Movies Dramatic Affect on a Highly Sensitive Person

After I became a bit older and wiser, I made a firm decision to avoid horror movies almost completely. I was sick of losing sleep over a movie or having nightmares about it. It’s not worth it when only 1 out of 30 (maybe 40) films are actually good. I made this decision before I knew I was highly sensitive. I’ve protected myself many ways in the past without understanding why I needed to.popcorn-155602_1280

The only reason I watch any type of horror film in the first place is for the suspense and mystery. So once in awhile, I will make an exception if the movie trailer is exciting, but before I watch anything I search for it on IMDB.com for a rating of 6.5 or higher (this is my own reference for how good a movie is and it’s usually pretty accurate). I hate predictable, gory, bloody, or just plain scary movies. I can’t stand bloody films because I automatically visualize myself in the situation and the pain the character is going through. The worst are the one’s with no real ending, or an ending where every main character is dead and then the credits roll.

If there’s no real ending I sit up at night trying to figure out how it should of ended. I contemplate what would be a sensible ending, I wonder what ending the writer may of thought of using instead, I analyze character flaws, and I analyze flaws the writer made. I also replay parts of the movie in my mind. Sometimes I even go online to read what other people said about the ending. Without an end the story is still going on inside my head, and it’s very difficult to turn off.

When everyone is dead in the end, I feel depressed. It’s the same with drama films. I avoid them unless I think it’s a touching romantic story, and in that case I look up spoilers to see how the movie ends. I can’t watch any romance drama movie where one of the main characters dies at the end of the movie. Who knows that could be my life someday. The way I look at it  — the real world is cruel enough — movies that end in a depressing way are just a reminder of that. I’ve heard people say that they like it when movies are true to real life. But, I honestly feel the cruelty in the world quite enough, thank you very much. Maybe I’m just feeling enough for those people and myself. Lucky me.

Sometimes the movies that keep me from falling asleep at night don’t fit into one of my predefined categories and are quite unexpected. Two nights ago, I was up tossing and turning after watching the movie “Gone Girl.” The ending left me feeling depressed about life. *SPOILER ALERT* I honestly think I would of slept better if the girl in the end was behind bars. If you haven’t seen it and don’t plan on seeing it, the movie was about a woman who was trying to frame her husband for her murder, but she wasn’t really dead. The media or detectives didn’t figure out she was framing him. Toward the end, after she commits a murder and blames it on self defense, she comes back home and the husband has to pretend to love her for the sake of the media. She also ends up pregnant with his baby, so he decides to stay with her. That’s the short summary.

Maybe I’ve watched too many detective shows to appreciate this ending. There were many holes in the story, for an example it didn’t even seem like her self defense story was actually investigated. Maybe there’s more details in the book. Anyway, it didn’t matter in the end how much I enjoyed the twists and crazy story line that unfolded, it still left a bad taste in my mouth. It kept my eyes wide open at night making me contemplate how cruel and evil the world is. I know it’s just a movie, but there’s a lot of crazy people out in the world, and I know there are people trapped in relationships that they don’t know how to escape from. Relationships that are abusive in nature. And the end of the story just left all the main characters feeling trapped. I can usually handle violent, action packed films quite well. Even tear jerking movies as long as they end well. But, what I can’t handle is when a movie takes away “hope,” the one thing that people rely on in the real world to get out of a difficult situation.

It also bothered me that the story never really revealed why the woman was basically a complete psycho. The movie hinted at a reason, but didn’t really reveal one. So I was also up contemplating why she was a psycho, as if that would have helped me to feel better about the ending. *END OF SPOILER ALERT*

When I watch a movie I became part of it. I am the character trying to overcome the obstacles, or at least I feel for the character trying to overcome the obstacles. So, when a character feels hopeless in the end, I feel it too, I feel the hopelessness that comes from living my life.

I watch movies to be sent to another world, to be a part of something incredibly different, to be reminded of positive and fun things in the world. Sometimes just to learn something new, but never to feel the pain and suffering in the world without some sign of hope. There are some movies that I’m truly disgusted by the fact that people actually watch them. How about you?

Movies can have a dramatic affect on me, but it’s usually positive because I know which ones to avoid.

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10 Strategies Toward Less Stress

I think I’ve been stressed for the last four years. Anytime I think about where I want to be financially and where I am right now, I feel stressed. It bothers me that studies show the Millennial generation is the most stressed-out generation. There are many articles about it. I often wonder what it would have been like to grow up in my parents generation. They think they understand how my generation and I feel, but they really have no clue. I know the Gen Xers and other generations have a lot of stress too, and I don’t know how they feel, but I imagine it’s quite different. I’ve found the best way to cope with my stressful life is just to focus on how I can survive the future of no job security and live the life I’ve always dreamed.

I’ve become better over the years at handling my stress levels through education, determination, and focusing on the positive things in my life. I know that would be nearly impossible if my husband and I were both unemployed, but weren’t not. We have a lot of positive things going for us, and the ability for me to start my own business is one of them. One thing I try to remind myself is that my stress comes from within, it’s not external factors that are causing me stress, it’s me reacting to those external factors. At this point, I usually take a deep breath and focus on what I need to do to remove the stress. Being stressed is not going to help make a difficult task any easier, or help me to focus on the situation in front of me.

