maandag 19 oktober 2015

I am an empath


Article not written by me but taken from


I am an empath.

I have always known I was quite different to many of those around me. Discovering more about the empath personality type has led me to discover a good understanding of myself, and also my relationships with others and the world that surrounds me.

For so many years I felt like an alien on this planet. I often used to say, “I am not of this world.” I didn’t know many people who were like me, who felt things the way I did or who could relate or resonate to things in a similar way to which I did.

The most striking thing for me about being an empath is the way I feel the physical, mental and emotional pain of others as though it were my own. This can be and has been emotionally and physically crippling and it has caused me to suffer tremendously. It is often described as being similar to a sponge, absorbing every emotion and piece of energy around me, and then becoming weighted down by it.

Learning about the empath personality type helped me greatly, as not only do I now understood myself better, I have also learned how to protect myself and not allow outside toxic energies, emotions or behaviors to affect me negatively.

Rather than absorbing all other energies, I now observe them. This prevents me from becoming overwhelmed, exhausted, suffering mentally or physically and being overly emotional.

An empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the energy and emotions emanating from people, animals and everything that exists around them. They have the ability to scan other people’s auras and souls and can intuitively pick up on past, present and even future thoughts and feelings and can quite accurately determine another person’s emotional, mental and physical state.

The saying “never judge a book by its cover” would ring true for an empath. Never would they trust the outer appearance or deceptive superficial exteriors; they will always sense what goes on behind the masks, if they trust their own judgment.

Unfortunately all too often an emapth is led to believe that these paranormal type skills do not exist in today’s world and their words are criticised, disbelieved and are told to be wrong. Downplaying an empath’s intuition, will benefit someone who may be trying to manipulate or use trickery, or someone with very little faith that these abilities exists.

It is vital that, to thrive, the empath personality type needs to work towards learning to trust their own judgment and intuition so that they can be at one with the inherent superpowers they have been born with.

If an empath does not have a good understanding of themselves and how to work with energy rather than pushing against it or absorbing it all, not only can this be emotionally debilitating, it can also result in physical illness with depression, stress and anxiety taking a toll on the body and a very high chance of suffering from the effects of burnout.

Like with all things, there are variations of the empath personality type. Some people will identify strongly, others will only recognise themselves in a few of the following traits:
1. Feels calmer when alone, and, in relationships, requires distance and regular periods of solitude.
2. When in the company of others an empath struggles to work out whether they are feeling their own emotions or the emotions of those around them.
3. Struggles to remain present as the chaos of emotions around them pushes and pulls on an empath’s own thoughts, feelings and emotions.
4. Often says yes to others without thinking of their own needs.
5. In relationships or friendships, very often puts other people before themselves, as though everyone else’s pleasure and happiness is more important than their own.
6. Relationships can often move too fast and can become intense very quickly as the empath connects on a deep, intimate level very quickly due to the ability to absorb other people’s energy and emotions.
7. An empath will often take full responsibility for how others treat them and for anything that goes wrong in relationships. They have a great amount of compassion and can clearly see other people’s emotional baggage and so they make many excuses for why people behave as they do, and this is very often to the detriment of an empath.
8. Tends to connect with people who are suffering and often wants to heal others or try to make the world a better place for them.
9. Can find themselves taking on and absorbing other people’s problems and being used as a sounding board or dumping ground so that others can offload their emotional baggage.
10. Instinctively knows when someone around them is not being truthful.
11. Sometimes empaths just know things, without having any idea of where they gained the information. When trying to work out the truth from a lie it can seem as though the information has been presented forward so that it can be used to help make a decision. The empath should only trust the information if they are highly skilled at reading themselves and others accurately and if paranoia or other information is not clouding their judgement.
12. An empath’s mind is an inquisitive one and they are constantly searching for answers and theorize and philosophise constantly.
13. An empath who is highly in tune with themselves and skilled at reading others will often be able to pick up on someone else’s thought processes even if they are thousands of miles away.
14. Connects very strongly to the animal kingdom and identifies very easily with the emotional and physical pains that animals go through.
15. Is often most at peace and feeling harmonious when spending time with nature and roaming around the outdoors.
16. Can feel the energy surrounding physical things and will often choose clothing or material purchases based on the energy that has attached to them.
17. Very creative and highly imaginative, writing, art, music, painting, dancing, acting, painting, building and designing are a few of the traits that empaths very often are passionate about.
18. An empath will likely get distracted easily when they are doing things they don’t enjoy and will quickly zone out or day dream when placed in situations where their mind is not stimulated.
19. Can struggle to fully relax in the company of others and really let their hair down and have fun, unless they are extremely comfortable and at ease with those surrounding them.
20. Prefers their living space to be clutter free and minimalistic; chaotic surroundings make for chaotic minds for an empath and they have enough inner sensations happening without cluttering their psyche further.
21. Finds it very difficult to be around people who are egotistical or enjoy putting others down to make themselves look better. Empaths will often come to the defense of those that have been rejected or bullied in any way.
22. Crowded places are emotionally overwhelming and downtime is required after social gatherings.
23. Highly sensitive to sounds, smells, bright lights and the feel of certain fabrics.
24. Regularly suffers with fatigue and can feel drained following interactions with others.
25. Can become shy and withdrawn as a method of self-protection. This can result in empaths becoming introverts as a way of avoiding the emotional and physical pain that often stems from interactions.

