Why Sensitive Souls Need Rituals. ~ Kathryn Nulf

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There was a good year where I listened to the same album every night as I drifted off to sleep.

I didn’t get tired of it. I loved knowing what to expect. I knew the order of the songs, the way things started and the way the music progressed.

I loved having something familiar there for me night after night before sleep. It was my way of being there for myself again and again.

The lyrics had meaning, sure. I felt their melodies more than the words though, deep to my core.

I didn’t know what a highly sensitive person (HSP) meant at the time. I just knew that I went through life feeling things very intensely. I loved to know what to expect. I loved familiarity (as I was in a strange place, away at college).

And listening to the same album every night was my normal. It felt perfectly natural to me.

It was when I shared it with others that I got a “Huh?” kind of response. I don’t know why, but I thought they would be able to relate, as if they were doing it, too. It just felt so natural to me that I assumed it did for everyone else.

For HSPs, having daily rituals in their lives can help them feel at one with their world, instead of just being overwhelmed by it most of the time.

Having that album play each night before sleep was my start to embracing rituals in my life.

Rituals can have a profound impact on us HSP’s: they calm and ground us, soothe the spirit, slow us down, remind us to live in the present moment, nourish our soul and remind us that we are responsible for our own well-being.

Think about what we love to do: What soothes our soul? What comforts us and brings us to life at the same time?

Rituals have a calming effect on our nervous system because it gives us something to look forward to, that is at once both freeing and grounding. It brings us out of our heads (anyone else live there almost 24/7?) and back into our bodies. It gives us a break from the overthinking mind and lets us rest right here, right now.

Doing rituals on a regular basis (daily if possible) is ideal because it lets us know calm is on the calendar. If we haven’t realized this yet, self-care is of utmost important to HSPs.

So what is an example of a ritual?

We don’t need to listen to the same music every night to be adding in rituals into your life, promise! Spend some time thinking about what grounds us. Because HSPs can live in their heads so much of the time, we need to ask ourselves what brings us back to earth. What grounds us?

Some examples include:

1. Drinking a hot cup of tea each morning while reading a book

2. Walking your dog through your favorite park

3. Listening to music you love while taking a dance break (my personal favorite!)

4. Tuning into yourself through meditation

5.  Stretching your body and breathing

6. Writing in a journal

7. Asking yourself what you are grateful for

Perhaps it’s even a combination of these examples, or something completely different?

If we’re having a hard time figuring out what ritual might work for us, think about what grounds us and brings more balance into our life.

Jot some ideas down and get a good list going that we can refer back to. Try something out for a few days or a week and see how we feel.

At first, it may seem like a lot to ask.

It’s important to remember that HSPs tend to not like structure, unless it is of their own creation. Adding in a daily ritual is doing just that—taking power back into our own hands and creating balance in our life in the process, one ritual at a time.

Bringing in a daily ritual is a way for HSPs to work with their unique trait, not against it.

We need more downtime than the average person, and setting time aside each day for a meaningful ritual is our time to reconnect with ourself.

What comes to mind when we think of a daily ritual? Do we already do something every day that we would consider a ritual?

Leave a comment below and let’s share ideas and support each other.

~

Relephant:

10 Ways to Find Out if You Are Too Sensitive.

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Kathryn Nulf

As a Certified Health Coach + Yoga Teacher, Kathryn Nulf’s passion is to help highly sensitive people (HSPs) stop stress eating and discover a whole new relationship with food and body, without shame and overwhelm. Read her latest musings on her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

 

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anonymous Feb 14, 2016 5:13pm

Amazing. I thought I was just strange. I listened to the same CD for 7 years before it gave out. It had no words, just instrumental. I loved it because of the same reasons, I knew what was coming next and didn't have to wait to hear it. My husband thought I was nuts, but didn't mind. So glad to be identified.

anonymous Dec 16, 2015 5:10pm

I’m a bit confused as I always thought highly sensitive people spent too much time in thei heart – that is they feel things more intensely than the average person. How might rituals help that?

Thanks,

Carrie (mom of an hsp)

anonymous Dec 15, 2015 8:04am

I love having elephant journal to read, it seems everytime I am interested in some articles they bring me here. I have first hand knowledge with bi-polar disorder, I don’t function well when I get out of my routine. The rituals you speak of are my routine and I should add dancing for sure. I think you’ll understand when I say that you’ve been so much help to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

anonymous Aug 24, 2015 9:34am

I just discovered that I am a HSP this year I am 59 and new I was different all my life went through counseling and every thing and never got any kind of answers why I feel like I do even now when i try to explain to people how intensely I feel things they just look at me with this blank look on their face. so glad I found this page hope i can find more connections that I can go to and feel like people understand me.

anonymous Aug 22, 2015 5:31am

Thank you very much as I am like you. I do listen most nights to one of 2 meditation cd's to go to sleep.
I also love a favorite type of tea in the morning and also get up at a certain time to take my best friend and dog out for a walk while it is very quiet out. I also write a lot on my spiritual facebook page. Writing helps me a lot with Processing things.
Namaste

anonymous Jul 24, 2015 3:40pm

Spot on! As a writer I can put on a tune and listen to it endlessly on repeat, sometimes all day if I am alone. I have never met anyone who could tolerate this, but for me it is like a soothing meditation. I am fascinated with the theory of sound, literally, physically affecting our cellular structure and perhaps this repetitiive behaviour is connected to that too.

Thank you for the article. Please PLEASE tell us what the album is that you mention, you’ve got me curious 🙂

anonymous Jun 11, 2015 6:15am

my ritual is my shower…
i never really realized it until I stopped and thought about it, but it’s the exact same order, the exact same way…

i live in a house with too many people and I share a room/bed, so it’s those precious 15 mins that give me a chance to regroup, think and set intentions.

anonymous Jun 4, 2015 4:07pm

My morning ritual includes putting eyeliner and mascara. It became full of sense for me when my first grandma has passed away: it became a moment when I acknowledge I am alive and I want to honor the colors of life on my skin… I want to look like I am awake and alive! It is also a way of preparing myself to confront other's look on me, because I gain confidence and find myself prettier with eyeliner and mascara on.

anonymous Jun 4, 2015 2:50pm

I use coloring to help soothe me. There are great adult coloring books out there. Mandelas flowers, fairies, ect! I have some great pencils!
Grounds and soothes me when the world gets to be too much!

