Being too senitive – is it a bad thing?
Have you heard – “You are being too sensitive”?
Snap out of it. You are overthinking.
Like really? Did you let that get to you? Or affect you so much?”
And you wondered if you really are giving too much attention or importance to it.
A sensitive person is more likely to feel things deeply, whether those things are positive or negative. While the highs can be joyous, the lows can present challenges that can affect stress levels , relationships, and the possible ability to cope.
Why am I so sensitive? I should be Less Sensitive.
Feeling heightened emotions or being over-sensitive can come down to diet choices, genetics, stress, anxiety , environment, and early childhood experiences. It can also be due to a chronic underlying health condition, such as a mood disorder or hormones.
So what are the common reasons behind being over-sensitive?
1. Emotions aren’t weak, they are human
Everyone processes events and emotions differently. A person may feel things a bit more than others; or, might just be feeling extra sensitive on a particular day.
Research suggests that about 20% to 60% of a person’s temperament can be determined by genetics.
There is a personality trait called “sensory processing sensitivity”. It is a quality where someone processes the world more deeply. It includes the moods and feelings of others, as well as pain and loud noises.
In a study conducted in 2021 when comparing the levels of sensitivity in sets of adolescent twins, researchers found that 47% of the differences in sensitivity between the twins were genetic.
This supports the idea that people can inherit emotional sensitivity. Also is responsible in cases where siblings have different temperaments. It is suggested that this difference can also partly be due to DNA.
3. Sustained lack of Sleep
A prolonged lack of sleep has several negative effects on the body and mind. Being overly reactive is one of them.
4. Lack of exercise
A study conducted in 2018 showed that regular physical exercise can contribute to better emotional regulation during stressful times.
Another study conducted in 2017 also showed that aerobic exercise had a therapeutic effect on regulating emotions.
5. Sustained unhealthy diet
It is good to ensure having vital vitamins and minerals. Research done on this has found that eating an unhealthy diet can negatively influence mood.
A study conducted in 2018 showed that living with high-stress levels can increase negative emotions such as anger or depression. In particular, the study showed that the more stress a person feels, the more the person tends to keep thinking about it what’s making them stressed, which in turn increases the person’s negative emotions.
2. There is a difference between Stress and Anxiety
Stress usually responds to something specific in life and will go away. It is known to be Anxiety when a person experiences prolonged worry for no obvious external reason. For chronic anxiety, it can become an anxiety disorder, which can significantly impact emotional regulation.
Grieving is not only about losing a loved one . Grief can be for a past self, a child that was never born, or even a breakup. We all handle grief differently and we may need help to process that grief.
4. Hormone Imbalance
Any hormonal imbalance can cause extra sensitivity.
What can you do to control your sensitivity nature?
Some sources of being over-sensitive can be healed by making basic lifestyle changes
- 1. Ensure having a consistent routine every day
- 2. Doing away with the use of substances and alcohol
- 3. Getting adequate sleep
- 4. A healthy lifestyle, nutritious food, and taking time to do activities that bring joy.
- 5. Speaking with and spending time with supportive family or friend/s.
However, if feelings of over-sensitivity are having a sustained negative impact on life, it is best to not let them go unnoticed. In India, mental help care is available.
Visiting a counselor who is medically trained to see if it is a short-term underlying cause or a chronic one. They can give an impartial point of view and help get to the root of the issue. If required, also refer to a specialist. Counselors are also bound by confidentiality as a necessary professional must and no one else would know what is discussed.
Being highly sensitive is also considered to have its advantages. Some of them are:
1. Being sensitive is considered a good character
Highly sensitive people are known to be highly observant, intuitive, thoughtful, compassionate , empathetic, diligent, loyal, and creative.
In fact, managers consistently rate people with higher sensitivity as their top contributors.
2. Yes, a person can be Sensitive AND Strong at the same time.
Very often cultural sensitivity is associated with weakness - but it shouldn't be. In fact, with the right mindset, a person can actually learn how to find strength in sensitivity.
3. In personal life, sensitive people are supportive friends and loved ones.
They care deeply about their friends and tend to form deep bonds with people.
4. Sensitive people are noticed to be very grateful for the life they have.
They are believed to be overall happy and content.
5. Overly expressive
They appreciate a good meal, a beautiful song, or a small gesture. They express it with tears, a hug, and the rare emoji too. That leaves the receiving person with a fuzzy feeling of happiness .
There is a beautiful Rainbow for people who perceive being over-sensitive as a negative and are looking for how to not be sensitive. Really!!
Image credits: Freepik