When I was using mental health services in Denmark I was introduced to the stress/vulnerability model It was good for me to become more aware of my stress levels and how it affected me. But the idea that I was vulnerable and needed to avoid so-called relapses was not very helpful. It created a lot of fear for me and it seemed that the more I tried to avoid stress the more sensitive to it I would become.
Coming across the concept of being Highly Sensitive has changed how I work with myself. It offers the idea that vulnerability/sensitivity can be useful, even bring pleasure and joy to your life and to others. Rather than avoiding stress you need to expose yourself to it regularly in order to learn. Highly Sensitive people are encouraged to actively make choices about their lifestyle and find ways to be sensitive and well, so that they can enrich the world around them.
I want to raise awareness about the joys of being sensitive and help others realise they have choice about how they live their lives. We don’t have to buy into generalised ideas about how to be in this world – we don’t have to be strong, efficient, ambitious and producitve. There are so many alternative lifestyles out there today that we can draw inspiration from to build the life that works for us.
And so I’ll finish with a favourite quote:
“I used to dislike being sensitive. I thought it made me weak. But take away that single trait, and you take away the very essence of who I am. You take away my conscience, my ability to empathize, my intuition, my creativity, my deep appreciation of the little things, my vivid inner life, my keen awareness to others pain and my passion for it all.”
— (via happyvibes-healthylives)