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By Jenna Avery, CLC,
Life Coach for Sensitive Souls

Have you just discovered that you’re a highly sensitive soul? Are you wondering, “Now what?” If so, you’re in the right place! (For more about being highly sensitive, see my article “Are You Highly Sensitive?”).

Discovering that you’re sensitive is usually exciting, relieving, and overwhelming – all at once. Because you are sensitive, you’ll see the possibilities for how this will affect your life, and that alone can be over-stimulating. It’s OK! Take a deep breath! In this article you’ll find tips for learning to adjust to your new discovery.

OK, I’m Sensitive. Now What?

1. Take It Slow
Increasingly, there’s more information about sensitivity available. Take your time reviewing it. A terrific place to start is by reading The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When The World Overwhelms You, by Dr. Elaine Aron. She is the seminal author on the topic, and reading her book is like visiting with an old, dear friend you didn’t know you had.

2. Make Your Sensitivity Your Own
Often we’ve been told that we are “too sensitive.” We’ve accordingly learned that we’re quite different from others around us. For most, this means years of asking ourselves, “What’s wrong with me?” We’ve spent lots of time trying to fit in and to be different than who we are. Now it’s time to nip that pattern in the bud. Ask yourself: “What if my sensitivity is one of my gifts?” Let yourself be open to the answers that emerge.

3. Extend Your Sensitivity to Yourself
Imagine that you are introducing a small child to being sensitive. Your own sensitivity would be a powerful means of supporting her, would it not? You would be gentle, thoughtful, caring, and empathic in your tender welcome into a sometimes-confusing world that differs from our societal norm. What would it be like to extend the same compassion to yourself as you explore this new territory?

4. Reframe Your Past
When you’re ready, it’s helpful to look back at your life and “reframe” past experiences that you’ve interpreted as failures. For example, although I was successful as an urban designer in my previous career, I found it extremely difficult to tolerate disharmonious office politics, shared working space, late hours, and constant deadlines and pressure. While these things are tough for many, I found it painful to the point that I had to leave the profession. When I reframe this experience in light of my sensitivity, I see that an extremely high level of constant stimulation and negative energy overwhelmed me. It wasn’t a failure. It was a poor match for my highly sensitive soul.

5. Give Yourself a Break
Learning about being sensitive can trigger a lot of emotions – in many forms. Joy, relief, sadness, excitement, anger, and confusion may all surface, often all at once. This is a great time to practice great self-care and take time for yourself. As you learn to support your sensitive soul, you’ll find that you need plenty of time to be alone, to rest, and to sleep. Possibly more than you’ve ever allowed yourself to imagine!

6. Confide Wisely
It’s important to choose confidants wisely. Not everyone is ready or willing to understand the concept of being sensitive. I suggest that you share your new discovery with trusted friends and loved ones, particularly those you live with. It can help them better understand you and where you’re coming from.

7. Connect With Other Sensitives
It’s also incredibly helpful to connect with other sensitive souls when you feel ready to do so. You can be fully welcomed and received by others who 100% appreciate who you are! On my website you’ll find details about monthly TeleGatherings for Sensitive Souls and links to a variety of communities for sensitives all over the Internet.

8. Take a New Look at Who You Are
As you begin to integrate and accept your sensitivity, think about what works for you and what doesn’t in your life. You may find that certain activities, situations, environments, or individuals are no longer supportive. For example, you may find that certain friendships are quite draining of your energy – it may be time to let them go. Although it may sometimes seem like a hindrance, the more you work with your sensitivity rather than against it, the more you’ll be able to fully share your talents and yourself with the world.

9. Develop Your Strengths
Being Highly Sensitive means you have a number of unique talents, including being empathic, intuitive, and creative. Because many of us have suppressed our sensitivity in order to fit in, these talents may be latent strengths, waiting to emerge. There are many books available to help you to explore these gifts. My favorites include: “The Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide” by Kyra Mesich, “The Psychic Pathway” by Sonia Choquette, and “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, among others.

Take the time to develop these valuable skills. They’re an important part of who you are. You owe it yourself to discover how powerful you can truly be.


Copyright 2004-2011, Jennifer Avery, All rights reserved.

Jenna Avery is a highly sensitive coach and intuitive who specializes in guiding sensitive souls to find a deep sense of inner rightness within themselves so they are inspired to step forward and shine. Jenna is a Certified Life Coach based in Berkeley, California. She can be reached at 510.984.3474. You’re invited to take her free online assessment: "Is Your Sensitivity Working For You?" on her website at

These articles may be published on your website in their entirety as long as the copyright notes and biographical information above are included in their entirety with functional hyperlinks. Please also send me an e-mail to let me know they have been published, and where. Thank you!

Jenna Avery, CLC, MCP, MLA
2721 Shattuck Avenue, #245, Berkeley, California, 94705
tel: (510) 984-3474
Please contact me on my new website here.
© Jennifer Avery, 2002, 2011, 2012.  All Rights Reserved.