High Sensitivity: recognizing the signs and dealing with it

Through their extreme sensitivity and constant overstimulation of the senses, Highly Sensitive people easily lose balance in life.
They receive a lot more external stimulations than people of a regular sensitivity because they miss a kind of stimulation-filter. It is important however not to give too much importance in labelling yourself as HSP. The danger of that is that you might impose unnecessary restrictions on yourself.

Signs of High Sensitivity (HSP)

To find out if you are Highly Sensitive, here are some traits of highly sensitive people as described by dr. Elaine Aron:

  • Well-developed intuition
  • A high level of empathy
  • Creativity
  • Love of solitude and introspection
  • Strong connection to emotions—their own and others’
  • A tendency to be shy or inhibited in social situations
  • Strong appreciation of beauty
  • Low tolerance of strong lights and odors, noise, disorganization, and clutter
  • Heightened physical and/or emotional reactivity to certain foods and stimulants
  • Heightened sensitivity to change, and sometimes a tendency toward anxiety or depression
  • The ability to concentrate deeply
  • Awareness of subtleties
  • Strong foresight
  • Difficulty thinking, speaking, or performing while being observed

Each highly sensitive person is different and has a different character. Many HSPs feel comfortable in a quiet area, with quiet music and loving people around. But there are also HSPs looking for overstimulation which makes them restless and sometimes chaotic. Pay particular attention to your own unique way of high sensitivity and learn how to deal with that.


Highly Sensitive men

A special mention about high sensitivity in men: According to Dr. Aron, the psychologist who first described high sensitivity, 15-20% of people are highly sensitive. And this percentage is divided equally between men and women. Yet above all it seems on the surface a ‘female condition’. This is probably the reason that many men choose to deal with their high sensitivity in silence. The social pressure on men when it comes to emotions creates an environment where highly sensitive men can not express emotions easily.

Dealing with High Sensitivity

High sensitivity can be a challenge and a strength. You can often sense atmospheres and people very well and due to your ability to pick up on subtleties that others often fail to notice, as a highly sensitive person you can bring a great deal of extra quality to your work and relationships. Are you finding it hard to deal with your sensitivity? First step is to accept it: there is nothing wrong with you, you are just sensitive and as said before, this can be a great advantage if you use it in that way! Next is to start living close to yourself and your needs. Practically this could mean to get enough sleep, eat healthy and regularly (and eat foods that match your system), plan in breaks and ‘decompression time’, create a quiet room to retreat in all for yourself, surround yourself with nature regularly. Because we are all different and unique, the things that can help you specifically cannot be stated in this article. It is good for you to find out for yourself what your needs are. Therapy about dealing with high sensitivity can help you with that.

Are you highly sensitive and having difficulty living with it? Would you like to learn more about your sensitivity and learn how to use it in a positive way? Contact me and make an appointment.

Links to External websites for more reading about High Sensitivity:


Being Highly sensitive is not all bad: Highly sensitive people are unusually attuned to discord in the world and many of them are determined to do things differently — whether that’s embodied through a rejection of toxins in food or cruelty to animals, or an active effort to shed light on humanitarian issues or equal rights. (source: MBG.com)

Test yourself…are you highly sensitive? (source: hsperson.com)