Emotionally Sensitive in an “Always On” World

Emotionally sensitive people can find it especially difficult to cope with society’s “always on,” always doing something, always multitasking expectations. Even droves of averagely sensitive people have found themselves burned out and turning to self medicating or prescription drugs to literally take the edge off of life and numb the overwhelm.  This can’t be the solution. There’s got to be a more effective way to take care of ourselves.

Self-Care is a huge component of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), the set of skills and concepts that helped me overcome the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder and no longer meet the symptoms (see my 30 minute video Both Sides of The Borderline.) 
Self-Care is sprinkled throughout the four modules of DBT: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness, and there’s a reason for it.
The more vulnerable we feel due to feeling worn out or exhausted physically and/or mentally, the less prepared we are to effectively cope with our emotions. We become, in essence, “emotionally vulnerable.” One of the main goals of the emotionally sensitive person and for those coping with Borderline Personality Disorder is to be able to cope effectively with both everyday emotions and the more intense feelings.
Unfortunately, the way most of us become aware that we are in need of a break is when we are becoming symptomatic physically (muscle tension, headaches, trouble sleeping or over sleeping are possible examples) or mentally (feeling irritable, resentful, wanting to isolate are possible examples).
So what stands in the way of ongoing self-care “maintenance” or intervention for most people? Self-Judgment. Common self-judgments around this include:

  •  I don’t deserve a break.
  • No one around me is taking one – why should I?
  • This would be self-indulgence.
  • What will people think if I take a rest?
  • What if I let go and become lazy and lose my momentum?

It’s time to release these judgments and replace them with more compassionate thoughts, such as:
  • Yes, I’m busy like most people, but I do deserve a break.
  • I see others around me being unwilling to stop and make this time for themselves, and I also see the emotional and physical toll it takes on them as well. I am choosing to pause and take care of myself instead.
  • Self-care is necessary.
  • It doesn’t matter what others think of my choice to slow down and take care of myself. This is my body, my mind, my spirit, and I am responsible for my own health and well-being.
  • I will not lose my momentum but will rather allow my body much needed rest and will restore and rejuvenate as a result of my willingness to slow down for a little while.  The world will keep spinning, and I won’t fall off.
Consider this week what messages stand in the way of you allowing yourself some much deserved rest and self-care.  Ask yourself: Is it really worth the impact on my mental and physical health? What can I do this week to take care of ME and let go of the messages that doing so is selfish?

I look forward to your shares.

Thanks for reading.
More Soon.

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