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Our society is crowded, busy, and constantly expects something from every living and nonliving thing. Some may term this a need of an hour, but it can make living extremely toxic for some, especially highly sensitive people (HSPs).
The modern lifestyle that involves social media, ever-changing education systems, tons of social norms & beliefs cast too many expectations on us. And, this can overwhelm and exhaust our body and mind. Life, full of responsibilities and duties, forces us to keep a track of even the short breaks we take from our super-busy schedules.
Being an HSP, such situations can be difficult to handle. Continuous stress and intense pressure can impel these fragile souls to find a solution to this on their own. Eventually, they may be forced to rely on addictive substances to calm the storm occurring in their hearts. When your sensitive nature is killing you every day, things like alcohol and drugs, even if they are dangerous for your health in the long run, seem less evil. You start using them to be relaxed and take on the things you usually do not like normally. The act of numbing your senses becomes an act of survival rather than just a normal high.
Who Are Highly Sensitive People?
People born with extremely sensitive nervous systems are HSPs, and currently, around 15-20 percent of people experience this phenomenon. In layman’s terms, they tend to grasp a lot of information and process it. They notice almost everything around them and their brain keeps on processing that information whatsoever. Even though this can make them emotionally aware and creative at times, this constant work can drain them. Ultimately, such an environment of overstimulation can flood with endless tasks for their brain and they may feel to give it a rest at least for some time.
How Alcohol Can Work In Their Favor?
They may see alcohol as a quick ride that can take them out of the endless world of thoughts and emotions. It may become an easy and effective way to turn off dreadful situations for a while.
Of course, it cannot always be alcohol. Several other addictive and mind-numbing substances can help them pacify their overloaded nervous system. However, the majority of HSPs choose alcohol over other drugs because it is socially accepted, legal and available almost everywhere.
Now, this case cannot be applied to all the HSPs. The effects of alcohol on you can vary depending on the following things:
- Degree of sensitivity
- Family history with alcohol
- The way you are raised
- Personal choices
All such factors play a big role in deciding how you will count on alcohol as a coping mechanism to tackle stressful circumstances.
When it is about drinks, all the myths about them are truly the myths. It is not the best way to enhance your social skills. It does not make you fall asleep real quick. It does not improve your health if consumed in small amounts. And this list goes on.
But it has one superpower — it can numb your senses for a limited time, and this applies to the HSPs as well. It’s not a secret why people get addicted to alcohol too soon despite knowing its harmful effects.
Alcohol makes the world more tolerable for HSPs. However, it’s just an illusion. It only worsens things when all is said and done. If you are already stressed and struggling to get a peaceful sleep, alcohol only adds to your problems. Likewise, if you don’t like attending meetings at work, hangovers are the last thing you will wish for.
Addiction In The Making
HSPs are usually introverted people and alcohol works exactly the same for them as it does for low sensitive people. For instance, many have drunk a full bottle of whisky after a breakup. Didn’t you feel a bit relieved even if it was a bad situation?
Such things are pretty common when people try to find their own version of medicine to ease the tragic show they are going through. Do you remember how you started relying on drinks to deal with the sad feeling of heartbreak and it gradually became a regular thing? If your answer is yes, sadly, such situations can come back.
The human brain tends to get involved in actions without calculating the potential damages. You may fill up your glass with your favorite scotch to seek some relief as easily as you brush your teeth every day.
As long as highly sensitive people are concerned, they are more vulnerable to such habits as they are not only affected by their own thoughts but also the emotions of others. Their nervous systems are always ready to process the piles of information thrown at them from the outside and inside worlds. Unfortunately, they may get hurt because of even the smallest of things such as someone scolding them or not calling them. As a result, the likelihood of them falling for alcohol addiction is far more than low-sensitive people.
What Are The Triggers And How To Defeat Them?
In this case, triggers are the impulses that encourage you to drink again and again to face any situation. Your subconscious mind links alcohol to cure and tempts you to repeat the habit. Things like places, pictures, specific smells can push you to get involved in that pleasure you get from alcohol.
Unlike low-sensitive people, triggers can make life difficult for highly sensitive people. They have a natural ability to collect even the tiniest details of the things around them and link them to a certain emotional state. For example, if you are passing by a bar you once visited with your girlfriend five years ago can awaken the feeling of nostalgia.
The best way to stop alcohol from ruining your life is to seek medical help as soon as possible at a renowned alcohol treatment center in California. Health care experts at such rehab facilities focus on preventing triggers and help addicted HSPs to develop new ways to cope with stress or sensitivity to relieve tension.
HSPs are exceptionally creative and thus, expressing their emotions through art is a perfect way. Creating something while releasing the hidden thoughts inside their hearts can help them to get rid of undesired elements.
Planning your day is another way to avoid triggers. The chances of overthinking increase when you are idle. Being occupied in some sorts of activities keeps your mind busy and triggers at the bay.
Moreover, you can try some basic steps mentioned below to avoid harmful drinking as a highly sensitive person.
- Spend time with nature
- Find a reliable friend
- Have other drinks that calm you (non-alcoholic, of course)
- Most importantly, identify the triggers
HSPs, The Force Is Always With You!
In a nutshell, there’s one simple piece of advice for all the HSPs out there — trust your intuitions. You have to be open-minded and open-hearted to understand what you really need. Adapt what your mind and body are telling you without making any expectations or opinions about it.
No one else can understand what you need better than yourself. Use your instincts to reconnect with your emotions and treat them as they really are. This will help you set realistic goals and add meaning to your life.