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“As an HSP, do you find it harder to see joy … to find the good, especially when overwhelmed by negative emotions?
If so, what do you do to pull yourself out of the negativity?“
This question was posed by a member of The Sensitive & Strong Community Cafe recently. It sparked such a wonderful discussion, I wanted to share some of the highlights here.
#1: Take a Walk
“If I’m in a real funk what helps is a walk on my own — nothing by like nature to calm the nervous system!”
#2: Live in the Moment
“I too have difficulty finding joy, and I do think it’s related to being an HSP for me. The solution for me is living in the moment. Too often I will dilute the joy of the moment by thinking about other things such as the future, and that, perhaps this is the ‘last time.’
I also used to suck the joy out of the situation by thinking about how it didn’t work out the way I wanted, usually in quite a minor way. I’ve really progressed in that area and have gotten pretty good at recognizing the perfect and imperfect are all part of that experience and the memories I will have.”
#3: Redefine Joy
“I think I do have a harder time feeling joy. My deep thinking and all the reflection keeps me kind of in a different space sometimes. I’m also realizing that joy — just like long-term love in marriage — is something very different than what I used to believe it was. I used to think that joy was spontaneous and came on fast. But the kind of joy I know comes slowly and quietly.
#4: Acknowledge the Purpose
“An HSP friend recently sent me an article that talked about how negative situations stay with us naturally as a protective measure to keep us from harm.
It also stated that we must purposefully add the positive pathways in our mental preparedness to overcome negative thought spirals. I do believe that we can go deeper as HSPs, in the positive ways as well. I feel hopeful.”
#5: Press into God’s promises
“It depends on how much ‘in the thick of it’ I am. If I’m completely overwhelmed by an ongoing situation, my mind just seems out the window and I’m not sure what I’m thinking. To try to pull out I sit before the Lord in the mornings pondering the whole mess. I try to press into Psalms the promises the Lord has and take them to use very personally for myself as if I am standing upon them.”
#6: Ask for Help
I’m so glad this subject was brought up. Here I felt like I was alone in this! I never really thought about it, but I’ve had people tell me that I think that way as well. It must be something that happens with HSP’s‘s due to the fact that we think and feel so deeply. I guess it’s part of the good and bad that comes with being this way. The trick is trying to find more of the joy and less of the sorrow.
I’m trying to find more joy in the simplest things in life and it’s getting easier to do. So grateful for that. 🙏 I pray and ask for help from trusted family and friends — they help me see the good when I can’t see it.
#7: Choose Joy
“This is really interesting to think about. Growing up and into my young adulthood, I leaned more toward pessimism. But once I started trying to “choose joy” (which sounds like a trite expression, but works for conversation purposes here), I discovered it’s like a lot of other traits: the more you practice it, the more naturally it occurs. However, it still requires a ton of EFFORT, every day, to keep my mental thoughts from veering back toward my more natural inclination to pessimism and discouragement.”
#8: Write It Out
“Very interesting topic! I am still a bit new to being an HSP, but can totally relate! I feel I lost my joy somewhere during the last few years and chalked it up to burn out from my husband’s illness coupled with changing hormones, a new empty nest, and a cross country move.
I do know I can get out of the funk when I journal. When I write everything out, I always come back to the Truth of God’s goodness and love – like David – and the blessings He’s lavished on me and I’m “re-buoyed”. I guess I need to get writing! 🤩😁”
#9: Think: It could be worse
“If I find myself having a pity party and difficulty having joy, I will think about all the blessings God has given me and focus on the fact that this thing sucking the joy out of my life can’t compare with all the blessings God has given me. The flipside to that is telling myself, It could be worse. And since I have that wonderful HSP imagination, I can always imagine a worse scenario.”
#10: Keep Track
“I actually forgot what the original question was by the time I read through this wonderful thread! 🤗🤣❤️ I for sure can get stuck in negative emotions. Through my own healing journey I’ve become more aware at least so that’s a step! 🤣
A couple years ago I challenged myself to write down 1000 gifts/gratitudes in a year after reading Ann Voskamp’s book 1000 Gifts. It was so fun to finish New Year’s Eve and have my husband read what I noticed from our life that year. It also challenges you to use your senses to get out of a funk and train your brain to gratitude. It’s a good practice!
A couple days later, the Sensitive & Strong Community Cafe member who posted the original question added this to the discussion thread:
I hope you feel this, too.
Which ideas resonate most with you?
What would you add to this list?