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15 Therapist-Approved Tools to Help You Thrive in an Overwhelming World

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Tools and techniques provide the means to an end. They make our work easier and facilitate effective processes. 

Here at HSP Tools, I think of tools as resources and techniques as proven ways that guide our path as Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) from point A to point B.

And that’s why I’m sharing these 15 therapist-approved tools and techniques to help you go from surviving to thriving as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). 

Let’s dive in.

About these 15 Tools

These tools and techniques are not the usual resources we share on the website. They are not online courses, podcasts, newsletters, books, blogs, or communities.

Instead, they are practical solutions you can implement right now to help regulate your sensitive nervous system, balance your energy, and increase awareness.

I learned of them through one of Julie Bjelland’s free HSP masterclasses. The one titled Tools to Help the Sensitive Thrive in a Chaotic World.

The masterclass is a 60-minute webinar diving deep into common HSP challenges and sharing practical resources to overcome those challenges.

You may need to take the free class to fully understand why these are the best HSP tools for your journey.

Why HSPs Need These Tools & Techniques

It’s important to note that not all HSPs need these tools. 

You may be more sensitive to external stimuli than others, but this doesn’t mean it has to affect you. 

The environment you grow up in, the skills you pick up along the way, and your support system is crucial in determining how you deal with overwhelming situations.

So, you may or may not need these HSP tools. 

But if you’re having a hard time watching the news, can barely function at work or home, and are generally struggling to keep up with the world’s pressures, keep reading.

And also if you know a Highly Sensitive Person needing support.

7 HSP Challenges You Might Be Facing

According to Julie Bjelland, Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) encounter these seven challenges daily.

  • Processing extra data – In every situation, an HSP takes in more information than everyone and has to process all that additional data in detail. Imagine how overwhelming that can be.
  • Living in a world that is not HSP-friendly – The majority of the world’s population has a lower level of sensitivity than HSPs. So, most environments are not as sensory-inclusive as HSPs might need.
  • Sensory Overload – Bright lights, loud noises, clothing tags, course fabric, spicy foods, and strong fragrances are some of the issues leading to sensory overload in HSPs.
  • Societal expectations – Many HSPs have had to grow up in environments that don’t appreciate High Sensitivity. These environments see sensitivity as a weakness and perpetuate the need for sensitive people to toughen up, grow a pair, or stop being so Sensitive.
  • Overgiving to others and under-giving to themselves – Because HSPs are highly empathic, caring for others comes easily to them. But they often struggle with self-compassion, which means they don’t care for themselves as they should.
  • HSP needs differ from the majority – Imagine being at a wedding or other event. Others seem to be enjoying themselves, but all you can think about is how unnecessarily loud the music is. And because you’re the minority, you can’t ask the organizers to keep the volume down. So you either have to leave the event or power through and deal with the overwhelm later.
  • Buried gifts beneath the overwhelm – Because of the constant overwhelm Highly Sensitive People (HSP) deal with every day, the unique traits they possess remain buried. This situation makes it hard to see the HSP trait as a source of strength, and instead, it becomes easier to believe the societal view of sensitivity as a weakness.

If you or someone you know struggles to overcome these challenges, the following tools and techniques should help.

Benefits of Using These Tools and Techniques

If you’re wondering what you stand to gain by using these HSP tools, other than what you’ve already read, the following are some benefits to expect.

  • You will go from surviving to thriving as an HSP.
  • You will experience increased creativity, focus, and health.
  • Easy access to your unique gifts – they will no longer be buried under the overwhelm.
  • You will start to experience healthy relationships.
  • You will become the change you want to see – happier HSPs instead of struggling ones.
  • You will improve your overall well-being.
  • You will learn to make decisions that honour your needs instead of being influenced by circumstances or other people’s opinions.
  • Become a role model of what is possible when HSPs learn to leverage their HSP trait.

15 Best HSP Tools and Techniques to Help You Thrive

Learn about the best HSP tools to help HSPs thrive

The following tools are not the regular resources in our directory. They are not books to read, courses to enrol in, classes to take, or guides to download.

Instead, they are daily tools you can incorporate into your self-care or self-love routine to help you overcome the common challenges affecting HSPs. 

These challenges include an overstimulated nervous system, depleted energy, lack of awareness, people-pleasing, and unhealthy boundaries.

Julie Bjelland — a Psychotherapist specializing in High Sensitivity — shares these tools in her free masterclass, Tools to Help the Sensitive Thrive in a Chaotic World.

Best HSP Tools Overall 

1. The 4-2-7 x 5 breathing technique

Breathing techniques come in different formats and help reduce anxiety, stress, panic attacks, sleep issues, and more. Their primary purpose is to help you relax and slow down.

With the 4-2-7 x 5 breathing technique, you inhale for four seconds, hold for two, and exhale for seven. And then, you repeat this exercise five times.

The technique works immediately, tells your brain to calm down during a stressful event, and reduces your heart rate.

2. Intentional Positivity

In a world where negativity seems to reign, HSPs benefit more when they control the type of information they take in. 

