Living with Spiritual Sensitivity
Are you a highly sensitive person? Would you describe yourself as naturally intuitive, and highly attuned to the emotional needs and feelings of other people? Do you often put other peoples needs before your own? Are you busy all the time? Do you often suffer from low energy, fatigue, and overwhelm?
If you are familiar with high sensitivity, you may already be aware that there is a specific set of physical health concerns which affect sensitive and highly intuitive people. First, there is an increased risk of developing chronic fatigue conditions. Then there is an increased prevalence of physical ailments including inflammatory problems, digestive issues, auto-immune disease, allergies, and intolerance to chemicals and EMF (electro-magnetic frequencies) from computers and electrical devices.
Relationships can also prove challenging for the highly sensitive or intuitive person. This is often linked to an underlying intuitive ability which recognises deeply the emotions of other people. Because intuitive people are aware of others emotional pain, they naturally want to ease this suffering. Unfortunately this high level of empathy tends to attract people who take advantage of this kindness: it is common for people with high levels of empathy to be in relationships where they are taking most of the emotional burden, and not receiving adequate support themselves. This can eventually lead to chronic stress and emotional burnout.
Highly sensitive or intuitive people may find themselves feeling very acutely aware of the spiritual nature of life. When you live in a society which does not recognise, or place high value, on this trait, it can lead to feeling out of place. Or a constant niggling feeling of thing not being quite right. So, there is a constant background of stress in your life which can trigger or influence chronic health conditions.
Whilst there might be a few challenges associated with having highly tuned spiritual sensitivity, these problems are outweighed by all the positive factors. HSP's, intuitives and empaths are, by their nature, warm and caring people. Trustworthy, compassionate, reliable. Spiritually sensitive people often follow paths which provide real benefit to others, and which make the world a better place. They often become counsellors, therapists, healers, carers, parents... to name but a few. Spiritual sensitivity is a trait which contains great healing potential and deep connection with the world.
Traits of People with High Intuitive Sensitivity
- Strong feelings of connection to other people and nature
- Highly conscientious and reliable
- Very attuned to other peoples emotions and well-being
- Easily overwhelmed by anger, conflict, and hostility
- Sensitive to pain and physical difficulties
- Intuitively understand situations, underlying meanings, and agendas
- Spiritual interest in life, dislikes 'superficial' activities
- Able to see beyond superficial behaviours in people
- Acutely sensitive to major life changes
- Appreciates art, music, and peaceful activities
- Dislikes judgement toward other people
- Reacts strongly to intense stimuli - noise, odour, sound
Learning to Thrive as a Soul-Centred Person
- Feeling frazzled and exhausted
- Being frustrated because you can recognise the discrepancy between how people are and what they say
- Constantly over giving for the benefit of everyone else
- Relationships which turn out to be emotionally draining or toxic
- Stress, fatigue, pain, chronic illness as a result of your sensitivity
- Isolation because you feel overwhelmed by noise, energy and crowds
- Persevering because you 'are emotionally strong'
- Feeling a lack of real connection and alignment with the world around you
- Feeling energised, full of vitality and aligned with life
- Self-care and confidence in who you are - more able to embrace your role in life
- Attracting healthy, supportive relationships
- Peace, contentment, happiness
- Embracing your life and unique gifts
- Social interaction with like minded people
- Healthy boundaries and skills for living
- Aligning with your spiritual meaning and purpose
Did You Know?
There is a spectrum on which people experience heightened levels of sensitivity:
Some people are born with raised levels of sensitivity to other peoples emotions and feelings, and are naturally empathic and intuitive. These people tend to be soul-centred, nurturing and emotive, and often pursue a life which is based on altruism.
People may also develop higher levels of sensitivity to chemicals, noise, light, and electro-magnetic fields due to prolonged levels of stress and anxiety. This causes the sympathetic nervous system to keep the body in 'fight or 'flight' mode, which produces long term effects on physiological functioning. This type of sensitivity may not correlate with any spiritual awareness or desire to explore personal development. It has a stronger physiological basis, and can be controlled through stress reduction techniques.
Other people may experience trauma, adversity and emotional distress which leads to heightened physical sensitivity levels plus a corresponding development of spiritual awareness, and a growing interest in exploring the deeper meaning of life. This may be known as a spiritual crisis. Whilst it may feel overwhelming at the time, it can be a symptom of rapid spiritual awakening, and produce meaningful and therapeutic results for the person involved.
Relationships and Spiritual or Intuitive Sensitivity
Common problems for sensitive people:
- People pleasing- always putting the needs of others above those of ourselves
- Ignoring our own emotional and physical needs (warning- often an 'invisible' pattern!)