Here are some of the strategies I’ve found helpful in handling stress:

  1. Create task lists of things to do or things to remember (This was helpful when I became overwhelmed at work — with too many things to do in a short period of time.)
  2. Meditation (This could be thinking about a relaxing time from my past, clearing my mind and just listening to my breathing in complete silence, or a quiet walk —  it does help.)
  3. Write down your thoughts (There’s an article that shows it has amazing health benefits, and you don’t even have to write good, you can just scribble down three pages of what your feeling and you’ll feel better. This strategy works great for my husband.)
  4. Share your feelings (Of course! Some people get sick from keeping everything internalized and never vocalizing how they feel. My husband has been known to keep everything in, but over the years he’s become more vocal about it, and I can tell he feels better afterward.)
  5. Read motivational quotes, books, or articles (This has helped me a lot. I have become a more confident and positive person due to the 100’s of articles and quotes I have read, and the few amazing books that have transformed me into a new person.)
  6. Find one activity to look forward to everyday (For me this can simply be a delicious recipe, or baking cookies, a TV show, a walk, an arts/crafts hobby, playing with my cats, spending time with friends, or trying something new and different.)
  7. Reach toward your dreams (I knew that I needed to improve my confidence to live out my dreams. So, I found books and strategies to help me. I felt a sense of new confidence with each book I read.) Just think of one thing that you can do each day, week, or month, to put you a step closer to your dreams, and do it.
  8. Get a pet. (Enough said. You can read my last blog post on how it helps with stress.)
  9. Avoid negative people (Family or not, I’ve found I just need to stay away from people who put me in a negative state of mind. Since I’m highly sensitive, people who are negative have an even stronger effect of my emotions.)
  10. Laugh a lot and smile more (Life is more difficult that I ever expected, but I always try my best to find humor in life situations. I find ways to make my husband laugh, I tell jokes, and I act like a goofy kid once in awhile.)

Recently, my husband has been a bit stressed and my creative way of handling it was telling him that every time I heard him sigh, which was a lot, I better hear a “yippee” after it with some enthusiasm in it. He did, he thought it was pretty funny, it made it hard for him not to smile. Which studies have shown smiling makes you happier. 

I’ve actually created a list of fun activities to do outside of my home, both indoor and outdoor activities, so that I constantly have variety in my life, and never fall into a trap of boredom, or displeasure with life. But, it gets exceptionally tricky in winter where it costs money to do most activities.

Oh and listening to relaxing music that helps too.

Wishing you a life with less stress,
Jen

Alone

100_2754I used to feel lonely in a crowded room, on a trip with my family, in school surrounded by other classmates, and those were situations where I wasn’t alone, not at all, not even slightly. I was an overwhelmed, introvert, who always felt out of place. The truth is I never had enough alone time when I was growing up. Even when I wanted alone time, I wasn’t granted it because my Mom didn’t understand my need for it. She was an extreme extrovert. Then, my sophomore year of college I got more alone time then I knew what to do with. My roommate moved out and I had the dorm room to myself. It was difficult, and I heavily relied on my television that was never working right to keep me company.

In my first year of marriage, I was jobless for awhile. I had the apartment to myself for 8 hours everyday; I was lonely. I hated it because the more time I spent alone, the more I would beat myself up inside. I finally had time alone, and all I could do was feel sorry for myself and feel the pain of being me. And when I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself, I was instead feeling anger toward my parents for trying to control my life.

Having barely any self-confidence, just makes life feel impossible. Now, it’s been 2 years since I’ve turned my views completely around. Now, when bad things happen and I’m disappointed by life I remember “the world is cruel, and harsh, and unfair,” it’s not me that’s the problem. With this thought in mind, I no longer have self destructive thoughts.

I used to be alone and it scared me. Now, when I’m alone it’s like a breath of fresh air. I rarely feel lonely. I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself, or feeling bad about who I am. I see everyday as an opportunity to create something,  to learn something, to start building my own business, and my own future. Now, I can sit for hours in complete silence and be completely content. I used to need the sound of music or television, and now all I need is the sound of my cat meowing at me once in awhile and I don’t feel alone. Now, I’m more productive.

It amazes me how far I have come; from once believing I was trapped by who I was and trapped by my past, to now feeling empowered by who I am and who I can be. Now, all the things that people have made me feel bad about myself for are the things that I love about me the most. Now, instead of feeling inadequate and not as smart as the rest of the world, I feel smarter because I know that everything my schools, society, my old church, and family (consciously or unconsciously) made me feel bad about, are actually really awesome personality traits. I love everything about me that the rest of the world decided wasn’t worth anything. It makes me feel powerful. Now, I can even use that wisdom to educate people who are judgmental and have destructive views. Now, I’m alone but no longer lonely.

If you haven’t yet, I recommend reading “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Thinking,” by Susan Cain, I feel like it’s a book everyone should read.

“I deeply treasure my time alone, my solitude, and contentedness with who I am” -Jen

Quote of the day

I love this quote. I’m finding this to be very true for me.

welcome to my little piece of quiet

In light of their independent-mindedness, introverts are more concerned with the notion of authenticity. For them, this means identifying and holding firm to their own preferences and convictions, even when others are doing things differently. They are wary of ‘selling out’ or ‘selling their soul’ for the sake of conformity or convention.
-Dr. A. J. Drenth

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