The Life of an HSP -
The Highly Sensitive Person - HSP
One day I was doing some research and came upon a blog discussing HSP. HSP stands for Highly Sensitive Person (People). I couldn't believe what I was reading. I've never heard of HSP. Everything I was reading, sounded just like me. I had tears in my eyes, I had stumbled upon words on my laptop screen that transformed it into a mirror - I saw myself in those words. I read everything I could about HSP for 5 hours and then read some more. You know those questions that we all ask, who am I? Why am I here? Well, I've been getting my questions answered loud and clear for months and then I stumbled upon that fact that I'm an HSP.
Highly-Tuned Nervous Systems
HSP's or Highly Sensitive People are not cry babies. I'm a very resilient, confident and strong person. The "Sensitive" part of Highly Sensitive People is referring to the highly-tuned nervous systems that we have. We're more aware. We absorb the energies of others. If someone is down, I feel it. I notice details that other's don't. I can't really zone out, I'm tuned in and notice everything going on everywhere. I'm not a high energy person, just highly-tuned in. 15-20% of the world's population is said to be born with this genetic trait. It is not a disorder, it's considered a "gift," because we process the 5 senses more intensely than 75-80% of the world.
To me being an HSP means literally being in someone else's shoes, even if we've never experienced anything remotely close. Our empathy is so deep that it feels as though we are going through it. We're also highly tuned into the world around us in many ways.
Overwhelmed by the 5 Senses
HSP's can taste, hear, smell, feel or see more, and can get easily overwhelmed by the 5 senses.
• I'm sensitive to sound. I'm especially sensitive to loud chaotic sounds or people talking too loudly. I can't handle when my husband plays his guitar with chords that repeat with no end in sight. That's my signal to put some ear buds in and listen to music. Repetitive sounds bother me, also. I know my limits and accept them. If you're an HSP, be sure to know your limits. When I was little, I could hear the slight electrical buzz of the TV in the living room turning on while I was sleeping in my bedroom.
• I'm also sensitive to certain touches. I couldn't survive a body massage, it would hurt too much. When I get home from being out, I have to remove all of my jewelry and get into loose clothing. The jewelry actually feels heavy and bothersome, even though it isn't. I just have more of an awareness to it. The only socks I'll wear are no shows, anything else feels like it is restricting my circulation and makes my legs ache.
HSP's are highly intuitive. I often wondered why I knew things about life that other people just don't understand. I let my intuition guide me in my daily choices. I don't let my brain make too many choices, I do what feels right inside. I have an innate knowledge of what's fair and logical. I can predict things and know what's happening or what someone's going to say before they say it. My husband is very literal and needs literal instructions. I just require the gist and I understand.
Easily Overwhelmed and Need to Deflate
I've always felt way beyond my years, like an "old soul," that's exhausted. Coffee does nothing for me, but I still drink it. I'm envious of people that get energy from coffee. I need to "deflate," once a day by lying down and sleeping for 10 minutes. I fall asleep within seconds. When I wake up, after just 10 minutes, it feels like I slept for hours. It's a recharge for me that coffee could never accomplish. Sometimes I fall asleep so hard within that small time frame, that I drool. "Gross," I know. I absorb the world around me differently, which is exhausting. I believe my natural ability to fall asleep within seconds is a coping mechanism.
Highly Sensitive People enjoy being alone. I never get lonely. I don't have enough time in the day to do everything that I need to do. The time passes like a blink of an eye for me, because of how busy I keep myself with things that I'm passionate about. I need alone time to function.
Strong Desire to Create
HSP's need to create. There's an inner drive inside to create that just can't be stopped. I find myself constantly creating. I involve myself in such big projects that I need to finish, to the point that I don't have time for myself, even though I'm the one who is in control. Many actors are HSP's because of the need to create and do very well because they know their limits and deflate when needed.
HSP's are naturally empathetic. I'm very empathetic. I haven't watched the news in years. I realized it was just too much for me and I didn't know why back then. If I saw something horrible on the news, I would get that sick feeling as if I was the one going through it. It's exhausting and painful going through emotional roller coasters because of something on television. My husband and I decided to only be concerned with what is going on within our four walls and involve ourselves with welfares of the world that we can make a difference in. Before learning why I had so much empathy, I couldn't understand why some people have zero.
Highly Sensitive People are also very nurturing. I know what other's need before they know it themselves. I recognize their discomforts and feel compelled to resolve whatever it is. My friends say, "yes, mother," because of my nurturing tendencies.
HSP's are problem solvers. Highly Sensitive People have a mission to help. We are driven to go into professions that help humanity and save the planet. They can be humanitarians, teachers, creators and much more. HSP's work well in environments that are not chaotic. A restaurant position, probably wouldn't be a good choice.
Highly Sensitive People feel deeply. It isn't all lovey dovey stuff. We feel deeply with every emotion. Since I'm a highly logical and fair person, I can get enraged when something is illogical or unfair, especially when there's a simple solution. I stay away from politics and other hot topics. I can't handle the drama and unfairness. It drains my life force.
HSP's get easily overwhelmed by crowds. We're affected by the proximity of other people's energy and the over stimulus of our 5 senses. I thrive at Disney World, even though it's crowded. There's a different type of energy there and the orderly, well-manicured perfection is exhilarating to me. The Zoo exhausts me in a few hours, but I can last at Disney World for 12 hours a day for 5 days straight. I really love animals and nature, but the Zoo depletes me.
Vibrant Inner World
HSP's like to be in their head. My thoughts are non-stop and it's exhausting. I personally don't have worries, just a lot of thinking. I think so much that, if my thoughts are interrupted too much I get annoyed about the fact that I can't complete a thought or hear myself think. I'm mentally and physically multitasking all day. This doesn't mean that we're introverted. There are many HSP's that are extroverts, also. Highly Sensitive People who are extroverts have a strong desire to socialize, but still, need the downtime to deflate. Highly Sensitive People who are introverted feel more energized and happy when they're alone or with a person or two that they're close to. I'm a combination of both.
Dislike for Narcissists
Since HSP's are the opposite of a narcissist, it's hard for us to comprehend how someone could live with themselves being a narcissist. It's natural for us to think of other's and to be fair. I'll never understand a narcissist. I do understand that it's a disorder, with horrible traits. They are 1% of the general population and I know one. I recognize that I'm an HSP, I just don't see how a narcissist can't see any of their hurtful traits.
Fresh air is a requirement for me. I get irritable, fatigued and headaches if I'm in an air-conditioned atmosphere for too long. There seems to be a big difference in how I feel between a heated home and an air conditioned home. With air conditioning, I need fresh air or I turn into a wreck. It's not the temperature of the air that bothers me, it the quality. It seems as fake and bothersome as fluorescent lights.
I get the same symptoms with fluorescent lights that I do with air conditioning. Being in a combined air conditioned, fluorescent lit office-type environment for too long is draining, even if I'm just sitting there.
How to Cope if You're a Highly Sensitive Person
If the over stimulus is not controlled, it can lead to exhaustion, anxiety, and depression.
• Remove yourself from the situation if possible.
• Take some time to deflate in a quiet room.
• Listen to music that you enjoy through ear buds.
• Take a hot shower
• Get some fresh air
• Seek professional advice
• or whatever you find that works best for you!
When I discovered that I'm an HSP, I let my girls and husband know. Now everything that I experience daily makes sense to me and my loved ones closest to me.
Find out if you're and HSP by taking this simple & quick test.
Highly Sensitive Person Book by Elaine Aron
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