether they are going to upset us whenever they aren't careful.
We can learn to create healthy spaces in delightful ways that our friends and family can also enjoy along side of us.
Artwork: A Music Party by Arthur Hughes
Earlena: WOW!!... I can yes, ashe', amen, etc. I can tick "ALL" of the above mentioned to describe HSPs. I am so happy that I have found THE CAPTAIN'S LADY!
Laura: Hello Earlena. I know what is meant by being a perfectionist. I hear about it at work all the time and I know that it drives some people crazy. I happen to like the sound of a fan going, it actually calm's me. I cannot stand mess. A constant mess around me triggers my anxiety/HSP. I need to keep things organized to keep my mind organized.
Mindfulness is simply taking your mind off of things for awhile. It doesn't have to be complicated. Consider it as just a few minutes out of your day to gain your balance, get fresh perspective, and give yourself a break from any overwhelm you may be experiencing.
Mindfulness is not like praying. When you pray, you ask or thank. In mindfulness you focus and listen. The key in mindfulness is to concentrate on something positive, without being distracted, for a certain length of time. Don't worry if your mind keeps drifting to your shopping list or last night's events. This is normal. It's OK. You don't have to make your mind a blank page.
Go somewhere quiet where you will not be disturbed and get into a comfortable position. It's nice to have a spot in your home for just this, a place to be quiet or pray. Close your eyes and regulate your breathing, neither too shallowly or too deeply. As you breathe out, imagine you are expelling all of your tensions and worries. Let negative out. As you breathe in, you are taking in peace and love. Let positive in.
While being mindful you might also focus on what you hear, smell or feel around you. If this doesn't suit you, picture a place in your mind you go or would like to be that is calming. For example, feel the sun on your face, smell flowers, hear the waves roll up on the beach and feel the warm sand between your toes as if it were really happening.
Sensitive people particularly like string instruments (violin, cello, harp, etc.). Listening to this type of music may be more in line with your tastes than chanting or just soft, background noise. If you are at home or have the use of headphones at work, playing soft meditation music in the background can calmly belay the stages of your meditation and act as a reminder to wrap things up.
Being mindful isn't about creating exciting, mental rendezvous. It's about creating a mental oasis of serenity that you can pull into place whenever and wherever you feel stressed.
Start with meditating for just five minutes and gradually build from there.
When you are through with your meditation, sit for a moment or two and reorient yourself to your surroundings, your breathing and your five senses. Smile and give yourself a shoulder hug.
Artwork: Ophelia by John W. Waterhouse
Imagine, if you would, a love so true that in its presence you felt warm and safe all over from head to toe. Imagine you are a child of the most loving parents in the world, parents who never fail to let it be known how special you are and how much potential you have. Imagine that your parents are supportive to your eternal survival and hold special power to heal all of your wounds, dry all of your tears, and erase away all pain and suffering and help your dreams come true.
Gold is a masculine energy and enhances your connection to God and your own personal strength. Gold is loving, protective and transforming. It is the color of universal and eternal loving power and peace. And, in meditation, it can strengthen your entire body, body, and soul.
Imagine your body is covered from head to foot and saturated in a warm, loving bright light of healing energy. As you enter 'Gold', know that you are surrounded with this kind of power and love. Allow 'Gold' to go where there is a need to be healed and protected within your mind, your soul and your body. Bathe yourself in it. Breathe it in, and out, until you are saturated. Imagine that this light is filling any empty spaces it might find as it seeps into your body and relaxes you. Do a mental check on your feet, legs, buttocks, tummy, heart, chest, arms, hands, neck, face, head. Are there any empty spaces that need filling? Let the light fill you. Gold is limitless. Take what you need. Stay as long as you like, as long as you are comfortable. Let everything else drift away until you are ready to return.
When you leave 'Gold' today, know you are a step closer to the person you were created to be and rich in every way.
Photo Credit: iStock.com (All rights reserved.)
In regard to the mention of electrical activity creating strong emotion, it is important to know chemicals in your body (neurotransmitters) play a huge role in your feelings.
Your brain is divided into three parts and is made up of around 100 billion nerves cells. Your hindbrain and midbrain deal with physical functions, while your forebrain (the cortex or gray matter) works rationally and consciously to decide appropriate reactions to stimuli.
