The Gift of Being Highly Sensitive

What comes to mind instantaneoulsy when you read this title?

Is it assuring, confusing, validating or maybe it even elicits a mixed emotional response? If so, why do you think that might be the case? Take a moment to consider this and reflect, then challenge yourself to journal your thoughts!! As you honor yourself with your full range of feelings you allow them to teach you more about yourself!! Highly Sensitive People are able to engage in deep reflective moments.

For those of us who know we are highly sensitive, we also know that many times it does not feel like a true gift especially for those who have been criticized for this trait during early childhood! As a child it never really occurred to me that this was what I was! There wasn't a positive way of conceptualizing it; however, I was often told “You’re just too sensitive” with a biting undertone. As far as the literature shows, it wasn't until the late 90’s, that a substantive body of knowledge evolved to educate those who weren't HSP’s and so the common reaction was to “criticize” instead of understand and learn about what this phenomenon really was! Children were just being themselves as their innate blueprint guided their experience of the world! They felt deeply and perceived keenly, sensitive to others interactions as well as the stimuli in their environment. To consider it a gift now is somewhat ironic because we know as HSP children, we’ve already paid a price for being and feeling different! It’s about time to Embrace our gift and feel good about who we are! Sensitivity and Intuitive ability oftentimes overlap and increase emotional response variability and creative endeavors. It's time to feel good knowing there are many good ways to channel this gift into productive use! In fact, writing is one way to do this!!

To effectively explore the breadth of this phenomenon it’s helpful to remember that the greater the gift one has, the greater the responsibility one has to use it with integrity! It’s important to conscientiously own this gift and use it wisely!! Still though you may hear “critical” voices both internally and externally that undermine this trait, however, as an adult you now know it comes from the mere lack of understanding and appreciation.

According to Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D in her well written book: The Highly Sensitive Person: How To Thrive When the World Overwhelms You (1996)The HSP has a rich, complex inner life and strives toward finding their Optimal level of Arousal to avoid unnecessary hyper-responsiveness and unnecessary cortisol release. Endowed with this ability of reflexive deep processing, we’re also inclined to spend more time thinking about the past and the future. So what does this mean? It means HSP’s can benefit greatly by a consistent practice of mindfulness. Staying in the moment brings us fully to task with an entire focus. When we’re distracted by the past or the future, we lose the integrity of the present moment. As we practice this more and more, the world of Subtlety and Originality enhances our personal perception. We experience shades that may be imperceptible to others! For example, hearing that minute cadence change in a voice or that subtle glance that often goes unnoticeable is our signature delicacy of fine tuned perceptual acknowledgement.

Additionally, most HSP’s need to continually practice a trust in following their own intuition as it comes directly from source energy. Intuition and Creativity can alleviate Existential angst that we may also experience. It’s something I’ve known to feel when my life force nudges me to do something because the feeling behind it pushes this energy to the fore. As the energy emerges it moves in it’s own accord through free will. I owe it to myself to trust it and know it is my source guidance. You do too!! Knowing this helps allow life to flow much more graciously!! Life can be gracious and easy if only we know we can trust it. When fully ourselves, there’s no need to doubt because when we live in truth there is no doubt.

So let’s evolve a consciousness that allows us to remain Self-aware in order to make good decisions as HSP’s.

What do you practice on a daily basis? Are you even fully aware of your habits and energy expenditure throughout the course of an entire day? A close examination may reveal a greater loss of energy through small leakages than you’ve realized. You may want to randomly pick moments during the day and take closer examination on how you can make the most of them. You can ground and recharge yourself at free will through skilled practice. Visualization of protection rituals and other anchors can help! So don’t let yourself get to the point of overwhelm! Know yourself well enough to know when you need a mini-charge and down time.

We all engage in our Inner Dialogue as an inherent aspect of our Self Appraisal. What you think about and how you think about it is directly related to how you'll feel. If what you’re thinking about makes you feel bad and brings your vibration down, then perhaps you may want to track your thinking "process" to identify and modify triggers through reframing and new association networking on a regular basis.

When you know you can intercept and shift a thought form through intention you're moving one step in the right direction!! I’ve been working on this process myself for quite some time and can say firsthand that it’s not always as simple as it sounds. Sometimes the feelings rise up so intensely that they dominate our thought form and at such point we need to embrace the feeling in order to allow it to subside so that the thought loses its power over us.

In closing this article it’simportant to realize one caveat as an HSP, which is in understanding what your shut-down point feels like and know how to sense when the early warning signs are coming!! After all,forewarned is forearmend!! Once you learn what your own signs are and respect this as constructive biofeedback you can then help offset, improve and manage your Mind-Body-Spirit Energy system. Since energy is the currency of life and our greatest asset, knowing how to maximize and utilize it for our highest best interest is one way to protect our gift !! When we live in our present energy in a positive field, we honor ourselves and practice Self-Love. Let’s face it, Self-care and Self-love are important for everyone though even that much more for HSP’S! Enjoy your gift!

Author's Bio: 

Moreen is a compassionate, intuitive, holistic practitioner and author of Divine Dimensions: Expressions in Daily LIfe (2014)
This book is an anthology of articles to increase Self-knowledge, improve communication skills, enhance self-efficacy and facilitate true Self-transformation. She has also published works in multiple international anthologies through PWN.

She has a background in psychotherapy including the experiential healing arts such as NLP, Reiki and dream interpretation. Additionally, she has practiced Social Work from a Spiritual/holistic perspective to help others overcome challenges that improve their lives in generative ways !