Highly Sensitive People (HSP)
Are You Highly Sensitive?
Do you notice the small differences in your environment such as temperature, lighting, the feel of a fabric being irritating or the subtle tone of someones voice? Have you been accused of “feeling too much” or being “too sensitive? Do you struggle with thinking about every possible outcome before choosing to act? Some may have called you “shy?”
Watch this clip from the documentary “Sensitive the Untold Story”
You Are Not Alone
Being “sensitive” can be a curse, it can also be a gift! You may be among the 15-20% of the population who are highly sensitive (an HSP). If so, know that your trait is normal, innate and not a disorder. In fact, biologists have found it to be in most or all animals, from fruit flies and fish to dogs, cats, horses, and primates. High sensitivity is a survival strategy, being observant before acting. The brains of HSPs work a little differently than others.
Sensitivity Brings Greater Awareness And Deeper Reflection
An HSP is more aware than others of subtleties because your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply. If you notice everything, you may become overstimulated when life becomes too intense, complex, chaotic, or novel for a long time. This trait is not new, but it has been misunderstood. Because HSPs prefer to look before entering new situations, they are often called “shy.” But shyness is learned behavior, not inborn. In fact, 30% of HSPs are extraverts, although the trait is often mislabeled as introversion. It has also been called inhibitedness, fearfulness, or neuroticism. Some HSPs behave in these ways, but it is not innate to do so and not the underlying trait.
How We Help Highly Sensitive People
At NWA Premier Therapy we specialize in working with highly sensitive people. Our offices are designed to be soothing and our staff are welcoming and helpful. We provide a non-threatening, accepting environment which can calm your nervous system and help you relax. Your body can do this and knows how, with the proper tools, support, and guidance. We offer a variety of interventions and techniques. Our approach is gentle, laid back or more structured, depending on your needs.
External Factors: Events and Triggers
Next, we identify the source or sources of your challenges. We can help with single-event issues or those that have been more persistent throughout your life. For most highly sensitive people, empowerment, boundary-setting, increasing self-esteem and coping skills help you heal. We utilize bibliotherapy and other resources to connect you to a personalized experience.
For more information and a short test you can take, go to Elaine Aron, Ph.D.’s website: www.hsperson.com