In Cheryl Richardson’s book The Art of Extreme Self Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time, she breaks down the beauty of being sensitive and how you can protect that sensitivity to improve your life.
“My decision to protect my sensitivity was one of the most influential acts of extreme self care I’ve ever taken in my life,” she writes in her enlightening book. “It forced me to stop judging and disowning essential parts of myself and start honoring who I am at my core.”
During a time where every book that promises you the ability to “transform your life” has to deal with work out routines and new diet programs it’s incredibly refreshing to have a book that is focusing on helping people improve their mind and spirit rather than just their body.
The book takes an interesting look at what it really means to be a sensitive person and how there are actually some pretty good upsides to this.
According to Richardson, sensitive people tend to be very creative and open.
Of course, positives always come with a few negatives but Richardson’s book is working to change all that by showing people how to focus on “self care” in order to combat the things that may drain or discourage sensitive people.
PsychCentral created a list of the different methods that Cheryl pointed out in her book to help sensitive people improve their lives.
Focus on the present: During times of economic struggles it’s not surprise that many Americans are spending their time worrying about what the future holds and regretting financial decisions they made in the past. Cheryl says that this is a bad habit that has to be banished right away if people want to embrace “self-care.” She writes that even the smallest sensations can trick your mind into focusing only on the current moment.
“When talking on the phone, actually feel it in your hand, notice the depths of your breathing, or take note of how you’re sitting or standing,” she writes.
I personally will take the time to actually rub and feel the pages of a book I’m reading and I must admit that it definitely tricks your mind into being wrapped up in the now instead of worrying about the future.
Embrace Silence: The world around us is often loud and full of commotion, but it’s essential that we take the time to create silence for ourselves in any way we can. As Cheryl writes, “Sensitivity is nurtured by silence.” She goes on to explain that the loud noises around us are often all it takes to deplete our bodies of much needed energy. Of course, if you have a hectic schedule you may not have time to lock yourself in your bedroom and enjoy a few moments of silence, but there are ways to incorporate some quite moments in your busy day. Instead of bumping your favorite jams in the car on the way to work, turn the radio off and take that time to just enjoy the silence around you. PsychCentral also recommends trying to show up to work early so you can even work in the midst of silence before the day gets too busy.
Selective Exposure Is Key: Selective exposure means that you are careful about what you choose to watch, listen to, or be around. Violence is one of the key things that you should try to avoid if at all possible. Whether it’s a violent movie or a story on the news, exposing yourself to violence can increase fear and heighten negative sensitivity. A good way to go about selective exposure of violence is to turn to online news sources where you can control what stories you read rather than watching news on television where you are exposed to all the violent stories that may have occurred that day.
Avoid Toxic People: Cheryl explains this best as she writes, “Anyone who consistently puts you down, chronically complains about how miserable they are without doing anything about it, criticizes you, or sucks your energy is affecting your ability to remain openhearted and sensitive.” Sometimes we excuse people’s toxic nature because we do actually love and care about that person, but no matter what the toxins take hold and can cause a lot of harm. Try to talk to these people about their negative criticisms and constant complaining and if they aren’t willing to change you may have to remove them from your life.
Don’t Let Technology Rule You: We are always wrapped up in technology to the point that our ringtones and notifications alert our “fight or flight” responses. We have entered a world where we react to technology instead of us being the “responders.” A good way to fix this is to silence your mobile devices so you are free to use them as you please. If you are a parent, on call for work, or you have any other reason where you need to hear your phone in case of emergencies try to change your ringtone to something that is soothing rather than a loud beep or clanging bell. Try ringtones that mimic nature or are easy to ignore if you wanted to.
Customize Your Surroundings: Environment plays a major role in self-care so make sure you take the time to customize your surroundings to fit your needs and make you happy. Don’t be afraid to invest in new furniture for your home, change the lighting in your office, or even slap on a fresh coat of paint in your room. It is extremely important that the spaces you live in make you happy and help you feel relaxed.