Archive for November, 2011

Hypersensitivity: real, normal, and little understood.

“Highly sensitive people (HSPs) make up 20 percent of the population. Today, science is validating (this) group of people…who are taking in a whole lot of subtleties that the other 80% of the population don’t even notice. HSPs are likely to answer yes to so-called ‘thin-boundary’ questions such as ‘I have a rich, complex inner life’, ‘I am made uncomfortable by loud noises,’ ‘I am really particular about what kind of fabrics I wear,’ “my moods are very reactive to both what’s going on around me and what’s going on inside me,’ “I am very sensitive to smells’ …some to the degree of reporting being disabled by exposure to colognes, paints, pesticides, and other trace elements in air.”

If you are or love an HSP

“HSPs occur at a significantly greater rate among artists and musicians than in the general population. While their moods can lead to greater incidence of anxiety and depression, it also appears that their images of beauty are more vivid…as if HSPs alone see the world in high-def. On the plus side, a simple “nice job” might lift an HSP child into game-changing positive effects…say, by studying extra well for the next test. At the other end, ridicule or bullying could snowball easily into despair and futility for an HSP child. School and parenting practices can dramatically enhance the development of these children by recognizing that they can thrive spectacularly in a mildly encouraging classroom or struggle endlessly in a slightly discouraging one, while a less sensitive child is likely to respond about the same regardless of similar variations in the classroom environment. As adults, HSPs are likely to make especially compassionate friends who truly care about others, channel beauty from the world into art and music, home and work activities, and notice things others miss. So, rather than come down on an HSP to ‘toughen up’, think about the importance of being supportive and patient…which can go a long way with both the giver and the receiver of that support.” 

[Most of material from “Sense and Sensitivity” by Andrea Bartz in Psychology Today, p 72-79, July/August 2011]  



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Don’t let work make you sick

Are your emotions at work stressing you out?

When you don’t have the things you need, or the time, to get your job done properly, or when folks you work with are difficult, handle your emotional pain, fatigue and general distaste on the spot, often, throughout the day. Each move takes just seconds.

Feeling weighed down by roadblocks: Yawn and roll your eyes upward often

Express the fatigue: try breathing out through puffy lips and letting yourself feel limp.

Feel the yuck try sticking out your tongue, ejecting the distasteful aspects right away instead of just swallowing.

At the end of the day: try writing out or typing about your feelings or thoughts. Or just mull a bit, and let it go.

Overall: the above tips will help you get better sleep and recovery from your day.

Check out some specific physical symptoms of how work can make you sick at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02678373.2011.569175


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Paying Attention to Your Pleasure

Any pleasurable event— eating cupcakes, sipping wine, massage—could lead to reduced sensitivity to your pleasure soon after starting. Your attention migrates elsewhere. You accidentally take what’s happening for granted…even eating a great meal…for granted, and cease to actually enjoy it. WHY and HOW?

http://www.journals.marketingpower.com/doi/abs/10.1509/jmkr.45.6.654 participants receiving a 6-minute massage versus another group receiving two 3-minute massages with a 20-second break between them. The “interrupted” massage participants enjoyed theirs more. The reason: adaptation. By interrupting the massage, people refocused on the renewed pleasure.

Manage your pleasure  

Pleasure management is important because pleasure isyour “score” system. It tells you that what you’re doing is good for you. It helps you to repeat the behavior, and it can help you moderate the behavior too.

When you are enjoying anything “naughty”..a gooey cupcake, for instance…notice for how many bites it’s intensely pleasurable. Try to school yourself to knock off eating it after that, rather than continuing to eat at a lower pleasure level. Breathe deeply to emotionally and physically “digest” what you’ve eaten. Take your time deciding whether it’s worth the price of continuing to eat.

When you are doing something “worthy”…a massage, for instance… and your attention lags, ask your masseuse to take a tiny break…say, three deep breaths, to emotionally and physically digest the benefits of the massage, and your body’s opportunities for receiving it well. Being mentally and emotionally in tune helps to increase the benefits of the massage.

Short, even tiny, breaks can clear your head, center you, and make you good to go again. The more you revive on a regular basis, the better to be alive.

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