In the forebrain is the Limbic system, which is your emotional center. It contains your amygdalae, which are tiny, bean-shaped organs responsible for deciding whether stimuli is worthy of an emotional reaction or not. While other parts of your brain react rationally to stimuli, the amygdalae often simply react to stimuli according to your memories. Sometimes, the Limbic system triggers emotional responses that surprise us when the two parts of the cortex, the rational, thinking part and the emotional part disagree on a proper response.
The brain is made up of about 100 billion nerve cells. The gap between each cell is called a synapse. Messages are relayed around the brain and to and from the rest of the body by neurotransmitters leap frogging across synapses from one cell to another. These chemical messages tell a cell what to do or not to do next.
What you feel, as far as your emotions are concerned is determined by how well your messages are being sent and received. For example, anxiety, phobias, mania, and depression are associated with having too little of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Why is this important to know? Because your emotions don't come first. A physical reaction comes first. An emotion is what you get when your body has physically reacted to something. And, Highly Sensitive People physically react more than most.
For example, your first warning of fear will come through your senses. When you see, hear, smell, taste, or touch something scary or threatening your body reacts first. Your emotions follow. So, on of the best ways to reduce stress is to calm your amygdalae, particularly one of them.
Artwork: The Rose Bower by John W. Waterhouse
There are seven paths toward reducing sensitivity to stress.
#7. The Spiritual Path, (also The Path of Spirit) which corresponds to the Crown Chakra, the colors Violet, Gold and White, the essential oil Frankincense, the gemstones Amethyst and Crystal, the food Purple Grapes, and understanding of ourselves and others. Remedies for The Spiritual Path may include introspection, connecting to a higher power, and learning to protect one’s self through ritual.
#6. The Path of Intuition (also related to The Path of Sound), which corresponds to the Brow Chakra, the color Indigo, the essential oil Vervain, the gemstone Lapis lazuli, the food Plums, and extra-sensory perception (the 6th Sense). Remedies for The Path of Intuition may include meditation, an area of study, or turning to unconventional methods of intuiting.
#5. The Path of Sound, which corresponds with the Throat Chakra, the color Blue, the essential oil Vanilla, the gemstone Turquoise, the food Blueberries, and expression. Remedies for The Path of Sound may include using your voice, speaking up, and expressing how you really feel.
#4. The Path of Touch, which corresponds to the Heart Chakra, the colors Green and Pink, the essential oils Lavender and Jasmine, the gemstone Emerald, the food Avocado, and love. Remedies for The Path of Touch involve learning to love yourself and others unconditionally.
#3. The Path of Sight, which corresponds to the Solar Plexus Chakra, the color Yellow, the essential oil Cedar, the gemstone Citrine, the food Yellow Squash, and personal power. Remedies for The Path of Sight may include intellectual stimulation, playfulness, and a healthy support network.
#2. The Path of Taste, which corresponds to the Sacral Chakra, the color Orange, the essential oil Sandalwood, the gemstone Moonstone, the food Pumpkin, and intimacy, as in closeness. Remedies for The Path of Taste may include healing negative emotions associated with the pelvic region, such as surgery, miscarriage, unhappy sexual experiences, or sexual abuse.
#1. The Physical Path (also The Path of Smell), which corresponds to the Root Chakra, the color Red, the essential oil Patchouli, the gemstone Ruby, the food Licorice, and survival of our body on the physical plain. Remedies for the Physical Path may include diet and nutrition modifications, sound sleep, exercise, and work.
Chakras are the energy centers located along your spine responsible for maintaining spiritual, emotional, and physical health. A blockage in any of your chakras will create specific dis-eases depending on the chakra affected. For example, a blockage (low energy) in the Solar Plexus Chakra may cause stomach problems, such as acid reflux or loss of appetite. Emotional disorders might include confusion, irritbility, or loneliness. It is important to know that when one chakra is unbalanced it affects the energy levels of the other chakras.
See The Aura Energy Self-Test & Aura Color Personality Reports for HSPs.
