So…Anxiety. The thing “everyone” has these days, right? (and, for about a million good reasons…) But, anxiety truly is a major problem that affects many people. It can be especially challenging for us women who are highly sensitive (HSP). As an HSP woman, you are more likely to experience anxiety than other women. And, unfortunately, this anxiety can be triggered by even the smallest things. This is due to our heightened senses and emotional sensitivity. Which are not bad things! But they can make anxiety worse. So, let’s get into it.
HSP or Highly Sensitive Women with Anxiety
Our world simply wasn’t created for HSP women and is even more challenging for HSP women with anxiety. The world is loud, chaotic, and full of overwhelming stimuli. And, for you, this can be a recipe for anxiety disaster. What’s more, as an HSP woman, you can often feel like an “emotional sponge.” You absorb the emotions of those around you, which can heighten your anxiety.
Anxiety in HSP women can be characterized by:
- Overthinking and ruminating on past events or conversations
- Worrying about the future
- Feeling like you’re not good enough
- Highly sensitive to criticism
- Feeling like you’re constantly on edge
These are just some of the unique challenges that you may face as an HSP woman with anxiety. And, unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so you may have multiple or all of these challenges. But, don’t worry, we’ll get to some coping strategies soon.
Anxiety Triggers for HSP Women
Now that we know a little more about anxiety in HSP women, let’s talk about some of the things that can trigger it. As I said before, even the smallest thing can set off your anxiety. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can trigger it. Here are some of the most common anxiety triggers for HSP women:
Change can stress anyone out, but for HSP women, it can be especially challenging. This is because we like routine and for things to be familiar. Something like change can throw off our whole day and make us feel like we are constantly off balance. So, any time there is a change, even if it’s something small, it can set off our anxiety. For example, if you’re moving to a new home or starting a new job, that can be really anxiety-provoking.
As I’m sure you know by now, we are highly sensitive to our surroundings. And, sometimes, there can be too many stimuli for us to handle. This can often happen in places with a lot of people, like a crowded mall or subway station. Or, it can happen when we are bombarded with too many smells, sounds, and sights at once. We are all thinking it… The perfume section in a store. Too much!
Lack of Control
I mentioned this above, but as HSP women we like things to be familiar and routine. So, I don’t think it’s a surprise that a lack of control can cause anxiety. When we feel like we are not in control of a situation, it can be very scary and overwhelming. This is why you may find yourself feeling anxious in situations like public speaking or job interviews. Preparing can help but, unfortunately, you can’t always prepare for everything.
These are just some of the things that can trigger anxiety in HSP women. You may struggle with one or all of these triggers. But, luckily, there are some things that you can do to help cope with your anxiety.
Coping Strategies for HSP Women with Anxiety
Now that we know more about triggers, let’s talk about what we can do to cope with anxiety as HSP women. There are many coping strategies that can be helpful for some HSP women but not for others. It’s important to find what works for you. Talking with one of our specialized therapists at Counseling Solutions of Broward to help you figure out a plan can be really helpful. But, here are some coping strategies that may help you:
One way to combat your anxiety is through grounding techniques. They can help you focus on the here and now while also helping to ease your anxiety. This can be really helpful when you are feeling anxious and your mind is racing. Some grounding techniques that you may find helpful are:
- Focusing on your breath
- Listening to the sounds around you
- Tensing and relaxing your muscles
- Counting or repeating a mantra
These are just a few examples. Experimenting with what works best for you is key.
I know, I know. Even I sighed a little bit. You’ve heard it a million times but exercise really can help ease anxiety. It releases endorphins that can help improve your mood. And, it also helps to reduce stress. So, even if you don’t love working out, give it a try. You may be surprised at how much it can help. For example, take a yoga class or go for a walk outside. It doesn’t have to be anything too intense.
Take a Break
I’m sure you’ve heard this coping strategy as well, but it really is important! When you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious, it can be helpful to take a break. This can be a physical break where you step away from the situation. Or it can be a mental break where you clear your head for a minute. For example, you’re packing for a big trip and you start to feel anxious. You may want to take a break and do something calming, like reading or taking a bath. Or, maybe you’re in the middle of a big project at work and you’re feeling overwhelmed. In this instance, you may find it beneficial to take a minute for yourself.
Talk to Someone
When you’re feeling anxious, it can be really helpful to talk to someone. This can be a friend, family, or even a therapist. Talking about how you’re feeling can help you to feel better and can also give you some perspective. Sometimes, just getting things off your chest can make a world of difference. I know as an HSP woman this can sometimes be difficult. We can tend to be pretty private people. But, it’s important to remember that there are people who care about you and want to help.
Therapy in Florida or Coaching for HSP Women
As always, I would love to support you. If you are an HSP woman in Florida needing a therapist, let’s talk! Though I’m based out of my therapy practice in Miramar, FL, I can actually help you wherever you are via online therapy in Florida. Let’s talk about what life looks like when you practice strong, healthy boundaries!
Outside of Florida, but still needing support to live your best, most authentic life? Let’s talk about how I may be able to help you through empowerment coaching for women! Check out the rest of my therapy blog for resources, thoughts, and additional self-care tools. I’m here for you and your journey to a beautiful life.
Other Services Offered at Counseling Solutions of Broward:
I provide a variety of mental health services for women throughout the state of Florida. My goal is to create lasting transformative change and growth in your life. So, I offer anxiety treatment, depression treatment, counseling for imposter syndrome, after-divorce counseling, relationship counseling for one, and co-dependency treatment. For more information on counseling, please check out my what to expect page or contact my counseling office to make an appointment.