There’s a lot of talk about Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) these days. Some people seem to think that HSPs are just a bunch of wimps, while others see us as a special breed of people who have something valuable to offer the world.
So, what are Highly Sensitive People?
HSPs are people who are born with a more sensitive nervous system than the average person. This means that we feel things more deeply and are more affected by our environment. We are also more aware of subtleties and nuances in our surroundings.
For most of us, this sensitivity is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it means that we experience life in a more intense and meaningful way. On the other hand, it can often be difficult for us to deal with the barrage of sensory information that we experience on a daily basis.
A different point of view on HSP:
There is some debate whether HSP is a natural predisposition people are born with or if it's a skill that is developed because of stressful or even traumatic experiences in early childhood. My take on this is, that people can absolutely become more attuned to their environment due to it's demands (for instance: feeling unsafe, growing up with an unpredictable parent or coping with emotional unavailability through people pleasing), but that can only happen with children who have a heightened sensitivity to begin with. Otherwise, children that grow up in the same environment would all develop the same HSP-traits and this is not the case. So there must be personal differences (sensitivities or preferences) at play here.
Some of the common symptoms of being a Highly Sensitive Person include:
• Feeling overwhelmed by noise, crowds, or bright lights
• Experiencing strong emotions
• Having a rich inner life
• Being conscientious and detail-oriented
• Struggling with change
• Having a high need for privacy and downtime
• Being easily overwhelmed
• Having a strong intuition
• Being more sensitive to medications and other treatments
There is no “right” way to be a Highly Sensitive Person. Some of us are introverted, while others are more outgoing. Some of us are very creative, while others are more analytical. Some of us are very sensitive to environmental stimuli, while others are less so.
The important thing to remember is that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to Highly Sensitive People. We are all unique individuals with our own strengths and weaknesses.
So, what can you do if you think you might be a Highly Sensitive Person?
If you think you might be a Highly Sensitive Person, the best thing to do is to get to know yourself better. Start by paying attention to the things that make you feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Are there certain environments or situations that are particularly difficult for you?
Once you have a better understanding of your own sensitivities, you can start to make changes in your life to accommodate them. For example, you might want to avoid crowded places or bright lights, or you might need more time to yourself in order to recharge.
It’s also important to remember that you are not alone. There are many other Highly Sensitive People out there who understand what you’re going through. There are also lots of resources available to help you learn more about being a Highly Sensitive Person.
So, if you think you might be a Highly Sensitive Person, don’t be afraid to explore it further. I'd also love to support you on your journey of discovery! The more you learn about yourself, the better equipped you will be to manage your sensitivities and live a happier, healthier life.