The Sensitive Person’s Guide to Being Your Own Valentine

The Sensitive Person’s Guide to Being Your Own Valentine

Highly sensitive person

The Sensitive Person’s Guide for How to Be Your Own Valentine

Are you a “sensitive” person? Then you probably need to learn how to be your own Valentine more than anyone.

Why do “sensitives” need to learn to be their own Valentine?

A “sensitive” is a person who is highly empathetic toward others. Your deep level of empathy makes you highly intuitive about the feelings others are experiencing. This tendency also makes you a natural at helping others but over time can draw you in to doing more and more to help others and less and less to help yourself.

This is why you need a guide to being your own Valentine.

Having such a highly developed sense of empathy is a double edged sword. You not only detect when someone around you is experiencing emotional pain you also begin to experience their feelings as your own.

Your sensitive and caring nature drives you to want to “fix” others. You want to alleviate their pain and discomfort by doing whatever you can to make things better for them. You become their personal cheerleader always making sure that you are “on” in order to steer their mood back from the negative to the positive.

A pattern of reacting to the needs of others 24/7 to the exclusion of your own needs will not only exhaust you but leave you little time for your own self-care.

The dark side of being a sensitive who has become a chronic caretaker is that you are always putting your own needs last.

See how many of these behaviors apply to you:

1. You rarely make time for yourself to do the things you enjoy.

2. You do not exercise regularly even though you want to.

3. You eat to soothe your emotions.

4. You do not make time to go within and meditate daily.

5. You constantly give in to the demands and schedules and needs of others.

6. Always go out of your way to help or fix things in the lives of others regardless of how busy you are.

7. You take on too much and say, “yes” when you really want to say, “no.”

8. You allow other people’s moods and negativity to manipulate your behavior and reactions.

9. You run your self ragged for others and feel overwhelmed a lot of the time but, you don’t want to appear selfish!

10. You desire and need “alone time” to recover from all that you give to others but rarely give this to yourself.

If you identified with five or more of these traits you are a highly sensitive person who needs to learn how to put yourself first and be your own Valentine!

Being your own Valentine means you nurture and take care of yourself as well as you do others. It means you make time to keep yourself emotionally, mentally and physically healthy. It also means you learn how to close up the gaping holes in your boundaries that allows others to overshadow you with their emotions. When you learn how to close up your porous boundaries you will no longer feel compelled to make other people’s problems your pet projects and you will have taken back the power to find fulfillment and direct your own life.

6 Steps for the Sensitive Person to take back their power and become their own Valentine:

1. Journal first thing in the morning or every night before sleeping. You must find a way to separate your own feelings from the feelings you’ve absorbed from other people in your life.

What emotions have you taken on from the people in your life that do not belong to you? For example, when “so and so” is angry how do you react? How has this affected your life? Write it out and use every expletive that comes to mind. Just make sure you get all the frustration on paper. This is how you will begin to reclaim what emotions belong to you and reject those that don’t.

(This is your private diary that no one will see so be sure to write an uncensored account of what you are feeling. If you are afraid that someone will find it, shred it or burn it after you are finished but do not hold back.)

The purpose of this step is to start to identify your own feelings apart from the emotions you absorbed from other people. You are not going to be able to take back your life and self-care until you understand what’s going on in you.

2. Create a new vision for you life. As hard as this may be you must take some time out for your self. You cannot continue to give to others if you are depleted.

Find some place where you will be undisturbed and can day-dream for a while. Or take a walk or even a ride in the car. Just make sure you have the privacy you need for this exercise. Ask yourself what you wish your life to look like and create your ideal day.

What time would you wake up? What would you do after waking. Where would you go, who would you be with and what activities would you participate in if you had the day to yourself? Follow this through for an entire day.

After you create your vision write a short version of it on an index card where you can re-read it every day.

3.  Identify two or three things from your daydream that you are not doing but in reality could do. For example say your daydream includes getting up early every day and going to a yoga or meditation class. It may also be a yearning for support from a group such as Weight Watchers. Perhaps you daydreamed about taking a luxurious bath each night, writing your novel or making time to paint.

Now that you are aware of two or three activities that you yearn to do pick the top one that appeals to you. (I’d start with the one that will give you the most immediate joy).

Make a promise and commitment to yourself that you will do that one – just one for now as an experiment to see how doing something for yourself impacts your life. Commit to following through with this activity for at least three weeks.

4. After three weeks review how following through on a promise to yourself made you feel. How did doing something for yourself impact your life? Make a list of what you have gained by doing this one activity for yourself. Sometimes it only takes doing one thing for ourselves to spring us out of the grip of catering to other people’s emotions.

For example, did it help you to be able to begin saying, “no” when you wanted to? Do you begin to feel more energetic and enthused about your life? Are you starting to see the possibilities that are available and to feel like your old self again?

5.  After 3 weeks add the second activity to your life that you identified in #3. You promised yourself, remember? Doing two things for yourself doesn’t make you selfish. (I know what you are thinking!).

What would happen if you fell through on every commitment you made in your life to others?

Would you still be employed? No.

Would you lose credibility with your family and friends?  Yes.

Would you lose respect for yourself? Yes you would. And, this is what happens when we put ourselves last and do not make ourselves a priority which is  what I mean by being your own Valentine.

6. Spend five minutes every day reveling in your day-dream. Take out your index card and re-read it. Close your eyes and recall the wonderful sense of freedom and joy this daydream brought to you. You can feel this way everyday. It only requires that you follow through on the promise you made to  yourself. Remember that the way you live one day is the way you live every day.

(An easy time to fit recalling your day-dream is when you are showering or brushing your teeth. The more you let yourself get into the day dream the more motivated you will be to continue to carry out your own self-care routine.)