anonymous Jun 4, 2015 12:16pm

Wish it hadn't taken me almost 60 years to understand my nature, but better late than never. One of the best things I ever did for myself was to start classes at a Body & Brain (Dahn yoga) center and learn how to manage my thoughts, emotions and overall energy condition. Being able to bring the brainwaves down and neutralize the hyper vigilance has made a huge difference in my quality of life. My rituals are mainly ones of mindfulness in everything from breathing and eating to walking and transacting with others. I have learned to stop equating who I am with my body, my thoughts and my emotions. These are things I "have", but that do not define the choices I make. Now that I'm more grounded and energetically stable, being HSP has become a gift I can use to benefit myself as well as others. Highly recommend this training as well as the advanced workshops. The benefits are cumulative and exponential.

anonymous Jun 4, 2015 12:01pm

Kimberly, I too am an empath and I’m in a helping profession so it is crucial that I commit to self-care work. I found that my grounding ritual is diffusing essential oils at night when I’m sleeping. I apply essential oils during the day as well. Not only am I reaping the health benefits of plant-based oils but emotionally and mentally, I am allowing myself to come undone in an effort to restore and revitalize my soul.

anonymous Jun 4, 2015 6:10am

Last year, studying far away from home & family, I got depression and feel very affected by anything that happened around me. Some few months ago, I was trying to reconnect with myself and started to write a journal and have a meditation/prayer time. I'm feeling way better now and reading this today… Everything makes sense. Thank for this amazing article, Kathryn.

anonymous Jun 4, 2015 4:53am

Recently discovered I am an Empath, most or all of you may be as well, until a few weeks ago I had never heard that word! 28 out of the 30 traits of an Empath were me, blew my mind! I thought I was an alien that was on the wrong planet, at the wrong time & belonged in an institution! I now know I’m not the only one & having a word so closely define me, like HSP, this is the first I’ve heard of it, gives me a shimmer of hope and a little peace! Of course I immediately googled “how do I stop being an empath!” Lol, cause it’s difficult, confusing & exhausting, to say the least! ♡

anonymous Apr 27, 2015 6:51pm

Great article! After leaving an out of balance relationship I was listening to the same tunes every night and thought I was being obsessive compulsive, I didn't realize this was grounding me. Thank you so much for sharing!

anonymous Mar 8, 2015 1:41pm

I relate to this, I really do, however, this applies to every human being in existence, in a way. Why rituals are soothing and relaxing for our soul, why they let our minds rest is because they bring us to the present moment. and by needing rituals, we discard the fact that we can calm our souls and relax and feel all of the above mentioned, just by being in the present moment naturally, by meditating, focusing on breathing, and other spiritual exercises, in which we won’t have the need for rituals.

anonymous Mar 6, 2015 11:18pm

Thank you for identifying this need ! I have been trying to forgive myself and figure out why my thoughts and feelings seem so different from other peoples'. Now I know and realize I'm not alone!

anonymous Mar 6, 2015 5:08pm

I liked the article. My whole life is a tapestry of ritual. Daily, weekly, every full moon, in response to duress or special events. Some of my rituals are practical, like hydrating with water plus lotioning skin, especially feet & exposed surfaces, while listening to gospel…
I also have some very elaborate rituals, for Home Blessing, that group lighting altar aromapots around the home, reciting a blessing, & then doing a standing yoga series. I also have an outdoor garden labyrinth I walk/dance, with particular affirmations songs done at key locations, plus a center series expressing devotion, & for receiving guidance…
There are more.
But to summarize, I use ritual to reach deep. To magnify prayer. To align my chakras. (A lot of what I do on the labyrinth are actions informed by studying chakras. Its a 7-Circuit Classical labyrinth… I see 7 as a hint for its appication… Labyrinth Alchemy. That’s what I call my ritual work.)
I like the compliment. My mind is always working, but it feels like my heart is easily broken, & I am stymied inbetween…

anonymous Mar 5, 2015 11:34pm

Something I look forward to doing each night (I work 2nd shift) is my nightly beauty routine— washing my face and applying various products, giving myself a hand and foot massage and applying the appropriate creams, reading a bit before going to bed. All these things seem to calm me and let my mind “rest!” I am amazed that doing these simple little things each night before bed can make such a difference in my stress level. Great article!!!! Wonderful to know I am not alone, I really look forward to my little nightly ritual. Again, it gives me much needed rest.

anonymous Mar 4, 2015 5:41am

Thank you. I know that I will read this over and over again. Somehow this made it “all ok.”

anonymous Feb 15, 2015 4:51pm

I love this. I read the first paragraph and said this to myself "It's SO hard for me to accept things that are constant in my life". And then I got to this line, "It’s important to remember that HSPs tend to not like structure, unless it is of their own creation." Perfection. Thank you for this article. Music is everything to me and I actually tend to listen to the same album every morning on the way to work (with my cup of tea I make as well). I find that sketching a little at night helps me clear everything as well!

I'm trying yoga (AM and PM) and so far it's okay. I feel like once I actually know the poses by heart I can be a little more free and not follow the video start to finish.

Thank you so much for writing this.

anonymous Feb 15, 2015 8:28am

I really appreciated this article! For a long time I thought I was just crazy but I’m not! Every morning normally listen to the same song before work on repeat that makes me calmn for the day and I LOVE to be in nature! It makes me feel connected in a way I can’t explain.

anonymous Feb 11, 2015 4:55am

I have a “grateful jar”. It’s a big urn with a lid, and every night before bed I write down on little pieces of paper two things I’m grateful for in my life, and one thing I want to manifest more of in my life. It’s a lovely little ritual!

anonymous Jan 5, 2015 8:31am

At the start of each week, I participate in my own “Mantra Monday”. During that morning’s meditation, I try to ask myself what would truly serve me at the time being, and whatever comes up I try not to judge or sway the thought. Sometimes it will just be one word, for example, today it was “wisdom”. Using that word, I came up with the mantra, “I will live in a place of wisdom”.Then throughout the whole week, whenever my mind is wandering somewhere negative or unnecessary, I turn to my weekly words and let them reverberate in my mind.

anonymous Dec 12, 2014 11:14am

For the morning, I try to start every day off with a heart – opening back bend.
At night, I allow at least 30 minutes to curl up with a book. 🙂

anonymous Oct 26, 2014 12:05pm

i think sensitive people are very top-heavy in their minds. We think too much and tilt the balance of our whole being which is the 3-way balance of deepmind-mind-body. Getting mind-heavy we tend to become unbalanced, spiraling deeper or higher through our mind and losing the balance between our deepmind & body.

But when the 3 way deepmind-mind-body are balanced, we become an antenna for the universe's energies through us and a perfect channel for living our destiny. Any imbalance distorts the antenna. Some non-sensitive people are unbalanced on the body level because they're obsessed by the gross physical. Some people tend to be too focused on the metaphysical, intangible deep mind and neglect both their body and mind because of it.

