Are you a deep thinker? Is it hard for you to be in large groups or over-stimulating environments? If so, you might be a Highly Sensitive Person - and that’s not a bad thing!
I have always known that I was more sensitive, and when I learned that 15-20% of the population is actually born this way, it was so comforting to me. If you are unsure about what being highly sensitive entails and want to learn more, check out these 5 signs that you are a highly sensitive person:
1. You feel what others feel.
Highly Sensitive People, or HSPs, are often empaths. This is more than just guessing about what others feel, but an uncanny ability to tune into and feel what others are experiencing in your own mind and body.
It can be a subtle sensation like an intuitive inkling or energetic shift and sometimes it can be more overt and specific like spikes or heaviness. No matter the mode of receiving, you can clearly sense what others are going through without them having to say it out loud.
This is an extraordinary gift, especially if your life’s work is something that enables you to utilize this skill. It can also, of course, be challenging to manage, especially in large groups or around people with some intense feelings!
With awareness and tools, however, you can protect your own energy while still helping identify what others are going through.
2. Your senses are heightened and dictate your comfort level.
Sounds, smells, bright lights, harsh or tight fabrics - all of these things aren't just in the background of your awareness when you’re highly sensitive, rather, they dictate whether you feel comfortable and at ease or ready to race to the door.
HSPs are born with more sensitive nervous systems which can make processing sensory information more taxing. This can, of course, be heightened by incidents of trauma, but it’s good to remember that HSPs are born this way. From an evolutionary standpoint, having more sensitive people in a community helps ensure safety for the entire population. Their heightened awareness of the environment alerts of potential threats.
Since we cannot control every space or environment, we never know when something will put us on high alert. As a result, tools to help us stabilize and recenter are vital to maintain our energy and thrive in daily life.
3. You over analyze EVERYTHING.
Yes, I'm talking to you. Don't worry, I do this, too!
Because of our awareness things are never simple and straightforward. We tune into all the layers of experience, our environment, others’ feelings, our own feelings, the impact on the world, etc.
If you spend hours or days mulling over decisions then this could mean you are highly sensitive. It also means you care, which is a beautiful thing!
We just don't want it to stop you from being able to choose at all, because when you DO choose, ease and freedom follow.
4. You want to be a voice for those who don't have one.
Often HSPs end up in caregiving, teaching, healing and other nurturing roles because of their layered awareness and ability to feel what others feel.
This is a gift! We need you!
It can, however, lead to a tendency to put others first, ignoring your own health and well being. As a result, we need you to refill so that you can continue to be of such high service to the world from a place of fullness and thriving.
5. Too much for you means total shutdown.
There are people in the world who can just muscle through and yes, it wears on them, but overall they can just carry on. HSPs, on the other hand, hit a point of overload and either: a) have to sleep and be alone to recover, b) get sick, or c) go into all-out panic. Another tell-tale sign that I’ve discovered around total shutdown is that your memory begins to short out even more than usual.
It is so important to learn our limits as HSPs and as humans! Taking a break or asking for help are not signs of failure, they actually can boost our productivity and lead to greater success.
We have to be willing to receive support and remember that when we are cared for, we can do more, give more and go farther.
Did you discover something new? Did you see yourself in some or all of the above? Tell me in the comments below!
As a Highly Sensitive Person myself, I feel very blessed to have gained lots of amazing tools over the years and I want to share them with you!
Enter your email address to download my 5 Top Tools For HSPs PDF. In it, I share tips and techniques that have been game changers for me and my clients when supporting ourselves around the 5 signs above!
You'll also be added to my e-newsletter for ongoing love and updates. And, of course, if you want more, I just launched my new course, Abundant Living For The Sensitive Soul. Click here for all the juicy details.