HSP: The Gifts, Challenges, and Miracles
Some of us are wildly sensitive. We might be grocery shopping and feel what other shoppers are feeling. We might even sense the emotions of yesterday’s workers – the ones who placed the cucumbers into the bin in front of us. Alas, if you are feeling like you collect energy from every experience and find it difficult to shake it, you might be a Highly Sensitive Person.
Being more sensitive and vulnerable means that your soul has grown to sense what others are feeling. Some HSPs feel things but don’t internalize them. Others feel them and process them at a deep level.
Some HSPs are compassionate, while others might not have an ounce of empathy. Being sensitive does not necessarily mean you are evolved. It must means that you don’t have the same protective mechanisms as others. It might also mean that your brain process experiences, relationships, and emotions in a unique way.
A few questions the might help you determine if you’re an HSP:
Do you often find yourself more in tune with others’ feelings or having more extreme reactions to certain events than those around you?
Do specific environments, emotions, or situations bother you, while other people go unaffected?
During an argument, do you begin to feel overwhelmed, as if you’re carrying a burden that is not yours?
At cocktail parties and coffee shops, can you feel the emotions of the people around you?
Do you cry or feel stressed when other people are feeling the same?
If any of these questions are hitting home, it might be time to tune into yourself and learn what it means to be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).
The concept of being an HSP might feel like a burden, but it’s not. It’s not only a responsibility, it’s a super-hero power. Also, the more you know about yourself, the easier it is to own your experiences, shift perspectives, and protect yourself.
If you truly take command of your sensitivities, they’ll become immeasurably valuable tools & assets – even weapons.
As HSPs, we are not victims, we are warriors with super-skills.
What is a Highly Sensitive Person?
An HSP, also known as a Highly Sensitive Person, has a highly active nervous system and extreme sensory sensitivities. Studies are being done to show that Highly Sensitive People actually have brains that work a bit differently than others, causing them to react in unique and often powerful ways within their daily lives and relationships.
While this might sound a bit strange or abnormal, HSP is not a disorder. In fact, around 15-20% of people report they might be HSPs, making it a lot more common than you think! At the same time, not enough people experience these symptoms for the personality to be widely accepted. Unfortunately, that can make Highly Sensitive People feel lonely and misunderstood.
What’s really unique about the HSP personality trait is that it can be found in a wide variety of personality types. You can be an HSP and an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert. HSPs also come from a variety of backgrounds. Depending on the culture an HSP lives within, they might be lovingly accepted, pitied, feared, worshiped, or ostracized.
How Do I Know if I’m a Highly Sensitive Person?
You deserve to get to know yourself so that you can be 100% comfortable with who you are! If you’ve ended up reading this article, it’s likely you have the traits of a Highly Sensitive Person – or someone close to you in an HSP.
HSP traits can manifest in several ways. Some people are highly sensitive to environments that have too many stimuli, such as loud noises, bright lights, too many people, or distinct textures found on walls or on clothing. When exploring these environments, you might feel like you need to retreat into a quiet, secret place so you can recharge and prepare for your next outing.
Some HSPs will go to cocktail parties and similar events only to spend most of their time in the bathroom, their car, washing the dishes, or playing with the loneliest child at the event. Others might show up and quickly exit, never to return again.
As a fellow HSP, I know life can be challenging at times. Some experiences can be so overwhelming, you won’t want to speak to anybody for a day, two days, or more! If you’re also empathic, you might then carry some of the reactive emotions of those who felt disappointed by your exit. Being an HSP can be an overwhelming and never-ending cycle of energetic absorption and release.
Some HSPs are more reactive to emotional stimuli such as with friends, family, and romantic partners. A small spat might feel like a life-changing argument, and a small trickle of affection can feel like a profound, intimate, and loving moment. As such, HSPs might also experience deep thoughts and emotions without receiving sufficient reciprocation.
Further, you might feel the need to avoid intense movies, art galleries, books, and other experiences that overwhelm you. The feelings that emerge from being overwhelmed can be unsettling and potentially anxiety-inducing. You might also feel deeply moved by beauty and upon each event, you might experience your own personalized form of ecstasy.
If you’re still unsure about whether you’re a Highly Sensitive Person, there are tests you can take. Specifically, there’s a questionnaire by Elaine N. Aron written in 1996 that has 27 questions. If you answer YES to 14 of the questions, there’s a high probability of being an HSP. Remember, though, that questionnaires like these are subjective, and you should never make changes to your life without further consulting with health care professionals and your most trusted allies and friends.
