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 (born with sensitive inner fish), healing will never completely take place without implementing sense-based activities related to the 6 senses.
Artwork: The Little Foot Page by Eleanor Fortesque
Mari J. Dionne
AADP Certified Holistic Health Practitioner of Natural Healing
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