It took me years to figure out I was a highly sensitive person. 38 years exactly. The world doesn’t talk much about this type of person. There isn’t a lot of information out there on the topic. Even when discovering helpful information, I often have to be really suffering before profound and life changing information can sink in deeply. I hope you are in that pivotal place right now. That place where you can be inspired to turn your sensitivities into advantages and create the life you have always wanted.
Being highly sensitive doesn’t mean that my feelings get hurt very easily. That is how majority of the population would define or explain highly sensitive people. It does mean that I experience emotion on a very deep level, with more intensity than the average person. Not just negative emotions such as sadness or anger, but also amazing emotions like joy and happiness. I don’t just experience emotion as a state of mind either. I feel specific emotions in specific parts of my body. For instance, when I get angry, I can feel a tight knot in my solar plexus. When I feel loving, I can feel my chest open up like a flower. When I feel scared, my root chakra (the lowest part of my torso) constricts and I feel like my feet are no longer on the ground. How’s that for sensitive? Yeah, it can be overwhelming at times. Not only is emotion felt more intensely as a highly sensitive person, but the whole world is perceived and processed on a deeper level. Are you wondering if you are a highly sensitive person?
Other common traits of HSPs:
- aware of the details and nuances in the environment around you
- overwhelmed by the senses, loud noises and strong smells affect you negatively
- feel the need to withdraw and take a break from the world regularly
- overly sensitive to pain
- desire to do one thing at a time because too many activities drain and overwhelm
- often get spooked and startle easily
- dislike violent TV shows and movies and prefer to avoid them
- find it extremely difficult to adapt to change
- ruminate on information and things that occur in your life
- very in tune with the way people feel and can sense any changes that occur in them
- emotional environments tend to affect you deeply
- nature, art and music can profoundly move you
- philosophical and spiritually orientated person
- tend to experience unusually strong emotions
- deeply dislike confrontation and try to avoid it at all costs
- dislike being observed, it unsettles you
- prefer to avoid situations that are intense and chaotic
- prone to anxiety and fearful states
(*courtesy of lonerwolf.com)
As you can see, going through the world with these characteristics can be very challenging. Especially if you haven’t figured out that you are in fact a highly sensitive person. You might wonder why it seems that other people have an easier time than you. Or wonder why you seem to be more emotional than most. Perhaps you feel fatigued or overwhelmed by things that others are unaffected by. This world is not built for sensitive people. In fact, our world is designed perfectly for those who are detached. This is a problem for highly sensitive people.
One of my first major challenges was recognizing that I could pick up other people’s emotions easily, I thought they were my own! As a young child, that was confusing. It remained confusing even after I learned more as an adult. (It is called clairsentience.) I was aware that what I was feeling physically and emotionally could be the emotions of those around me, but still had not learned how to consistently distinguish between the two. The next challenge I noticed was how drained I felt…all the time. Particularly after being around a lot of people or environments. I have always felt the need to withdraw from everyone (even my children) on a regular basis, in order to recharge. I remember telling my mother when I was a teenager that I thought I had chronic fatigue. I love my mother dearly but she could not help me because she is not a highly sensitive person and knew nothing about it. These are only a couple of the challenges I face as an HSP, there are so many more. I often wonder how my life would be different now if I was given helpful information about being highly sensitive when I was a child. But I always come back to an inner “knowing” that I was meant to go through those challenges. I was meant to study techniques that help HSPs cope and thrive. I have journeyed from struggling as a child and young adult, to studying various healing modalities and energy techniques. Finally, I learned how to turn my sensitivities into empowering life changing advantages. Really, it has all lead me to this belief…
Every highly sensitive person can use their sensitivities as an advantage in this world.
Guess what? Being highly sensitive means we have access to more information than most other people! Approximately 15%-20% of the population are HSPs. In other words, we have a leg up. We have an advantage over others in many areas of our lives. Why wouldn’t we use this and take advantage of the situation? We certainly have to deal with all the negative side effects from being sensitive, effects that can range from annoying quirks to all consuming phobias. It’s about time we start turning our sensitivities into assets. Using our traits and our emotions to create the exact life we were meant to live!
Are you wondering what these advantages are?
10 ways sensitive people use their sensitivities to their advantage:
- Being highly liked by most people because of our easy ability to be empathetic towards other’s emotional states, and being good listeners
- Knowing right away whether new people in our lives are a good fit for us
- Ability to easily sense when people are not being authentic, strong “phony” radar
- Lean towards healthy foods/products because we have problems tolerating toxic substances
- Understand relationships in our lives on a deeper level, ability to see the big picture easily
- Access to higher creativity from being profoundly moved by music, nature and art
- Ability to inspire and influence others easily by our experiencing emotions (such as happiness, joy, peace, excitement, etc.) so intensely that it is felt by others
- Strong intuition for knowing the right decision to make in new situations or opportunities/circumstances
- Entering a room, building, or environment and knowing whether it is a positive place to be
- Ability to feel bodily sensations and functions easily and can take action quickly when something is wrong, know the body intimately
These are just a few of the advantages we can come to enjoy from being a highly sensitive person. They, along with many others, literally help us shape and create the life we want to live. It’s important to note that these sensitivities may not always be assets in the beginning. There is often a steep learning curve when discovering how to turn sensitivities into advantages. And that’s okay. We all at times allow our circumstances to control us, and inhibit or impede our progress. But we don’t have to suffer for years before learning how to use these traits to create our best possible selves. We can fast track. We can learn strategies that will turn overwhelming feelings into empowering ones, and turn negative consequences of being an HSP into positive outcomes! We can listen to our sensitivities and create the life we were meant to live.
Are there any ways in which you use your sensitivities as assets? Write in the comments section below and let me know how you make being an HSP work for you! Any particular areas that you are struggling with? I want to hear about them.
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