Hochsensibilität Hochsensitivität Selbstannahme

So much Space! Why Space is Important to Highly Sensitive People

So much Space! (Words on photograph of clouds over the wide ocean) ©Johanna Ringe 2023 www.johannaringe.com

So much Space! Whenever I stand on the seashore, I feel like I can finally breathe again. And expand, stretch my mind and all my being into that space until I feel more like myself, again. Aaaah! Wonderful!
Recently I had a conversation with a friend about why it feels so good to be by the ocean.

By the seaside there is less human clutter, and more space.

That was one thing we could agree on: if half of the world you can see at a given time is the ocean, then there is a lot less stuff to process for an HSP. Less unpredictability, more of nature’s order. Of course, the sea is never the same, the wind and the clouds dance their dance… but somehow this is not stressful. Not as stressful as a big city with cars, horns, sirens, human beings, shouts, and whistles.

 If you are not highly sensitive yourself, try imagining this:

a bunch of people surrounding you, shouting at you, using your name and demanding your attention for at least 50 different reasons, while a speed punk band is performing at 5 m distance and a carrousel with lights, music and screaming children behind your back cannot stop a cook from frying smelly fish right there, beside the heap of rotting junk that is been shovelled down from a big truck which has the motor running, for good measure. Try that!

And then you might have the level of overwhelm any HSP has on any given day while walking through a city centre.

Of course, we can do that, but it drains us. Having less filters means processing all the information our sensory input gives us. Processing it as if it was important because the automated filtering into more and less important stuff just does not happen. Does not happen unconsciously but needs to be done on a more conscious level. Which is work. Tiresome, draining work. And this is just on the way to the office, on the way to the shops or on the way to the place we want to visit.

But we want to enjoy this concert, we want to dance on your wedding, want to visit that place and experience those things!

There is no fun and no real use in sheltering constantly from the world. But we need our time to recover from all that input. So please, could you let us do just that? Let us spend some moments alone, in a calm and soothing space – and we will be as good as new. This could happen in a silent room in the office, at a lush green park in the city, in a museum, in our bedroom, or at the seaside.

Because the ocean is soothing even on a stormy day.

Because the brain knows what to expect from the sea, the wind, and the clouds. They are much easier to have around than a bunch of people. Because people, you know, they could do anything anytime…
Any space that is in that way reliable can be soothing. So, an empty house, a big museum, a concert hall, a forest, a desert… at times, even with company. Company, which is known to us, which does not tend to break into screaming or jump off a cliff – it is important to make that clear. To some people, at least.

„Even your emotions have an echo, in so much space”

Gnarls Barkley: Crazy

I love this song, for many reasons. But this line in particular makes me breathe deeper whenever I hear it.
Yes, sometimes my emotions need that empty space to echo in and then die away slowly… so I can come out and experience something else. (And, yes, if there is no space for this, it might drive us crazy.)

If you are also highly sensitive, I wish you good company for your next trip to the seaside (or wherever you like to recharge).
And if you are not, I wish you at least one highly sensitive friend, that trusts you to accompany them on such a trip – because you might experience nature in a totally different way.

Heartfelt, wherever you might be,

Unterschrift Johanna (c) Johanna Ringe 2014 ff. www.dein-buntes-leben.de