Instead of letting Social Media algorithms, influencers, and media companies dictate the content you consume, you get to decide.

And the best way to take charge is through intentional positivity.

So, for every negative information you read or receive, intentionally expose yourself to at least five positives. The more positives you take in, the better.

According to Julie Bjelland, while the effects of negativity are immediate, positivity takes 20-30 seconds.

3. Intentional Gratitude

The gratitude practice is one of the most cliche tools on the internet. And the reason for its popularity is simple – it works!

By intentionally reflecting on everything good in your life, you automatically tell your brain to focus on the positive aspects of every situation.

So, instead of freezing or running from an overwhelming situation, your brain will try to find solutions. And these solutions can be physical, emotional, or social.

It might remind you to wear sunglasses on a bright day, ear plugs for noise reduction, or cut out an annoying clothing tag.

Daily HSP Tools to Calm Your Nervous System

4. Slow Mornings

Do you wake up and jump straight into your to-do list? Or do you allow your body to transition from sleep into being awake?

According to Julie Bjelland, the best way to calm your nervous system and manage your anxiety and stress is to have slow mornings.

Start by listening to your body to identify what it needs. Feel a tight muscle? Stretch it. Feel thirsty? Have a glass of water. Have too many thoughts? Meditate

5. Unstructured alone time

While HSPs benefit more from having structure in their daily lives, unstructured alone time helps to process thoughts and emotions, rest from the day’s exhaustion, and restore lost energy.

Block out a time in your day when you can be alone in a sensory-friendly environment.

6. Daily stillness in nature

Nature is highly therapeutic for Highly Sensitive People (HSPs). And if nature walks are a go-to exercise for you, then you know how true that statement is.

Julie Bjelland recommends daily access to nature.

If you can’t go out, bring nature to you through indoor plants and take a moment in your day to immerse yourself in its beauty.

7. Daily meditation 

Meditation is an exercise that helps individuals to improve their attention, awareness, and calm states. There are different forms of meditation, and knowing which type works best for you is the first step.

If you need help creating a meditation habit, Julie Bjelland shares free guided meditations through her HSP podcast.

8. Loving self-talk

We all talk to ourselves at one time or more in a day. But the question is, what do you say to yourself when you do? Is your self-talk loving or hateful?

Pay attention to your daily self-talk and intentionally use loving language. 

Tools to Increase Self-Awareness

9. The check-in tool

How often do you check in with yourself to know how you’re doing? Think about the last time you set aside time to evaluate your well-being. How long ago was it?

When you know your mental, emotional, social and physical health, you can show up in less overwhelming ways. 

You can also avoid overstimulating situations when you know your body is not in a position to handle them.

10. Intentional Mindfulness

Mindfulness requires paying attention to your feelings, senses, thoughts, and overall state of being without judgment or action. 

It’s a powerful self-awareness tool for everyone, not just Highly Sensitive People (HSPs). 

Intentional mindfulness can help you notice what feels right and what doesn’t. And it can help you slow down to appreciate the good and attend to the bad.

Techniques to Balance Your Energy

I have shared the best HSP tools for overall well-being and daily calming tools for your nervous system.

In this section, learn techniques to help balance your energy and avoid constant depletion.

11. Map out your energy 

Imagine starting the day with 100 energy points. Instead of going about your day and letting your energy points get used up as you go, decide where you want your energy to go. 

For instance, you can appoint 10 points to friends, 30 to family, 20 to self-care, etc.

12. Track your energy points 

Planning your energy is crucial in helping you achieve balance. But you also need to know where it’s going for it to be effective.

So, track how much energy you use on your family, work, yourself, and others. And then, adjust your plan accordingly by giving more points to what makes you happy.

13. Boundary setting 

Get good at setting boundaries with people and situations so you can only use as much energy as you plan to. Otherwise, a lack of boundaries would mean constant depletion.

This free class teaches HSPs how to set healthy boundaries and explains why boundary setting is essential for wellness.

14. Do more of what gives you vitality 

Planning where your energy goes helps you maintain your energy levels. But it’s not the only technique you can implement.

You can also boost your energy by identifying your energetic activities and doing more of them.

15. Take a quiet day before and after draining situations

If you have an upcoming busy day, block out the day before and after to focus on rest and restoration.

During this time, focus only on what replenishes your energy.

Brain Training Course for the Highly Sensitive Person

Final Word on 15 Therapist-Approved Tools

This list of best HSP tools and techniques comes highly recommended by Julie Bjelland – a Psychotherapist specializing in High Sensitivity. 

I learned of them through her free HSP masterclass about tools to help the sensitive thrive in a chaotic world. And while we shared as much as possible, there’s a chance we left out even more tools.

So, take the class yourself, and we hope you find these best HSP tools as practical and helpful as we did.

If you need extra support and more tools to help you thrive as an HSP, join the Sensitive Empowerment Community by Julie Bjelland. 

You will meet other HSPs, attend live events, join topical support groups, and discover an extensive library of resources.

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