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The Number 1 Thing That Helps Me With Anxiety as a Highly Sensitive Person

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If you are a highly sensitive person (HSP), you might know what it is like to live with some type of anxiety.

For me, my anxiety probably started when I was young and couldn’t make sense of my emotions and feelings. Everything overwhelmed me. School was basically a nightmare. I could only cope when things were calm and quiet (which, let’s be honest, weren’t that often in school).

The strangest things set me off. Little did I know, somewhere along the line I developed emetophobia (fear of vomiting) with my anxiety. I remember watching “Matilda” in school and starting to panic during that scene where they make that kid eat all the cake. I was sure they were going to show him throwing up and I couldn’t handle it. I started freaking out and was too embarrassed to say why so I made up something about not liking the movie.

Fast forward to now, at almost 28, I’ve definitely had my share of ups and downs with anxiety. Just because I’ve developed courses and am now coaching others with high sensitivity does not mean I’m perfect or that I am completely cured. Isn’t that really what a coach is? I’m working through my stuff to help you work through yours.

So where am I going with this? I wanted to share some of my story and tell you what the No. 1 thing I believe helps me release anxiety. It isn’t meditation or self-care or even mindfulness, even though I know all of those things can be helpful.

Read on to find out the No. 1 thing that I realized helps me feel less anxious…

Helping others.

Think about that for a second.

Think about how you feel when you do something for someone out of the goodness of your heart. If you are a highly sensitive person, you are likely a caregiver and love taking care of others.

This can be a fine line though. I don’t want you to become so selfless and focused on others that you forget to take care of yourself. You absolutely have to put yourself first to thrive as a highly sensitive person and meet your own needs. But when you’re taking good care of yourself and also focused on loving and caring for the people around you, anxious feelings tend to start to disappear.

I’ve noticed when I have enough time to take care of my own needs and spend the rest of my time caring for my friends and helping others, my anxiety is super minimal and even non-existent, even in stressful times.

So next time when anxiety arises, if you’ve taken care of yourself (for example, anxiety can arise from being dehydrated, hungry, stressed, etc. If you’ve found your why and started working on fixing it, go to this next step), reach out to someone. Work on a homemade gift for a friend. Ask someone to hang out. Text a friend who is going through a tough time. Volunteer. Get out of your head and help someone else.

I guarantee you will start to feel better shortly.

Tell me: what is the No. 1 thing that helps you ease anxiety?

Follow this journey on the author’s blog.

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Thinkstock photo via vadimguzhva

Originally published: June 26, 2017
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