March Series: What Highly Sensitive People (HSP) Ought to know about Leading from Inside out

Part 3: Leading from Inside Out with Resilience & Emotional Flexibility 

Why resilience and emotional flexibility is so crucial for leading a healthy life in stressful times of COVID-19, overwhelm, fear & anxiety and how to stop spreading an emotional virus.

The world is in the transition from old to new. Our rhythms, rituals, and routines are not the same anymore and have changed. Some of us are completely out of rhythm, balance. They have no routines, rituals, stability, and structure anymore. All that can create confusion, uncertainty, and hopelessness in many of us. Beyond it causes stress and feelings of overwhelm, fear, and anxiety.

Therefore building resilience, emotional flexibility, structure, and stability are more than essential to get through this time. In this article, you will get information about resilience and the importance of our emotional flexibility. In the end, you will find a quick exercise that will help you to build resilience, find ease, and inner harmony.

Importance for Highly Sensitive People

Highly sensitive people can get triggered easily at this time. Generally spoken, their biggest challenge is feeling overwhelmed through sensory overload. And this time is overloading and overwhelming for all of us.

By the way, I have developed a Selftest to find out if you’re a highly sensitive person. Check it out!

Self-care, compassion, and setting healthy boundaries are strongly needed now. Moreover, building resilience and emotional flexibility will give you inner stability and structure. Because what happens when we are out of balance and get hooked in a spiral of fear, anxiety and stress?

Why you need resilience and emotional flexibility

One person’s negativity can inflame another’s, and soon we spread an emotional virus to all. An emotional virus can be transmitted from person to person, group to group through words and energies. Consequently, judgments, blame, gossiping, sarcasm, cynical humor are all parts of the wave of an emotional virus.

If you’re in this toxic field a lot, it can take over, and you can take on this emotional state of those around you. I recently experienced it, and I felt emotionally drained and exhausted. It can happen these days quickly, for example, by having too many conversations about COVID 19, watching too many hours negative news, reading all the time about the Coronavirus, using too much social media, and not having a positive outlet in balance.

It can make you feel miserable and impact you if you don’t take good care of yourself, and set your boundaries, especially in these days. Give yourself a break and slow down!

You, as a highly sensitive person, are more susceptible to an emotional virus when you are feeling overwhelmed and in a state of sensory overload and stress. It can cause that your heart closes, your overall body system shuts down or stays in inner chaos and conflict. Some might respond and get sick within a few days. I assume this is not what you want and intend. Me neither! 

I guess we all want to strengthen our immune system, and developing resilience and emotional flexibility will help you to do so.

How does it help?

Resilience helps us to prevent health and well-being! It is needed in times of life changes and challenges. Resilience is a foundation that helps you to get through challenging times, changes, and crises such as we are all in right now. It is about to focus on those areas in life that are functioning well. And it doesn’t mean that we bypass things that are not working well. This is not the point. Resilience tells you and gets you to the point of zero into a place of acceptance and then continuing from there with putting the main focus on the things that are working well every day. 

I notice that in times of overly stress, confusion, and uncertainty, emotions arise and start to manage and control people more than people manage and control their emotions. Although emotions can be suppressed, ignored, or hidden, they don’t go away – they continue sending out subtle, energetic waves that are invisible but perceptible. This is how emotions can be spread around the world.

 Therefore I highly recommend developing an understanding of how to address emotions as a primary resilience strategy to get through this stress epidemic.

Your body already has it, now it’s up to you

The good things are that the human body is tremendously resilient, and our emotional body incredibly flexible. Our hearts and emotions are the central rhythmic power and lighthouse in us, which affect resilience and help us to get through this time. Just imagine children. Children are great examples who demonstrate resilience, emotional flexibility, and recovery from stress beautifully. One minute they are upset, angry, sad, fearful, and the other minute they return back to their hearts, playfulness, joy, excitement, and laughing.

Most of us adults lose this emotional flexibility and resilience and ease to let go and release stress. Your body and mind hold on to fear, anger, anxiety.

Consequently, your emotions stay strained and your nervous system as well. And that’s not helping your overall health and well-being. Parts of the Highly Sensitive People’s nervous system, such as the insula (seat of consciousness) and amygdala (seat of the fight-flight-freeze response and feelings such as fear and anger) are more activated. When you get trapped and stuck in this cycle of overwhelm, worry, fear, and stress, your heart, and spirit feel constricted and is far away from balance.

