Understanding Resilience: Tips For When You're Wondering How To Be Less Sensitive

Medically reviewed by Nikki Ciletti, M.Ed, LPC
Updated March 11, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Being a highly sensitive person comes with its unique set of challenges. Those who experience emotional sensitivity often find themselves dealing with overwhelming emotions and heightened reactions to everyday situations. 

This emotional reaction tends to occur subconsciously and can make navigating everyday life difficult. However, with the right strategies and mindset, it is possible to develop emotional resilience and navigate the world with greater ease. 

In this article, we will explore why some individuals feel highly sensitive and provide valuable tips on developing emotional resilience and steps to improve your overall mental health.

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Develop your emotional resilience

Why Am I So Sensitive?

Emotional sensitivity refers to the tendency to react strongly to external stimuli and internal experiences. People who are highly sensitive may frequently feel overwhelmed by their emotions, leading to emotional distress. 

This heightened sensitivity can be attributed to various factors, including genetics, upbringing, and life experiences. Certain mental health conditions and personality disorders may contribute to heightened emotional sensitivity including:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), 
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Bipolar Disorder 
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Additionally, individuals with high sensitivity may possess a more finely tuned nervous system, making them more prone to perceiving and processing stimuli deeply.

While emotional sensitivity is not an inherently negative trait, it may lead to challenges in a number of aspects of life. If heightened emotional sensitivity is causing disruptions in your everyday life, therapy may serve as a valuable resource. 

For those looking to get to the bottom of their emotional sensitivity, online therapy often offers flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Additionally, research has demonstrated that online therapy delivers a quality of care equal to that of in-person therapy.  

While embracing your sensitivity is possible, learning to manage it in healthy ways can lead to personal growth and a deeper understanding of yourself and others. 


Developing Emotional Resilience

Learning how to be less sensitive tends to require a certain level of cognizance and self-compassion. While the process takes time and requires patience, there are a number of steps one can take to develop more emotional resilience.

Some of these steps include:

1. Self-awareness: The first step towards developing emotional resilience is cultivating self-awareness. Take the time to understand your emotional triggers, patterns of reaction, and the underlying reasons behind your heightened sensitivity. By gaining insight into your emotional experiences, you can better manage and navigate them.

2. Positive self-talk: Negative thoughts can intensify emotional sensitivity. Practice positive self-talk by challenging and reframing negative beliefs. Replace self-critical statements with compassionate and supportive affirmations. By fostering a more positive internal dialogue, you can reduce the impact of negative thoughts on your emotional well-being.

3. Emotion regulation techniques: Learn and practice effective strategies for managing overwhelming emotions. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, and mindfulness can help you stay present and grounded during emotionally charged situations. Engaging in activities like journaling, painting, or listening to calming music can also serve as healthy outlets for emotional expression.

4. Build emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence involves understanding and managing your emotions effectively. Enhancing your emotional intelligence can help you navigate social interactions and relationships more smoothly. Seek to identify and label your emotions, and work on expressing them assertively and empathetically.

5. Distress tolerance: Building distress tolerance skills is crucial for individuals who are highly sensitive. Develop a toolbox of coping mechanisms to rely on during challenging times. Engage in activities that provide comfort and relaxation, such as going for walks in nature, practicing yoga, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy.

6. Surround yourself with support: Cultivate a strong support network of understanding and empathetic individuals who validate your experiences. Connect with like-minded people, join support groups, or seek therapy to gain additional guidance and support in managing your emotional sensitivity.

Develop your emotional resilience


Being a highly sensitive person can present unique challenges, but it is possible to develop emotional resilience and become less sensitive. By cultivating self-awareness, practicing positive self-talk, and implementing strategies to regulate emotions, individuals can effectively navigate the overwhelming aspects of their sensitivity. 

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