make reality your friend

No one wants to feel bad. However, the human socialscape seems to be dominated by stories and events that are negative and create unhappy feelings. We are all affected by them yet sensitive people because of their attentive nervous systems may be more affected than others.

Feeling bad takes energy and time. To some degree we need to be aware of the social conversation and events in order to take proper care of ourselves. Yet at the same time as a sensitive person, we have a need to manage our time well because it takes extra energy to handle all the nuances we pick up as sensitive people.

Different Reasons For Feeling Bad

Feeling bad seems like one thing when it is happening however it is multifaceted and can come from any number of sources:

  • news. I know I am stating the obvious. The immediate impact of negative events can be sadness but underneath it can be triggers for our feelings and issues around trust and abuse of power as well as the loss of our hopes. It can raise the feelings of victimhood that can cause us to want to hide from the world.
  • expectations. Expectations have a positive and negative side.
    • On the one hand, without expectations, we have trouble functioning. We expect schools and businesses to open at a certain time and we expect traffic lights to work. These are basic expectations related to the functioning of our world. We expect that some things like our cars or appliances will break down after a certain period of time or a certain amount of use.
    • On the other hand, there are expectations that are cultural and social created at another point in time that we are often expected to uphold in the present. Social roles are an example. As conditions change our expectations need adjusting and if we are not able to do so we are not being present to what is happening. When we are not able to be present to current realities because expectations are overriding our ability to do so then we place ourselves at risk.
  • conditioning. Social roles and expectations are kind of conditioning. Conditioning creates physical pathways in our bodies around feelings and thoughts. For instance, if we were disappointed a lot when we were young we may have a conditioned predisposition to disappointment because our experience resulted in a chemical receptivity to it. In other words, when we repeat an experience often enough we develop biological not just emotional receptivity for that experience. If you go into the woods you will see pathways. These are usually created by animals who take a route through the woods over and over again. Our conditioning comes from the same kind of repetition and can result in addiction.

Make Reality Your Friend

There are many ways to change our emotional and mental habits so we are happier and enjoy life more. Many people work at self-care and how they think using affirmations and other strategies to keep themselves in a positive space. Sometimes it can feel like you are fighting a losing battle, however. For sensitive people whose sensitivity to nuance makes them more aware of the world’s challenges, the struggle to maintain a positive view can be especially challenging.

I think there is one way that is exceptionally helpful and goes beyond tactical efforts like self-care and affirmations and that is to make reality your friend. Let me explain why.

  • reality helps us keep on the ground. Reality is an ever-changing but slow changing process of evolution. Knowing that helps you avoid the disappointments caused by impatience.
  • embracing reality connects your dreams with the present so that you have a way to move forward to make dreams a reality.
  • making reality your friend keeps you out of the traps of perfectionism and idealism that make life so miserable for so many people.

Reaching for the best in yourself and life has to start with what is and work from there. What is possible today was certainly not possible for older cultures like hunter-gatherer and tribal cultures. When you recognize, as nature shows us, that change is slow and incremental you will not push yourself to make change faster than is realistically possible. That takes the pressure off so you can be more relaxed, something sensitive people desperately need.

In addition, slowing down and connecting with the natural processes of reality makes it easier to be present to what is going on around you. It lets you work with the natural processes of life rather than constantly impose your will. Being present lets you connect with what is needed rather than try to fabricate a set of conditions hard to achieve and harder to maintain. For sensitive people that means having to expend less energy trying to “make things work.” It lets you work with the baby steps of progress in a gentle, more aware and more effective way.

Making reality your friend is a way to be naturally conscientious and lighten up at the same time. When you do, there is less of a need to force situations, events and people into the harness of preconceived ideas in our minds. We can let go of all that and still be authentic and responsible. And best of all more relaxed!

About Maria Hill

Maria Hill is the founder of Sensitive Evolution. She is the author of The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World. In addition, she has created the immersive Emerging Sensitive Program of "sensory processing yoga" using frameworks to help sensitive people master their sensitivity and turn it into the asset it can be. She also offers the Emerging Sensitive Movie Club focused on movies and discussions about living in the world as a sensitive person and navigating the challenging cultural shifts of our times. She is a longtime meditator, reiki master, student of alternative health and Ayurveda. Maria is also an abstract painter whose portfolio can be found at Infinite Shape and also very interested in animal and human rights and the environment.


  1. Erin on February 16, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    This article fell from the heavens, into my lap just now at the perfect time. Wow. Extremely enlightening for me. And after reading it, I completely came out of a depressed mood.
    I’m definitely going to start making reality my friend, and not escape from it anymore. Thank you for this article!

    • Maria Hill on February 16, 2019 at 6:56 pm

      I am so glad it helped, Erin. Reality is where our possibilities are. Enjoy!