It takes deeper consciousness to STOP this cycle and the stress momentum.

Train your resilience and emotional flexibility 

Also, I’m not talking about a quick fix. I’m talking about making a conscious choice and commitment to stop the cycle of spiraling down and taking one step at a time. Once you start, it becomes a long-lasting step returning back to your heart out of your controlling mind, and you will start listening to your heart. You’ll feel the positive impact!

Too much stress creates a sensory overload, and your creativity and clarity decrease, and you feel disconnected from yourself. You might feel the sensory overload in body symptoms such as pain, aches, headaches, muscle tensions, negative thinking, feelings out of control. But this is the secondary response. Your first step and strategy to build resilience and emotional flexibility are to go in the feeling world in you. There’s a lot of information in your feeling landscape, and this is useful to you in building resilience and flexibility. You need to learn to read your feelings and landscape of emotions.

Number of Emotions

Do you know that we have 21 real emotions running in us? Incredible, isn’t it? If you need support to explore your emotional landscape, contact me.

In many societies, it is not talked very much about feelings, and people don’t like to acknowledge feelings. Many feelings cause stress if you don’t know how to handle them. And we don’t want to create stress in our lives, do we? Feelings aren’t bad or weak. And as a highly sensitive person, you feel deeply, and it is your gift, your strength, and your powerhouse. It has nothing to do with weakness or being fragile. Therefore I’d like to encourage and empower you to get to know your emotional landscape and learn to read your feelings.

Furthermore, my wish for you is to learn to admit your feelings. Many people ignore their feelings, hide them, or take them out on others and projects on them. When your emotions don’t get recognized and acknowledged by you and inside of you, the emotional energy gets build up and turns into judgment, projection, and blame. Overall, we don’t want to blame, judge, or project on others. We want a heart and mind at peace.

Often hiding, suppressing, or ignoring your feelings turns into the fight-fly-freeze response in your brain, and that causes stress. Stress compromises your immune system and resilience and flexibility.

Leading in times of changes

Let’s face it: Changing habits and change, in general, can be inconvenient and requires discipline and endurance and willingness and commitment to yourself. I get this. On the other hand, it is the greatest act of Self-care and Self-love, which you can give to yourself. Ultimately it transforms your underlying stress, and you will feel better. The good news is that research shows that you can stop stress and create more inner peace and resilience, whatever your circumstance is. You can transform stress into healthy, positive feelings and creative energy. Transforming means to change one thing into another, like a caterpillar to a butterfly.

Engaging our emotional landscape is needed to transform overwhelm, uncertainty, and stress individually and globally! And it is your job and responsibility to do what you can to change your inner world and the environment of stress and overwhelm! And your analytical mind will not do it on its own without your heart and emotions. Because our body and mind is connected and your heart is the source of vitality. Moreover, it is significant that you learn how you can protect yourself from a stressful environment without shutting off your heart and sensitivity!

Exercise for more resilience and emotional flexibility – Heart Breathing and Heart Feeling

I recorded a short 3 1/2 minute video with an exercise that will help you to build resilience and find ease and inner harmony.  

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn in the video:

1. Bring your attention to your body and find a comfortable position. Sit restfully and notice what you are thinking and feeling.

2. Focus on your heart and imagine you’re breathing slowly and gently into the area of your heart.

3. Then inhale gently into your heart to a count of 4. While exhaling through your heart with ease and rhythm, recall a positive feeling such as care, compassion, or appreciation. Remember a time when you felt well inside and try to re-experience this. It could be a feeling of compassion or care toward a special person, a pet, a favorite nature spot, or an activity that was fun. Allow yourself to feel this positive feeling. If you can’t feel anything, it’s okay. Just continue and find a positive feeling. Once you’ve found a good feeling, stick with your heart focus and heart breathing and heart feeling on it for about one minute. Enjoy!

The technique is very simple, but each step is important. It shifts your energy away from your brain and mind into your body and heart. In the end, it helps you to calm your mind and brings your heart at peace and into a state of serenity. It helps you to build your resilience and emotional flexibility.

If you need help to build your resilience and emotional flexibility in this challenging and confusing time, please contact me, and we can set up a call. I’m more than happy to support you in exploring your emotional landscape of 21 tiers of emotions. We’re all into it together, and I’m here to serve you to get through it!

Have a joy-filled day and stay well wherever you’re in the world!

Annabelle

P.S. Know someone else who could benefit from this information? Please share!

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