Life As A Highly Sensitive Person: Embracing Depth And Sensitivity
Oct 27, 2023
Are you someone who often feels overwhelmed by bright lights, loud noises, or strong emotions?
Do you find yourself deeply affected by the world around you, sometimes to the point of exhaustion?
When I was a teen, I struggled a lot with those things as a highly sensitive INFJ male.
You too? You may be a highly sensitive person (HSP). And you’re certainly not alone!
In this article, we’ll explore the characteristics, symptoms, and challenges highly sensitive individuals face and offer some strategies for navigating life as an HSP.
Highly Sensitive Person Characteristics
Highly sensitive people process sensory information more deeply and thoroughly than others.
They have a tendency to be more aware of subtleties in their surroundings.
They’re also highly attuned to the feelings of those around them.
Clinical research psychologist Elaine N. Aron has done extensive scientific research on the subject of heightened sensitivity.
Here’s a breakdown of common characteristics of HSPs:
Intense Emotional Responses
HSPs often experience emotions intensely.
They may cry easily from happiness, sadness, or empathy for others.
This heightened emotional awareness can be both a blessing and a challenge.
Bright lights, loud noises, and chaotic environments can overwhelm HSPs.
They may seek out quiet and calm surroundings to recharge.
Highly sensitive individuals have a strong capacity for empathy.
With ease they can sense the emotions of others and are often great listeners and caregivers.
HSPs tend to think deeply and reflect on their experiences.
They may be drawn to creative pursuits like art, writing, or music.
Many HSPs have a keen sense of intuition.
They often trust their gut feelings and rely on them to make decisions.
Highly Sensitive Person Symptoms
While being highly sensitive has many positive aspects, it also comes with challenges.
Here’s a list of possible symptoms of high sensitivity:
HSPs can easily become overwhelmed by too much sensory input.
This can lead to anxiety and a need for regular breaks to recharge.
Photo by Vlad Karpovich on Pexels
Pro Tip: When feeling overwhelmed, take regular breaks to recharge when things get too much.
Sensitivity to Criticism
Highly sensitive individuals often take criticism to heart.
They may dwell on negative feedback and strongly desire to please others.
Pro Tip: When facing criticism, remember that not all feedback is personal, and focus on your growth.
HSPs may have heightened physical sensitivities, such as allergies, sensitivities to certain foods, or skin sensitivities.
Pro Tip: Deal with physical sensitivities by identifying triggers and making necessary adjustments.
Difficulty with Boundaries
Setting and maintaining boundaries can be challenging for HSPs, as they often prioritize the needs of others over their own.
Pro Tip: Practice setting and maintaining boundaries to protect your well-being.
The intense emotional experiences of HSPs can lead to emotional exhaustion.
They may need more downtime and self-care to recover from these feelings.
Pro Tip: Combat emotional exhaustion with ample self-care, rest, and downtime to recharge your energy.
Highly Sensitive Person Problems
Living as a highly sensitive person can be both rewarding and demanding.
Here’s a list of challenges that HSPs may encounter:
Many people may not understand the depth of an HSP’s experiences and may dismiss their sensitivities as overreactions.
This can lead to feelings of isolation and frustration.
Solution: Educate others about your sensitivity to help them understand your experiences better.
HSPs often neglect self-care due to their tendency to put others’ needs first. They need to prioritize their well-being and practice self-compassion.
Solution: Make self-care a daily practice, not just an afterthought, to maintain your well-being.
Highly sensitive individuals may struggle in high-stress or noisy work environments.
They may need to seek jobs that align better with their sensitivities or find ways to create a calm workspace.
Solution: Seek jobs or create a calm workspace that suits your sensitivity and minimizes stress.
Highly sensitive people may have difficulty in relationships if their partner doesn’t understand or appreciate their sensitivity.
Open communication and empathy are essential for building healthy relationships.
Solution: Communicate openly with your partner about your sensitivity and encourage empathy.
Some HSPs may start avoiding situations that trigger their sensitivities, which can limit their experiences and opportunities for personal growth.
Solution: Instead of avoiding triggers, develop coping strategies to face situations that challenge your sensitivities, allowing personal growth.
Life As a Highly Sensitive Person: 6 Helpful Tips
Embracing your personality as a highly sensitive person could lead to a more meaningful and balanced life.
Here’s a list of strategies for navigating life as an HSP:
Recognize and embrace your sensitivity as a valuable trait rather than a weakness.
It’s a part of who you are and can bring depth and richness to your life.
Prioritize self-care routines that help you recharge and manage overstimulation.
This may include meditation, regular breaks, or spending time in nature.
Openly communicate your needs and boundaries to friends, family, and colleagues.
Educate them about your sensitivity so they can better understand and support you.
Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels
4. Emotional Regulation
Practice emotional regulation techniques like mindfulness and deep breathing to manage intense emotions and prevent emotional exhaustion.
5. Choose the Right Environment
Seek out environments and activities that align with your sensitivities and passions.
Surrounding yourself with people who appreciate your sensitivity can also be beneficial.
6. Therapy and Support
Consider seeking support from a therapist who works with highly sensitive individuals.
Therapy can be conducive in helping you develop coping strategies, build resilience and manage your heightened sensitivity.
Check out Online-Therapy.com as a valuable and affordable online therapy solution for you as a highly sensitive person. Watch the video below for an in-depth introduction to their services:
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What is Life Like for a Highly Sensitive Person?
Life for a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) can be rich and challenging.
HSPs notice small details, feel emotions deeply, and often have a strong sense of empathy.
This means they can enjoy beauty and connections more intensely but may also feel overwhelmed by noise, criticism, or stress.
They may seek calm and meaningful experiences, leading to a fulfilling life.
If you want to deepen your understanding of high sensitivity, consider buying Dr. Elaine N. Aron’s bestseller cornerstone book: The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You on Amazon (1999) by clicking here (affiliate link).
Is Life Harder for a Highly Sensitive Person?
Life can be harder for HSPs in some ways.
They may struggle with overstimulation, criticism, and setting boundaries.
Coping with intense emotions and finding suitable work and relationships can be challenging.
However, HSPs can thrive and lead deeply fulfilling lives with self-awareness, self-care, and support.
How Do I Live My Life As an HSP?
To live as an HSP, prioritize self-care, communicate your needs, and create a calm environment.
Embrace your sensitivity, seek supportive relationships, and practice emotional regulation.
Find work and activities that align with your traits and passions. Remember, self-acceptance is key.
What is the Hardest Thing About Being a Highly Sensitive Person?
The hardest thing about being an HSP can be feeling overwhelmed by sensory input, criticism, or intense emotions.
It may be challenging to find the right balance between self-care and meeting the demands of daily life.
Building resilience and navigating relationships that understand and appreciate your sensitivity can also be difficult.
Does High Sensitivity Get Worse with Age?
Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) typically doesn’t get worse with age. Many HSPs learn to cope better with their sensitivity as they age.
Age often brings increased self-awareness and a better understanding of navigating the world as an HSP, making it feel less overwhelming over time.
In conclusion, life as a highly sensitive person comes with unique challenges and strengths.
You can lead a fulfilling and balanced life by embracing your sensitivity and learning to navigate the world in a way that honors your unique traits.
Remember that being highly sensitive is not a flaw but a beautiful aspect of your identity that can bring depth and empathy to your interactions with the world!
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