Other people may see empaths as moody or loners due to the amount of alone or downtime they need. Others may struggle to understand that these things are just part of the personality type and feel comfortable and the most natural ways to exist for an empath. Empaths do like connection, but they need to balance that out by creating a safe space for themselves to exist in alongside it.
Supermarkets, bars/clubs, family gatherings and any crowded event can all be energetically overbearing. Frequent downtime or escapism to a garden, bathroom or kitchen will occur to temporarily break away from the intensely high energy that occurs when many people are close together in the same venue..

Empaths may have an addictive personality and can pick up habits such as drinking alcohol, playing online games or excessively indulging in a particular interest as a form of escapism to blot out feeling so much pain.

Listening to or watching local or worldwide news can be traumatic as the pain or violence the people or creatures involved experience is often transferred onto the empath as though the pain was theirs.
Empaths are free spirits, adventurers, life-seekers, rule breakers, they live outside the box. Often it can seem to others as very unconventional or unorthodox lifestyles. However, these lifestyles often suit an empath perfectly and feel to them the most natural way to live.

As empaths learn more about themselves, many of the traits above can become a thing of the past, or a new way of dealing with them is discovered so that they do not have negative side effects. While many people may recognise themselves in the traits above, there will be some who who see a lot of these things as how they used to be before finding ways to combat or work towards understanding areas so that life becomes less painful.

The key to thriving as an empath is to recognise each of the traits and then spend time thinking about each one and looking at how it may be negatively impacting or hindering a certain part of life. When we have a good understanding of how a certain characteristic affects us, we can work out ways to turn any trait that may have negative side effects into positive ones.

The easiest way to look at the empath type is as though the personality is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing to have the ability to feel and experience life at such a highly sensitive level, so the joy and love around them will feel like constant electric pulses beating through them. However, the curse is that the lows are felt at an equal intensity.

When empaths learn to protect themselves by becoming consciously aware of how they are allowing outside energy to penetrate them, they are then in a position to turn the curses to blessings so that the painful and toxic energies are not absorbed within the psyche/soul. Empaths must be sure to surround themselves with others whose energies vibrate at a similar frequency so that they are not vulnerable and exposed to energy that can cause them harm. Self-protection is vital. I will cover all aspects of self-protection in a follow-up article.

Being an empath really is a beautiful way to live and to experience life. Finely tuning our frequency so that we keep our energy levels high and refuse to take on or absorb anything that will harm us is the simplest, harmonious and magically unique way to exist.

maandag 11 maart 2013

ADHD Causes in the Home?