So yes, sensitive people need something to reduce the presence of mind and restore the presence/connection of body and deepmind every day. Doing something routine is one way to make this connection. But more than just routine ritual, with all due respect to the author, according to me it has to be something in which mind is totally banished. This gives us the MENTAL REST we need and restores deepmind-body. Mind gets totally banished when we do something self-expressive using our body that has no purpose. Walking. Playing an instrument with our own hands with no motive (i.e. no compensation). Exercising our body to the point of exhaustion. Singing without motive, not for anyone else but for ourselves. Praying without asking for anything, just expressing gratitude. Of course yoga and pranayama are natural such activities. I've found martial arts to be amazingly effective. But everyone has to find their own unique way. During that time, you have to be so immersed in what you're doing that you think of nothing else. In other words, you have to use your body without motive or purpose or audience (any motive or audience again brings mind back into the fray). And you have to do this activity every day.

The activity banishes mind for some time and restores the presence/connection of body-deep mind, which re-calibrates the 3-way balance between deepmind-mind-body. As you do the activity every day, the balanced state becomes your natural state.

With the 3 in balance, you are the clear antenna, you are happy within yourself, you attract happiness which is uniquely calibrated to you, and you begin to see clearly all the barriers that you have erected against your own happiness.

    anonymous Jan 6, 2015 4:48am

    that was a lovely response, thank you. especially the part with ‘no compensation’. sometimes I feel guilty for it, or i stress myself up because I think I should be able to do things that will result into something so I can progress in life….odd…and so ego….but i mean well…i just want to be able to enjoy my experiences and inspire others to enjoy and love and see how beautiful things are and can be. we need to.connect. and however distanced it might seem to.be communicating through screens and displays I feel it helps tons and tons for me.
    thank you.

anonymous Sep 26, 2014 2:22pm

"Think about what we love to do: What soothes our soul? What comforts us and brings us to life at the same time?" What a great formula for finding our own unique rituals. Love this article, Kathryn. Thanks for bringing it to life.

anonymous Sep 22, 2014 2:00pm

I had to stop and check in with myself about 7 times whilst reading this to remind myself I wasn't the one who actually wrote it…ha! It resonated THAT powerfully! I kept copying and pasting excerpts to use as the tagline when I share it on FB and couldn't even choose one! The whole piece is SO amazing! I am totally an HSP and this may have been the most helpful and therapeutic part for me, "Bringing in a daily ritual is a way for HSPs to work with their unique trait, not against it." This was like a breath of fresh air to be reminded how very beautiful this trait can be, and how we can use our attention and mindfulness to hone the trait so as for it to flourish and promote nothing but beneficial energy. Beautiful piece. Sharing far and wide. XX

anonymous Sep 22, 2014 6:23am

I resisted rituals for so long I believed that they would restrict my life and create boredom. I am finding the complete opposite to be true. The more rituals I embrace the more free I become

anonymous Sep 21, 2014 11:31pm

Every night I put on my fav new song and dance as if noone is watching. til my heart beats heavy.

anonymous Sep 21, 2014 7:44pm

EVERYONE is an HSP. Let rituals guide us.

anonymous Sep 21, 2014 8:30am

Thank you for this insight. It is so good to know your not the only one , that others feel and think the same way. For me it's cleaning my house , putting things away . Bringing my home and myself back into balance. People think I am a neat freak , I am not the I just need that calm , quiet space and some order .

anonymous Sep 10, 2014 8:45pm

This article is seriously about to make me cry. I cannot believe I'm not alone in this stuff I consider so weird and strange about myself. Thank you so much. It feels so goo know others out there are with me and understand. Thank you.

anonymous Aug 14, 2014 2:12pm

THANKS FOR THE INSIGHTFUL WAY TO PUT SOME WORDS ON THINGS REALLY HARD TO NAME… THIS HELPS A GREAT DEAL THE REFLECTION ON HOW TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN EXTERNAL WORLD STRUCTURES AND HSP'S.

anonymous Aug 14, 2014 3:02am

Reciting Om with deep breaths every morning.

anonymous Aug 13, 2014 7:15pm

This is brilliant, thank you. I have always been sensitive. I drank it away for much of my life, but now that I am sober I am becoming aware again how highly sensitive I am. The world does overwhelm me on a regular basis. It was great to read this now as I have begun to invite ritual into my life. Morning meditation, walks on the beach and yoga, help me to stay grounded. This was a wonderful article and will help many people, thank you!

    anonymous Aug 18, 2014 2:12pm

    Thanks for sharing, Sarah! My sensitivity has come front and center since I've gotten sober. It's crazy. I can so relate to what you said. Your beach walks and yoga time sound lovely and grounding. Enjoy!

    xx,
    Kathryn

anonymous Aug 13, 2014 3:48pm

Damn! That was great. I didn't even know 'we' had a name – HSP… I feel a little more normal now, ha. Thank you!

For the past month I've started something called "Morning Pages". It has completely changed things for me. Basically it's 3 hand written pages of "stream of consciousness" first thing every morning – clears (empties) my head and I am able to tackle the day far better. It's based on 12 week program "the Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. It's been amazing!

    anonymous Aug 18, 2014 2:18pm

    I love morning pages, Cjay! I used to do it but have gotten out of it. Thanks for the reminder, and thanks for sharing. 🙂

    xx,
    Kathryn

    anonymous Sep 25, 2014 12:25pm

    I have gotten out of the habit too but I remember that it helped a lot with my frequent morning worries/issues. Sometimes it feels like we are “taking out the trash” and allowing for joy to replace it. Feels like when we sleep we deal subconsciously with certain issues, but the ones that remain in the morning are our responsibility to solve. Freewriting is a great way!

anonymous Aug 13, 2014 11:20am

I relate to this article very much. Reading through the 'comments', I can see how some people can misinterpret the use of 'words', language to describe events, which society (especially in the 'west') too often use in the negative, or interpret to mean something it doesn't. Language is a huge barrier in the ever evolving Spiritual Journey or Path (whatever that is for the Individual) as by me just saying 'spiritual' can be misconstrued as a 'certain way' of living. Absolutely not. It is whatever one chooses it to mean. We have be taught a language w/ limits, w/ so many meanings left wide open to 'interpretation' of the individual. Which then leads to one having to 'explain' themselves, when their word 'should' be very clear. The English language, especially, has been deliberately set up to be this way. Open for Interpretation and meaning, bringing confusion at times when clarity is the 'objective'. With all this said, I love and respect the exchange of 'words' as a means of understanding one another, respecting where 'one is coming from' and with the opportunity to grow in awareness of one's own self knowledge. Getting 'stuck' on the singularity of words and their meanings defined by society is soon to 'go out the window' which allows for a whole New set of meaning and dialogue to exist. As for the article, I appreciate the entire 'meaning' behind it. As a HSP, I have come to realize I must set up, almost in a very strict and outlined way, schedule, routine, ritual…All of the Above…in order to live the life I am meant to live. To reach the goals I dream fro myself, otherwise I will put it off until tomorrow. Not because I am lazy, but because I am now more AWARE of my personal needs and understand Who I TRULY AM. I am a procrastinator, for so many reasons I do not have the time or space to list them all. When it comes down to it, I agree wholeheartedly in the importance of making 'commitments' to myself (however I choose to describe them are irrelevant) and following through w/ them. By doing so, I CREATE the life I Truly DESIRE…no one else is left to create it for me!

