Updated: Jun 26, 2020
Highly Sensitive People (HSP) share a gift of heightened sensitivity. This means they feel everything on a deeper level than most individuals. Are you a highly sensitive person? Let's find out together.
For the longest time, I never understood why I was such an emotional being. I felt every emotion at 100% and nothing less. When I felt happy, I really felt all the positive emotions associated - accomplishment, joy, relief, optimism, motivation, inspiration and hope. When I felt sad, I really felt all the negative emotions associated - depressed, hopeless, lost, confused, angry, frustrated, uncontrollable... you name it.
It wasn't until a few years back when my therapist mentioned a book 'The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You' by Elaine N. Aron. She let me borrow the book for about a month (I felt bad if I kept it any longer) and although I didn't finish it, I learned so much about myself just from the first few chapters.
You may also be wondering why you feel everything - even other people's emotions! Let's take a look at what defines a highly sensitive person and how to best cope with your emotions.
Characteristics of a Highly Sensitive Person:
Highly sensitive people are extremely observant. They can instantly tell how someone is feeling based off of their body language, tone of voice, or lack of eye contact. They can read a room the moment they walk in to feel the vibe before even saying hello.
Highly sensitive people have more mirror neurons in their brain, which allows them to be more compassionate and empathetic towards others. They care deeply about the people in their lives and are very aware of how their actions or words could affect other people. They feel other people's emotions as if it were their own.
Highly sensitive people pick up on every tiny signal around them. They are deeply affected by external stimuli, which can cause them to feel overstimulated more easily than others. They get more exhausted in large crowds or being around negative people.
Highly sensitive people can be sensitive to light, loud noises, or certain smells. They may even have psychic abilities due to their unique and strong intuition.
Highly sensitive people also connect well with animals, who are also sensitive beings. They can understand how an animal is really feeling when others might not. This allows them to create special bonds, even if they are just meeting the animal for the first time.
If this sounds like you, please know you are not alone. We are a unique breed and have a very special gift. Being able to feel everything so deeply means that we get to experience life for all that it is.
Before I realized that I was a highly sensitive person (HSP), I was very harsh on myself for always feeling so deeply. Learning more about who you are as an individual will help you appreciate your unique qualities and learn to love yourself.
Here are a few self-care tips for Highly Sensitive People:
Finding a creative outlet (writing, painting, singing, photography)
Listening to calm music
Being compassionate towards yourself and understanding your emotions
Unplug from social media
Learn more about your unique gift by reading books and articles
Spend time in nature
Cuddle with your pet
Drink plenty of water
Schedule at least 1 hour of "me" time each day
"Our sensitivity helps us see the nuances of color in this world that others miss. What a blessing if we could stop rejecting that gift and instead use it to invite others into the beauty that we see." - Samantha Lee-Wiraatmaja