Published on April 29th, 2013 | by Dale Webb
Natalie Marsh – The energy sponge toolkit
Another article by Natalie which will help those with LLI who often feel “overly emotional” or “too sensitive” learn to control the energy responsible for those feelings.
The Energy Sponge Toolkit
by Natalie Marsh
Everyone who has Low Latent Inhibition is highly sensitive, but not always to emotion. We all experience an astounding amount of stimulation every second of every day, but what we take in and how varies from person to person. There is a delicate balance within the LLI community between intellectual, emotional, and spiritual endeavors.
Those who have been labeled as ‘too sensitive’ or ‘overly emotional’ throughout their lives are often unaware emotional energy sponges. These individuals regularly take on the energy (emotion) of those around them – which is often negative – without realizing that it’s not their own. This can result in the belief that they are bundles of emotional chaos, which is something very few people understand. Without reciprocated empathy, these people suffer.
How, then, should one go about improving upon such a miserable situation? There are many steps that can be taken, and the path is going to be different for everyone. The first thing an Energy Sponge should do is accept that they are always going to experience more energy flow than other people. Acceptance has to be the beginning because, without it, you will be flying blindly.
From there, it is important to become aware of conscious and subconscious habits. Until you know how you’ve learned to cope with the bombardment of energy, you will not know how to improve upon your current Self. Most of us tend to Depersonalize and create some sort of shield around ourselves – often excess physical weight. We might also withdraw socially and become reclusive. Be critical of yourself so that you can discover these habits, but don’t forget to forgive! Coping mechanisms are perfectly natural, and we all have to learn how to improve at some point in our lives.
A spiritual perspective on Depersonalization Disorder:
What should you do to pinpoint these habits? Quiet time, meditation, and the practice of being present in each moment will help tremendously. Simplify your life as much as possible, including your diet. Plan out your interactions with difficult people as often as possible and pay close attention to your reactions and the way you feel during and afterward. If you’re having trouble keeping track of these things, keep a detailed journal. You will probably feel overwhelmed at some point, and that’s okay!
Once you have mapped out your coping mechanisms and when they take over, you can begin to improve upon them. Continuing with quiet time and meditation will certainly give you the energy and presence of mind you will need to tackle this problem. Practice Mindfulness techniques as long as you can every single day. If you aren’t familiar with this, read about it here:
Optimizing your physical body is going to be an important step as well. Do whatever you can manage for exercise, even if it’s only 5 minutes of yoga per day. Moving consciously will not only improve your body, it will also have a positive impact on your mind. Recommended gentle exercise, aside from yoga, would be swimming and Tai Chi – both of which can be done in a lake, pool, or river!
Change your diet if you haven’t already. Too many of us eat and drink things for pleasure, or out of habit, which are detrimental to our health. Don’t ever forget that your gastrointestinal system (Enteric Nervous System) is your second brain! Once you’ve learned to eat for sustenance, you will experience a new sort of pleasure when you take your meals. Nourishment becomes its own reward. One useful tool for determining what sort of diet you should try out is Ayurveda. You can find out which is your dosha and learn about it here (If you aren’t sure about some of the answers, ask someone who knows you very well.):
In the event that Ayurveda just doesn’t resonate with you, there are other options. For instance, if you’re prone to blood sugar issues, you can follow a low-glycemic diet. If you have cardiovascular problems, you might benefit from becoming a vegetarian. Buy more fresh produce and reduce your consumption of highly processed foods. Switch refined sugar in your meal plan to healthier alternatives like honey, xylitol, and agave nectar.
Where do you feel the most relaxed? Many people would answer beach, forest, tropical climate, desert, etc. Do you need to be near water frequently? Identify which environment is best for you and make an effort to put yourself there, even if it’s only in your mind. If you enjoy nature but happen to live in a city, try walking around barefoot on the lawn. Feel the bark of trees as you pass by. Stand under the shade of a tree for a few minutes. Grow some rosemary, which smells very much like a pine or fir tree. Desert can be a bit more difficult, but you can always keep a jar of sand nearby that you can run your hand through, and cacti aren’t difficult to grow.
For those of us who need water but aren’t near any real source, we do have options! Shower as soon as you get home. If you need salt water, make yourself a saltwater bath. Buy yourself a fountain to put by your desk or bed, and a CD of running water that you can play in the background during your quiet time. Even a squirt bottle full of fresh water can help with your mood. Just squirt your face or the back of your neck whenever you need a pick-me-up!
Most importantly, you need to learn to say ‘No’. When you’ve become aware of how and why you’re taking in the energy of others, you can readily recognize situations in which you shouldn’t be their dumping ground. We all want to help others, but you have to be aware of your limitations. If you’re already soaked, so to speak, it’s alright to say No! They will find another outlet, and you won’t have to hide in a closet from the world.
To recap, here are our steps to freedom:
- Quiet time
- Mindfulness training
- Learn when to say ‘No’