Most HSPs I've talked with over the years are not only very much aware of the subtleties in their environment, but also have a very precise awareness of their own bodies. Part of that comes with being so sensitive, they immediately can tell when something is "out of tune" or hurting. Headaches, muscle and joint pains, and general malaise are all indicators the body sends out that change is needed, and HSPs are more prone to pay attention, rather than just shrug something off or take a couple of aspirins.
But the flip side is that because of the way their brains are wired, the highly sensitive person is also very likely be so intensely involved in everything they are doing, they tend to ignore taking good care of themselves physically. So even though they are hurting, they often put off things like taking proper breaks, exercising, making it a point to eat a healthy, balanced meal or may even skip a meal because they don't have time right now.
The truth is, to be your healthiest and most productive, especially as an HSP, you need to make it a point to take good care of yourself. The biggest secret to achieving happiness and health is to keep your body and your mind in harmony. The HSP who keeps his physical state, mental outlook and spiritual values in balance can feel better and reach success far more easily, and life will not seem so challenging or painful.
You Are What You Eat — But You Eat What You Are
Good nutrition is of paramount importance. Your body needs the right amounts of nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and trace elements. Feeding your sensitive body with cheap or adultered foods, or GMO-type "frankenfood" is like pumping watered-down gasoline into your car. It'll ruin your engine very quickly.
I'm not saying you have to go to extremes or anything, like becoming a vegan or vowing to eat only raw foods. This is just a matter of using common sense to avoid indulging in excess or eating too much of questionable foods. You can still have the occasional Big Mac, just don't finish off a whole bag of party chips with it. And add more helpings of wholesome foods to balance things out. Don't skimp on breakfast and then nosh down a couple of Danish on your coffee break. Take an apple or a pear or an energy bar to tide you over.
My experience counseling others tells me that making small but positive changes in your diet is an HSP's first line of defense in learning to use your trait to your fullest advantage. So make it a point to cut down on fast goods containing lots of saturated fats and sugars, and start eating more whole grains, chicken, fish, along with plenty of vegetables and fresh fruit. Switch over from high-sucrose soft drinks to 100% fruit juices, or even better, plain filtered water, and lots of it. Water is the best thing for your body. A well-hydrated body will not get fatigued easily, and will more quickly flush out toxins and byproducts of digestion. Like a finely tuned Maserati, your highly sensitive body will start to run cleaner and leaner and help you to showcase your HSP trait.
Other improvements you can make to your diet can include supplements from the health store or online sales like Amazon. Remember, modern industrialized farming methods are designed around efficiency and cost-savings, and leave many of our foods sadly lacking in the minerals our bodies require. By supplementing your diet with concentrated vitamins, peptides and raw elements you ensure getting the basic molecules of life your body is craving.
Honor Your Highly Sensitive Body
The second major area you need to address you've heard over and over but it's true: regular exercise is important, because it keeps the body flexible and energized, strengthens heart and lungs and aids in flushing away toxins from your muscles and organs. Now by exercise I don't mean you have to become the next Jack Lalanne or Arnie and spend your days in the gym, because gentle exercise can be anything from workout routines to simply taking a good long walk in the morning or during your lunch break. The secret is to keep your arms and legs in motion. Riding a bicycle, swimming, a fast game of badminton or just taking the stairs instead of the elevator, every little thing you do will make your body happier. Make it a point now to focus on your favorite activity and make a commitment to yourself that you will set aside a specific time each week and devote at least a half-hour towards getting your body into better shape.
I promise you, you'll feel so good you'll immediately want to start scheduling more.
Finally, I want to talk about the elephant in the room, and that's stress. Not the good type of stress you get from healthy exercise or meeting challenges in your life. Dr. Pat Allen calls that eustress. and teaches that it creates bursts of adrenaline that energize the body but get quickly flushed out as the situation is dealt with. I'm referring to the bad stress that goes on and onl for days on end, chronic stress that comes from fretting, worrying, or struggling to do too much too fast or deal ing with toxic people or situations. This type of stress turns adrenaline into toxic levels of cortisone, which then does so much damage to your body and mind you can think of it as "Public Enemy #1" and has been linked with fatigue, sleep problems, depression and general "burnout"; it also cripples your immune system and can directly lead to physical breakdown and diseases.
For an HSP, it is vital to learn the key techniques to coping with stress and worry. There are a wide variety of things you can do, including simple breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga which is a full system for relaxing the body and mind. A quick online search or an hour in your favorite bookstore will lead you to a wealth of books, DVDs and CDs on the subject, or if you are the "hands-on" type of HSP you can attend workshops and courses that will guide you in healthy, restorative practices you can start attending.
There is an oriental proverb that the longest journey beings with a single step. The first step you can take is to acknowledge that you need to make changes right now, towards becoming healthier and fitter. Here are some tips to help you improve your health and help you to reach a new and improved you.
