How to own being a Highly Sensitive Person

Hi everyone, this week Happiness + Wellbeing Academy published an article I wrote for them! Please have a read: How to own being a Highly Sensitive Person.

XO your fellow HSP,

Chelsie

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I write deep things while listening to top 40 pop hits

It’s true, I do. This morning I came up with the perfect topic for this blog post while listening to “Don’t let me down” by the Chainsmokers feat. Daya, and I was like, “Daya, you absolute gem! Thank you for inspiring me with that bridge you just owned, I know exactly what I’m going to write about now.”

One of the biggest internal struggles I have faced since beginning to share my thoughts and wisdom with the world is due to having somewhat of a black and white mindset. I have felt at points like maybe I am supposed to give up some of my old ways. Can I be a deep, reflective writer and still be the life of the party? Can I still be the silly one who is forgetful and makes all of her friends laugh and wonder why my hair isn’t lighter? 😉

Do I have to give up living the way I do, to become who I am becoming?

I’ve gone back and forth with this in my head; it has caused me anxiety because the idea of changing anything about they way I am now makes me feel sad. So why would I inflict this struggle upon myself?

Understanding that we always have a choice in how we feel is difficult to grasp, but once we do, it is incredibly freeing.

Even though I write deep things, it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the world on a day-to-day level. I am a soul searcher and a dreamer, but I also enjoy the simple things in life; wine and really cheesy pizza, craft beer with my main squeeze, crude jokes, and ridiculous YouTube videos. I shop at Aritzia and I love top 40 pop music…especially Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. Selena is pretty cool too.

One of the most beautiful things about deciding to live an authentic life is that you can choose what you fill it with. It’s never just black and white.

So who says I can’t live in this world and enjoy everything it has to offer, and still be deep and wise in my writing, too? The only person who tells me such a thing is me. So I am going to allow myself to have both.

I am choosing to embrace the newly expressed parts of me, without throwing out the old.

Thanks for reading again this week ~

XOXO, Love Chelsie

Life isn’t meant to be taken so seriously

I don’t know about you, but whenever I am reminded of this, I feel lighter and more relaxed inside. There is so much power in these words. My dad used to say it to my sister and I when we were kids. I loved to be reminded of it, especially when I was a teenager. Back then, one pimple could ruin my day! I can think back to so many times in my life where I was so consumed with something that was difficult, stressful or anxiety creating. I was hard on myself. “What if I don’t figure out what I want to do in my life by the time I am 25?” “I just stained my brand new white shirt when I spilled coffee on myself,” “That magazine I submitted my article to didn’t get back to me…”

The concept of not taking life so seriously might be tricky to understand sometimes too… especially for those of us who are naturally hard on ourselves. Where are my HSPs and empaths in the room?! I know most of you have been too hard on yourself at some point of your lives. 😉

Pushing ourselves to go far and succeed can get us places, yes, but what if we don’t meet the extremely high expectectations we have set for ourselves because, well, we are only human?! Too often, we turn a corner right into a snow bank of self doubting thoughts.

“Life isn’t meant to be taken so seriously….”

Give yourself a break. Life in this skin we are in is short and I don’t know about you, but I want to feel as happy and content as often as I possibly can. We are going to let others down in our lives, and we are going to wind up doing something or taking a turn that we didn’t plan for or expect.

But remember, you have the ability to feel the way you want to feel. I am really practicing that right now. The difference between then and now is that today, when I start going down a road of fear or doubt, when I start getting confused about what is next I remember that I have the power to go back to being happy again by letting go; getting back to the basics. Whatever it is that we want, we usually want it because we think it will make us feel good and happy. But if stressing about getting it is causing it to be “un-fun,” then we are missing the point.

So next time you are taking a matter REALLY seriously, ask yourself:  “Where was I, before I started feeling stressed and unhappy?” Your response will probably be similar to: “oh yah, I was living in the now, focusing on my life day to day and all the blessings it presents.” Remember how far you have come. Think back to all that you have accomplished. And don’t take what you don’t know or didn’t do so seriously…. It is all a journey that unfolds as we go.