A new study links impulsive behavior in kids to chemicals that may be lurking in your kitchen or on your clothing.

By Emily Main

common house hold chemicals linked to ADHDData just released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that rates of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) continue to rise, jumping from 6.7 percent of U.S. children in 2000 to 9 percent of U.S. children in 2009.

As doctors and scientists try to uncover the causes of ADHD, attention is turning to all the chemicals children and pregnant moms encounter in their daily lives. "Certainly there's a genetic component to the disorder," says Brooks Gump, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor in the department of public health, food studies, and nutrition at Syracuse University, noting that roughly 50 percent of cases are genetic. "But there are environmental factors involved, as well."

The disorder has already been linked to pesticides found in chemically grown food, and now Gump has shown in a new study that one of the chemical causes of ADHD might be perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), a class of highly toxic chemicals used to make stain- and water-repellent fabrics and nonstick cookware that linger in the environment for very long periods of time, building up in the blood of animals that enter the food chain and, ultimately, in people.

There have been a few observational studies finding associations between a diagnosis of ADHD and high PFC levels in blood. But Gump's new study, published recently in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, shows real-world situations in which children with high PFC levels exhibited characteristics of the disorder, mainly impulsive behavior.

THE DETAILS: Eighty-three children between the ages of 9 and 11 took part in the study. Blood samples were taken and measured for the presence of 11 different PFCs, including PFOA, used to manufacture Teflon and other nonstick finishes, and PFBS, a chemical made by 3M to replace the toxic PFOS, which was found to cause liver damage and increase chances of infant mortality before 3M phased it out 10 years ago. Then the children took a 20-minute computer test designed to detect something called impaired response inhibition, or impulsive behavior, a primary characteristic of children with ADHD. "What it translates into are risky behaviors that ultimately may translate into things like drug use," says Gump. Children who are too impulsive have also been found to have lower IQs, he adds, and can have difficulty stopping certain behaviors when asked. "For whatever reason, impulsivity is a cognitive process that's particularly sensitive to toxicants."

During the computer game, the children were told they could win 25 cents if they could wait 20 seconds before hitting the space bar, with the potential to win $15 upon completion of the game; responses made sooner than 20 seconds indicated a child with high impulsivity. The authors found that the higher a child's PFC blood level, the shorter his or her response time was, and those children's response times got shorter and shorter as the 20-minute game wore on. The strongest association between the chemicals and impulsive behavior was seen in children with high levels of PFHxS, a PFC that was also made by 3M (and also phased out 10 years ago) that was widely used in carpet treatments and in some forms of food packaging. It was detected at some level in all the children participating in the study, as were PFOA and PFOS.

We're just beginning to understand the sometimes-subtle effects of these ever-present chemicals. "PFCs are so prevalent," Gump says. "There's so little research about what the effects of these are on cognitive function, yet everyone has them in their blood." And he adds that the levels of PFCs found in the children in his study are not unusual, based on blood tests conducted on the general public by the CDC. Because these chemicals are so ubiquitous, he wasn't able to determine whether children were being affected by PFCs in their current environment or had been exposed to high levels prenatally. Prenatal exposure, he writes in his study, might explain why these children, born in the late 1990s, when PFC use peaked, are more likely to show signs of ADHD.

A 2008 study has shown that, as with many of the other persistent chemicals that build up in our environment (such as pesticides), contaminated food and water are our primary exposure sources for PFCs. The next-highest source is spray-on water- and stain-repelling clothing treatments and carpet treatments, such as Scotchgard. Third in that list is food packaging: Microwave popcorn, fast-food wrappers, butter wrappers, and pizza boxes may contain PFC-based coatings to prevent grease from soaking through the paper, giving you one more reason not to eat fast food!

Here are a few more ways to avoid exposure to PFCs:
• Eat super-green fish. Researchers are just beginning to understand where the PFCs in our food come from, but it's widely accepted that contaminated fish are a big source of exposure. Choose healthy fish that have low levels of all contaminants to avoid exposure to these unhealthy chemicals.