FIVE STEPS TO TAKE TODAY TO BECOME A HEALTHIER HSP:
- Write down your goal: You want a healthier life; you are determined to reach a clearer state of mind. Post a note where you will see it every morning. It will become your reality very quickly.
- Start with single act: Decide you want to learn all you can about improving your health and emotional state. Check out one new source of information, whether the internet, books, DVDs, clubs, gyms or a support group. The more you know about the keys to health, the faster you can put your new knowledge into action.
- Do something to prove you mean business: Take an hour to go through your kitchen cupboards and refrigerator and discard anything that does not seem "healthy" now that you know what to look for. Be ruthless! If you see anything that is not in harmony with your new, healthier self-image, toss it. Just doing that will make you feel healthier!
- Get a large planner calendar and pin it up in your kitchen. Mark today, when you chose to begin your new lifestyle. Keep notes on it, or even better start a journal by hand or on your computer. Write down your thoughts and feelings about your goals and what you are doing to achieve them. And list any "bad habits" you have like smoking or drinking, and draw a big black line through them to signify you've quit. In a few months you can look back and see all the positive changes that you've made, and celebrate!
- The biggest bad habit to give up is negative thinking and defeatist selftalk. Make it a goal to program your mind with positive thoughts and frequent affirmations. Talk to yourself the way you would encourage a friend, to boost your self-confidence. And be sure to give yourself an "attaboy!" every time you make another step of progress. Be your own best friend to help yourself through any tough times which you're sure to encounter during the early stages of creating the "New You."
Simple Approach To Overcome Stress, Fear, Sadness & Procrastination
I recently saw a blog post by Matt Clarkson, a life coach deeply
interested in how the mind works, especially when it comes to
some of the roadblocks that trip a lot of people up in life. He
presented an interesting way of using a "game" to clear stress and get
unstuck from all self-destructive patterns.
What really stood out in his post was how important it is to "realize" something that most people never see: That stress management and dealing with being overstressed is really an artform, and it has its own rules for success. One of the most important rules is that it is crucial that you begin to realize the difference between what is a "story" (a belief you hold, going back even to childhood) and what is a direct sensory perception.
You see, stories are conclusions that our subconscious has come to about events in the past, and by extension the future. Direct perception, however, only works in the present moment, dealing with the sights, sounds, and bodily sensations that you are perceiving right now.
Notice something here...When you feel stuck in fear, sadness, worry, lack of motivation, unworthiness or anything else, if you really home in on your thoughts you'll notice that 90% of your focus is on something that happened in the past or something you're imagining will occur in the future — and not on what you're actually perceiving. In short, your brain has created a clever and vivid "story" that it keeps re-running.
A great book explaining all this is "The Power Of Now" (which we list on the HSP Bookshelf page), but you know even when you understand this point intellectually, most people get fooled over and over again by their own stories of suffering. To fully realize and appreciate the difference between what is story and what is direct sensory perception can help you cast off painful mental patterns and knock down stress, fear, sadness and procrastination -- often almost instantly.
It's subtle (but then HSPs are big into subtleties), yet this distinction will help you stay connected to truths that lie beyond your story of suffering, and so stop pouring gasoline on the fire.
If you want to explore more about this approach, Matt offers a free Meditation E-Course that reveals key principles to stop letting "horror" stories cast a shadow over your life. Each part gives you an exercise, inspirational message or tip to help you calm the mind and reduce stress. And you can discover how to supercharge your level of energy and start to manifest the good feelings you want in your life. Click here now to get his download to improve your health and happiness, through these simple meditation practices.
Listen Carefully... to the Sound of Success
Can music change the way you feel? Of course it can. But can music also change the way you think, and act?
You may find it surprising, perhaps even unbelievable, but science has sounded a clear note on this: music -- certain types of music, that is -- can profoundly influence the way your brain and body function. Music can soothe your stresses, promote healing, and it can even make you smarter.
The way it works is fascinating. Listen, I'm sure you've heard that the human brain has a left and a right half. And most people raised in our western techno-culture primarily use the left hemisphere, their logical brain most of the time.
Even HSPs, people more finely tuned in to their creativity and intuition, often spend much of their day focusing with their masculine, yang hemisphere. Which starves the right hemisphere for stimulation.
Yet for the greatest harmony and success in life, our brain needs to function in a holistic, unified manner, so that the two hemipsheres complement each other, the logical "executive" and the creative "emotional/intuititive" sharing focus. When that is happening, you naturally become more aware, alert and conscious of both your thoughts and your senses.
Not only that, your long-term memory becomes strengthenened, and stress and pain are diminished. Whole-brain stimulation can even improve sleep. And you naturally learn better when your logical brain is freed up.
