How to Find Peace in the Chaos When You’re a Highly Sensitive Introvert

An introvert feels at peace by petting her cat

The world can feel overwhelming, but you deserve time to yourself, even when you feel like you don’t have time to spare. 

I’m 19 years old, and as a highly sensitive introvert, a digital native, and a fellow human being, I know what it’s like to feel increasingly overwhelmed by the news, media, school, what your friends are doing on the weekend (FOMO is real!), the constant pressure to present a glowing, pristine self-image to everybody who has the pleasure of knowing you, body image issues, those sneaky, and irrational fears about the future that keep you tossing and turning in your bed at night… I’d go on, but you get the point.

We’re living in a chaotic, turbulent world, and let’s be real, it’s not easy, especially for those of us who would prefer it to be slower, quieter, and more suited to the intrinsic needs we possess as introverts. Even those among us who seem to be handling it well have it rough sometimes. 

We young adults are already so vulnerable to everything around us — we’re in a messy, confusing phase, we’re learning to be independent, and we’re expected to blossom into mature adults overnight. When you add introversion to the mix, well, let’s just say it can be hard not to lose yourself in a world that is constantly telling you, in covert ways, that who you are is “not entirely okay,” “flawed,” or just plain “unacceptable.”

Trust me, I’ve felt it — I’ve felt all of it. But, as a highly sensitive introvert, here are some ways in which I protect (and preserve) my mental peace, and ways in which you can protect and preserve yours, too.

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5 Ways to Create Inner Peace as a Highly Sensitive Introvert

1. Ask yourself why you’re using so many social media platforms.

Really, get to the root of it. Are you using these platforms because everybody else is? Are you using them because you’re lonely? Are you using them because you feel like your presence in the world needs to be validated all the time, and you would cease to exist if it wasn’t? 

While some introverts genuinely enjoy social media and find it helpful, others have stopped using it altogether.

If social media is making you miserable, you need to take a step back and try to figure out why. If you’re addicted to these platforms, you need to do a bit of soul-searching. Trying to reduce your time on social media may be hard, so if you’re struggling with it, I would urge you to do a detox. This way, you’ll break the “instant gratification” circuit in your brain. 

When you’re doing your detox, immerse yourself in offline activities that engage you, things that make you feel good about yourself. Do things that will add value to the world, and use this time to build a stronger sense of self. Plus, pursuing hobbies outside of work is a healthy thing to do! You can learn to play an instrument, start hiking, or engage in some “culinary therapy.” 

Once you feel better, you can start reusing social platforms… if you really want to. (But you may realize you haven’t really missed them!) When/if you do go back, it’ll be easier for you to regulate and limit your use, and finally, finally, say yes to digital minimalism.

2. Engage in self-care, both physically and mentally.

When I say self-care, I mean everything from putting on charcoal face masks to healing your emotional wounds. As an introvert, you deserve to water your own garden, so to speak, and you deserve time to yourself, even when you feel like you don’t have time to spare. 

Yes, of course, you’re busy. But your mental and emotional health are the foundational pillars that enable you to do everything else in your life, and you can’t afford to compromise them. 

Investing in yourself can mean so many different things, and there are no strong, hard rules here. Invest in your intellectual curiosity, invest in making the world a better place, invest in your art, your music, your culinary talents. Whatever floats your boat. Invest in things that recharge you, things that make you feel alive. And no, they do not have to involve other people.

3. Take a look at what actually matters to you.

Pause for a moment. Do you know what you want, and why you want it? Do you have solid reasons for wanting it? Do you want it because you’ve been conditioned to believe you want it, or do you want it because you’re using it to fill a void or make other people perceive you in a certain manner? 

Being more aware of why you want something can go a long way. If you realize you want something for reasons that feel superficial or inauthentic, you have the power to start altering your desires. 

Finding purpose is very important to highly sensitive people (and introverts!), so it’s about time to dig deep and figure out what matters most.

Is the chaos of life overwhelming you as a highly sensitive person?

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4. Eliminate any “noise” that may be damaging to your mental health.

Stop buying newspapers and listening to news on the radio if you know they severely affect your mental health. This is something you can control, and you have no obligation to know this much about what’s going on in the world. Chances are, as a highly sensitive introvert, this negativity stays with you long after you turn off the news. Plus, it can increase your anxiety and stress (and we have enough of that as it is, from all the overstimulation we experience on a daily basis!).

Also, work on limiting other kinds of “noise” — gossip, comparison, judgments people make about you… I know it’s tough, but try to stay in your own lane and walk your own path as much as possible.

5. Prioritize events and people that are important to you.

You should never, ever feel guilty for wanting to skip social events. There have been countless times when I’ve felt as though I had to conform — that is, go to every party that exists — and pretend to have loads of fun, post pictures online, and make it all about what a marvelous time I’m having. (Usually, the opposite was true.)

Fellow introverts, trust me when I tell you to not fall into this trap. If you’re not a party person, well, first, welcome to the club. Secondly, ask yourself what you’re really trying to achieve by doing things that don’t align with your authentic self. If you’re going because everybody else is, or because you want to be perceived as “more outgoing” by your friends and acquaintances, I promise you that you don’t need to do this.

Trust me when I tell you this — the right people will see you and appreciate you for exactly who you are. And that is your splendid, introverted self. You won’t have to change anything about yourself, anything at all, for these people to want you in their lives.

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