Thanks for reading this week,

XO your fellow HSP, Chelsie

~Oh and thanks Dad, for telling me not to take life so seriously, and thanks to my boyfriend Matt for reminding me of it the other week when I really needed it hear it. ~

Get a grip, and it let go

Society tells us to chase after the things we want – to push for them and work towards them: “Set a goal, achieve it, next.” And gods forbid we fail… because that can come down on our self esteem like a ton of bricks.

Have you ever become so obsessed with a goal that it takes over your life, and you can’t get it out of your head? Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you try for something it seems to slip farther and farther away? This is sign that sure, you are in a goal oriented head space as in… you’ll do anything for that…thing, you’ll KILL for it, but you’re probably not in the right what I call “heart space”.

If you’ve been chasing after something with your head in the driver’s seat and your heart locked in the back trunk, it might be time to step on the breaks.

Remember this quote? “If you love something, set it free, if it comes back, it’s meant to be…”

Get out of your head about that thing that you want, and go into your heart. Listen to it, what does your intuition say?

There is a very delicate balance to be had between actioning your goals, and setting intentions freely, letting them go so they can flow and grow organically.

This is  tough to do, and I have to consciously remind myself to do this daily, because I know that in the past when I have chased goals and got all caught up in my head about them (us HSPs can certainly slip into that mind trap of over thinking), my world gets crazy and out of balance and I tend to lose myself in the pursuit. I lose sight of what really matters. I find that I am unhappy, and even after getting what I wanted, I am still not satisfied.

When I chase goals with my heart, I am relaxed and content. I am open to the universe and I don’t miss anything that the tunnel vision of my mind might have blinded me from. I am also more ok with my path bending in ways that I did not plan for.

It is easy to loose touch with our heart space because the mind tends to over power, so we need to actively check in with ourselves when our head starts running and trying to control things.

So what I am saying is yes, you need to do the peddling and work towards what you want, but your heart should be doing the steering.

I challenge you to get a grip of your heart, and let go of your mind…. You’ll know what to do.

Thanks for reading my blog post this week! I have so much more in store for you on www.thesensitivetrait.com, and I deeply appreciate all of my followers and viewer’s support.

Until next time,

XOXO your fellow HSP, Chelsie

So slap me silly, it’s all about how we feel (before others tell us so)

And then, right then when my intuition told me that I had read enough about setting goals from the heart for the day, I set The Desire Map down, and laid back in my chair to bask in the warm sun shining through the airplane window.

Moments later, on that pleasantly empty Air Canada flight, It hit me. No, it resonated with me. It penetrated so deep that I finally GOT it.

Oh my god, our entire culture is set up so that humans can seek affirmation, happiness, success, and acceptance through OTHER PEOPLE’S perceptions. The thought of putting this kind of power in other people’s hands, so that they can tell us whether we are worthy – sexy, hot, pretty, cool, successful, smart, happy is utterly appalling to me suddenly. How can we be so stupid? How can we be so foolish?

Happiness and acceptance does NOT come from impressing others, from looking good for others, from seeming cool to others, it comes from feeling these things about our selves. Danielle LaPorte, author of the Desire Map said “I’d rather feel beautiful than look beautiful.” Amen!!!! But for many of us, (myself included) we’ve been brainwashed to feel beautiful when others think we look beautiful, (or cute or stylish or fit or whatever).

Wrong, wrong, wrong! Why are we spending more time pleasing others than ourselves? How nice of us! To worry and try so hard to make others see us in such a high regard. But what is the point if we don’t see it ourselves. We are not living for others, we are living for ourselves! (Of course, we live for our children and those we love most as well, but not in the same way – I think you know what I mean).

So how to change this way of being? I often ask my boyfriend if I look pretty (even though I know he thinks I do). But somehow I need to hear it, to be sure.

Like Danielle, I would much rather feel pretty first, and look pretty second! Because in the end that’s what it’s all about, right?

Feeling good.

We are all working hard on this planet to feel good, every day. Feeling good from within ourselves could be so easy, but god damn, society makes that hard! We will never be good enough for our audience: aka the whole wide world, because we could always chase more, be thinner, own more things, live somewhere else, want longer hair, wish we made more money, wish our power suits would transform us, but happiness can only be found within ourselves.

The point is to FEEL beautiful, rich, happy, free, in love, without others showing us we are, first. Who cares what anyone else thinks. After all, we are the ones who we are going to live with and spend every second with and die with, not those other people we try and prove ourselves to.