So what does this have to do with music? Well studies have shown that music, or more accurately certain musical frequencies, can help bring both sides of your brain into this desirable harmonic alignment. And research has also shown that the most successful and centered people all show a high degree of whole-brain functioning. Which makes total sense.
You can bring your brain into this alignment by listening to some specially enhanced music, which has been precisely engineered to resonate to your brainwave frequencies, and a generous sample of this music is available at my friends Iain and Cyndi's website which you can download right now for free. Just click this link:
It seems incredible, yet it's been proven that the more you hear these beautiful music tracks, the more the two hemispheres of your brain come into alignment. The secret is that each track has been mixed with precise frequencies that have been shown to actually enhance physical and psychological health.
And you become calmer, more focused and even smarter... because these frequencies work to enhance the processing power in your brain. Listening to these tracks can become a very "heady" experience!
Go ahead and download this beautiful music album right now for free and listen to one or two tracks to enjoy an immediate sense of deep relaxtion and total rejuvenation. You'll instantly begin to feel calmer and more in control. And listen carefully... it could be the sound of a new stage of your life.
Click the link and you'll get instant access to your free album, which you can download and permanently add to your music collection.
You'll feel like you're taking a stroll along a bubblng brook on a new spsring morning. And your brain will love you for it.
THE NEW HIGHLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE LIFEGUIDE
25 DELICIOUS GLUTEN-FREE RECIPES and 50 YEARS OF CULINARY ADVENTURES
I'm pleased to announce that the first book in our new series of Highly Sensitive People LifeGuides, Tales of a Gluten-Free Gypsy, has been published. It is by my friend and associate, and WANT Institute graduate, Judith Fine-Sarchielli, an HSP herself, and recounts her 40 years of searching for the nutritional keys to good health and successful living. Judith has been an advisor to the biggest food-related organizations, including the Whole Foods chain, was founder and owner of her own catering service for a number of years, and also discovered that she is one of a growing number of people who experience the symptoms of gluten sensitivity, a disorder of the digestive system that manifests as a negative reaction to gluten and wheat products.
As a result, she is an outstanding chef and connoisseur of fine foods who has had to adapt her cooking and eating habits to accommodate her sensitivity, and has has become an expert in creative gluten-free cooking. Now she has written her first book to share her experiences and what she has learned about the nutritional weaknesses in the Standard American Diet and many of the ways that consuming ordinary processed foods can endanger your health and well-being. She has included 25 of her most delectable recipes along with chapters on the healthiest nutritional practices for anyone who is considering adopting the gluten-free diet to improve their health, or deal with some of the issues that our American wheat-intensive diet has generated including joint pain, gastric disorders and general feelings of malaise — which is especially important to Highly Sensitive People who are often more prone to experiencing digestive discomforts.
If you care about improving your health and discovering the secrets of how to "Eat Real," I highly recommend Judith's book as a comprehensive overview of ways to achieve a healthy diet that balances your physical nutrition needs and start to experience the many benefits that manifest from a eating a healthy, conscious diet that truly nourishes your body, mind and spirit.
I'm really happy to be able to share Judith's outstanding breadth of culinary knowledge and dietary expertise with the readers of HighlySensitivePeople.com and if you want to learn more about this groundbreaking book please click here to visit the pre-order page.
It's No Joke. "You've Got A Bear Behind"
Is Not Just an Old Vaudeville Routine
Research has shown that 3% of all people suffer from Unwanted Thoughts, and it's especially prevalent among highly sensitive people. I'm talking about wacky, uninvited thoughts. And obsessive thoughts.
And even shameful thoughts.
They appear from nowhere, and for some people it seems there's no way to avoid them. Psychologists even have a name for this, labelling it "White Bear Syndrome," a branch of OCD studies.
For HSPs Who Struggle With Body and Weight Issues
One of the downsides to being a Highly Sensitive Person is that you may be overly sensitive about your physical appearance. Many HSPs are perfectly happy with their bodies, and have no trouble with being "hefty," or over-weight, or even obese, but if you are troubled whenever you look in the mirror, or if you just want to lose (or rather, "release") a few pounds so you can feel healthier and more energetic, then in addition to all my tips above you will need to take more specific actions, like cutting down on calories and making even more significant changes in your diet.
I know that "diet" is a loaded word for many, and rightly so. The whole concept behind going "on a diet" revolves around it being a temporary obstacle and one that you are so relieved once it's over, and you can go back to eating the old way that caused your weight problem in the first place. Not sound thinking, especially for the thoughtful mind of an HSP.
Even worse, most fad diets only have you lose water weight or worse, reduce your muscle tissue. You need your muscle tissue to burn fat, so when you reduce muscle mass it makes things even worse because now you're burning off even less fat! Talk about rip-offs!View more...
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