Artwork: Mariana by John E. Millais
Highly Sensitive People are extremely creative. You will find them in occupations that offer an outlet for their creativity in such positions as musicians, actors, dancers, painters, crafters, web designers, architects, landscapers and gardeners, and even plastic surgeons. Their creativity tends to benefit others in ways that offer and provide beauty and fulfillment. There is nearly always an emotional element to what they create, as they put their whole heart into their passions and their creativity is just a by-product of this.
It would come to no surprise to find that many Goths and Victorians are Highly Sensitive People. It takes quite a creative streak to apply the makeup and on the clothing and accessories they do, and do it beautifully. The less creative would be inclined to tear off their clothes, wipe off the pale face cream, and throw on their sweats after just a few days (or even hours) of applying cosmetics, corsets, and outer-coats. But, I'm getting sidetracked here on a subject I'll be writing about another time.
Highly Sensitive People also pour their creative energies into art, music, acting, or becoming extraordinary entrepreneurs. Some delve into multiple talents. This is also another subject worth writing on.
However, today, my point is, simply, that when Highly Sensitive People have no outlet for creativity they become emotionally and physically pained. Energy that could be used to reach out to others in a positive and supportive way becomes stifled. This leads to frustration and, eventually, apathy.
My message here? Follow your bliss. Whether it is your appearance, a talent, or a belief, dare to be different. Use your creative energies in ways which deeply express the unique individual you are.
Artwork: I Am Half Sick of Shadows by John W. Waterhouse
Anxiety disorders, until recently, were typically thought of as mind-based, meaning thought-based, as in the case of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) where there is something experienced the mind cannot cope with.
Alone, mind-based therapies, such as positive thinking and counseling, while extremely important and helpful in alleviating mind-based issues, such as fearful or nagging memories, relationship complexities, and decision-making abilities, will never erase genetic sensitivity or cure you, the Highly Sensitive Person, from sensitivity or stressful symptoms and syndromes.
Being Highly Sensitive is not a mind-based condition. It’s a body-based condition where your brain and body over-react to stimuli, or the lack of it, due to your genetic predisposition. Meaning, when you are born highly sensitive your thoughts are not the catalyst for your anxiety.
For this reason, as a Highly Sensitive Person, you will have a hard time physically bouncing back from stress and will often continue to suffer from anxiety (and go on to experience intense overwhelm) when using only mind-based therapies.
Being genetically sensitive can cause some of the same symptoms of mind-based anxiety disorders, such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks and phobias. This is why sensitivity is often related to having General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which, indeed, may overlap sensitivity. Because of this, mind-based therapies in addition to body-based therapies may be helpful. However, starting out with body-based therapies should be the first rule of thumb for calm and healing the body when you are overwhelmed, especially when mind-based therapies have not previously worked.
It’s important to mention that trauma, chronic stress, near death experiences, abuse (sexual, emotional, verbal), or witnessing acts of violence can, sometimes, create extreme sensitivity or agitation even in nonsensitive individuals. Most of these people manage to bounce back from stress or even trauma once they give themselves time to wrap their minds around an issue, make decisions leading to positive outcomes, or get the rest they need. However, for you, the true HSP, healing will never completely take place without implementing body-based therapies, which are activities that engage your senses of Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch and Spirit.
Activities to choose from are listed for you in your Aura Color Personality Report.
Artwork: Boreas by John W. Waterhouse
Each letter of the alphabet relates to a particular number. By adding the numbers in our names we can discover the colors we carry with us in life, determine what colors we are lacking, and select colors to use in our wardrobe and homes to help balance and energize our lives.
1 AJS Red, Strength, Vigor, Sexuality, Health, Charity
2 BKT Orange, Adaptability, Attraction, Intimacy, Kindness
3 CLU Yellow, Charm, Confidence, Joy, Persuasiveness
4 DMV Green, Growth, Luck, Abundance, Fertility, Love
5 ENW Blue, Understanding, Truth, Compassion, Patience, Peace
6 FOX Indigo, Dignity, Ambition, Changeability, Intuitiveness
7 GPY Violet, Inspiration, Leadership, Power, Spirituality
8 HQZ Rose, Emotional, Strength, Love, Good Judgment, Affection
9 IR Gold, Healing, Humanitarianism, Connection to God
I, personally, have one #1, two #4s, three #5s, and three #9s in my name, which suggests the colors I carry by name are Red, Blue and Gold. I will find balance and increase my vibration by adding the colors orange, yellow, indigo, violet and rose to my color schemes.
