From the moment we enter our mother’s womb, we experience the first of our six sense’s…feeling. As sensitive beings, we pick up on our mother’s emotions, her surroundings, and her energy. This sensitivity is our first introduction to the world and what it means to be human. Being sensitive can be both a blessing and a challenge, depending on how we are taught to perceive it.
Unfortunately, society often views sensitivity as a negative trait. We are told to suppress our feelings, play small, and not overreact. But what if, instead of seeing our sensitivity as a weakness, we viewed it as a strength? According to a recent TIME magazine article, highly sensitive people have unique talents that make them valuable contributors to society.
It’s time to embrace our sensitivities and use them to our advantage. When we learn to express ourselves freely and with confidence, we become stronger individuals. By having open and compassionate conversations, we can deepen our connections with others and lead more authentic lives.
Let’s break free from the fear of being vulnerable and unleash our creativity. Our sensitivities are a gift, not a curse. It’s time to start believing in ourselves and living life to the fullest.
In the following post, you will learn all about the strength and beauty of being sensitive:
- What is a highly sensitive person,
- What are common misconceptions about HSP’s,
- How you can turn your sensitivity into a superpower, and
- How to cope as an HSP.
What is an HSP?
Highly sensitive people (HSPs) are individuals who possess a natural tendency to process sensory input more profoundly than others. Sensitive souls can often be seen in a negative light, as fragile and weak, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sensitive individuals possess unique qualities that others may not have, such as empathy, intuition, and heightened awareness. They are deeply moved by art and beauty, and they have a sense of connection to the world around them. They can also feel other people’s emotions and energy, sometimes absorbing it without even realizing it. While this can be challenging, it’s also what makes sensitive people incredibly compassionate and understanding.
Benefits and Challenges of Being Highly Sensitive
Being highly sensitive can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it allows individuals to experience the world on a deeper level, and they have a heightened sense of creativity and intuition. They are also incredibly empathetic, which enables them to connect with others on a profound level. On the other hand, sensitive individuals often struggle with overstimulation and overwhelm, leading to anxiety, depression, and physical ailments. It can also be challenging to explain their sensitivity to others, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Some of the main challenges HSP’s face include:
- Overstimulation: Highly sensitive people can easily become overwhelmed by too much noise, crowds, or bright lights. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress, and exhaustion.
- Emotional intensity: HSP’s tend to experience emotions more deeply than others, which can make it difficult to cope with negative emotions like sadness, anger, or fear.
- Feeling misunderstood: HSP’s may feel like they don’t fit in with the rest of society because their needs and preferences are different from others. They may struggle to find people who understand and accept them for who they are.
- Difficulty setting boundaries: Because highly sensitive people often prioritize the needs of others over their own, they may struggle to set boundaries and say “no” when they need to. This can lead to feelings of resentment and burnout.
- Perfectionism: HSP’s may place high expectations on themselves to be perfect, which can lead to feelings of self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and anxiety.
- Sensitivity to criticism: HSP’s may take criticism more personally than others, which can lead to feelings of defensiveness or hurt.
- Feeling overwhelmed by the world’s problems: Because highly sensitive people tend to feel emotions deeply, they may be particularly affected by the world’s problems, such as injustice and inequality. This can lead to feelings of helplessness and depression.
To cope with overwhelming emotions, sensitive individuals must take care of their emotional and spiritual health. This can be achieved through practices such as meditation, journaling, and energy healing. It’s crucial for sensitive people to protect their energy by setting boundaries with people and situations that drain them. By doing so, they can harness the power of their sensitivity and use it to their advantage.
How to Tell If You Are a Highly Sensitive Person
The quickest way to see if you are highly sensitive is to check in with yourself, your emotions, and your surrounding. It’s important to note that being a highly sensitive person is not a disorder, but rather a trait that affects 15-20% of the population.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I easily overwhelmed?
- Am I emotionally sensitive, am I deeply moved by movies, art, or music?
