By Maggie Oman Shannon
0verarousal is the Achilles heel of HSPs, so you need to be expert at avoiding, surviving, and recovering from it. Following are some ideas for relieving overarousal and giving yourself the rest or time alone you need. To many people these recommendations may seem excessive; for HSPs they’re essential.
• Spend eight to ten hours in bed each day, sleeping or not, and set aside two hours of additional downtime to meditate, contemplate, or potter, and one hour for exercise outdoors.
• Take the equivalent of one month off each year. It is preferable to scatter the time throughout the year.
• Meditate daily.
• Practice abdominal breathing. Take a normal but slow breath in through your nose, then breathe slowly out through your mouth as if you were blowing out a candle. This automatically makes your next breath come from the abdomen. The point is not to breathe out through your mouth all the time, but to do this occasionally to re-establish abdominal breathing for a quick calming down.
• Create a secure, pleasing place in your house for meditation, prayer, reading, and other kinds of private time. Make it beautiful but simple. Bring in flowers, a candle, incense, or essential oils to give it a soothing scent. Buy a piece of silk or a blanket of natural materials that you can wrap around yourself or sit on. Take your favorite tea or other drink to sip there. Please all of your senses.
• Keep a journal to encourage reflection and a broader perspective on what you are doing with your time.
• Always keep a protein snack with you perhaps string cheese, a hard-boiled egg, a protein bar, a can of tuna, some nuts. Being overaroused can deplete your blood sugar, and low blood sugar leads to being more easily overaroused.
• Keep earplugs with you to use when you are exposed to loud noise.
• Spend time regularly with animals and plants, and near water or forests.
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From The Utne Reader, Nov-Dec 2000. http://www.utne.com
Adapted from The Highly Sensitive Person’s Workbook
by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.
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