Being highly sensitive is often considered as ‘abnormal’ and a sign of a mental disorder by others. People are neither just sensitive or not sensitive, there is a range of sensitivity and like other individual traits, everyone is unique. As a mother of five and grandmother of eleven, I see that diverse range of sensitivity in my family, including myself. If you find yourself in the range of ‘highly sensitive’ and have been made to feel abnormal for having strong emotional or physical reactions, take heart, you are uniquely gifted.
Highly sensitive people can have heightened sensitivity to various things including textures, light, sounds, smells, tastes and temperature changes. Graced with a highly tuned nervous system, some are highly sensitive to hormone and brain chemistry changes in their bodies, physical discomforts and pain. Others are highly sensitive to other peoples energies and emotions. A plant research study by Professor Dr. Olaf Kruse of Bielefeld University, suggests that humans are likely to feed off each other similar to plants. “The human organism is very much like a plant, it draws needed energy to feed emotional states and this can essentially energize cells or cause increases in cortisol and catabolize cells depending on the emotional trigger,”
If your highly sensitive traits are physical you will need to make accommodations when necessary, and sometimes ‘on the fly’ to adapt to changing environments and conditions. The challenge if you know how vulnerable you can be to the emotions of others is staying grounded . Valuing your personal space by maintaining healthy boundaries is a must for highly sensitive people.
According to Psychologist Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, on being highly sensitive (HSP), “It is innate. In fact, biologists have found it in over 100 species (and probably there are many more) from fruit flies, birds, and fish to dogs, cats, horses, and primates. This trait reflects a certain type of survival strategy, being observant before acting. The brains of highly sensitive persons (HSPs) actually work a little differently than others”.
The gift of being highly sensitive often translates into valuable assets and high creativity. Being highly intuitive is also often common. From a PsychCentral article by Therese J. Borchard titled 5 Gifts of Being Highly Sensitive, “being high sensitivity to other people’s emotions can be a powerful asset for teachers, managers, therapists and others.”
You are not alone! Take comfort in that, and seek out understanding and supports when necessary. The website Highly Sensitive and Creative provides information and resources for highly sensitive and creative people. Emotional essential oil therapy can help you ride the waves of emotions commonly experienced by highly sensitive people (HSP), so that you feel more in control and grounded. Get started today!
Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P. Holistic Wellness Practitioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca