Sensitive? Empathetic? Easily Overwhelmed? Acutely aware of other’s emotions? Feel deeply? Feel a little… different than most people?
That’s OK. Research proves that these characteristics stem from an inherited trait called High Sensitivity, or Sensory Processing Sensitivity. With this trait, your nervous system responds slightly more intensely to everything you experience (whether you are aware of it or not).
Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) are often more overwhelmed in large crowds, more sensitive to sounds and smells, and are able to sense when someone is uncomfortable. When experiencing stimuli, HSPs become “overstimulated” sooner than the average person.
HSPs usually make a point to plan or organize their lives in advance or stick to daily routines so they can avoid becoming overwhelmed.
They are often very creative people who enjoy the outdoors, and find peace and clarity when near water and in nature. During particularly busy days or weeks when HSPs don’t take time alone to unwind in a quiet, calm place, they can become very irritable and emotional.
They are often light sleepers, excellent listeners, and good friends, but are also prone to anxiety, fears, and frequently undervalue themselves.
Am I describing you, or someone you know yet? If so, keep reading 🙂
If you think about having a nervous system that reacts just a tad bit more intensely to stimulation (such as sound and smell) and emotional experiences, i.e.: happiness, sadness, love, fear, joy, than the average person, then it makes sense that you would become overstimulated sooner, and more easily than the average person.
Fact: Dr. Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., author of the book “The Highly Sensitive Person” says that 15-20% of the human population (equally male and female) have the HSP trait.
Disclaimer: Even non-HSPs are sensitive to some level, and some HSPs can reflect certain characteristics of the HSP trait much more than others.
If my words have resonated with you so far, I would like to invite you to take the HSP self-test. Dr. Elaine Aron, the modern day psychologist who has identified this trait, and actually coined the term “HSP,” has created this test to help people determine whether or not they have the HSP trait.
If you take this test and find that you are likely an HSP, I am so happy for you. You have just discovered something that can very much change your life in a positive way. So many of your questions will be answered, and you will embark on a whole new level of self-discovery.
If you feel compelled, send me a message or post a comment below! I would love to hear your story and help you in any way I can.
XO Chelsie, your fellow HSP.