anonymous Aug 12, 2014 10:53pm

Hi, I thought this article was informative and helpful. I do a practice, also could be called a ritual, of Orgasmic Meditation (also called OM). It's very resonant with this in that it gives me something to look forward to that is both relaxing and grounding as well as enlivening and refreshing. Also, it gives me the opportunity to connect with other human beings because it is a partnered practice, and it also cultivates the sensitive parts of us and makes them stronger and more fine tuned to resonance.
I also do other things, like getting up every day and eating breakfast. lol. I also like to do yoga and meditate and when I'm in nature I always fall into the practice/habit/ritual of singing while I walk.
🙂

anonymous Aug 12, 2014 8:32pm

I have found great comfort daily domestic rituals. At times of great stress or anxiety, I make my bed as soon as I get up, I have my coffee, my shower, go to work, come home and do laundry, tidy up, have dinner, play solitare and go to bed. I do this religiously for a week or two. Self imposed, active Zen meditation is how I see it. It calms me, frees me and grounds me. My anxiety can be crippling at times and so this is a way to keep moving through it, wait it out and fake it till I make it 🙂

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 1:05am

Here's an article for people that need the ritual of being diagnosed as something to explain otherwise completely normal behavior.

    anonymous Aug 14, 2014 3:14am

    really? you mean all the things that are being said including in all the comments are normal? are you sure??? how do you know its normal?? thanks

anonymous Jul 4, 2014 10:05am

Yes Shiloh, I want to know too, what album every night? Kathryn? Thank you for sharing. Lisa

    anonymous Aug 18, 2014 2:15pm

    The album was Songs to No One 1991-1992 by Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas. 🙂

    xx,
    Kathryn

anonymous Jun 30, 2014 4:45pm

People are always telling me I am too sensitive, and not to be so sensitive, as if I have a choice in how I feel. It is the most frustrating part of my life right now. I can only be me and this article is very helpful for me because I know now that I am not the only one out here who feels the world around us so deeply, the things people say and do affect us so profoundly. I am not very structured but I do have a couple of routines, one of which is a Native Flute CD that I like to listen to every night as I am going to sleep. I play it on repeat and set it up with the sleep timer. I will be trying to set a few more things up so that I can regain a little control of my surroundings, since I have a lot of anxiety and stress right now. This could be just what I need. Thank you to the author for bringing this subject out into the open.

anonymous Jun 28, 2014 10:21am

I need to do this! I am definitely highly sensitive and didn't realize how much till I got older. I do need a lot of down time to myself! the problem is that I then tend to get lonely sometimes and grave tons of company. I need to find a balance in my life. My sensitivity I think is because of my dysfunctional upbringing. Probably part of my personality too but now I have to figure it out. For a middle aged person it can be frustrating which way to figure out that balance. thanks for the advice and I'll start to work on this immediately.

anonymous Jun 27, 2014 5:16pm

For a while, I was doing yoga and meditation daily. It was a good ritual and kept me feeling peaceful. I've gotten away from it, but I started up again a few days ago. It really did make a big difference. Side note: I had stopped because I was getting stressed and kind of overwhelmed by some personal things and when I told a yoga instructor he said, "These are the best times to practice!" 🙂

anonymous Jun 27, 2014 3:55pm

Is there any test to know that you are a HSP?

    anonymous Aug 14, 2014 3:06am

    i dono if there would be a test but may be (test yourself) by reading and researching about it and see if you relate to those thing that you read and find….. by the way i just found out about this and the fact that i would be a HSP too just now by reading this article pretty much and reading all the comments and how i relate to so many things/ of them!!! 🙂

anonymous Jun 27, 2014 8:14am

Wonderful post, Kathryn! Yes, familiar music flows like water to my heart. (Oscar Peterson is a particular favorite!) And my daily ritual is hiking my park trails with my dog, which has also inspired my ow blogging, such as this entry on walking meditation. Bless you! _/|\_ Rudy http://wp.me/p4cmRf-1p

anonymous Jun 27, 2014 1:28am

Thank you for this article, like many people here I recognise my life in it although I'd never though of myself as hsp before. But I definitely need those calming rituals like tea and a book in the morning, or meditation, and very interesting about hsp not liking structure! I tend to get bored with anything repetitive usually but my rituals are something different, more grounding and soul nourishing. Maybe I should read more on hsps. Many thanks again x

anonymous Jun 26, 2014 9:32pm

This is great! I am highly sensitive and I used to hate structure and rebel against schedules. Then I found myself in a very stable life situation of my own making. I created a daily rutine with little rituals throughout the day, like making tea, that I do very slowly and carefully. It calms me down, and gives me space from the noise of life.

anonymous Jun 26, 2014 7:02pm

I have different rituals. Every night I Skype with my bf. Every night I have 3 pillows on my bed, I take them off in the same order and place them on the same side next to the bed. Every morning I wake up, lay in bed for 3-5 minutes waking up before I get out of bed. Then I turn my lamp on and make the bed. I have a LOT of rituals!

anonymous Mar 15, 2014 10:46pm

Thank you for this article, I just found it today and it has changed my life. I am a HSP but until today I had no idea there was a term for it. I grew up in a family that was VERY unsupportive of my sensitivity, they insisted there was something "wrong" with me and of course I then learned to judge and question myself on every single thing I thought, felt, intuited and perceived. Over the last many years I have realized that I HAVE TO put myself first. I have to have my down time, even if that means I can't be there for others and I lost many friends and family members over it as they took it as my being selfish and only caring about myself. I now know that this self-care is a vital part of my existence and I also understand that this is a big part of why I have chosen not to have children. I know that I can't give a child or children all that they require, most of the time I can't even deal with being around other peoples children for more than a few hours. I can enjoy them greatly for a while but when time is up, time is up and I need to retreat and recharge. Again, I just want to thank you for sharing this, it is a wonderful feeling to know that there is actually a term for what I have been experiencing all my life, a term and a community of supportive, like-minded people <3

    anonymous Apr 2, 2014 12:39pm

    Rosemary, you have expressed so many of my own thoughts and feelings so well. Thank you for sharing here. I love the self care topic – it's true that it is vital to us HSPs. A "non-negotiable" I like to say. 🙂

