Woman reaching out hand to meet stacked hands with papers on dekDo you hate feeling rushed or like you have too much on your plate?

Do you feel more comfortable when your life is organized in such a way that lets you avoid overwhelming situations?

Have people ever called you sensitive or shy?

If so, you might be a highly sensitive person.

While those questions may sound a bit like a commercial, at first, they are common traits for highly sensitive people, and like many other traits, they have their pros and cons.

Highly sensitive people tend to have rich inner lives with many complexities. But, they can also get overwhelmed easily.

Not sure if you’re highly sensitive? That’s not a problem. Let’s dive a little deeper into some of the common characteristics, so you can have a better understanding of what it means and what you can do about it.

What Does a Highly Sensitive Person Look Like?

If you tend to notice more subtleties in life, chances are you’re highly sensitive. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While it can overwhelm you at times, it also means you tend to appreciate the “little things” more than others.

Woman with dog walking through leavesFor example, you might enjoy the intricacies of fine art, the specific notes and melodies of an orchestral concert, or the various flavors you can savor in a wonderful dinner. Those aren’t things other people can’t notice, of course. But, highly sensitive individuals tend to appreciate them naturally, rather than having to “work” to hone in on their senses.

Your brain also processes information more deeply. You reflect on things that have happened and whatever situation you’re in. Highly sensitive people are often very attentive and genuinely curious.

Obviously, when you notice everything, it’s not uncommon to feel stressed. You might avoid chaotic situations or even things that seem overwhelming. Some highly sensitive people will avoid large crowds or even violent movies because it’s too much to handle.

Is Being Highly Sensitive Normal?

This is a completely normal trait that affects about 15-20% of the population.

Unfortunately, that’s a low enough number that there haven’t been enough studies on it yet. So, you may feel you’re misunderstood by those around you who haven’t heard of being highly sensitive.

Research shows that highly sensitive people’s brains work a bit differently than others. The way you process things is actually a survival strategy found in nature. Over 100 different species from cats to birds tend to think this way.

When you look at it from that perspective, your HSP mind can actually make you feel a little bit like a superhero!

How to Treat a Highly Sensitive Mind

While being highly sensitive isn’t a bad thing, it’s important to take care of yourself so you don’t constantly feel overwhelmed.

Woman holding fingers to her earThankfully, there are management techniques you can use on a daily basis to ease up on your sensitivity, including:

  • Reducing stimulation
  • Making sure you get enough sleep
  • Carrying earplugs with you to block out too much noise
  • Using relaxation methods like meditation or mindfulness

While you’re not alone with your highly sensitive mind, it’s easy to feel that way when no one in your inner circle truly understands what you’re thinking and feeling. So, if you want to manage those thoughts, another great option is to get professional help.

Feel free to contact me to set up an appointment. Together, we’ll talk more about being a highly sensitive person, what it means, and what you can do to manage things so they don’t feel so stressful and overwhelming. You can appreciate the details your mind observes while learning how to handle the moments that feel like “too much”. If you’d like to learn more about counseling for HSPs, click here.