I was thinking this morning about our future selves. Every decision you make affects your future in one way or another. It could be helpful to ask yourself before each decision or as you go throughout your day, "Am I helping or hurting my future self?"
You could even go further and determine if you would be helping or hurting your future self in the short-term or long-term. Some decisions may affect both. For example, if you choose to eat a healthy lunch at home over a fast food one, you are likely helping your short-term and long-term future self. If you decide to procrastinate on a work project, you are probably hurting your future self because you will have to muster up the motivation later and may feel more stress.
Of course, we shouldn't look at this question as a way to control ourselves and others too much and be "perfect." We are human and we will never be perfect. There will be days when you don't feel your best and taking care of your very basic needs is all you can do. That is okay!
On the days where you feel your best, asking yourself this question throughout the day can really help you think about the consequences to your decisions, big or small. In these times when everything feels out of our control, we might realize that there are many things we can control to be happier and healthier.
So today, as you make both small and big decisions, ask yourself, "Am I hurting or helping my future self?" If the answer is helping, you're on to a great decision! If the answer is hurting, determine how much damage that decision can potentially do. For instance, one cookie once in a while will not hurt anything... treat yourself! On the other hand, deciding to do something more dangerous could affect you negatively in the short-term and long-term.
Let me know, have you ever tried this? If you try it, comment below and tell me your experience with it! It is definitely something I will keep trying in hopes of giving my future self the best life possible.
I was listening to a podcast that was talking about actually feeling your feelings to work through them. A phrase that stuck out to me was something along the lines of "Society teaches us to question and repress our feelings, while you should be letting them come to the surface to heal."
It made me look back. As a HSP child, I was often overwhelmed and that would lead to tears. Think about any time that you've cried or gotten upset, as a child or an adult. The first thing we are programmed to ask is "What's wrong?" Next, we are programmed to help others get rid of those feelings quickly, sometimes to help them feel better but more often to make ourselves avoid the discomfort of seeing someone upset.
I think many kids are encouraged to not have feelings, so we grow up with repressed feelings and don't know how to release and heal. This can cause anxiety, depression, anger, and a ton of other things. I think about how often tears arise as an adult and how quickly I always try to make them go away, especially if I am in the company of others. I remember that feeling of embarrassment as kid. In fact, it came up recently when I saw a girl I went to school with for many years, but haven't talked to in years. All she could remember about me was I cried a lot.
To be honest, that was kind of embarrassing and it brought back all of those negative feelings. I know people either felt bad for me, wondered what was wrong, or made fun of me. I had no idea that I was a highly sensitive person. The adults around me knew I was sensitive, but it was looked at as something to get rid of or fix instead of something to embrace.
Moral of the story... the next time that feelings arise, know that feelings come and go. How often do you feel the same feelings and emotions all day long? Feel them and let them pass. Comment below and tell me your experience with this!
By: Helen van Soest
Being a HSP
Some people don’t like labels, but at times, I find them comforting and reassuring. Like when I discovered I was a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), after reading Elaine Aron’s famous book, “The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You”. After I read that book, I felt relieved that my personality was not that unusual after all, given that apparently 15–20% of the population share this personality type.
I have often felt that my high levels of sensitivity were almost like a disability, not allowing me to live the carefree and relaxed life that I craved. I took things too personally, I cried too much and I was affected too much by my environment — crowded trains, people talking loudly around me and construction noise would irk me no end.
But when I realised I was a HSP, I accepted who I was and that my sensitivity was not going to change. The only thing I could change was how I reacted to my environment. I also needed to make some adjustments to achieve the calm I needed, so I moved into my own flat (no flatmates allowed), had quiet time every day and allowed myself as much sleep as I needed.
Introvert or extrovert?
You are probably already aware of how introverts and extroverts are defined but for me, the key difference is that introverts gain energy from being alone and extroverts gain energy from being with others.
I thought that being a HSP might mean I am also an introvert, but I like socialising too much and feel lonely if I spend too much time on my own. So I realised I am an extroverted HSP — I love being out and meeting people but have limits as I can get overstimulated easily.
Ambiverts are people that have both introverted and extroverted qualities. As well as being an extroverted HSP, I believe I am also an ambivert as I have a mixture of both personality types. For instance, my introverted side loves meditating, reading, journaling and listening to calming music. My extroverted side loves meeting friends, going out to restaurants, clubs and bars, travelling and even chatting to random strangers.
Who wants to be labelled?
Although I understand why people don’t necessarily like these personality type labels, sometimes I wish my family, friends and workmates knew and understood that I am an extraverted HSP and ambivert. Then they might not get upset if I don’t always answer their calls straight away. They might not get so annoyed at me when I take something they say personally. And when I cry for what seems like no reason at all, they might just let me cry with no judgment but simply with acceptance.
There are lots of resources available on these personality types through books and the internet if you wish to look into them further. I have found these books so helpful in my journey of discovering my unique personality type and I would highly recommend them: “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain, “Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: One Introvert’s Year of Saying Yes” by Jessica Pan and “The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide: Essential Skills for Living Well in an Overstimulating World” by Teff Zeff PhD.
Highly Sensitive Person Blog