    Thanks again for being you –
    Kathryn

anonymous Mar 15, 2014 11:22am

Thank you for sharing these beautiful words. I love my rituals, and they are my vantage points throughout the day. A time for me to check in with myself and give my nervous system a break.

    anonymous Apr 2, 2014 12:37pm

    Absolutely, Elina! Thanks for reading and sharing here xo

    Kathryn

anonymous Mar 14, 2014 9:14pm

I didn’t have to even read the whole thing – and now I know why I will put the same cd or dvd on my beside player –

anonymous Mar 14, 2014 5:51pm

Wow….. you have opened my eyes to who I have been. …and didn't even know. ….. Thank you

    anonymous Apr 2, 2014 12:37pm

    Thanks for reading!

    xx,
    Kathryn

anonymous Mar 13, 2014 11:26am

Amazingly, I do the same, I listen to the same CD very night before I fall asleep: Path! Thank you for this article! Thank you!

    anonymous Mar 13, 2014 2:15pm

    Thanks for reading, Sunshine!

anonymous Mar 13, 2014 10:44am

wow. reading this list made me realize that maybe im a HSP too.. cause i do these, very often. and i havent even thought of being HSP.
i need my writing, i need my little dance break sometime through the day. and i definitely need my yoga and to stretch my body. maybe it's ocd, have no idea…but..doubtful. if i havent done these things for several days because of work/school i seem lost and somethings missing…everything seems overwhelming and im kind of…not myself 🙂
and ive been told "dont be so sensitive"…but maybe thats just who i am :)))

well, thanks 🙂

anonymous Mar 13, 2014 8:17am

I totally did the example the author uses about falling asleep to the same album. When I was a kid, it was Enigma, Chant or something equally soothing. When I was in High School it was the Braveheart OST and the Crow soundtrack (yup, I was "that kid"), when I was in college it was Duncan Sheik's first album and VAST. I had always attributed it to OCD or the appreciation for the album (which I gained immensely). It's interesting to see that so many others did or do this same thing.

Rituals have changed, matured and disappeared over the years. Even though it's nice to read this and justifies a lot, rituals (much like a security blanket) can also be unhealthy when you become dependent on them.

    anonymous Mar 13, 2014 2:13pm

    Yes I agree, Tim. They can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on your relationship to them. I love hearing that I'm not alone with the incessant music listening so thanks for letting me know. 🙂 My love for the music only grew and I became even more curious about it, always hearing new depths to the songs the more I listened. It didn't feel strange or unhealthy to me.

    Thanks for sharing here,
    Kathryn

anonymous Mar 13, 2014 3:30am

Hot baths. Almost every night 🙂

    anonymous Mar 13, 2014 2:11pm

    Heck yes! Enjoy, Shaleah 🙂

anonymous Mar 12, 2014 11:18pm

Thank you for writing this article. It has given me wonderful insight into my 8 year old daughter who has listened to the same CD every night of her life. I now understand why it is so important to her. It’s made me realize why she is so cranky when she gets home from school and why it takes her a half an hour to really relax. Oh thank you again for this eye opening explanation. I will have to research more about HSP

    anonymous Mar 13, 2014 2:10pm

    You are so welcome, Mimi. I'm glad you received some insight into how your daughter relates to life. There are many helpful books out there by Dr. Elaine Aron about sensitivity that you might shed even more light. It takes me a about a half hour to relax as well 😉

    xo,
    Kathryn

anonymous Mar 12, 2014 8:21pm

I am an HSP too, i never knew there was a name for that too, i was being "accused of " being too sensitive all the time and "taking things personally", sounds familiar yea? i know .. or being asked to "chill" and "take it easy" or being called weird,.. things that have been getting to me in such deep and bad ways, they made want to run away from myself, they made me want to change so i can please other people around me because i was the weirdo out there, or so i can live, so i could exist easily without having to have some lame thoughts like " i can't handle people" or "i wasn't made to belong to this mean kinda world" .. i tried to stay as logic as possible.. i tried to change myself so i can fit and it killed me .. trying to change, in the process of it, i would notice myself doing things that i always do or things that would have people look at me as weird and then i would stop doing it .. eventually i shut myself off of the world and of course ..with no doubt, i built walls around myself.. it was expected.. i never accepted myself the way i am and i was being too harsh with myself, building walls and mountains .. till i fell apart and broke down.. i realized i can't do this anymore, i realized i had to quit and i had to find myself once again and i had to be okay with that, i had to be okay with "me" and i had to accept myself for whatever it is that i am ..

    anonymous Mar 13, 2014 2:07pm

    I can relate to so much of what you are saying, Salma. I love what you wrote. You articulated perfectly what many HSPs feel and go through. So yes, what you're writing does sound familiar – not just to me either, but to a lot of people. You're not alone <3

    Thanks for sharing,
    Kathryn

      anonymous Mar 14, 2014 3:10am

      Thank you for your soulful reply, it's funny i remember i wrote you more than this, maybe elephant has some limits with the comments' size,
      Anyway .. I thanked you for sharing your words with us and i was wondering how do we know if us doing "rituals" isn't just some cover for staying in a comfort zone, a familiar place, afraid of change or doing anything different or taking risks ? it's a trap, i feel..

      xx,
      Salma

anonymous Mar 12, 2014 6:13pm

Thank you for posting this. I am a recently self-identified HSP:-) and I've also just recently realized how truly fundamental rituals are to my soul. And as most rituals are practiced alone, I would say that what's also very important to HSP's is daily solitude. Whether it's 15 minutes or an hour, it's extremely important.

    anonymous Mar 13, 2014 2:05pm

    What a beautiful way to put that, Tamara: that rituals are fundamental for your soul. I couldn't agree more. I love my daily solitude as well 🙂

    Thanks for sharing here,
    Kathryn

anonymous Mar 12, 2014 5:53pm

What album was it that you listened every night?

    anonymous Mar 13, 2014 6:36am

    Shiloh, the album was Songs to No One by Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas. Thanks for asking 🙂

anonymous Mar 12, 2014 5:19pm

Wow, a HSP sounds a lot like me. Thanks a lot for this article that I can relate to, word by word – except for your rituals, which are different than mine. For each his own, but I've been gravitating towards prayers as a ritual. So far, it's been great! Peace

    anonymous Mar 13, 2014 6:38am

    Thanks for reading and sharing here. Enjoy your beautiful ritual of prayer xo

    Kathryn

anonymous Mar 2, 2014 9:52am

I recently discovered that I'm Sensitive and this article brings sense to other aspects of my life. For over a year now I have been listening to ASMR videos widely available on youtube.

