Are you too sensitive?

A few years ago I came across the topic of Highly Sensitive People… I instantly saw myself in the descriptions given. As a child and young adult I was incredibly shy. I was an observer and had very little to say. What I know now is that I didn’t have the coping tools to help me realize that what I was feeling wasn’t always mine, so I picked up a lot of energy along the way that had an impact on my wellbeing and I developed life-long patterns of taking on other people’s problems and pains and suffering without even realizing that I was doing it. Being helpful to others is a part of who I am… I have always done it by sacrificing my own wellbeing and energy, which is unhealthy. I am in the process of learning to not take on what doesn’t belong to me and also learn to protect my own energy levels.

My sensitivities are heightened the most when I am out in large crowds, such as malls, restaurants, and even airplanes. I can’t stand watching violence on television or the news for that matter, none of it leave me feeling very good. Fluorescent lighting can also feel challenging with the flickering motion and the subtle noise that is emitted. Some of this can be so subtle that it goes unnoticed but over time it accumulates and impacts our wellbeing. Last weekend we went swimming at an indoor pool. I hadn’t gone in years other than when we are on vacation… I could feel my energy dropping before we even got there. Over 100 people filled the pool, mostly young families with their little ones and the noise level was more than I cared to handle. Needless to say, it was not a well-planned outing.

On family vacations we all do better when we are able to be out in nature or near the ocean. It’s where re-connection and getting ourselves re-energized happens. For me it is a constant reminder that I can allow myself to experience this no matter where I am, I don’t have to wait to be on vacation.

Ucluelet, BC

In learning more about myself I have been better able to understand our young adult son who has autism. He doesn’t have the language to be able to express what he’s feeling or about how he’s experiencing the world. Being aware of HSP in myself has helped me to understand more about who he is and what he is able to tolerate and what might affect him that needs to be avoided. For years I couldn’t understand why he’d over-react when we’d go visiting or go to certain stores. Now I get it and I am able to pick up on cues to help him before we make any decision that could prove unfavourable for him.

About 5 years ago when I was studying Reiki, my Reiki Master teacher told me that I was very clairsentient and that one day I would be able to see the gift in it. To me it felt more like a curse because all I could feel was the pain that came with feeling so intensely. I am now learning to be more mindful and to honor this part of me by respecting my limits and boundaries. It’s meant learning to say no and being ok with that decision when I knew I would be affected if I didn’t listen to what my body was telling me. I absolutely need to respect my sensitive nervous system. Learning all this has certainly helped me deepen my intuitive abilities over the years and in return I have been better able to understand my son’s needs.

There are many knowledgeable people on the subject of Highly Sensitive People, some of which I have read their books, visited their websites and listened to their podcasts… check them out if you feel you are a HSP.

Judith Orloff  –  Rue Hass (EFT Master)  –  Elaine Aron

Which ones of your senses are more developed? What hidden gifts might this have brought to you?

Suzanne xo

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Comments

  1. I sense the feelings of others. I often wish I could block the feelings I pick up from people at work and yet I feel like it is and early warning system. It is a struggle!

    I am glad you have your blog up and working.

  2. This is so interesting to me, Suzanne. I am pretty sure I know people who fit into this category who are misunderstood. I’m looking forward to reading more in this space!

  3. I feel like you wrote this about me:) I seem to be growing more sensitive as I get older and can hardly stand crowds of any kind and almost always prefer to be an observer. I think that’s ok. What is most important for me is to focus on what works for me and what doesn’t and honor that as a part of who I am. Thank you for the great article.

  4. Suzanne, I, too, fit in the category of highly sensitive. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t feel everything so intensely. Other times, I am grateful for the intuitive gifts related to my sensitivity . . . and for my deep appreciation of beauty. One of my favorite books on this topic is The Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide by Kyra Mesich.

    • Hi Janet, until I heard of the highly sensitive person I didn’t understand myself very well. I am so grateful for all the good books on this topic that are out there. I have not heard of the Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide. Thanks for mentioning it.

  5. I was venting to my health coach recently and she brought up the HSP to me and said that she thought I should look into it. At first I thought it was just emotions, but it is so much more. I never thought I was in tune to others’ emotions because I try to block my own. My coach told me that was why. I also have difficulties in crowds, with loud noises, smells, and bright lights. It is all overwhelming to me. And when I first heard about the HSP, I thought about people with autism and their heightened senses. I need to read some more about it so that I can learn how to deal with it (because avoiding crowds is difficult to do during the holiday shopping season!).
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