If you’re a highly sensitive person, you’re a human sponge. Good, or bad, everything from the outside world, comes back to bite you. But, there are ways to remove yourself from that awful situation.

You know what’s great, but it’s also the worst thing in the world? Empathy. Sensitivity. I can’t watch a movie without crying, and if someone tells me a story, I’m part of it. Well, I feel like I’m part of their life story, and I experience pain, sorrow, joy, everything.

To protect myself, I had to come up with several coping mechanisms, because absorbing was consuming. I was a freaking sponge and barely had the time to breathe. You don’t just live people’s emotions; you feel physical pain, nausea, everything, and anything. Overcoming this high sense of empathy is a process. Start now, practice, because you’ll be more helpful if you are able to keep it together.

Labeling emotions

I’m not too fond of labels, but labeling emotions is helpful. While I’m busy giving my feeling an exact name, my brain is distancing from it. And it sorts of melts away, not completely, but at least I am more functional as a person. 

When you’re absorbing emotions, you can’t tell which one is yours and which one you picked up. That’s why you can try labeling, and if it’s someone else’s emotion, you’ll be able to recognize and disarm it faster.

Surrounding myself with positivity

Instead of merely looking for positive people, I started only focusing on feel-good books, movies, social media content. You can’t distance yourself from the real world, but you can try no to be involved. Some days, I don’t even check out the news, just the weather.

Spending time in nature, with my dog, learning to be happy, while on my own, is empowering. It’s pretty simple: you’re not running away from the world, you’re using your brain as a filter. And the brain’s message clearly is: stay away from too much information.

Releasing emotions

Finally, there are meditation and visualization. These techniques are fantastic at helping you deal with stress. If you visualize your emotions as balloons, you can sort of point the needle in them and pop them. Or, use waterfalls and rivers as a way of reminding yourself that everything flows.

Meditating keeps us grounded, and focusing on the breath is a perfect way to remind yourself that you can’t turn back this moment. So, by releasing emotions, you’re actually getting into self-preservation. And that’s a primal instinct for all living creatures.

Cut the source

If there’s a particular person who’s draining you, let them go. You can’t change someone, and the more you try, the less you’ll feel like yourself.

Your friends and family might be toxic for your mental health, and no matter how hard it is, you need to put yourself first. Letting go of negative, poisonous people is liberating.

When you’re absorbing other people’s emotions, you’re constantly emotionally flooded. I love my emphatic nature, and I am proud of my sensitivity. It’s not a weakness; it’s my superpower. But it wasn’t until I learned to keep it under control.

Meditate, release people and feelings, include positivity, and label your emotions. Be gentle with yourself, because you can’t save the world. Maybe you will be able to do so, but you have to protect yourself first!