I hope you decide to make yourself your own Valentine this year. Being a sensitive is a wonderful trait but you musn’t let it consume you.

Are you a sensitive? What activities or dreams have you let go of because of your compulsion to serve others first? What activities can you put back into your life to show that you are your own Valentine?

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P.S. Learn to listen to your intuition without being bombarded by other people’s emotions: Click here!

Photo credit: © Konstantin Yuganov – Fotolia.com

 

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Is it Really Possible to Rewire Your Brain? 7 Days To a New Positive You.

Is it Really Possible to Rewire Your Brain? 7 Days To a New Positive You.

Do you know anyone who constantly sees only the negative things in life?

If it rains outside its not just raining it’s, “absolutely miserable outside.”  Or, every story on the evening news triggers the, “People are more rotten than ever. Our world is doomed,” response? And worse still, even if something good were to happen, such as winning the lottery, the Sky is Falling types cannot control their impulse to tack on the, “Yeah, but now I have to deal with all these financial planners hounding me!” retort.

Individuals like these have gotten into what is referred to as a negative feedback loop, and truly cannot help themselves. They’ve programmed themselves by repeating negative thoughts to the point where they have literally carved a neural pathway in the brain with these habitual responses. No matter what happens in their lives they perceive everything negatively, and respond on auto-pilot.

Your brain can be re-wired

A lot has been written about the promising research in brain plasticity in the last few years, which is the brain’s ability to reshape neural pathways even if  they’ve been ingrained for decades. With physical therapy new neural pathways can be forged after strokes damage areas of the brain to help patients re-learn lost abilities such as walking and speaking. And, this same concept can also be applied to habitual negative thinkers who can retrain their brain’s to think and respond more positively.

I got to thinking about the subject of neural plasticity because of an article I read titled, “Rewire your brain to combat negative thinking, easy steps,” in Monsters and Critics.com. Author and therapist, Patt Lind-Kyle was interviewed for her newest book which is about rewiring the brain to “kick the chronic negativity habit for good.”

The article reminded me of a small but powerful booklet I’d read written in 1935 by Emmet Fox , an eminent New Thought writer from the early part of the century. While I haven’t read Lind-Kyle’s book, which I’m sure is full of great ideas and exercises to rewire the brain I couldn’t help but think of this simple but powerful 19 page booklet that helped me overcome my negative programming very effectively.

Change your thinking – change your life

Fox’s states that you can change your life in a week if you focus intently upon your every thought. He says you, “must watch yourself for a whole week as a cat watches a mouse, and you must not under any pretense allow your mind to dwell on any thought that is not positive, constructive, optimistic, kind.” He admits that this will not be easy which is why he prescribes starting with a week. But, within one week, “the habit of positive thinking will begin to be established.” In other words, new neural pathways will begin developing in the brain.

After the first seven days I chose to continue on the mental diet for another twenty-one days. I was amazed at what I learned about myself. The hyper-vigilance I applied to watching my thoughts revealed that I did have areas where my thoughts were undermining my successes – even though anyone who knows me would say I’m a pretty positive person. I found that my self-talk was extremely negative which dragged down my self-esteem.

Examining my thoughts so closely made me see that my self-esteem was much too dependent upon what others thought of me. Beliefs such as thinking you’re attractive makes you vain, or admitting you’re smart makes you a show-off, and speaking up about what you want means you’re pushy, etc.,  were feedback loops that kept me from going after what I truly wanted in life. While I have never been a chronically negative person there was vast room for improvement.

An evolution in thinking

“The Diet” was an eye-opener and just the beginning of a journey I have been on ever since. When I was first introduced to the concept of “change your thinking and change your life” it was life altering. Like most people I’d never paid any attention to my thoughts; frankly I didn’t even know you could do that. I had no idea where to begin until I came across Fox’s Diet which gave me a structure to follow. When I committed to it, I saw my life change very quickly.

While I can’t prove that I did forge new neural pathways I can state for sure that “The Diet” taught me to become aware of my thinking patterns; a habit I continue to this day. Interrupting my negative thoughts as they occurred derailed them from the habitual path they followed. This allowed me to redirect them and forge new more positive ways of thinking.

Since we are what we believe, and our lives and circumstances reflect back to us what we believe – changing our thinking does change our lives.  My advice is try “The Diet.” It’s only seven days – which you’re going to live  anyway, so why not see if you can create thoughts that serve you better?

Here’s 5 tips to get The Diet underway:

1. Carry a small pad and write down every negative thought you have. Anytime you have a negative thought – say to yourself, “No! Stop! or Cancel!” In the beginning you’ll be amazed at how many you each day.

2. Replace negative thoughts with a new positive ones. Write down the new positive thought after the negative one.

3. Look for patterns. Review your notes and catagorize your negative thoughts. Are you more negative in a certain area of your life vs. others such as relationships, career, money, self-esteem etc? Or, have you allowed yourself to become chronically negative in every area? Don’t worry – you can retrain your brain!

4. Create positive affirmations to override these patterns. Repeat the affirmation to yourself numerous times after becoming aware of your own feedback loops. Make sure you use the present tense when you come up with your affirmations. If you have difficulty with creating affirmations I highly recommend reading Louise Hay’s classic book, “You Can Heal Your Life.”

5. If you must spend time with negative thinkers don’t try to change them. Just listen politely – but do not accept what they say. Mentally tell yourself that you choose to reject this type of thinking. When you stop responding to other people’s negativity and just remain quiet, but respectful they eventually start to hear the hollowness of their own words and change – at least around you anyway.

Good Luck! I know you can do it.

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