With ASMR I can feel tingling all over my body that can be very strong at times.

I am able to listen to the same videos many nights in a row which has become a permanent part of my nightly ritual. The benefits have been great in that my sleep has been better and falling asleep is much easier. And being able to block out the outside world for a time every night has helped daily concentration too.

It would be great if anyone could respond that has this same condition. It doesn't even have to be auditory some ques could be visual or cognitive too.
I just want to know if other Sensitives can relate since we stand apart so much from other people.

    anonymous Mar 13, 2014 6:41am

    Thanks for sharing here, Ryan. I'm glad you've found a routine that works for you and benefits your quality of life. I can't speak to that condition but maybe another reader could.

    xo,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 15, 2014 9:44pm

Wow, I learned so much from this article & comments-so much about myself! I have always been critized for being “too sensitive”. I know I must be ADD as my son has it and is very much like me. I am distracted easy, bey unorganized, hate structure as it makes me feel pressured and fake. I need my downtime (a lot of it), find comfort in my routines and defiantly listen to the same songs for months. Thank you for the enlightening article! I always have to tell myself it is OK to

Feel things deeply, it is OK to take downtime when there are a million chores to do. I

look forward to more articles on HSP’s!!

    anonymous Feb 16, 2014 3:21pm

    Thanks for reading, Nance! So glad you saw some of yourself in what I shared, and in the conversations going on in the comments. I totally get what you mean with needing downtime – even when there's a long to-do list waiting for us. It's good to hear you are honoring your sensitivity and giving yourself that much needed love and care.

    Until next time 🙂
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 14, 2014 6:29am

Thank you so so much. i fully well understand what your saying as i feel the same. Ive gone through life "being strange" always people around seem to think im different coz i can feel so much, it overwhelms me. I knew i was sensitive but couldnt understand why i need so much quiet time, People around me dont seem to need it. Its very reassuring, makes me feel saner 🙂

    anonymous Feb 14, 2014 1:02pm

    You are so welcome, Nauseen! So glad you now have some HSP knowledge to work with 🙂 You're definitely not alone!

    Hugs,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 13, 2014 2:10pm

I am curious to know what the album was? Would you be willing to share it?

    anonymous Feb 13, 2014 5:47pm

    Bonnie, the album was Songs to No One by Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas. Thanks for asking 🙂

anonymous Feb 13, 2014 7:42am

Yes I can totally relate to this! My husband has made fun of some of the things I do (I can listen to the same music forever, and currently still listening to the same music for 3 years). And I have my routines that I don't like to be disrupted: my shower at night, followed by the things I do to get ready for bed. I also like my mornings to roll a certain way. I'm very much ADD and the bit of routine makes me feel centered even with all of the moving/transitions I've been through. Great article!

    anonymous Feb 13, 2014 10:13am

    Yes, loving all of what you said! And can totally relate. I like to try new music, but don't do it often – I love returning to the old familiar. It doesn't get old for me. I find when I do fall in love with something new, that becomes the new "on repeat" song. Thanks for sharing here 🙂

    xx,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 13, 2014 3:09am

I never understood why people around me functioned as they do. They never seemed to see or feel the way that I did about things. I have to have a comfort. I smoked for years until pregnant. Now I have hot drinks and I am happy. I feel my environment quite deeply, colours, weather, space, buildings, structures etc in a way that others do not. This can stop me engaging with people I am with fully as we are operating on different levels at any one time. I like to listen to people properly but switch off when I know they are not doing the same. I feel th relationship immediately. I had never heard of HSP. I am glad I have as it explains a lot. I feel I am not the only one and can feel a sense of relief now, instead of feeling overwhelmed in general wondering why I feel things more than others. I love the rituals as they definitely calm and ground me. I do not lik structure I feel bored by it, however having children I have to have structure as its both good for the children and myself i have found. I always thought that was to do with my very chaotic and boundaryless childhood leading to my being unable to cope with imposed structure. I am finding that actually over time it is grounding and gives the security I never had. SO instead of being bored by it and driven crazy its given us a rhythm to our lives and that provides security and calm.

    anonymous Feb 13, 2014 8:25am

    Sara, thanks so much for sharing with us here. I totally hear you! All of it. So glad you have discovered about your HSP trait through this. I agree that having some structure feels grounding – to me too. Enjoy your sensitive self and know you are not alone.

    xx,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 12, 2014 6:50pm

I have always been sensitive..to everything…I can just feel the energy in the room or from a person. Smells..tastes…lights…sounds… I never knew there was a "Label" for it…I used to have a glass of wine or two everyday to tone down my nervous system. But then I found meditation…and that is working for me. Thank you for a great article.

    anonymous Feb 13, 2014 8:21am

    Robin, thanks for your thoughts. I too used to drink to numb my sensitivity (perhaps more on that in another article). That's awesome that meditation helps you – it's a true life saver.

    Hugs,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 12, 2014 6:33pm

As a teacher I relied upon daily rituals for over thirty years to control my AADD tendencies and help me function as an "organized" person. When I was an archaeologist it was the building of my campfire each night that had the same effect. I always constructed it so that I would be able to light my kindling without a match the next morning. As a professional storyteller I start each story a certain way every time and woe be to me if I forget to wear a bandana around my forehead while telling. Though I am constantly creating new ones, I am a slave to rituals.

    anonymous Feb 13, 2014 8:14am

    Well said, thanks for sharing here. I love the idea of preparing the fire the night before. Beautiful.

    xx,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 12, 2014 3:09pm

COOL, I thought I had "Spiritual O.C.D."…. now I have a new label and excuse….thanks fellow HSP's

    anonymous Feb 13, 2014 8:13am

    hahah Linda…welcome to the club 😉

anonymous Feb 12, 2014 2:17pm

YES i am a highly sensitive person, for sure, and i never realized that there was a specific name for it! Or if I did, I forgot. I am an artist, very intuitive and empathetic. I used to love falling asleep to the same CD for a while (maybe not a year, haha) to give me comfort. I had a "mellow mix" i used to play at the end of high school/beginning of college. I live in a much quieter house now, and don't need that background music to relax me or drown things out. But, I love my morning ritual, and don't do it "perfectly" everyday, but its good if I get some sort of version of this: Wake, drink water (sometimes with lemon). Read my daily devotions, pray, meditate. Practice yoga, shower, eat breakfast. This mindful, slow way of waking up helps me to wake up gently, prioritize my outlook, etc. At one time I used to write a gratitude list at the end of the day. Havent done that in a while, and i think i want to do it again. I just did it last night, which was good. I like to do an A-Z gratitude list sometimes. I still have some different "mellow mixes" that I like to play, or specific Pandora stations that play the same kind of relaxing, comforting stuff. Thanks for the article, it was an encouragement to continue nurturing my sensitive self! 🙂

    anonymous Feb 13, 2014 8:12am

    Your morning ritual sounds beautiful, Rachel, and super nurturing! I love that you shared with us here and are encouraged to continue to support your sensitive self. Enjoy it 🙂

    xo,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 12, 2014 6:06am

Forwarded this to my husband, as he never can understand why I get sort of frantic if a few of my routines get messed up. Perfect summary! Thanks!