• Learn to cope with stains. Carpet treatments and after-market stain repellents that we spray on our clothes and furniture could lead to hyperactive kids, as well as moms and dads with thyroid problems. Follow our tips for cleaning clothing and removing carpet stains without resorting to toxic stain-repellent sprays. Also, consult Rodale's Nontoxic Back-to-School Shopping Guide e-book for ideas on outfitting children with rain gear and umbrellas that aren't coated in PFC-based water-repellent coatings.

• Choose healthy cookware. Nonstick pans aren't thought to be a major source of PFC exposure when new, but as the cookware ages and the coatings start to wear off, you might wind up adding PFCs to your dinner without realizing it. Choose healthy cookware that's free of nonstick coatings when replacing your old pots and pans; you might even find it functions better in the kitchen.

vrijdag 8 februari 2013

Save Your Son from the Violent Boy Culture

Increased violence by young males is spinning out of control, especially in the U.S. Since the 1999 Columbine shooting, there have been 31 school shootings. Violence and violent images permeate our society. Boys are constantly bombarded with the false information that real boys must always be strong, aggressive, tough, in control, and repress their feelings. Boys are continually saturated with this distorted version of manhood from television and movies, video games, the Internet, peers, coaches, and other adults.
In the last 15 years the violent video games and movies children have been exposed to have become more graphic than ever. And now the ubiquitous Internet allows our boys to be brainwashed constantly with horrific, savage images of what a man is supposed to be like. One study showed that children in America between the ages of 5 and 18 have watched 20,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on television. And violent media does spur real-life aggression. Research has consistently shown that after watching violent movies, children interact in an aggressive manner, while after watching movies about kindness, children treat one another with gentleness and compassion.

Why Boys Act Aggressively

Most boys are taught from an early age to act tough and repress their emotions. It’s important to understand that violent male behavior may stem from the perpetrator’s fear that he isn’t behaving aggressively enough and may be thought of as feminine. However, the behavior that is associated with girls (actions that demonstrate empathy, sensitivity, and compassion) are also natural male traits— they are simply not recognized as such in many societies. Boys need to be taught that sensitivity and compassion are natural male traits.

What Can Parents, Teachers, and Mentors Do?

Mom Can Help Her Son Become Compassionate

Never tolerate anyone shaming your son when he expresses gentle, compassionate behavior. Help your son understand the causes for society’s negativity toward gentleness in males and talk with your son about all of the positive aspects of being a compassionate boy.

Your Son and Violence

Monitor your son’s exposure to violence as much as possible and provide nonviolent games and activities. Encourage your son to hang out with friends who enjoy less-violent games. Frequently discuss the harmful effects that exposure to violence can have on him. Create safety for your son when he engages in potentially dangerous activities, i.e. establish rules for fair fighting.

Ways to Increase Your Son’s Empathy

Taking care of a pet not only teaches a boy responsibility, but through cuddling a kitten, for example, he will learn about the sanctity of all life. Caring for a pet will make him less likely to mistreat an animal. Have your son interact with people of different faiths, nationalities, and races, to learn the commonality of humanity. Expose your son to the arts. Increase your son’s respect for Mother Nature by visiting an orchard, or nursery, spending time at a lake, river, or the ocean, or gardening.

Dad Raising an Empathic Boy

Talk often with your boy about what it really means to be a man. Reassure him that he doesn’t need the approval of aggressive boys, star athletes, or the alpha male to feel good about himself. Let your son know that it’s okay for him to express fear and sadness and ask for help. Discuss with your son the detrimental consequences of violent males being so frequently extolled in the media. Read books or watch movies with your son about the lives of great spiritual men, i.e. Jesus, St. Francis, Moses, the Buddha, and discuss how they have created peace on Earth through righteous behavior.

