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One of the things that make this world such an interesting place to live is the wide variety of personalities that all live and work together. While some people may operate without being overly influenced by their current emotional state, those who are highly sensitive are largely led by their hearts, their emotions influencing their every decision.

Some may see this emotional state as a weakness, but the truth is that every personality is both strong and vulnerable at the same time. Being highly sensitive is no exception. They care deeper than most, bringing an incredible level of compassion to the world that we live in. Furthermore, their attention to detail and unique level of insight allows them to see the world from a different perspective. This can provide us with unique and highly effective solutions to some of our biggest problems, solutions that otherwise would have been overlooked.

If you are a highly sensitive person, don’t try to hide this gift, embrace it! Discover how to best tap into these gifts, using them for good in your daily life. At the same time, recognize your weaknesses and limitations. By understanding these, you can take steps to overcome them.

Here are 16 things that every highly sensitive person needs in order to be happy:

#1 – Creative Outlet

While this may not be true for every sensitive person out there, most are incredibly creative. Highly in tune with their emotional state, they are able to channel these emotions into their writing, music, artwork, dance, and more. This form of release, in turn, helps them to manage their emotions, keeping them from bottling things up. They need to discover which creative outlet speaks to them most.

#2 – Close Relationships

Highly sensitive people wear their hearts on their sleeve, and when they do get into a relationship they give everything that they’ve got. Handing over their heart, they put themselves in a vulnerable state and, often, will wind up hurt because of it. However, they keep trying because they realize that finding someone who truly cares for them in return is genuinely the key to happiness.

#3 – Time Outdoors

The natural environment is well known for its positive impact on our mental health. It helps people to center themselves, calm their mind and better manage overwhelming emotions, all of which are incredibly helpful for someone who is highly sensitive. Simply spending time outdoors can bring them peace and happiness. If they can’t get outside, try bringing the outdoors in with a selection of houseplants.

#4 – Calm, Quiet Getaway

Loud, high-energy situations can be incredibly difficult for those who are highly sensitive. For this reason, when it comes time to calm down, they need to find somewhere quiet and free from distractions. They also enjoy other calming activities like reading a favorite book or snuggling their favorite blanket.

#5 – Gentle Approach to Conflict

It’s not that they are complete pushovers with no opinions of their own, but highly sensitive people find situations of conflict incredibly difficult. They quickly become overwhelmed, worried about who they may hurt and what they can do to make everything right again. If a solution isn’t apparent, they often retreat in order to avoid causing pain to others. That doesn’t mean they agree with anyone else, but they refuse to put their opinions over the well-being of the people around them.

#6 – Limited Caffeine and Alcohol

This isn’t to say that they can’t enjoy a nice cup of coffee or a cold beer, but highly sensitive people need to be careful not to engage in these substances too often. Why? Caffeine will trigger their anxiety while alcohol has long been known to alter the emotional state of those who consume it. For someone highly emotional to begin with, this can quickly become an overwhelming experience.

#7 – Slower Paced Lifestyle

While some people can go through life jumping from one thought to the next, this isn’t true for the highly sensitive people among us. Instead, they have to genuinely think through and process the situation before they are prepared to move forward. This is partially due to the fact that they overthink EVERYTHING. For this reason, they need a little more time than the rest of us to make even the easiest decisions, like what to buy for supper.

#8 – Sense of Purpose

Highly sensitive people view the bigger picture of the world that we live in, picturing the ideal society that would bring happiness and health to all. They believe that they are either helping to create it, or holding everyone back, and so they need to find their personal sense of purpose to move us all forward. This may be teaching, writing a book, or becoming highly involved with a specific cause.

#9 – Time to Adjust

It’s not that they aren’t fans of change, sensitive people do (eventually) adjust well, they just need a little more time than most. They use their sense of ‘normalcy’ to keep their lives grounded, so if too much is changing at once (good or bad) it will quickly become overwhelming. This will cause them to stress out and retreat, resisting the change entirely. Give them time to adjust and they will come around.

#10 – Good Sleep

Everyone should be getting a good night’s sleep in order to truly be healthy, but this is even more important for highly sensitive people. When they fail to get enough sleep, their emotions are heightened even further. This can make even the smallest of situations a big deal to them, ultimately making their lives incredibly difficult to handle on an emotional level.

#11 – Meaningful Friendships

It can be incredibly difficult at times leading the life of a highly sensitive person. For this reason, they need support and understanding from those in their lives. They need friends that will love and accept them for who they are, even if they don’t understand their overreaction to that violent scene on television or the fact that they have to pull out of going to that big party last minute because their anxiety is just too much to handle. They aren’t asking you to fully understand their struggles, just to be patient with them.

#12 – Time to Wind Down

When the day comes to an end, a highly sensitive person can’t just climb into bed and fall asleep, it isn’t that easy. Instead, they need to take some time to let their day sink in. Their mind and heart are in overdrive, and if they are ever going to fall asleep at the end of the day, they are going to have to calm it down first.

#13 – Proper Nutrition

Have you ever noticed that when you are hungry, you become easily agitated? This is not only true for highly sensitive individuals, but they take it to the next level. Easily irritated, they will lash out at everyone and anyone. Then, realizing that they may have hurt someone emotionally, they begin to experience feelings of guilt, angry with themselves for how they are reacting. Proper nutrition will help to improve their overall mental and emotional health.

#14 – A Clear Schedule

When life gets hectic and chaotic, this often brings increased anxiety. For someone who already struggles with high levels of anxiety and worry, this only compounds. By setting and sticking with a schedule for their lives, they know what is coming next. This allows them to focus on being productive, their goals and how to keep up with life’s demands. Just ensure that this schedule includes time clearly allocated to self-care so that they can ensure they maintain their mental and emotional health in the face of trying times.

#14 – Freedom to Be Emotional

Highly sensitive people experience their emotions at a more intense and raw level than the rest of us. They cry easier, experience joy faster and are pushed to anger faster. Trying to hide these emotions or bury them away may provide a short-term solution, but on a longer-term basis, it will simply come bubbling back to the surface. The only way to release these emotions is to feel them and let them out.

#16 – Healthy Boundaries

This can be difficult for a highly sensitive person to address, but they are truly necessary in order to maintain their mental and emotional health. These individuals care so deeply for the people around them, that they will go to great lengths, including personal sacrifice, to keep them happy. This makes them an ideal target for narcissists, psychopaths and those who are simply highly selfish. By establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries they can take a step to protect themselves while still opening their heart to those who are worthy of their friendship and love.