So start right now. From today onward, live for you. It’s all relative – everything – to how YOU feel.

 happy 1 happy 3 happy 2
(Just some more happy pictures to keep you smiling!)
XO your fellow HSP, Chelsie

9 Ways to THRIVE as a Highly Sensitive Person

Article written by Chelsie Aichelberger, (previously published with Ageless Living Magazine)

Dear followers, I thought that this week I would re-post an article I wrote a few months ago for Ageless Living. Re-reading it  again was a great reminder of how we can maintain a balance and and take care of ourselves as highly sensitive people. Print some of these points out, or write them on a whiteboard or chalkboard you have at home as a daily reminder! (I also like to write words to live by and positive reminders on sticky notes and stick them on my bathroom mirror).

Are you empathetic? Easily overwhelmed? Need time alone? Startle easily? Acutely aware of other’s emotions? Feel a little…different than most people?

That’s OK. These characteristics are often associated with an inherited trait (just like eye color and skin color) called high sensitivity. With this trait, our human nervous system responds slightly more intensely to our everyday experiences.

Highly sensitive people, also known as “HSPs” are usually very creative beings who enjoy the outdoors, and find peace and clarity when near water and in nature. They are often light sleepers, excellent listeners and good friends, but they are also prone to anxiety, fears, and frequently undervalue themselves.

Does this sound like you? Or maybe someone you know? If you’re not sure, take the HSP self-test here, or send it to a friend.

Elaine Aron, a research psychologist and author of the book The Highly Sensitive Person, coined the term “HSP.” She has shed an immense amount of light on this topic and has helped many others, including myself, learn about the trait of high sensitivity in humans.

The term “sensitive” is often associated with words such as “weak,” “touchy,” or “difficult.” We need to change this negative connotation in society because HSPs bring such positive characteristics to the world. They are passionate teachers, great leaders, and often pursue careers that help make the world a better place such as social work, life coaching, etc. In order to function as their best selves, it is imperative that HSPs take care of themselves so they can maintain a calm, healthy, optimal state of being.

Nine activities that will help HSPs to thrive:

  • Make time for downtime. During particularly busy days or weeks it is crucial that HSPs take time to unwind in a quiet space so they can consciously (and subconsciously) process the information and different energies they’ve absorbed throughout the day.
  • Get enough sleep. Whether  7 or 12 hours a day, it’s important that highly sensitive people listen to their body and get the amount of sleep that is right for them. Sometimes they may find themselves wanting to sleep and rest for an entire weekend! That’s totally ok – it’s their body taking the time it needs to re-charge.
  • Intuition check-in. HSPs have the ability to be very intuitive and connected with their inner selves. This is such a useful and important gift to have; whether considering a new job opportunity or deciding whether or not to go out or stay in on a Friday night, they should always listen to what their intuition is telling them.
  • Meditation is good for everyone, but it can have an especially positive effect on highly sensitive’s. When overwhelmed, meditation can be an excellent way for HSPs to calm their minds and nervous systems. Because HSPs are so intuitive, they are likely to cultivate a very soothing inner peace and connection with themselves through meditative practice.
  • Take intermittent breaks. Instead of go-go-going until the ultimate crash, taking intermittent breaks from daily activities is a great way for HSPs to self-regulate. For example, someone who isn’t particularly sensitive to their environment can probably make four errand stops and then go out for lunch in a busy restaurant with a friend. HSPs, on the other hand, might need to take a break in-between stops and drive down to the ocean, or grab a snack and sit on a quiet park bench for 20 minutes so they can re-charge.
  • Spending time in nature is extremely therapeutic for HSPs. Natural elements like plants, trees, water and sunlight have been said to absorb negative energy. Spending time in nature will help HSPs diffuse sensory overload and recharge in a quiet, beautiful place.
  • Pay attention to nutrition and eating habits. HSPs are sensitive to their external environment and to the feelings of others, but they are also sensitive to the foods they eat. In general, food can often affect HSP’s moods and feelings of well-being so it is important for them to pay attention to what may be affecting their bodies both negatively and positively. Sensitive’s may also be more susceptible to food and environmental allergies.
  • Engage your creative being. It’s in them, whether they know it or not. HSPs have the beautiful gift of appreciating art and music in a deep way. Creation, in all of its forms, is a wonderful experience for Sensitive’s. Whether HSPs express their creativity through art, photography, gardening, building, dancing, singling, cooking, organizing, or writing, it is deeply rewarding for them.
  • Write it down. HSPs often experience the overwhelm of picking up on subtleties and energies in their environment, including other’s emotions. They also think deeply about their experiences. As a way of sorting and processing all of this information, journaling can be a great tool for HSPs to use. The process of getting thoughts and feelings out of their minds and bodies onto paper can help calm and actually rid them of any extra baggage they are carrying.