Help Your Son Navigate the Cruel Boy Culture

Make sure you always defend your boy if others shame him when he expresses his feelings. Teach your son how to respond to aggressive children by role-playing with him. Model setting limits with others so that your son will learn how to set boundaries with violent peers. Let your son know that it’s okay to set personal boundaries with others rather than going along with peer pressure.

Father-Son Activities

To increase your son’s compassionate nature, it would be good sometimes to do activities with your son that help people, animals, and the environment, such as planting trees or cleaning up trash in your community. Volunteer to help out in a hospital, nursing home, or animal shelter. If you have carpentry skills, you and your son could help a neighbor, friend, or relative fix up their house or your own house.

Teachers Creating a Boy-Friendly Classroom

Since boys learn differently from girls, encourage your son’s teacher to incorporate more movement during instruction and take physical breaks between subjects, incorporating active learning games and more outdoor learning. Creating goals and using games will create motivation. Assemble a team of at least three parents of boys to meet with your son’s teacher and/or principal (or your PTA) to discuss how to make your son’s class more boy- friendly.

Learning Compassion in the Classroom

Encourage your son’s teacher to create a class constitution with the help of the students, detailing how they should treat one another, and ask the teacher and students to sign it. Suggest that your son’s teacher give rewards to students for kindness and good sportsmanship. Ask your son’s teachers to read and discuss exciting tales that promote noble and brave qualities of heroes who help others. You and your son’s teacher should let him know that everyone has different abilities and interests and that those differences need to be respected.

Dealing with Bullying

Ask your son’s principal to institute a school-wide no-bullying policy and have all the teachers trained in a bullying-prevention program. Have your son tell a teacher, principal, or lunchroom personnel who can help to stop the abuse. Encourage your son to enlist the help of a friend or a group that can help him to stand up to bullies. Let your son know that bullies feel worthless and the only way they can feel important is by hurting others.

Create a New, Nonviolent World

Once the younger generation learns that love and compassion for all living beings is the most important value every person must imbibe, there will be a veritable leap in consciousness on the planet. Wars and conflicts will become a thing of the past, because wars begin in the minds of people, and there is no room for human or environmental destruction in the political or corporate leader with a consciousness saturated with love and compassion for all human beings and Mother Earth.
Ted Zeff, Ph.D. is the author of Raise an Emotionally Healthy Boy: Save Your Son from the Violent Boy Culture. For more information please visit the Z-Shop or

woensdag 30 januari 2013

Raise an Emotionally Healthy Boy: Save Your Son from the Violent Boy Culture.

Introducing a new book by Ted Zeff, Ph.D.: Raise an Emotionally Healthy Boy: Save Your Son from the Violent Boy Culture. The book contains hundreds of practical methods to help parents raise their son to express his emotions and develop compassionate behavior, as well as specific strategies to help boys navigate through the violent boy culture. The book is available on amazon:
at Barnes & Noble or by visiting

Are you concerned that your son is constantly bombarded with false information that real boys must always be strong, aggressive, tough, and repress their feelings? What can parents do when their son is exposed to graphic, violent images of what a man is supposed to be like? How can parents help their son grow into an emotionally healthy, compassionate man when he is continually saturated with this distorted version of manhood from television, computer games, the Internet, movies, peers, coaches, and other adults?

In this groundbreaking book, psychologist Ted Zeff provides parents, educators, and mentors with many original and proven methods that will help boys grow into compassionate and emotionally healthy men who can transcend violent male behavior. Dr. Zeff offers practical advice that will help boys express their feelings, exhibit empathy, and increase their self-esteem in the family, at school, with friends, and in sports.