* Note: Colors by number do not reflect the color of your aura.
Highly Sensitive People take on the feelings and energies of other people, even the pain of others. There are some really simple things you can do to ground yourself spiritually from energy drain and burnout.
Essential oils, sage, gemstones, and items from your kitchen can protect you spiritually and emotionally from other's negative vibrations.
Protection and grounding exercises, information on smudging, how to use salt to protect yourself and your spaces, as well as a step-by-step space clearing ritual you can follow or adjust to your personal preference can be found in on my Spiritual Protection page.
You'll also discover a list energy enhancing gemstones just for your zodiac sign on my Stones & Crystals page.
Other strategies to protect yourself obviously include getting enough sleep, taking care of your body by eating a balanced diet, spending time with positive people, repeating positive affirmations, prayer, meditation, exercise, spending time in nature, and so on.
Just about anything you do to increase the energy wellness of your electromagnetic energy field will serve to build your psychic defenses and keep you grounded as well.
Artwork: Morgan Le Fay by Frederick Sandys
Mari J. Dionne ~ CHP, CLC
Whirligigs ~ Testicles
Accoucheur ~ A male mid-wife.
Kingsevil ~ A disease or swelling of the cervical lymph nodes.
Valitudinary ~ Subject to sickness; crazy.
Chime-Child ~ A child born on Sunday who was immune to witchcraft, could see ghosts, and was a natural healer.
Periblepsis ~ A delirious stare of the eyes.
Wormland ~ A churchyard.
Green-Sickness ~ A disease incident to virgins; sickly paleness, with green tint of complexion.
Tissek or Tissicky Cough ~ A tickling faint cough.
Multiplying Medicine ~ An elixer of the alchemists, used in making and multiplying gold.
Peat-Reek-Whisky ~ Highland whiskey, distilled over peat fires.
Belly-Brussen ~ A distended stomach or having a protuberant stomach.
Oint ~ To smear with an unctuous substance (usually having to do with painting or disguising something).
Farbed-Up ~ Confused
Nyctobasis ~ Somnambulism; to walk in one's sleep.
Roozles ~ Wretchedness of mind and body.
Coolth ~ Coolness (opposite of warmth).
Pharmacopolist ~ An apothecary.
Laver ~ To wash (before dinner).
Gothicism ~ To be rude or rudeness.
Desuetude ~ Lack of use.
Splay the Bream ~ To cut up that fish.
Doctor of Skill ~ A physician.
Pimpish ~ Dainty in the matter of food (taking in small quantities.)
Dendranthoplology ~ The theory that man sprang from trees.
Fash ~ Care, trouble, anxiety.
Satisfy Colon ~ To satisfy one's hunger.
Neurasthenia ~ Debility or impairment of the nerves.
Trollibags ~ The intestines.
Cothish ~ Faint, sickly, ailing.
Fogo ~ A disagreeable stink or smell.
With Squirrel ~ Pregnant
Pottinger ~ A cook, apothecary, druggist (Scotland).
Pomster ~ A quack doctor; to treat illness without knowledge or skill.
Bleflummery ~ Vain imaginings.
Venefice ~ A practice of poisoning.
Fish-Whole ~ As sound as a fish or healthy.
Weaponsalve ~ A salve that was supposed to cure the wound by applying it to the weapon that caused it.
Overset ~ To recover from mental shock.
Fordolked ~ Wounded.
Witchify ~ To bewitch.
Wamblecropped ~ Humiliated
Naufrage ~ Shipwreck
Peffle ~ In a nervous state.
Measondue ~ A hospital or poor house.
Dead-Nip ~ A blue mark on the body not caused by an injury or any known cause...sometimes called a witch's nip.
Sadly On ~ Expressing that a person is ill or in a bad way.
Note: The content made available on The Captains Lady is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is not intended to replace any medical or behavioral care from a licensed health care practitioner. Information provided is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before beginning any new health program or remedy. Please read The Captains Lady's full Disclaimer.
The Captains Lady, 2005~2017.