HSP: The Gifts, Challenges, and Miracles
A certain group of people is more vulnerable than others to feeling abnormal, setting them up for a lifetime of discomfort with themselves, and they’re called HSP. Do you often find yourself more in tune with others’ feelings or reacting more to certain events than those around you? Do specific environments, emotions, or situations bother you while others are unphased?
It’s time to get in tune with your true self by learning what it means to be a highly sensitive person (HSP) and give yourself the care you need. While it might feel like a burden now, knowing more about yourself and altering your lifestyle to better suit your personality will help you take back control of your life and turn your quirks into assets!
What is a Highly Sensitive Person?
An HSP, also known as a highly sensitive person, has a highly active nervous system and 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 differently in their daily lives and relationships.
While this might sound abnormal and concerning, HSP is not a disorder. In fact, around 15-20% of people report that they experience these symptoms, making it a lot more common than you might 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 all kinds of personality types. You can be an HSP and an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert. HSPs also come from all different backgrounds. Depending on the culture an HSP lives within, they might be lovingly accepted or ostracized.
How Do I Know if I’m a Highly Sensitive Person?
You deserve to get to know yourself and be comfortable with who you are! If you’ve ended up reading this article, it’s very likely you have the traits of a highly sensitive person. In order to be sure, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to see if you’re a highly sensitive person.
HSP traits can manifest in several different ways. Some people are highly sensitive to environments with too many stimuli, such as loud noises, bright lights, and even distinct textures like on clothing. You might feel like you need to retreat into a dark, quiet place to recharge and prepare for your next outing.
Other 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 light show of affection can feel like a profound moment in a loving relationship. Unfortunately, this also could mean that you might experience deep thoughts and emotions without receiving sufficient reciprocation.
Further, you might feel the need to avoid intense movies, art, books, and other experiences that overwhelm you. The feelings you get from being overwhelmed could be unsettling and anxiety-inducing, or you could feel deeply moved by beauty and experience a 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 say yes to at 14 of the questions, then there’s a high probability of being an HSP. Remember, though, that questionnaires like these are highly subjective, and you should never make changes to your life because of them without further consulting with health care professionals.
Is Being Highly Sensitive a Bad Thing?
Remember, everyone is unique! Everyone has their own personality with their different quirks and needs, and that never means you’re a bad person or need to change who you truly are. Having HSP traits can feel burdensome before you’ve recognized them and learned how to embrace them, but being an HSP is like a superpower!
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.
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. Fine food, drinks, art, and experiences can be enjoyed on a whole new level. Responding to a heightened ability to enjoy stimuli with a positive attitude means being extremely grateful for life and all you have.
Self Care for Highly Sensitive People
Overall, you should rejoice if you are a highly sensitive person! The people you should keep in your life are those who appreciate how deeply you understand and care for them. In exchange, they 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 in positive experiences into your hectic days
- Plan for alone time and relaxation periods after anticipated times of overwhelm
- Suggest alternatives to experiences that you aren’t comfortable with – need no 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
- Incorporate meditation, yoga, prayer, and other practices that allow you to center your body and mind to find balance
Proper self-care for HSPs will be a journey in which they must come to know themselves fully and incorporate helpful practices for keeping the peace in their bodies, minds, and hearts.
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 vital people were HSPs and will go down in history as assets to humanity. Scientists like Albert Einstein, actors like Nicole Kidman, and social reformers like 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; you just need to harness the power of your ultra-sensitive nervous system and unique mind!
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.