By: Nabilah Safa (@nabilahs88)
They were laughing at me. Again. I didn’t understand why.
“Oh stop being so sensitive, Nabilah, we’re just kidding.”
I felt my cheeks warm up as I tried to hold back tears. I wasn’t stupid. I knew they were making fun of me.
Sensitive. That word would follow me around my whole life.
I always felt like it was a bad thing to be sensitive and was continuously told that I needed to “toughen up.”
I would realize later that all my years through school I was not just being picked on, but bullied by the popular kids. I had a few friends who were like me: quiet, smart, and loved books.
Books saved my life. I was able to escape into different worlds, learn about different people, and sometimes find characters who were just like me: shy and sensitive.
I think another thing that made me an easy target to be picked on is I was nice. I simply couldn’t understand why people were unkind to one another (I still don’t understand), so even when people said mean things to me I’d simply stay quiet and ignore. One time in high school I finally confronted the girl who always felt the need to say some sort of cruel remark and simply asked her why she felt the need to say those things to me. She didn’t answer. Later my uncle picked me up from school and I pointed her out and he told me it was probably because she felt insecure about herself, and to not be angry with her but rather to try and understand that she was probably going through her own issues. Looking back I feel bad for her really, realizing now that must have been the way she coped, being mean to others because she felt bad about herself.
College was easier though, I found more like-minded people there and most people were there because they were excited to learn. I had great professors who encouraged me to come out of my shell a little bit and I realized that being a sensitive person was not necessarily a bad thing. Being sensitive meant that I understood people a lot better than most. I’d always been able to sense when someone felt sad or upset and now that I wasn’t so afraid to approach people, I was able to make friends more easily.
I never knew there was a term and what it meant until much later. Being able to research 'Highly Sensitive Person' and realizing I’m not the only one out there, and then later taking a personality test online and finding out I’m an INFP put everything into perspective. Did you know that only 4% of the population is an INFP? It made me realize that there weren’t very many people that had my same personality and that was why I had trouble understanding other people’s actions, and why they had trouble understanding me. It also made sense being “the mediator” of the population why I respond to situations the way I do, like trying to help people.
I’ve started to understand more and more why being sensitive is a strength, not a weakness. Why it makes me unique, and how I can use it to fuel my passions in life and not be ashamed or feel bad if someone calls me “too sensitive.” Instead, I’ll take that as a compliment.
When Nabilah is not writing, she is probably watching Netflix, or wanting to bake cookies. She loves her job helping people as a caregiver during the day. You can read more of her writings about living with bipolar disorder and anxiety on her blog: livingwithmybipolarlife.blogspot.com. You can also follow her on Instagram @nabilahs88
If you've been following my blog for a while, you may know that I have been dealing with anxiety for most of my life. I still have anxiety from time to time and am always looking for natural ways to deal with it. As I started creating books and planners and realized my love for it, I wanted to create a workbook/journal specifically for anxiety to help myself & others too.
This workbook has over 30 questions and journaling prompts. The pages repeat several times so you can go back and see how you have progressed while using this workbook. I hope that this workbook helps you to journal more and relieves some of your daily stress and anxiety. Remember, you're not alone! Anxiety comes up for most people at some point in their lives. You have the strength you need within. Let this workbook help you.
Click here to buy it on Amazon!
Be honest, how often do you look at your computer and your phone? For most of us, we stare at the screens all day (if you need a break, go back in my blog posts and check out my technology detox challenge!). But, if you just need a little happy reminder, try downloading one of these cute computer and phone backgrounds! Feel free to share. :)
I've always loved quotes. I used to cut out quotes from magazines or print them from the web and post them on my walls of my bedroom. I love looking up lyrics or finding new quotes online. I love pinning new ones to my Pinterest page or adding them to my vision boards.
Quotes can help you learn something new or help you feel less alone. Mantras are very similar. I love mantras because they are like little positive quotes I can repeat throughout the day to help me with whatever I'm dealing with. Whether you're dealing with anxiety or just a little stress, a positive mantra can help lift your mood and change the direction of your thoughts and actions.
Here are some mantras to help keep a positive attitude:
I've always loved planners and journals. There's something so special about getting a brand new planner or journal and writing in it for the first time. There are just so many different possibilities! You can become more productive, more positive, and live a more organized and happy life.
I truly believe that finding your magic starts with believing in yourself. Planning your daily life and staying positive can help you get there faster. So I decided to create my own planner and journal for you guys!
This planner and journal contain a year's worth of pages to help you. Actually, it is a little over a year. Whether you begin on New Year's Day or somewhere in the middle of the year, you have a whole year of planning, journaling and even doodling to do!
Each page includes a place for the date and questions to get you motivated, organized and thinking positively each day! I hope this planner and journal inspires you to be your best self, keeps you organized, makes you think, and helps you find your magic aka being the best, most sparkly version of yourself!
