Does this sound like you?
- I have always been a very conscientious person. It is part of why I excel in education and at work.
- I absolutely love being in nature. I know everyone says that…but I really feel like it soothes me. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I can spend a few moments on a hike and immediately feel much better.
- I am easily moved by music, art, literature and poetry.
- When people around me are uncomfortable, I tend to pick up on it quickly. Often I can intuit what would make them feel more at ease.
- When I am not overwhelmed or sleep deprived, I rarely get sick. People can be coughing all around me and I seem to sail right on through. But if I go a few days without sleep and/or feel overwhelmed by having to do too much for too long, I find I seem to get sick really easily.
- I like being around people and connecting. But I’m not crazy about crowds. I’m more likely to be found sitting at the theater and watching a live musical than ever being found at a loud concert.
- On more than one occasion, I’ve been told I think too much…or that I seem to take things too personally.
- I don’t like highly stimulating environments. Flashy commercials give me a headache. Strobe lights drive me crazy. I’m the one cringing when the siren drives by.
- I have a really rich inner life. I love to sit back and daydream.
- No. I will not watch a scary movie with you. I am just. Not. Interested.
- When I am feeling overwhelmed, I sometimes find myself using food (or at least…certain types of food) to help soothe me and get me through the day.
- I don’t do well with skipping meals. When my blood sugar is off, I feel like I seem to respond more dramatically than most other people.
- Give me caffeine at your own risk. I am VERY sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
- I get why you like open floor plans and cocktail parties. But I really do much better if I can have a space to myself where I can think, and I’d prefer not to socialize for long periods of time at a party with you. Can we grab a drink with just a few of us instead?
If this sounds familiar…you aren’t crazy. You aren’t a sissy. You aren’t even “too sensitive” as others might have you believe. You are merely in possession of a “highly sensitive” nervous system that, like about 15 – 20 percent of the human population, processes things in a slightly more robust way. It’s not a condition. It’s not curable. It’s merely a trait.
The upside of it is that you:
- Are probably capable of deep and profound joy.
- You’re adaptable, empathetic, and capable of connecting with others with ease.
- You’re conscientious nature likely helped you out in school and is probably continuing to serve you in the workplace. People like working with you.
- When you take good care of yourself and give yourself the quiet, recharge time you need, you can probably bust through a workload efficiently and do it at a high caliber and quality.
The downside is simply that you:
- Don’t live in a world that is necessarily designed for you. So you may find yourself getting overwhelmed, frustrated and exhausted by things that other people don’t seem as bothered by. They may even be things other people like.
- May be gaining weight due to an increasing reliance on food (especially sugar and carbs) and stimulants (chocolate and caffeine) to help you keep pace with a highly stimulating work environment.
- Might have started feeling the beginning effects of adrenal fatigue and insomnia
- May be exhibiting the first signs of what looks like an anxiety disorder or even depression.
I, myself, am a highly sensitive person. So I know full well how tremendously rewarding it can be to live in my own head. But I also know what it’s like when I’ve pushed myself too far and for too long living a life that simply doesn’t serve my needs. My rich inner life turns from a wonderland into a kind of prison.
If you are feeling like your life has started living you (rather than the other way around) and you are hungry to reacquaint yourself with your best self…I can help you.
As a certified life coach and holistic health educator, I work with highly sensitive people one-on-one and in small groups to cultivate robust health and create lives that help them sustain that health.