Experiencing emotions and feeling sensitive is a part of life. Maybe someone said something rude to you at work or you felt excluded from your circle of friends or coworkers at work. These struggles are common, especially for young adults who experience so much change and adversity.
There is such a thing as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), however; those who feel emotions on a much deeper level than the average person. HSPs process information differently than others and tend to be insightful and empathetic because of this personality trait. Here are a few signs to look for if you think you may be a highly sensitive person.
Signs You are a Highly Sensitive Person
1. You think and care deeply
Thinking deeply means you spend more time processing situations and things that have happened in the past or present. It helps your brain plan for how to handle things in the future, based on what you already know.
Highly sensitive people care deeply about others and are prone to trying to understand other people’s emotions (as well as their own), so they can be supportive. If you tend to feel emotionally drained after being there for a friend, this is a common sign of being highly sensitive. Processing others’ emotions along with your own can cause heavy emotional fatigue.
2. You struggle with change
Highly sensitive people like to feel prepared for things that could happen — it helps them to feel confident in how they will handle certain things, and the ability to plan for different outcomes. HSPs crave stability and peace, so change can often throw a wrench in those plans.
If you feel stress or anxiety about an upcoming change in your life, this could be a sign of your routine changing and the uncertainty that follows can cause emotional discomfort.
3. You always give your best effort
Whether at school, work, or home, you work hard to do your best and avoid making mistakes. You tend to be a people-pleaser, and you don’t want to let anyone down or feel like you are disappointing anyone (bosses, coworkers,and friends).
People-pleasing can prevent you from fully embracing who you are because you’re more focused on avoiding the conflict of saying “no” or “I messed up.” But nobody is perfect, and we all make mistakes.
4. You passionately appreciate the beauty in the world
We can all appreciate things of beauty in the world around us—flowers in bloom, fresh air, a tasty meal… but HSPs are much more impacted by them.
Not only do you notice and feel the artistry behind things of beauty, but you are inspired to share them with others. HSPs are often very creative and artistic because they are so affected by the allure of the world.
5. You are highly perceptive
In tune with being empathetic, you are also perceptive to the world around you and other’s emotions.
HSPs often notice more about others’ quirks and differences; the things most people overlook entirely. As a child, you may have been deemed an “old soul” or wise beyond your years. Children often display signs of being highly sensitive people; particularly, in being intuitive towards other’s emotions at a young age.
How to Embrace Being a Highly Sensitive Person
If you find yourself wondering, “Why am I so sensitive?” You are not alone! Around 12-15% of the population are HSPs, who decipher things on a deeper level the way you do. The trick is to turn these feelings into positive actions, and the first step is learning how to embrace your feelings.
By letting those you care about know, you’re opening up the door for more conversations about being highly sensitive and how they can approach your relationship differently. It also helps you to set boundaries without upsetting anyone or creating conflict.
Rest and recovery are essential to an HSPs emotional well-being. Types of self-care can vary from person to person but can include therapy, ‘brain dump’ journaling at the end of the day, spending time outdoors, meditation, and exercise.
Shift your perspective
The qualities that HSPs have, like perception, empathy, and appreciation for beauty allow them to excel in different ways in life. You are likely very patient, understanding, and a good communicator. Focus on the positive traits this brings to your personality and relationships to shift your perspective and see the good in being highly sensitive.
You are uniquely you— whether you’re highly sensitive or not. Learning to embrace every part of ourselves can be difficult, but the things that make you different are what make you, YOU.
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