- Having a 'get on with it' attitude toward life
- Repressing our own feelings. opinions and expectations,
- Telling ourselves that we are being oversensitive or expecting too much from others
- Taking responsibility for other people's feelings and experiences
Developing Healthy Relationships
Relationships are one of the most common causes of ongoing stress for people who have high intuitive sensitivity, chronic fatigue or related conditions.
This a particularly complicated area; in part because there are so many different different relationship dynamics and patterns which can be playing out, and partly because our relationships with other people affects most areas of our lives.
Relationships impact health in several ways:
- The impact of challenging family relationships and behaviours whilst growing up, especially when exposed to highly controlling, overwhelming or traumatic situations, can lead to a predisposition toward developing heightened sensitivity and chronic illness as an adult
- Development of unhealthy relationship patterns, including towards oneself, can develop as a result of exposure to adverse childhood conditions
- Until such patterns are recognised and changed, they often continue; creating ongoing high levels of stress for the person involved. These high levels of stress underpin the development, and continuation, of chronic illness and disease.
The solution begins by recognising the ways in which our current behaviour patterns and relationships might be continuing to keep us in an active stress response. Then to begin making changes which will lead to healthier relationship dynamics. This applies to the relationship we have with our self, plus the interactions that we have with other people, and the world around us.
How High Sensitivity Affects Relationships
People who have high levels of empathy, intuition and sensitivity to the needs and emotions of others, also often have difficulty in establishing healthy boundaries within relationships. In addition, highly empathic or sensitive people also tend to attract others who take advantage of this trait. The saying 'opposites attract' contains an element of truth. People with little or no empathy are often drawn to highly sensitive people because they are abundant in the qualities which they lack; empathy and sensitivity. Even on a lesser scale, the inability to maintain healthy relationship boundaries for intuitive or spiritually aligned people can lead to illness including depression, anxiety, burnout, chronic fatigue or pain.
For spiritually aligned people; those who value their ability to always focus on the good in people, to overlook imperfections, or to take a 'bigger picture' approach on life, relationships can be troublesome. It can be difficult to establish where to draw boundaries when you are trying to develop qualities like compassion. Likewise, when you have children, or elderly relatives to care for; how exactly do you distinguish between accepting a natural level of responsibility, whilst also allowing them to lead their own life, and simultaneously maintaining your own well-being?
One of the keys to establishing this balance is to begin by establishing a greater sense of your own identity first. To really acknowledge your own needs, and to make sure they are met. This includes things like not taking on too much, learning how to say no effectively and consistently, and getting plenty of rest. It also includes meeting all of your own emotional needs. Not repressing your emotions, in favour of meeting other people's needs. It also involves learning how to feel comfortable with feelings and emotions which may initially feel uncomfortable. Since most of our unhelpful behaviours, patterns or addictions are driven by a desire to move away from experiencing uncomfortable emotion, this is perhaps one of the most important skills that you can learn, and the most empowering.
Emotional Burnout in Therapists, Healers and Spiritual Workers
Soul-centred people are prone to emotional burnout, and helping to identify the underlying beliefs and behaviour patterns which may be contributing toward your current experience can be extremely helpful in preventing this problem.
It is possible to make changes which will help you to prevent emotional overload, and which will help your long-term well-being. These changes are based on improving healthy personal boundaries, creating practical action plans for improving your situation and quality of life, and exploring any underlying beliefs which are impacting your emotional well-being.
My coaching programmes are designed for people who have chosen to be in a caring profession because in this situation there is a level of personal accountability and flexibility for implementing long term changes.
They are equally relevant for people who find themselves in a full-time role of carer due to life circumstances. Perhaps caring for a family member who has an ongoing health condition, whether this is mental, physical or emotional in nature.
Here are a few issues which may be impacting the level of emotional stress that many health care providers, healers or therapists may be experiencing, perhaps without without realising it.
Each of these things can be changed and result in an improvement in your quality of life:
- Feelings of not being a good person if you do not continuously give to others before yourself
- Learning how to thrive with personality traits like high levels of empathy
- Not being aligned with your life purpose
- Co-dependency and relationship patterns resulting from childhood
- Practical ways of pacing and managing activities
- Accessing practical, personal and social support
- Balancing and recharging your own emotional, physical and mental energy levels
- Effective management of financial pressures
- Connecting to a higher source of meaning and purpose
- Changing your perception of your current role so that you can continue to thrive whilst doing it
One-to-One Coaching Programmes and Support
for Spiritually Sensitive People
Learn how to:
Attract supportive, healthy, loving relationships
Thrive and feel great in a world which is emotionally challenging
Deal effectively with toxic people and situations
Overcome emotional distress, trauma, exhaustion and illness
Align with your deepest level of authenticity and spiritual connection