Jun. 23rd, 2009

amulet: a woman with long blonde hair and flowers in her hair (windblown)
[personal profile] amulet
"I can't take the stress at work anymore. My coworker at the next desk talks all day long in a loud, abrasive voice, and my boss keeps demanding that I meet his rigid deadlines. I leave work every day feeling drained, and jittery, with my stomach tied up in knots."

"Everyone in my family is always running around trying some new adventure while I like to stay home. I feel like there's something wrong with me because I usually don't like to go out after work or on weekends."


Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, you may be a highly sensitive person.

What Is a Highly Sensitive Person?

Since Elaine Aron's landmark book, The Highly Sensitive Person, was published in 1996, hundreds of thousands of HSPs (highly sensitive people) have begun to realize that they are not flawed for life due to their finely tuned nervous system. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of the population have trouble screening out stimuli and can be easily overwhelmed by noise, crowds, and time pressure. The HSP tends to be very sensitive to pain, the effects of caffeine, and violent movies. Highly sensitive people are also made extremely uncomfortable by bright lights, strong smells, and changes in their lives. In this companion book to The Highly Sensitive Person, you will learn hundreds of new coping strategies to remain calm and tranquil in today's overstimulating world, transforming your sensitivity into inner-peace and joy.

HSPs can find it challenging growing up in the society that values aggression and overstimulation. I grew up in the era of heroes such as John Wayne, when real men were supposed to be strong, tough, and silent. As a highly sensitive boy, I didn't fit in at school and felt that there was something inherently wrong with me. At an early age I surmised that I was a bad person because I believed the lie that being sensitive was disgusting. Virtually all of the emotional pain that I experienced growing up was directly related to a lack of understanding about my very sensitive nervous system.

As an adult, you may still suffer from a lack of understanding about your sensitivity. HSPs are adversely affected by our fast-paced and aggressive modern industrialized society. You can easily become exhausted, perpetually overstimulated by everything from the proliferation of violence in the media to the cacophony of loud urban noises. Since HSPs are a minority of the population, you may internalize the mores of our non-HSP society. Unfortunately, when you try to fit into an overstimulating, out-of-balance world, your physical, emotional, and spiritual health suffers.

The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide - Ted Zeff, PH.D. (pg 1-2)

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Sensitivity

How to thrive when the world overwhelms you