About 20% of the world’s population has the trait of high sensitivity, and the positive characteristics of HSPs definitely outweigh the negatives. If you have discovered the HSP trait in yourself, use this article as a reference point for whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or the need to take care of yourself; and go ahead and be proud of being sensitive – you have so many special gifts that this world needs.

For more articles relative to highly sensitive and empathetic people, visit http://www.thesensitivetrait.com and subscribe to receive new article posts by scrolling down to the bottom and clicking “Follow”.

XO your fellow HSP, Chelsie

 

What if we were raised by our own hearts?

What if we grew up following our own inner compass, with no one and nothing imposing on our path, or steering us away from living as our authentic selves?

What if we were raised with the reassurance that however we felt, no matter what, our feelings were valid?

What if as children, we got to choose what made us the happiest, rather than being influenced to choose what ‘normal’ people choose?

What if when we cried or raged after a long day of noise and overwhelm, that we were comforted and protected instead of being viewed as weak, or punished?

What if we were born into an environment conducive to discovering our highest, truest selves, and what if we were taught that whatever the amount of time we needed to grow and transition was OK?

These are some questions that come to mind when I think about the delicate, beautiful little souls that arrive on this planet with a blank slate every single day. They don’t all get the opportunity to be raised in a way that caters to their authenticity. Society isn’t really set up that way…

I think that in many ways, our authenticity intertwines with our personality and as humans,  part of our personality is predetermined by our genetic makeup.

An example of predetermined/inherited personality is the trait of high sensitivity: approx. 20% of us are born with it (among many other traits, of course). Yes, you read that right; we are born highly sensitive, or not so much – it isn’t something that we choose, or have the power to remove.

Other parts of our personality develop as a product of the people in our lives and our experiences. Our parents, siblings, teachers, and neighbors all play a part in shaping us. So do influential experiences, like that time on the playground when you were deeply embarrassed, or that winning goal you scored in soccer when you were eight.

I truly believe that the personality traits we are born with are there for a reason, with a greater purpose. These innate traits in turn, make up a portion of our authenticity.

Being sensitive allows us to feel and absorb things deeply, to analyze on high levels, and to care a HECK of a lot.

Many great leaders in history were HSPs. They were naturally sensitive to their world; the needs of people, and the planet. Martin Luther King, Jane Goodall, Princess Dianna, and Abraham Lincoln, to name a few, were highly sensitive people.

Unfortunately, some HSPs might have grown up being told to “not be such a softie” or to “grow up” and quit being a cry baby.

These words can be like daggers to a young sensitive child, and their affect may cause our hearts to harden as we grow up. Because of this some HSPs may NEVER cry. They have been conditioned not to. This is an example of how we are often raised to hide or avoid our true authentic selves.

Maybe some of you are angry because of that. And I say, rightfully so!!!

It‘s not fair that our societal norm has been to hide our true feelings, to play “the game” and compete to be the best, hiding any signs of weakness. The kinds of masks we are taught to wear rob the world of our truth, and I think that is sad.

It’s time for a change.

Its 2016!!! We’re smarter than this. 

I am so glad to see that books are being written, and that leaders are coming forth to show that true success and leadership should actually come from authenticity, from the heart. Authors such as Robin Sharma and Danielle LaPorte write on this, as do many others.  I have seen social media communities pop-up to support being authentic, vulnerable, and open as well… even just very recently.

So keep shining – soften up and let your heart and soul pour its grace into this world! That is your truth, and your authenticity is needed. By following your truth you will live your best life, and you will create space for others to do the same.

How in touch are you with your true, authentic self?

Stick with me, we will go far on this journey.

XO Chelsie