Being a sensitive or highly sensitive person (HSP) brings with it a multitude of challenges. Unfortunately, having something as simple as a steady baseline of physical health can be one of those challenges. With some detective work however, one can make significant progress in relieving pain and suffering and in establishing and maintaining physical health.
Physical, mental, and emotional health are interconnected and as we address each topic on this site, we’ll keep that in mind.
Becoming a Health Detective
I’ve found it necessary to become an expert detective and advocate for my own health. Part of the difficulty of being an HSP is that often we are the only ones who are even aware of how much we are suffering. That level of suffering can be profound.
I’ve found from personal experience that western medical doctors and therapists may not be capable of providing the best solutions for health. In some cases they do, but it’s important to refrain from the assumption that they have all/the only answers. This holds true for all medical models (eastern and western) and cherry picking from various modalities and healing disciplines is ok.
A Powerful Tool: Keeping Journals
I have found keeping specific journals to be a useful and necessary tool in navigating health challenges. Eliminating vagueness is powerful and journaling helps to do this. And, as we’ll explore at the end of this article, the information you write down is valuable.
Below is an example of some recent journaling that includes monitoring food and the introduction of a new supplement to try and address extreme, generalized suffering. I use the Notes app on my phone to quickly make notes during the day:
1pm took now brand mucuna around 9:15 this morning. Effects feel less today, though perhaps they are beginning to kick in now. Just want to keep coming back to the belly.
Pretty good sleep. Mucuna’s cumulative effect is becoming profound. Deep relaxation into gut this morning. Not hungry this morning which is nice. I think it’s basically solved: at least four burgers or burgers and shrimp on salad + cheesecake gets it done.
9:25pm feeling irritable. Could be from mucuna mix today or something in dinner? Ghee? Shrimp?
Had good energy in the afternoon.
10:00 took half pill of now brand dopa. Himalaya brand wasn’t doing it for me.
8:00 started drinking green tea
7:10 took the Himalaya brand dopa
6:40 I think the dopa is starting to wane. Not in general pain, but feeling pain in left adrenal/kidney area.
3:44 Just took aminos. Energy from dopa still holding strong.
11:30 slight discomfort from dopa while meditating. Drank whole cup of green tea so it could be related to that.
7am took whole dopa and went back to sleep. Want to see how long it lasts. If not comfortable this evening, I’ll probably go back to 1/2 capsule and then take a second half around noon or something.
7:30 took a half pill of dopa.
3:38 energy has been good but starting to droop now. Not sure it’s a bad thing. Could take additional dopa later in the day or slightly more in the morning. Will just watch my energy for the rest of the evening.
- Awareness is powerful. Just through the act of maintaining awareness of the specific subjects you are journaling about, change will happen. Nothing else is needed.
- Use an app or a physical notebook; whatever works best for you
- Using the notes app, I like to add my new notes at the top of the page so I don’t have to scroll to the bottom each time to add more info.
- Your journaling doesn’t have to be perfect.
- It’s natural to slack off on the journaling when you begin to feel better. You can re-engage when you feel motivated to reach a new level of health.
Do Your Own Research
If you are facing a specific health challenge, find out as much as you can about it by researching it on the internet. This website is designed to be a helpful resource. There’s plenty of information available on the internet (though approximately 50% of it is fallacious, so be discerning).
Trying things is ok. If you are trying a new supplement or addition to your diet, make sure you find out about recommended dosages and possible side effects before you start.
Use Your Intuition
Intuition can be very powerful and people have varying levels of it. As a highly sensitive person, you may have above average intuition or even a profound level.
As a fellow HSP, I encourage you to work on developing your intuition by learning to listen yourself. (There’s a tie in here with inner child work.)
The great thing about intuition is that it accesses non-linear forms of knowing.
Don’t Automatically Accept Existing Perspectives
Being HSPs means that we are different than 80% of the general population. So it makes sense that solutions and perspectives that work for the 80%, may or may not work for us.
If you grew in a dysfunctional home, you may have been taught not to trust yourself. You may even have had to learn to numb your ability to gauge what is safe in order to try and avoid abuse.
Becoming your health detective involves learning to trust yourself again.
Keep an Eye Out for Hidden Psychological Motives
At the bottom of this article is a link to another article titled, “The Highly Sensitive Person’s Subconscious Urge to Stay Low Energy.” That article discusses an example of how you can have negative intentions operating below the surface and what to do about it.
Share Your Findings
As an G&T and/or HSP, your experience is very valuable by virtue of you just being who you are. As you navigate your healing and health, you most likely will or have discovered things (info, techniques, perspectives) that will be helpful to others.
The Highly Sensitive Person’s Subconscious Urge to Stay Low Energy