“Proven techniques to help parents raise their son to express his emotions and develop compassionate behavior, and specific strategies that will help boys to navigate through the violent boy culture.”
-Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys

Raise an Emotionally Healthy Boy” is a boon for our entire planet. The book provides many original, practical ideas for parents and teachers to help boys grow into compassionate and emotionally healthy men who can transcend male violent behavior. Give a copy to everyone you know who is helping to raise a boy.”
-Elaine Aron, Ph.D., author of The Highly Sensitive Child

“I met Ted Zeff when we both worked with youth in San Francisco 30 years ago. He was a great counselor then and now he is even a greater counselor and writer. His insights into raising young men are what is needed now. Trust me, I have been all over the United States making documentaries for PBS on reducing violence in schools. I implore you to listen to his excellent suggestions to raise compassionate, non-violent boys. He's right on.”
-Mike Pritchard, Host of PBS Documentary Save Our Schools from Hate and Violence and Stepping on Up

“Ted Zeff has provided everyone who cares about kids with an excellent road map to get us closer to a society where our boys become more fully human, more emotionally intelligent. That would mean a world of men better able to protect the planet and the next generation from the kind of emotionally disconnected aggression that threatens us all.”
-James Garbarino, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, and author of Lost Boys

Thank you for your interest.

Ted Zeff, Ph.D.   

maandag 19 november 2012

A Love Note to the “Hyper-Sensitive” and “Takers-of-it-Too-Personally”

Today I would love to share a beautiful blog posting by Randy Buckley from het blog page on :

A Love Note to the “Hyper-Sensitive” and “Takers-of-it-Too-Personally”

by Randi
This post is inspired by a Facebook query and conversation with the deeply insightful and thoughtful, Erika Harris.  If this speaks to you, I encourage you to check out her website and gorgeous offerings. Thank you Erika for your grace and bright light.  

They say:  You’re too sensitive.  You take it too personally.  You’re thin-skinned.  You need to toughen up.

I hear: I have no idea how in touch with the world you are, nor can I grasp the depths of your empathy, from which I benefit. It’s like you can see colors that are naked to my eye.  You carry the awareness of others, of those far away, those unseen, in your heart on behalf of us all.  You are the torchbearer of the forgotten.  You bear the weight of other’s pain so they have a lifeline into the rest of humanity.  You are a barometer for how we are doing as a species.  I can’t imagine the space you hold for others to show up and feel cared for and acknowledged even when no one else can see that it’s you doing this.  You take on my share of pain when my words sting you.  You bear witness so that we know, so we cannot forget.  Your mere presence is equanimity.  Your energy is generously used in service of your ability to intuit and sense even the most subtle change in weather, perspective, mind or heart.  I’m not aware that your sensitivity can cause you physical pain.  You are a canary in the coal mine of our culture, and are wrecked by violent movies, news of pain, and mistreatment of fellow humans, animals, and the earth.  If I knew the depths of your consideration I’d be humbled and inspired.  I didn’t see or have the consideration that you are a gift and could be treasured.  Your light is omnipresent.  I don’t know to pay attention.  I don’t understand, even though I am the beneficiary of your grace. 

I say:  Thank you, friend.  Rest and take care.  We need you.

maandag 5 november 2012

Feeling like a victim

How highly sensitive people can become victims and what they can do to stop
Photo by nirrimi

In an earlier post, I wrote about the vulnerability of highly sensitive people to negative types of people, like narcissists. Because of their compassionate and empathetic nature, many HSPs unwittingly attract people who will use the HSP for their own gain and consequently drain the energy out of them in the process. When this kind of relationship becomes a pattern, it is all too easy for the HSP to take on the role of victim.

Assuming the victim role is not a natural or inevitable consequence of being highly sensitive, but it is a common one. Highly sensitive people are often misunderstood and misinterpreted as being socially anxious, depressed, insecure or possessing any number of other issues. When you are constantly being told that you are too shy, too reserved, too quiet and too sensitive, you begin to think there is something wrong with you. And when other people begin to take advantage of your sensitive nature, you can easily begin to feel like a victim.

