Self-Management Coping Strategies
Emotional highs and lows can be so intense that they are painful and exhausting. Brindle et al research demonstrated that HSPs experience more lows such as anxiety, depression and stress than non-HSPs. It is therefore important to have some strategies to manage emotions. By understanding your triggers, undergoing self-talk and changing behaviours it is possible to work towards a level of control determining which emotions we have, when we have them, and how we experience and express them.
When you are faced with the situation that is beyond your control rather than fight it, take a step back (physically take a step back), name it and then decide what action is required.
Or to distract yourself, change your focus onto an object or someone else.
The advice that tends to work most successfully is to change your position. Either go for walk even if it’s just to the toilet. If you need to remain in the situation: stand-up, sit down or change your position in your chair.
If you’re unable to remove yourself from the situation, Breath in for the count of 4 saying to yourself ‘I’m breathing in’ then breathe out slowly to the count of 6 saying to yourself ‘I am breathing out’.
Becoming mindful of yourself, focus on breathing.
Or focus on someone within eyeshot, really think about how it feels to be he or she, or how he or she maybe perceiving situation.
Or do a visualisation.
As HSPs are highly conscientious, people pleasers with a strong moral compass, they have a sense that they should do everything to help, even at the expense of themselves. For example, stay at the party even if the noise, people and stimulation is overwhelming. Watch the football match with everyone even though they are finding the environment overstimulating. But, it’s ok to leave!
Be aware of your mind and body, at anytime if you are not sure how you feel ask your body. Do a simple body scan identify tension, pain or discomfort then take appropriate actions such as going outside, or into another room and do a few breathing exercises. Pace yourself and take care for yourself.