HSP: Life As a Highly Sensitive Person
Growing up as a child, I always felt different. Not only because of my appearance but there was a part of me that I couldn’t put into words. I felt more, parents and relatives thought I was sensitive to what they thought was no biggie. I just thought I was strange, since kids bullied me because of my looks I just assumed that I was all together strange.
At the age of 5-6 I used to lay awake at night, listening to Beauty and The Beast cassette tapes while trying to fall asleep. At times, I couldn’t fall asleep. Thoughts such “as what is the meaning of life” or “why are we even here” could easy occupy my mind. The sense of “there should be more to life than this” has propelled me to continue seeking. Seeking answers to my questions, seeking answers that even made me feel “weird” for wanting to know more. Let’s just say that I always felt like the strange kid. It was only a few years ago when I stumbled upon the term ‘High Sensory Person’, emedietly, I started googling to learn more.
The words spoke to me and I knew discoveries where to be found.. Although science is slowly but surely catching up with aspects of sixth sensory people and the concepts of HSP. In the mean time I’ve understood that I felt at times more than others. It could be as easy as walking into a store, meeting a stranger and feeling emotions that wasn’t mine. Try to ‘normalize’ that in a 16-year-old hormonal teenager brain, but even though I was open to answers the climate that I was living in condemned these sort of philosophies and beliefs.
Thanks to my years living in Los Angeles, I got to experience a climate where talking about spirituality, empaths or indigo children was normalized. It helped me accept myself more, attracting friends who were just like me assisted me in continuing exploring these traits.
First of all, this is NOT a disorder. According to researcher Eelaine Aron, 15-20% of the world population has these traits. In fact, biologists have found it in over 100 species (and probably there are many more) from fruit flies, birds, and fish to dogs, cats, horses, and primates. This trait reflects a certain type of survival strategy, being observant before acting. The brains of highly sensitive persons (HSPs) actually work a little differently than others’. To learn more about this, see Research. Here’s a list of some HSP traits:
1. People point it out
You’ve been told all your life that you are too sensitive, overly emotional, or wear your heart on your sleeve.
2.You feel other’s feelings
Even before people tell you how you feel, you already know. You can enter a room and have a sense of the general mood in the environment.
3. Negativity overwhelms you
Where others can tolerate raised voices, conflict, or anger, it sends you over the edge. You almost feel physically sick or in pain as a result of the negative energy around you. You crave peace and calm.
4. Being in crowded places overwhelms you
You don’t like being in malls, sporting events, airports or other public places with crowds of people. You feel suffocated and overly-excited. You can’t wait to leave.
5. You avoid negative media images
You find it extremely disturbing to watch or read about tragic news events or see unpleasant images. It bothers you so much, you avoid looking at these images at all costs.
6. You can easily tell when someone is lying.
All you need to do is look at their faces or listen to their tone of voice, and you know instantly whether or not they are telling the truth.
7. You often show up with the symptoms of those around you.
If someone close to you is sick or depressed, you will develop the same ailments.
8. You frequently have lower back and digestive problem
These are the result of dealing with negative and stressful situations and people. Your feelings show up as these physical symptoms.
9. You are the dumping ground for the problems of others.
People around you seem to gravitate toward you and unload all of their pain and problems on you. Because you are an empath, you feel compelled to help, even to your own detriment.
10. You often feel fatigued.
Because others take so much from you, you often feel drained of energy and extremely tired. You might even have chronic fatigue syndrome.
11. You have a very vibrant inner life
You are highly creative, imaginative, and loving. You may be involved in the arts or other creative pursuits. You feel close to animals and especially enjoy your relationship with your pets.
12. You are sensitive to sounds and sensory feelings
Loud noises or sudden dramatic movements startle you. You also feel overwhelmed by bright lights, rough fabrics, and strong smells. You also notice very delicate smells, touch, and sounds.
13.You don’t like too many things at once.
When you have to multi-task or have too much coming at you at once, you feel rattled and overwhelmed.
14. You manage your environment
You create your living and working environment to accommodate your sensitivities. You arrange your schedule and commitments to avoid unpleasant, chaotic, or overly stimulating situations.
15. You don’t like narcissists
You are particularly bothered by narcissists who put themselves first all the time and aren’t sensitive to the feelings of others. You may even believe there’s something wrong with you or that you have some kind of emotional disorder.
16. You can almost feel the days of the week
Each day of the week has a specific “feel” to it. You notice when a Wednesday feels like a Saturday. You feel particularly heavy at the start of the work week. Even months and seasons have a particular feel.
17. You are a great listener
People tell you this all the time. You listen consciously and know the right questions and comments to draw people out and make them feel heard.
18. You get bored easily
As an empath, you need to focus on work and activities that stimulate your creativity and passion. If you get bored, you resort to daydreaming, doodling, etc. However, you are still very conscientious and try hard to avoid making mistakes.
This may sound a lot to a person who doesn’t have these traits, but for many others including me, this is a natural part of life. With time, I’ve learned to manage these traits. But in order to do so, we must honor them. And if you’re not HSP maybe you recognize these traits in someone you know. Understanding ones’ differences or others, can do immensely for you as well as them. You see, HSP have more antennas which enables us to pick up on more. When we “pick” up on these energies and emotions, it’s as we are feeling them ourselves. Imagine feeling others emotions, whether its joy or stress. Yes, it can leave one drained. By honoring your sensitivity, you can learn to use these traits to your best advantage. It can become a compass is life that helps you move forward in new ways, assist you to not stepping into situations that doesn’t benefit you.
The book‘Seat of the Soul’ discusses the concept of being a 5 sensory person versus a 6 sensory person. The author, Gary Zukasv is a physics and quantum scientist. Mind-blowing book to say the least, still haven’t finished it but defiantly a recommendation to all as it sheds light on the evolution of us in magnificent way.
As always, I’m eager to know your thoughts and experiences. Feel free to send me a comment, or send me a mail if you in any chance don’t feel comfortable talking about these topics. I’m here to listen, to help and hopefully shed some light on subjects I’ve been experiencing – so your journey can continue with ease.