Introvert | Quiet Soul | Highly Sensitive | Dreamer — Nature | Simple and Slow Living — whitneybarkman.ca/explore

Being a highly sensitive person can be overwhelming at times, but learning to navigate your deep emotions can have you loving your sensitivity

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Have you ever been told you’re “too sensitive”? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your emotional response, to either positive or negative stimuli, and wondered why others didn’t seem to have the same feelings? Well, it’s entirely possible that you’re a highly sensitive person or HSP.

Roughly 70% of HSPs are also introverts. It’s interesting to note because introverts also often feel things deeply, are more sensitive to external stimulation, and enjoy living slower, quieter lives. It can be difficult to separate the two personality traits.

I am among that 70% that finds themselves both introverted and highly sensitive. And my journey with my sensitivity has been bumpy, just as my journey with my introversion was less than smooth. Understanding and managing our emotions is something that begins in childhood, but for kids like me who seemed to have a deeper emotional response to the things happening around them, it took me well into my twenties to actually understand, begin to accept my sensitivity, and learn to work with it instead of against it. …


Introverts need a place they can settle in, be themselves, and enjoy solitude and quiet in order to recharge their batteries.

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While every introvert’s human interaction tolerance varies, we all share a similar need for a safe and quiet space at home to recharge. A person’s mood and energy can be greatly impacted by their surroundings; a chaotic home environment will likely equal chaotic feelings in our minds, but on the flip side, a calm and comforting home can leave us feeling safe and happy.

The introvert sanctuary, as I like to call it, is a room or space at home that is cozy, quiet, and filled with things to help you recharge your batteries. …


Changing your lifestyle can feel daunting, even when you know it’ll be a good change, so how can you move towards slow living in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming?

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Knowing a way of life will be beneficial to you and then actually shifting your priorities can feel difficult and daunting. Despite the fact that slow living would help you feel more peaceful, content, and happy, it can feel like a massive undertaking to begin slowing everything down. And what about all your commitments; your job, your family, and friends? Do you just drop everything at once? And what if, like with many people, overhauling your entire life at once, simply isn’t possible?

Drastic life changes can quickly become overwhelming, leading us to give up on them altogether, despite the fact that we know what we were aiming for would have helped us feel better and happier. …


How to embrace the slow living lifestyle in small and simple ways

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Through the discovery and implementation of slow living, I’ve experienced deep contentment that continues to build as I live my life with more intention. As an introvert, I always felt overwhelmed by keeping busy. I rebelled against the idea that busy was good; the idea that it doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as you’re busy. As I began to reject the badge of honour that is being busy; I felt happier, more mentally well, and more at peace in ways that I’ve never experienced before.

The peace that I’ve cultivated (and continue to cultivate) did not necessarily come easily. I was going against years of conditioning that stated that I was worthy because of my productivity, my busy-ness. I had to recognize that I was doing things far differently than most of the western world — and I had to learn that that was okay. …


Resisting new habits and new practices is extremely common, but what is it that’s really stopping us from making changes in our lives?

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I think we’ve all felt the resistance that comes when trying to adopt a new habit or begin a new practice. It’s not always easy to start something new, it’s even more difficult to keep at it until it becomes a consistent and sustainable daily ritual.

Journaling began that way for me. I did it here and there, usually when I was in a terrible mood or needed to vent freely. But as a habit, it didn’t stick. …


Introverts and highly sensitive folks might be more likely to deal with anxiety, but what role does slow living have in relieving the many symptoms and struggles?

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I’ve lived with anxiety for as long as I can remember, before I even understood that the agitation I so often felt was anxiety. I tend to lean towards worry. I fall into overthinking more often than I care to admit. And there are countless other ways that anxiety shows up in my daily life.

Anxiety arises from a multitude of sources, reasons, and triggers. Some people may always have a more anxious personality, and some may only experience it when certain things are happening in life.

Anxiety can be caused by outside events and stressful situations, it can also be caused by an unhealthy body or a negative mindset. Anxiety can even present itself when we’re living out of alignment with our authentic selves. …


Introverts are often considered insecure and shy, but do we actually suffer from low self-esteem more than extroverts?

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One of the most prevalent myths out there about introverts is that they are shy, insecure, and have low self-esteem. It’s an unfair assumption based on our outward mannerisms, personality, and our desire to be in smaller groups or alone. But the reality is that introverts can be shy, just as extroverts can be shy. Introverts can be insecure, just as extroverts can be insecure. And introverts can certainly have low self-esteem, just as extroverts can too.

As human beings, we seem to have made a habit of forming assumptions about people before we’ve actually gotten to know them. We assume that someone may not speak up as often because they’re scared to, when the truth might be that they are simply listening and forming their own opinions within their minds. …


And 6 Signs You Are One

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At first glance, introversion and extroversion come across simply as personality traits; one more reserved, the other outgoing. And there are many different views on what classifies someone as an introvert or extrovert. I subscribe to the belief that introversion is less of a choice and more determined by our physiology within.

There have been studies done to show the physical differences in the brains of introverts versus the brains of extroverts, and I find this path of exploration fascinating. These studies have indicated that an introvert is far more sensitive to different forms of stimulation, that they observe and process external events differently, and that they feel calmer with less going on around them.


Autumn; the season of hygge. It’s time to slow down and get cozy

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It’s officially autumn here in beautiful British Columbia, and I’m here for it. Fall is a favourite season for many introverts, and I’m no exception. I’ll preface this by saying that I truly love all four seasons and can find beauty no matter the time of year. I would never choose to live somewhere that didn’t get to experience all the seasons in their glory, I find too long in any weather pattern leaves me restless and bored.

But if you MADE me choose a favourite season; autumn would probably be it. To me, fall brings with it an energy of slowing down, getting cozy, and letting go — energies that perfectly align with this introvert and highly sensitive soul. …


The concept of slow or intentional living might just be the key to an introvert’s sense of well-being.

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Though the concept of slow and intentional living has been around for ages, it’s recently begun to pick up speed — no pun intended. As society seems to idealize busy-ness and productivity, the rebellious idea of stepping out of the rat race and living a slow and meaningful life became necessary for many; introverts included.

From a young age we’re taught that what matters is productivity, living life to the fullest (whatever that means), and constantly being on the go. …

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