Are you sensitive to smells? Do you get tummy aches easily and have sensitivities to a lot of foods? Do you tend to get overwhelmed in a noisy environment? Do others tell you, you are too emotional? Do you think there is something wrong with you and you need to toughen up?
Having overwhelming feelings use to be a bad thing. Some say it shows a sign of weakness and lack of self control. Now research is showing that being a sensitive person can lead to more creativity and they can see how to positively influence the future by saying and doing the right thing at the right time.
In the book “The Highly Sensitive Person” by Elaine Aron, she uses an acronym to describe this person, DOES.
Depth of processing: This person tends to process information more deeply and reflects first before deciding.
Overstimulation: Can feel overwhelmed easily in social settings.
Empathy & Emotional Responsiveness: They can feel what others are feeling even more strongly than that person is experiencing.
Subtle Stimuli: Are aware of subtle things that others do not seem to notice. They can scan a scene and notice more and apply with all that they know.
So what does this have to do with nutrition you may ask? Everything. A sensitive person does not do well following a specific routine or what others tell them to do. They excel by staying in tune with their bodies and adjusting to their bodies needs in the present moment. If you are experiencing emotional stress, this is not the perfect time for you to make logical choices. However, this is the time to pause and give your self some space and compassion.
When your overwhelmed, this triggers adrenal stresses which causes malfunction of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal system. Long-term this can cause insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, depression and a compromised immune system. The immune system stress can also challenge your ability to heal food sensitivities and other allergic reactions from the past.
Some other symptoms from being Sensitive:
- Insomnia, stress and fatigue
- Hypoglycemic and mood swing when hungry
- Anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder
- Chronic migraine and tension headaches
- Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue
- Server menopausal symptoms and PMS
- Food, environmental and chemical sensitivities
- Autoimmune diseases such as colitis, lupus, arthritis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome and indigestion
- Eczema, hives and dermatitis
- Frequent sinus and ear infection, colds and flu, asthma
- Autistic Spectrum and AD(H)D
What do you need to do to find balance if you have become over sensitized
- Check out this movie: Sensitive: The Movie
- Take more down time than others.
- Work split shifts versus long hours.
- Know when you need a day to decompress versus pushing through
- Try not to consume alcohol, stimulants or refined carbohydrates during a stressful time.
- Try applying Magnesium oil on to your skin after showering or try Mg Bath salts.
- Eat smaller more grounded meals at the time of day which you tend to feel the most overwhelmed. Healthy fats and quality protein sources can help you nervous system feel more grounded. One of my favorites is Avocado Smash: smash an avocado, add sea salt and pepper, scoop with cucumber or any other veggie.
- Make note of the times of day you feel the most overwhelmed, either in your smart phone or a note pad. Refer to The Human Body Energy Clock to give you more support.
So, as we enter this holiday season, be aware of others around you that may need more down time and less football games on TV. As a sensitive peep, I will be visiting Deer Park Monastery for the week to take my downtime before the New Year. However, as a rebel Sensitive, I plan on sneaking out a bit to call my Mom & Dad for Christmas eve:)
Have a lovely Holiday Season,
Heather Fleming, C.C.N