There is a little sneak peek below. Keep in mind that there are many different prompts and every day is not the same. This can help you stay in touch with your goals, dreams, and keep your routine. I find that keeping a routine with a little room to dream is key to helping me manage anxiety as a highly sensitive person.
Click here to order now!
As a highly sensitive person, I’ve dealt with anxiety for the greater part of my life; if you’re reading this I get the sense you have too! I have to be real with you; sometimes I am good at coping and other times I’ve struggled when I don’t have a plan or my go-to's to help me cope. I’ve learned a few tricks over the past few years for coping with anxiety in public, and they may help you too!
Pop your headphones in and put on music, a podcast or audiobook and drown out the noise of the world. Headphones help distract you from conversations happening around you that may cause tension or anxiety. We’ve all been there on the subway or waiting in a doctor’s office where you hear a conversation between two people that may cause some anxiety and stress, and you carry around that anxiety for the rest of the day, no fun!
Take medication or a supplement:
For those of us who find it hard to leave the house because our anxiety is provoked by specific public places (grocery store, mall or concert), it may be necessary for some anxious HSPs to take anxiety medication. While I don’t take anti-anxiety medication, I do take a small dose of a beta blocker when going to larger events and places I know my anxiety will pop up. The beta blocker helps to keep my heart rate and blood pressure at a regular rate, which keeps me relaxed.
Have a plan:
For anxious people like myself, the best way to help manage anxiety is to know what I am getting myself into. For example, I am going to a musical with friends; I want to know how to get there, reserve parking in advance, bring snacks, know when the show starts and ends, and communicate in advance whether or not I will be going to dinner after. Having a plan and knowing the details of your outing will calm anxious thoughts and help to avoid last minute disasters!
Take a breath:
If you find yourself at an event and you are completely overwhelmed about to have a panic attack, step away from the event by going outside or to the restroom- anywhere you can breathe and collect yourself will help. Sometimes we HSPs just get overwhelmed with what is going around us even if it is a fun event like a concert or a play that the anxiety will just hit us. Know it is okay for you to take a few minutes to yourself and return when you feel ready to do so.
These are just a few things that help me navigate going to public outings as an HSP with anxiety. I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!
Amanda Shea is the founder of Voices of Mental Health. She is a mental and self-care advocate, conscious content creator, and business owner. She is a regular contributor to Boston Green Blog. Amanda resides in the Greater Boston area with her partner, Casey, and pups, Bernadette and Teddy.
I have some exciting news to share with you today! My newest book is available!
So, what is it about? If you've followed me for a while, you might have followed my courses for highly sensitive people (HSP) and for people with anxiety. I decided to share a little more of my story and give some guidance to others on what I've learned over the years. If you've never heard of what I do, I help other highly sensitive people and people with anxiety get healthy, get real and find their happiness within.
Here’s what is included in this book (also doubles as a workbook because each chapter asks you to journal to uncover new things about yourself and start to heal):
1 – My story
2 – Learning to manage your emotions & removing bad energy
3 – Dealing with Overthinking, Worry, Stress, and Anxiety
4 – Trusting Yourself and the Universe
5 – Manifesting your dreams
6 – Dealing with the world aka sometimes a scary place
7 – Developing confidence and self-love
8 – Finding your HSP Magic
Click here to order! (Kindle or Paperback)
Anxiety can get worse for anyone around the holidays, whether you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder or not. There are presents to buy and wrap, parties to attend, family get-togethers, baking to do and the to-do list goes on. It can be an especially difficult time of year if you have to see relatives who don't understand your lifestyle or dismiss your anxiety or another part of you. This year, let me help you stop holiday anxiety before it gets too bad!
Here are some ways to feel less anxious this holiday season:
You've made it to the final day of this challenge! Woo hoo!
Much like the last day of my course for highly sensitive people, I want you to pick a day to go technology free.
Now that you've examined your relationship to technology, cleared the clutter a bit and have started to go tech free in the morning and evening, I want you to GO BIG or GO HOME (who am I kidding... I'd rather be home. So, um, just try this last challenge!)!
Pick one day where you won't use your phone (emergencies only & make sure to tell your loved ones that you'll be unavailable and how to reach you in case of an emergency - be clear on what an emergency is too!), won't watch TV, won't go on your computer, won't play on your iPad, etc.
A great time to do this is if you plan a camping trip or a fun day trip!
After your tech free day, make sure to journal how you felt and what was the best and worst parts of the day without technology.
Try to incorporate tech free days into your daily life. Start by doing one once a month then go to once a week if you can! Remember, there will ALWAYS be someone trying to reach you. You might even make people upset. But explain to them that you need breaks from technology in order to be the best worker, friend, business owner, etc. Then send them this challenge. ;-)
Don't forget to keep posting your journey on social media #hsptechfree & @findyourmagichsp! Thanks for joining me! I hope you feel refreshed & have learned a lot about yourself and your relationship to technology.
Highly Sensitive Person Blog