Top 3 Emotional Regulation Activities For Emotionally Sensitive People

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Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

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Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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Who are Emotionally Sensitive People?

Emotionally Sensitive People also known as Highly Sensitive People (HSP) refer to those individuals who have a stronger sense of reactivity and sensitivity to emotions. Such people often experience emotions and feelings on very intense levels. They are reactive and more attentive to even subtle emotional cues and usually experience all kinds of emotions on an extreme level. This can range from emotions like happiness, to sadness, from anxiety, to euphoria. 

There is a lot of negative narrative around emotionally sensitive people. They are not “just overreacting” always. They have the ability to express empathy and understanding better than many others and have strong intuitive instincts that help them deal with their emotions. Along with many advantages, emotionally sensitive people face a lot of troubles as well. They tend to be emotionally exhausted almost always because they experience every emotion on an intense level. Experiencing intense levels of negative emotion can cause such individuals to become drained and fatigued. On the other hand, experiencing intense levels of positive emotion can also cause strain by making people lose a sense of reality. 

Here are 5 signs you are an Emotionally Sensitive Person, 

  1. You experience all emotions very intensely, 
  2. You can easily pick up on other’s emotional states and are affected by them, 
  3. You are constantly emotionally drained from experiencing extremes of emotion, 
  4. You have a lot of jumbled thoughts because of the variety of emotions you feel from time to time, 
  5. You are very intuitive because you are intune with your emotions. 

What is Emotional Regulation? 

Emotional Regulation refers to the ability to be aware of, understand and manage one’s emotions along with helping others become aware and help in managing their emotions as well. It is a crucial aspect of emotional intelligence that indicates resilience because if you are able to manage your emotions and help others do the same, then you are likely to bounce back strongly from those emotions that are negative and consciously work towards increasing positive emotions. 

A crucial aspect of emotional regulation is non-judgement. When you are managing your emotions or someone else’s you must never label the emotion as bad or good. All emotions are useful to the body and mind and often help you learn more about yourself. If you label any emotion as bad then all you are doing is suppressing yourself from experiencing that emotion. It’s not possible to never experience sadness just because we start labelling it as bad, right? That is why it is important that you never pass judgement over any emotion and accept the emotion as it is. 

Emotional Regulation Strategies for Emotionally Sensitive People 

As emotionally sensitive people it can be difficult to use the conventional strategies of emotional regulation. This is because you experience every emotion in its intensity and hence, these are 3 useful strategies you can use to help you regulate and manage your emotions in a healthy way, 

  1. Journalling - 

While journaling might seem like a very commonly suggested strategy, for emotionally sensitive people it is one of the most useful strategies. Since emotionally sensitive people experience an extreme or intense amount of emotion, journaling will help in reducing the intensity of it. When the emotions are in your head they can overwhelm you but when you begin jotting down your thoughts and feelings into a journal then you can help in becoming aware of your thoughts. Once you are aware you will be able to get clarity on how you can regulate or manage them. Journaling is like unwrapping a tangled set of wired thoughts into separate, distinct threads. 

  1. Physical Exercise - 

Emotions are always stored in the body. Emotionally sensitive people tend to experience intense emotions so there is a tendency to store unexpressed emotion in the body. When you move your body through regular physical exercise you are releasing endorphins which are happy hormones that not only help you feel positive emotion but also help in relieving pain that comes from negative emotion. 

  1. Cognitive Restructuring - 

This is useful for both positive and negative emotions. Whenever you find yourself experiencing an intense emotion a good way to reduce the intensity of it is to cognitively restructure the thought. This means that you must question the emotion and thought behind the emotion and bring it to reality. For example, if you are having a recurring feeling of sadness and a thought like this emerges, 

“I will never find anyone in this world and I will always be alone”

A helpful way to restructure is to question it. Is it true that you will never find anyone? What about your friends? You found them at one point. Perhaps it will take some time but you can find someone. This would be an appropriate way of bringing yourself out of the intense loop and back into reality. 

These are some of the strategies you can practise to help yourself or help someone you know deal with emotions as a highly sensitive person. If you feel that you need more assistance, you can always regulate your emotions with the presence of a therapist. Feel free to reach out to us! 

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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