Sensitivity Isn't Static: Here's How To Deal With Times When It's Stronger For You
Empaths, folks who pick up easily and intimately on the energy and emotions of others and have a strong natural intuition, can actually experience growth spurts in which their exceptional sensitivity becomes heightened. This could be temporary, happening to help you navigate a tough time in your life, or it could be that your sensitivity and intuition—which are not static and can awaken or evolve—are expanding. A sensitivity growth spurt is a positive development, yet it can be a little disorienting and overwhelming at first. Here are some tips to help:
1. Remind yourself that anything new takes getting used to.
Just like when you had a physical growth spurt as a kid that affected your shoe size or your hormone levels, sensitivity growth spurts can be awkward at first. In my late 20s, my clairsentient (feeling) and clairaudient (hearing) psychic pathways experienced a significant growth spurt. I spent a few months, day by day, growing into my new level of sensitivity and psychic ability.
2. Learn more about your special sensitivity.
When my psychic abilities increased, I read about the four clairs or main psychic pathways to educate myself on what was happening with me. In my new book Self-Care for Empaths, I explore sensitivity, intuition, and all the unique self-care practices that help sensitive people better navigate the world.
3. Get support from other sensitive people.
Sensitive empaths can have all types of friends and belong to all types of communities. Yet having a few sensitive friends you can go to for practical advice and emotional support about your sensitivity helps. Find a mentor or someone who knows a lot about the subject. Some empaths like to belong to online communities, which can help normalize your experience.
4. Build in more time to connect with yourself.
Come back home to yourself by journaling, pulling oracle cards, walking in nature, meditating, attending a gentle yoga class, or anything else that makes you feel centered. These activities can help you be more present to this increased sensitivity and how it's affecting you.
5. Schedule more retreat and recovery time.
An empath needs regular retreat and recovery time to rest their sensitive system, which is hyper-perceptive and more easily overwhelmed. A growth spurt in sensitivity can be overwhelming because you are intuitively picking up on more. You'll get used to this in time, but temporarily you'll need more space to process. Minimize unnecessary drama and find time to get lost in a creative hobby, do a 1,000-piece puzzle with a friend or partner, cuddle with the kids while you watch the sunset, or do anything else relaxing and low-stimulation.
6. Use this as an excuse to identify and begin shifting anything toxic in your life.
Being very sensitive can demand that you have healthy boundaries with other people. If there's a relationship or job you're in that has some toxic aspects, talk to a counselor or trusted friend about ways to improve the situation. A sensitivity growth spurt can make toxic dynamics glaringly obvious. Remember it's not about making other people wrong or about making sudden, sometimes very stressful changes. Get clarity, and then give yourself grace and space to decide how best to take action. Sometimes simple awareness shifts things.
7. Connect with your guides.
Lean into your spiritual practice—meditation, rituals, or anything else that makes you feel connected to your soul or a larger, benevolent force. If you like to work with spirit guides, your increased sensitivity means it will be even easier to receive their messages now.
8. Don't worry—your new level of sensitivity will eventually feel normal.
You will grow into your new level of sensitivity. Be patient with yourself and view this growth spurt with curiosity and excitement—it's an adventure. With time, education, and practice, your new sensitivity will feel second-nature, just as riding a bike or driving a car eventually becomes second-nature. Get whatever support you need from loved ones, counselors, experts, or health care providers. Keeping a journal about your sensitivity growth spurt might also help.