    anonymous Feb 12, 2014 7:06am

    Right there with you…good idea to share it with loved ones to help them better understand xo

    Warmly,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 12, 2014 6:06am

Forwarded this to my husband, as he never can understand why I get sort of frantic if a few of my routines get messed up. Perfect summary! Thanks!

anonymous Feb 11, 2014 7:27pm

Lighting some incense or a candle can also be very soothing. The ritual of following a recipe is also great:)

    anonymous Feb 12, 2014 7:05am

    Absolutely, Lennie! Love the recipe ritual also 🙂

    xx,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 11, 2014 6:10am

A light just went on! Now I understand why I don't like people in my kitchen when I'm cooking….I'm not antisocial, it's my ritual time, my sanity time, my time to think and create far past the hour I'm cooking. Now I won't feel guilty about it and I will cultivate other rituals that are screaming to be allowed time in my day.

    anonymous Feb 11, 2014 6:55am

    Darlene, I am the same way with time spent in the kitchen! Thanks for reading and for sharing with us here. Nothing to feel guilty about.

    xo,
    Kathryn

    anonymous Feb 11, 2014 6:44pm

    but people like to help, it's there way of fitting in … pushing them away creates a divide … perhaps there is a compromise?

anonymous Feb 11, 2014 5:28am

What a lovely article Kathryn – your gentle nature comes through in a way that soothes. Enjoying my morning ritual now – cherished quiet time after my house empties in the morning before the rush of the day. Feel as though I should light a candle now. 😉

    anonymous Feb 11, 2014 6:54am

    Thanks for reading, Betsy! XO!

anonymous Feb 10, 2014 7:04pm

I am an HSP. I love the benefits of adding ritual to one's daily life and feel reassured by it, but I want to add several points. Anyone could benefit from rituals, not just HSP's. It's just that the tone of the article seems to cast HSP's as a special case, not as a range on a continuum. The point about HSP's not liking structure, unless they create it themselves, is a fairly generic description of probably most of the human race. I wouldn't say it's an HSP special trait. I do like the idea of creating ritual which adds to the sense of power over our lives, but anything positive that a person decides to do for themselves will create that sense of mastery. Lastly, the comment about OCD or OCD-like behavior stemming from obsessive rituals is interesting and I would like to see some mention of that incorporated into future articles like this. Why not include the outlander, the minority opinion? That and sharpening some of the points you've made would make for a strong argument in favor of rituals. (Within moderation, of course.) Thanks.

    anonymous Feb 11, 2014 1:43am

    I like your post Laura … yes, "rituals" is a very loaded word in the OCD world. I used to spend 30 minutes each nite on one ritual that i needed to do 'perfect', touching this and touching that, all in ordered numbers of five, before I could go to bed. And that's just one ritual. People with OCD have lots of rituals that they use to keep them safe. Part of the treatment is breaking free of rituals and compulsions. I HATE the word ritual, it's a scary word for me and those with OCD lol I would go with 'routine', that's better. But I do agree overall with the writer's main point, having things you look forward regularly as part of your day is a good thing indeed. As a mental illness, OCD (obsessive thoughts, ritual, compulsions that are never satisfied and you think you will die if you dont satisfy them) is definitely not a good thing. And we learn in treatment to kill rituals lol cheers

      anonymous Feb 11, 2014 6:57am

      Thanks Laura and Travis for your perspectives…it lets me in on new information and insights I hadn't thought of before. I appreciate your sharing with us here.

      All best,
      Kathryn

        anonymous Feb 11, 2014 6:42pm

        you are a nice lady, Kathryn … and your article was lovely … thank you for that

anonymous Feb 10, 2014 5:54pm

About a week or so ago I articulated that I felt like I needed more rituals and a sense of routine. At the same time I began to notice that I had started developing a ritual over the last few months. When my husband wakes up before me, I ask him to let our two dogs out of their crates. They jump up on the bed and cuddle with me. And I realized that I not only get a great sense of comfort from their presence but from the ritual itself. I look forward to our time together in the morning, even if it is only for 10 minutes, though my favorite days are the ones where we can fall back to sleep for an hour or two more. Your article validated for me what I had been sensing–a growing appreciation for a new ritual as well as feeling the need for more of them during a particularly chaotic time in my life. Now I have a better understanding of why!

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 7:13pm

    I love my morning snuggle time with the dogs! What a beautiful realization, Nicole, and a beautiful ritual. Thanks for sharing with us here!

    xx,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 10, 2014 3:02pm

i can see where you are going with this article (I too used to go to bed listening to the same cd everynite, and basically drive to town with the same 4 cds for over a year. But. I think this is a very dangerous article. A lot of HSPs, like me, also tend to develop OCD, a coping mechanism gone awry. The use of the term "ritual" is incredibly loaded, as this is a trigger word in the OCD literature. I used to have a dozen rituals that needed to be done 'just right' in order to survive the day. Fortunately, i got help in the form of medications and 5 years of cognitive behaviour therapy, and avoid "rituals" like the plague (same thing with mantras – it would be normal for me to repeat mantras in groups of 5 over a 100 times!). As someone with detailed knowledge of OCD, I would gently ask you to find a different word for 'ritual' AND be mindful that rituals can turn into something hideous and life-crippling … cheers

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 5:47pm

    Thanks for your good points, Travis! I can see how ritual-like behavior can go overboard and become dangerous, and how some people may need to pay close attention to their behavior. I feel like the rituals I practice are mindful rituals. I do love the word "ritual" so I personally will keep it. 🙂 It feels sacred to me. Because the rituals I am referring to are mindful and thoughtful, my intention is not to take it to an unhealthy level. For me, rituals are important and sacred, and vital for a balanced life.

