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Highly sensitive people have a very sensitive nervous system: they are born with a genetic trait that makes them more aware of their environment, including sensory input, such as sounds, smells, tastes, and touch.
HSPs also tend to be more empathetic and emotionally responsive than others, which makes them more sensitive to the feelings and needs of those around them.
In order to understand the positive or negative aspects of being a Highly sensitive person, we need to know their main characteristics.
There are several characteristics that are common among highly sensitive people. These include:
- Overstimulation: HSPs are easily overwhelmed by their environment and can become overstimulated by loud noises, bright lights, strong smells, and other sensory inputs.
- Empathy: they are highly empathetic and can easily pick up on the feelings and emotions of those around them. They are often described as “emotional sponges” because they absorb the emotions of others.
- Introspection: they are highly introspective and self-aware, they spend a lot of time reflecting on their thoughts and feelings and are often deeply philosophical.
- Creativity: they tend to be highly creative and artistic and are often drawn to the arts, music, and literature.
- Perfectionism: they tend to be perfectionists and have high standards for themselves and others, they are often very hard on themselves when they fall short of these standards.
Being highly sensitive can be challenging in a world that is not designed for sensitive individuals. For this reason, HSPs often face several challenges, including feeling overwhelmed (they can easily become overwhelmed by their environment, leading to fatigue, anxiety, and stress, they may need more downtime and alone time than others to recharge), criticism (they may take it more personally than others, struggling with self-doubt and insecurity) and conflict (since they are highly sensitive to the emotions of others, they may avoid conflict and confrontation, making it difficult for them to stand up for themselves or assert their needs).
Moreover, HSPs could face high expectations (they may have high expectations for themselves and others, which can lead to disappointment and frustration when those expectations are not met) and sensory overload (they may struggle with sensory overload in environments that are noisy, bright, or crowded, making it difficult for them to focus or concentrate).
Despite the challenges that come with being highly sensitive, there are also many strengths that HSPs possess. These include empathy (they are able to connect deeply with others and are often very caring and compassionate individuals, in addition they are often excellent listeners), creativity (they tend to have a unique perspective on the world, often drawn to the arts, music, and literature), attention to details (they have a keen eye for details and are often able to notice things that others might miss, making them excellent problem-solvers and critical thinkers), intuition (they are often able to sense when something is not right or when someone is in need, making them excellent at reading people and situations).
Moreover, HSPs are provided with deep thinking (they have a natural curiosity about the world around them and enjoy exploring complex topics and ideas) and strong ethics (they often have a strong sense of ethics and values and are committed to doing the right thing, even when it is difficult).
If you are a highly sensitive person, it is important to take steps to manage your sensitivity and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Here are some tips for managing your sensitivity:
- Create a calm environment: try to create a calm and peaceful environment at home and work. This may involve reducing noise, clutter, and other sensory input.
- Take breaks: take breaks throughout the day to recharge and give yourself time to process your thoughts and feelings.
- Practice self-care: make self-care a priority, including getting enough sleep, exercise, and eating a healthy diet.
- Set boundaries: learn to set boundaries and say no to things that are not in your best interests. This can help prevent overwhelm and burnout.
- Seek support: connect with other highly sensitive people who can relate to your experiences and offer support and understanding.
At this point, the motivations of why being an HSP is both a gift and a discomfort are clear. On the one hand, the value that acute sensations give to people, allowing them to perceive positive emotions more, deeply contemplate the beauty, moving and appreciating the positive aspects of the reality that surrounds them more, make high sensitivity a great value for people.
On the other hand, being deeply susceptible to external stimuli and emotions can be a disadvantage, as poor tolerance to negative feelings can lead to increased anxiety and stress, as well as worsening mood.
The tips that have been given to better manage high sensitivity are to be read to stem the negative consequences that the condition entails, with the result of trying to live better and to use high sensitivity as a resource as much as possible.
Di Lisa Nespoli
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