But thinking of oneself as a victim is often a belief we’re not consciously aware of. Feelings of self-doubt, and believing that we somehow deserve the treatment we’re receiving, however unpleasant, often stems from childhood. A repeated belief in oneself as deserving of some kind of victimhood is usually the result of actual victimisation at an earlier stage, such as facing a bully at school or a controlling parent at home. After many years of mistreatment or even misunderstanding, the victim mentality becomes ingrained to the degree that people begin to believe it, even when they are not even aware of it.

Thinking of oneself as a victim is not only bad for your self-esteem, it’s also destructive to your relationships. People who are mired in victimhood expect to be treated badly, which means that they will become attracted to anyone who wants to use or abuse them and will actually feel uncomfortable around someone who treats them with unconditional love, simply because it feels so unfamiliar.

So how does a person who is highly sensitive to their environment and to the feelings of others protect themselves not only from the malevolent intentions of narcissists, but from the negative victim belief that increasingly develops in their own mind? Here are a few first steps:
• Recognise the words in your mind that repeat themselves, such as ‘I don’t deserve any better’ or ‘I’m such a loser’
• When you hear those familiar phrases in your mind, remember that they were probably spoken to you by someone who was suffering themselves, and didn’t know the real you
• Recognise that none of those negative things about you are true – you were told lies but now you now the truth – you are a kind, compassionate person who deserves unconditional love
• Stop accepting anyone who talks to you negatively or treats you badly.
• Create a new belief system for yourself, beginning with the belief that you are not a victim

It is the beliefs in our subconscious mind that often control our behaviours, actions, decisions and choices in life. If you suspect that you have been treated like a victim, take the first step by refusing to act like a victim any more. You don’t have to be angry, but you do need to stop beleiving the negative talk in your head. Once you do that and start thinking of yourself in a more positive way, your life will begin to change for the better and the narcissists will stop beating a path to your door. All they will find is a door that won’t open to anything but kindness.

maandag 1 oktober 2012


The correlation between being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and an emotional eater is too significant not to share.  It’s a pairing that I see often – and one that I see in myself.  The aim of this post is to share my knowledge of the Highly Sensitive Person in an effort to provide a sense of sanity to your emotional eating habits.   If you are anything like me, the tremendous shame surrounding your overeating has caused you to retreat from the world in an effort “fix” yourself.  When you begin to understand that the reason you are overeating is perfectly justified and completely sane – your mission to “fix” yourself will gently fade away.

So what exactly is a Highly Sensitive Person?  Being highly sensitive means you pick up more sensory inputs from your environment — you feel things more intensely (both your own feelings and those of others) and reflect deeply before acting.  In addition to having heightened sensory input, HSP’s are often physically sensitive to specific foods, making digestive issues and auto immune disorders commonplace.  Because of this high level of processing and analyzing, the body and mind are more likely to be overwhelmed, overstimulated and over aroused.   This is precisely where food comes into play.    

Overwhelm is the catalyst for unconsciously using food as a coping mechanism to oversensitivity of outside people, places, situations, and especially emotions.  Food becomes an escape route from a world that seems too much handle.  The HSP becomes a sponge for the stress of the world – literally absorbing it into their bodies.
Highly Sensitive People have a strong propensity to live in their heads – their strength lies in analysis.  The downside of hibernating in your head is that anxiety undoubtedly finds you there and will hold on to you for dear life.  When you feel yourself overwhelmed with anxiety, seeking solace with food – recognize your need to retreat.  When we honor that we are sensitive beings – we honor the part of us that needs time to recharge, restore and rest.  It’s a balance of finding life’s confines and the confines of our sensitive bodies – and finding a way to flourish within their boundaries.

I know being highly sensitive may seem like a weakness given it is masked in your overeating habits – but when you are not coping, your sensitivity will paradoxically be your greatest gift.  Because HSP’s have the capacity to see what others may miss, they are natural visionaries, peacemakers, creatives and humanitarians.  So you see, you are not a problem to be “fixed”, rather a tenderness to appreciate.

To gain a deeper understanding of the Highly Sensitive Person, I highly recommend Elaine Aron’s, The Highly Sensitive Person.