Explore my Empath Oath to see how your virtues correlate to your depth of feelings for the world.
High Sensitivity Is A Super-Power
Everyone is unique! Each of us has our own personality with unique quirks and needs. Being an HSP means that your super-power is born from sensing energy. If you process and harness this energy in the correct way, you will experience a deeper connection to everyone and everything around you – and you’ll have a highly advanced prayer life – but only if you allow these things.
Having HSP traits can feel burdensome until you decide to master them.
MASTERING YOUR HSP AWARENESS
Here are a few rules you might consider as you explore the benefits of being a Highly Sensitive Person:
Own your sensitivities and celebrate them.
Never blame others for being sensitive.
Never play the victim.
Own your experiences and process them like a Warrior.
Use the knowledge gained from being sensitivity to your benefit.
Help others when you can, but don’t hurt yourself in the process.
Challenges for HSPs
If someone calls you “sensitive,” it is often meant negatively. It can hurt to hear that we “overreact” or “think too much” because it invalidates our emotions and experiences. People with HSP traits suffer these insults and invalidations more often than others because of their visceral reactions to life.
It’s true – HSPs experience life, emotions, and thoughts on a much deeper level. What feels good to some will feel great to you, but what feels bad to others can absolutely devastate you. Pain, whether emotional or physical, is experienced much more by HSPs, and recovery time can be much longer.
As a result, many HSPs choose to take a back seat in life to avoid pain and disappointment. It might feel too much to handle when people or life obstacles let you down. HSPs can often pass up opportunities for growth and enjoyment because they’d rather avoid overstimulation, exhaustion, and potential pain.
The Benefits of Being an HSP
Highly Sensitive People have strong gut feelings and are incredibly intuitive. Having a sensitive nervous system means that you pick up on stimuli that most people can’t, and you have stellar observation skills. You won’t only be able to pick up on changes in your environment but also sense the needs of others with fantastic accuracy and foresight.
HSPs can enjoy intense and powerful relationships with others because of their ability to empathize, anticipate needs, and feel emotions deeply. For the same reasons, they make stellar parents.
Being able to pick up on stimuli and experience on an advanced level means you can also enjoy life so much more. Prayer, rituals, devotion, fine food, art, sex, travel, and adventures can be enjoyed on a whole new level. Having a heightened ability to enjoy stimuli means you have a positive attitude.
When you are extremely grateful for life and everything you have, you are an EMPOWERED HSP!
Self Care for Highly Sensitive People
Overall, you should celebrate and feel blessed if you are a Highly Sensitive Person! The people you should keep in your life are those who appreciate how deeply you feel things, including how deeply you understand and care about them. In exchange, your personal tribe should understand your need for space and cooldown periods when things get too intense.
Here are some great methods that HSPs can introduce to their daily lives in order to find balance, peace, and growth:
- Schedule positive experiences into your most hectic days
- Plan for alone time and relaxation periods after anticipated times of overwhelm
- Suggest alternatives to experiences that you aren’t comfortable with – there’s no need to push yourself
- Come to understand your personal boundaries for environments, people, and tasks – and be clear about your triggers
- Create a soothing space you can use as a retreat when you’re overstimulated – build a lovely altar
- Incorporate meditation, yoga, prayer, and other practices that allow you to center your body and mind to find balance
Embrace Your Sensitivity
If you ever become upset over your state as a Highly Sensitive Person, remember that you aren’t alone. Some of the most innovative and profound people in the world are HSPs. And many will go down in history as assets to humanity. Scientists like Albert Einstein, actors like Jim Carey, Gilda Radner, and Nicole Kidman, and social reformers like Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, and Martin Luther King Jr. are also HSPs who made the most of their sensitivity superpowers!
You are extremely intuitive, empathetic, expressive, and compassionate, and all your friends and family are lucky to have you in their lives. You’re on the path to seeing and doing great things. Remember to harness the power of your ultra-sensitive nervous system and unique mind for your own benefit and the benefit of those you engage.
As a human being, you are the embodiment of love. As an HSP, you have 10X the ability to feel this at a core level – so OWN IT!
You are a beautiful Living Being filled with light and love, born from stardust. You are unlimited potential in every direction. With a focus on discipline, virtue, and your own goodness, you can become as expanded and liberated as you desire.
Pray for others and the Universe prays for us.
LOTS OF BLESSINGS TO YOU!
There is no “Other.” There is only you experiencing yourself.