6 Bits of Mainstream Advice That Can Actually Be Harmful to Sensitive Folks

Everywhere we go, we’re bombarded with information, advice, new trends telling us what to do for better health, better relationships, better living, better sex, etc., etc.

There are also standard pieces of advice and behaviors we’ve just come to accept and normalize and therefore, measure ourselves up against. Be tough, don’t show emotions, vulnerability is weakness, etc.

The truth is, most of this advice and most of these trends are total bullshit and aren’t that great for anyone, especially sensitive, deep-feelers! Sensitive folks make up a small percentage of the population and the needs of their sensitive systems differ from most other people.

Things we’re told are good for us in mainstream culture are actually stressing our systems out even more and leading to the symptoms of misunderstood and mismanaged sensitivity – things like burnout, anxiety, and various health challenges.

We may mean well in following some of this advice and going after some of these trends, however, they’re not doing us any favors and aren’t helping us to manage the needs of our sensitive systems so we may thrive. Then, we may feel even worse and like we’re doing something “wrong” simply because the nonsensical advice didn’t work for us…

Let’s talk about six specific things we’re told are good for us that are actually making things harder for sensitive systems.

Gut Health

I had a specific requests for gut health in the Facebook group, and honestly, there isn’t any one thing that gut health isn’t impacted by

It also quickly responds positively when we make changes that reduce our stress levels.

Sensitive folks are prone to anxiety and stress when high sensitivity isn’t been properly managed, particularly when we’re doing mainstream “health” things or behaving in culturally accepted ways

Addressing the actual ROOT cause of any challenges, especially those in the gut, rather than tossing enzymes at it or doing crazy diets, is the way to sustainable, lasting healing and digestive health.

Your digestive system is EVERYTHING and is so easily thrown off by mismanaged sensitivity when there’s high levels of anxiety, stress, etc.

HIIT workouts

These may contribute to over-stimulation and add unnecessary stress and anxiety to a system that’s already overly stressed and anxious

Gentler approaches are more ideal. Your workouts should leave you feeling better after you complete them than when you began.

From an Integrative Health & Ayurvedic perspective, you should exercise to half your capacity in any one session while being able to maintain breathing through the nose.

Caffeine and alcohol consumption

Everywhere we go, we can get coffee and alcohol and they’re normalized and accepted in our culture. However, these two practices can be quite harmful to a sensitive system (and definitely negatively impact gut health.)

Herbal teas and just plain old fashioned warm water are ideal substitutes.

  • Alcohol as a coping and numbing agent for HS is common, as well, and over time, it actually just makes symptoms of mismanaged sensitivity way worse, specifically burnout, anxiety, and a variety of health challenges.


It’s praised as a valuable skill, but will lead to over-stimulation and reduces overall productivity.

Focus on one thing at a time and take breaks often to breathe and check in with yourself.

Highly processed foods

The chemicals and preservatives, as well as the complete lack of life force energy makes the negative impacts of highly processed foods hit sensitive folks harder.Opting for whole, real, single ingredient foods that don’t come in packages or from labs is always best.

Lastly, I also had a request for meditation in the Facebook group

In my unpopular opinion, many common meditation styles and new age spiritual philosophies that encourage “ascension” and more “expanded states” can be disorienting to a sensitive system

Sensitive folks, especially those dealing with burnout, anxiety, and health challenges, could benefit more from a grounded, tangible approach to meditation and spirituality, like connecting with nature and practicing the art of seasonal living, walking meditations, body scans, tracking sensations, and various somatic practices

OK, so there you have it. How do you support your sensitive system? How do you stay close to your actual needs and block out the advice and trends that may be counter to your needs and keeping you from thriving?

This is all part of what I teach in my signature program, The InnerSpark Method.

The InnerSpark Method is a trauma-informed complete system for sensitive, deep-feeling women to understand themselves and their true nature and to let go of the shame and resentment surrounding it. Through an Integrative Health, Ayurvedic, and Energetic perspective, complete with a variety of tools, including Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy and nervous system lovin’, it teaches sensitive folks how to embrace, safeguard, and lead with the gifts of sensitivity, by establishing daily habits of appropriate self-care aligned with nature’s rhythms so they may easily, joyfully, and confidently thrive for life. Visit www.theinnersparkmethod.com to learn more.

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Hi! I’m Devon and I am so glad you landed here. I’m an Integrative Health Expert & Teacher, Ayurvedic Health Advisor, Holistic Coach, & Founder of The InnerSpark Method. My greatest passion is guiding fellow sensitive, deep-feelers on a journey of transforming high sensitivity from a source of shame, overwhelm, and something that’s “wrong,” into a powerhouse of of joy, empowerment, and confidence in body, mind, and spirit! Ready to understand, support, and unearth your hidden gifts? I’ve got you! You’re in the right place. Click here to learn more about me and The InnerSpark Method.


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