Woman in blue turtleneck cryingYour friends and family have always said you were a little too sensitive.

You’ve been told that it isn’t as big of a deal as you’re making it seem, that you shouldn’t be crying, or to just get over it more times than you can count.

If only it were that easy.

You can’t just turn it off. You’re not choosing to be this emotional or sensitive, it just happens. It’s who you are. It’s part of your personality. You’re a highly sensitive person.

You know you’re different from most of your loved ones with your sensitivity levels and emotions, but in what other ways are you different?

Let’s learn more about how a highly sensitive person’s brain is different.

Emotions Are More Vivid

The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is the area in the brain that involves your emotions, values, and processing of sensory information. This area of the brain is associated with emotional regulation as well as enhancing the things that we experience.

When something emotional happens in your life, you usually experience it more vividly than you would if it was an ordinary day. Everyone experiences this type of vividness when it comes to emotions, not just highly sensitive people.

Highly sensitive individuals are able to experience emotions more vividly because they feel emotions on a deeper level compared to non-HSPs.

The Brain’s Response to Dopamine

Wallet full of money held in handsMost people are excited by the rewards of life. For example, you may be extremely excited to get a raise, a promotion, your weekly or bi-weekly paycheck, or even an invitation to hang out with friends. Highly sensitive people aren’t as driven or motivated by these types of rewards.

Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that gives you a sense of pleasure when you complete something or feel good about doing something. Since highly sensitive individuals aren’t as motivated by completing goals or knocking things off their to-do lists, they’re able to take a step back and process information on a deeper level.

More Active Mirror Neurons

Mirror neurons are what help us understand people based on their actions and behaviors. When it comes to highly sensitive people, their mirror neurons tend to be more active compared to the average person or a non-highly sensitive person.

Mirror neurons allow you to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Your brain cells will take the actions of the individual that you’re witnessing and compare their actions to situations where you may have acted in a similar way.

This mirroring action allows highly sensitive people to feel more empathy and compassion for other people. They’re able to better understand someone’s feelings, positive and negative, and relate to them.

Wired for Others

Two women sitting in chairs looking at phoneFor an average individual, it can be easier to tune out other people. That action isn’t as easy for an HSP. The brain of an HSP is wired for others. There are several parts of the brain that actually become more active for HSPs when they’re involved in social situations. This is because they’re not only experiencing their own emotions, but taking on the emotions of others as well.

Next Steps

If you’re a highly sensitive person, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing! It’s completely normal to feel emotions and connect with others on a deeper level. Being a highly sensitive person comes with a lot of highlights but some challenges as well.

Working with a therapist can be a great way to dig deeper into being an HSP. A therapist will work with you to better understand yourself. They’ll also be able to help you find ways to cope with being a highly sensitive person.

Reach out to me today to set up a consultation.

Click here to learn more about HSP therapy services in Delray Beach, FL and Sandy Springs, GA.