- Do I find it difficult to hear about violence, or suffering in the world?
- Am I intuitive? I can quickly pick up on the emotions and needs of others.
- Am I empathetic? I can feels others emotions as if they are my own.
- Am I detail oriented?
- Am I in need of alone time? To recharge my batteries and process my thoughts and feelings?
- Am I avoidant of conflict?
If you identify with any of these signs, you may be a highly sensitive person. It is important to recognize that your sensitivity is not a negative. Rather look at your sensitivity as a strength and work towards developing coping mechanisms to help you thrive.
Survival Guide for Being Sensitive
- Create healthy boundaries: Learning to say “no” without guilt and setting limits on the amount of emotional or physical stress you accept in your daily life is essential. For example, decide how much time you want to spend with difficult people or in situations that drain your energy levels.
- Develop a self-care routine: Prioritize self-care activities that suit your temperament such as meditation, yoga, or a long walk in nature. Make sure to recharge your emotional batteries often enough so that you don’t experience burnout.
- Practice mindfulness: By staying present in the moment, without reacting to any external or internal stimuli, you can help keep your emotional regulation under control. Use simple breathing exercises to ground yourself in the present moment.
- Get in touch with nature: Spending time in nature, such as going for a walk in the park or hiking in the mountains, can provide a calming and soothing environment that helps reduce stress and anxiety. Nature has a healing energy that can help you feel more peaceful, grounded, and connected to the world around you. Additionally, grounding techniques like walking barefoot on the grass or holding a healing crystal can help you reconnect with the present moment, release negative energy, and experience a sense of balance and harmony.
- Connect with other like-minded individuals: Finding people who understand your temperament and can offer validation and support is crucial. Look for online groups or local support groups for highly sensitive people.
- Seek professional help if needed: If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, or if coping strategies are not helping, consider working with a professional.
Remember, being highly sensitive is not a curse; it is a gift that allows you to experience life in beautiful and profound ways. By developing the right coping mechanisms and seeking appropriate support, you can thrive and live your best life.
Common Misconceptions about HSP’s
It’s crucial to change the negative stereotypes surrounding sensitive individuals. They are often labeled as weak, overly emotional, and dramatic, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sensitive people are incredibly resilient, compassionate, and creative individuals who should be celebrated and embraced.
- HSPs are weak or fragile: In reality, HSPs are just as strong and resilient as anyone else. They may experience emotions more intensely than others, but this does not make them weak.
- HSPs are just introverts: While many HSPs may also identify as introverts, the two are not the same thing. HSPs can be extroverted, introverted, or ambiverted (a person who possesses qualities of both an introvert and extrovert).
- HSPs are overly emotional: HSPs do not necessarily experience more emotions than others, but they may feel emotions more deeply. This does not mean that they are overly emotional or unstable.
- HSPs are always anxious: While HSPs may be more likely to experience anxiety, not all HSPs have an anxiety disorder. It is important not to assume that all highly sensitive people are anxious.
- HSPs are too sensitive for the real world: This is a harmful myth that suggests that HSPs are not capable of thriving in the world. In reality, HSPs can be successful and happy when they learn how to manage their sensitivity and use it as a strength.
- HSPs are just looking for attention: This is a dismissive and damaging stereotype that trivializes the experiences of HSPs. Being highly sensitive is not a choice, and it is not something that can be turned on or off for attention-seeking purposes.
Ending Thoughts About Being Highly Sensitive
Being sensitive is a beautiful and powerful gift that should be celebrated and embraced. While it can be challenging at times, sensitive individuals possess unique qualities that make them incredibly empathetic, intuitive, and creative. With the proper spiritual healing and support, sensitive individuals can harness the power of their sensitivity and use it to change the world around them. So let’s stand up and celebrate our sensitivity, knowing that it is not a weakness but a strength.
Want to learn more about sensitivity? Tune into Episode 17 of A Modern Shaman where Isabella Stoloff and Kimberly Harlan discuss understanding and coping as a highly sensitive soul.