    Be well,
    Kathryn

      anonymous Feb 10, 2014 7:06pm

      i hear ya Kathryn, they can be a good thing indeed. Just a point though about intentions not to take it to an unhealthy level – there are no intentions when it comes to OCD, it's a brain chemistry thing – you have no choice, hence the term compulsion. I do agree with the power of being mindful and thoughtful, and of course, whatever brings you happiness and peace is gonna be alright? Ha, I just hired someone to teach me yoga at my house here on the Lake, let's see where that takes me on my mindfulness journey 🙂 Cheers

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 7:14pm

    I didn't know that "ritual" was a loaded word in OCD literature. Thanks for posting that. I think the definition of ritual is the problem. It sounds like it has one meaning in OCD and another here. I hear you about wanting to steer others away from using rituals, lest they over-use and abuse them. I myself have a "ritual" that may border on OCD — I don't know. It is not particularly life-affirming, but it is harmless. I guess I would add that a ritual that is life-affirming is different from one that is harmful. It sounds like the rituals you had were harmful or destructive and linked in with other OCD behavior.

      anonymous Feb 17, 2014 8:54pm

      I think that the article refers to routine, and ritual is a word that Kathryn uses to describe her routine that is very special and sacred to her. Call it whatever you want- routine, ritual, habit, tea time, whatever works. Everyone has their own personal daily habits that become special and for HSPs they are very important. Everyone is also responsible for keeping themselves in check, for not going overboard, for not letting something that is meant to be positive and affirm happiness and peace into something obsessive.

anonymous Feb 10, 2014 11:53am

I love this, thank you so much for sharing. I'm an HSP and learning about it has made all of the difference in (as well as sense out) my life. I had zero boundaries or rules as a child, leading to a diagnosis of general anxiety. As an adult I've chosen a career that has little to no structure so creating rituals for myself is of the upmost important but I never understood exactly why. Thanks for the reminder!

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 12:33pm

    Thanks for reading and sharing here, Meagan. I love how the more we learn about our HSP trait the more our life can make sense. I love that creating rituals has become important in your own life…and that they help you. Amazing! Take good care xo.

    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 10, 2014 10:59am

Have any ritual ideas that are doable while you have a four year old around?

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 5:43pm

    Hi Jessy! I don't have kids so this is a tough one for me. I would say to begin with small moments in your day that you can find a few deep breaths – 5 minutes of you time. Also, are there any activities that you and your child might like doing together that could be incorporated into your healthy ritual? What comes to mind for you when it comes to taking care of YOU during the day, even in a busy schedule?

    Hugs,
    Kathryn

    anonymous Jul 5, 2014 5:25am

    I have a four year old and a seven year old. We do daily walks, nightly reading in bed, and make art together. I find painting with watercolor to be relaxing and easy to cean up. Another one we love is when one person starts a drawing and then we switch papers and finish each other's art.

anonymous Feb 10, 2014 9:36am

Thank you so much, I always seem to feel too much which is often overwhelming. I have to have ritual everyday to ground myself and stop from sinking under the weight of the world I take on my shoulders 🙂 I have to have my morning tea whilst I do my morning Medicine Card readings, and read my other daily meditations, and take time for meditation. I also need a daily Cardio workout, same time each day and which is always followed by walking my dog, these and my daily yoga practice keep me sane and grounded and at peace, thank youxx

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 3:01pm

    Thanks for reading and sharing here, Meagan. I love how the more we learn about our HSP trait the more our life can make sense. I love that creating rituals has become important in your own life…and that they help you. Amazing! Take good care xo.

    anonymous Nov 29, 2014 8:05am

    I have two little ones and very little down time but after reading this I realized how calming even small rituals can be. I have white holiday lights that hang over a windowsill all year and the act of turning them on every morning while I drink my coffee and throw breakfast together for the kids, it's a small act that grounds me and I'm now seeing how I look forward to it. Hope you find some similar rituals to help you feel balance during this hectic life!

anonymous Feb 10, 2014 8:29am

Kathryn,
This is reaching me at am opportune moment. how true, I despise structure and am coming to realize how much untapped potential there is in embodying some that work with my development. As i read, I thought of meditation, a rather obvious source for me. But others came to mind, such as walking barefoot in a park and just breathing, or sitting in the sand and grounding as i immerse with all the sounds of nature. Thank you for sharing. I am grateful that i discovered this website, truly after being published recently, did i realize how many beautiful contributors there are sharing in this community.
Love
Bryan

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 11:20am

    Thanks for your comments, Bryan. Walking barefoot in nature sounds lovely…the perfect way to ground! I am also grateful for EJ, and all that we have at our fingertips here. Enjoy your ritual discovery…

    xo,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 10, 2014 7:06am

Thank you – this sums up my life and I didn't even realize it. I've always been chided for being "too sensitive" – family, friends, employers etc. I didn't know for years that this is considered a negative trait – it's just how I am. Over the years I have developed many rituals that may seem boring to others but that make me feel whole and grounded. The morning walk, the cup of tea, prayer, incense and music, my yoga practice, I love it all and I don't get tired of it! ( although my husband teases me sometimes and calls me Rain Man….ouch). But when I feel whole and grounded I am able to share my sensitivities in a positive way with my clients, my loved ones and friends. In a good way. It's all about balance for me now. 🙂

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 11:18am

    Beautifully said, Sabine. Love that – all of it. 🙂

    xo,
    Kathryn

    anonymous Feb 16, 2014 9:43am

    i'm with you, sabine. i also carried the "too sensitive" label since a little girl though realized pretty quickly that it was an admonition to be different than i truly was ~ in other words, an insult. taking care of ourselves is key! and often a hard won skill for us HSPs!

anonymous Feb 9, 2014 8:19pm

I love this article! I am going to develop some rituals of my own, this seems to be just what I need in my life right now.

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 5:23am

    Thanks for reading, Hannah! So glad you are going to be looking into creating rituals in your own life. Have fun with it 🙂

    xo,
    Kathryn

anonymous Feb 9, 2014 8:19pm

I love this article! I am going to develop some rituals of my own, this seems to be just what I need in my life right now.

    anonymous Sep 22, 2014 7:57am

    Hi, Hannah– I have done this unknowingly for years. I have some rituals that 'sound' like them: shedding the day by changing into my sweats as soon as I come home; eating a specific comfort food when I'm not feeling well. Other ritual-like behavior: watching familiar movies *whenever* they come on TV–it's calming and comforting. Or playing a recording of crickets every night as I fall asleep.

Erika Ing Hoffman Jul 16, 2017 12:51pm

Stretching out and dog walks morning and night.

Donna Breault Nov 24, 2016 8:05pm

I like to go out to my garden and water my plants in the morning.

Lyndall Flynn Oct 13, 2016 11:02am

Thank you so much for this article. My life makes more sense now.

Jeanette C. Slagt Aug 7, 2016 11:20am

I have my rituals, the music I only do when there is a lot of emotional stress in my life I feel overwhemeld by. I need music when I take pictures at burial places and every morning I write, in my paper diary with coffee. I walk beaches when I get tired of the world or just sit and stare at the horizon, whether it is far away or close by, no focus, just stare.