TALENT DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES : articles

High sensitivity

Emotional, psychological and social aspects of being highly sensitive. Also material on related traits such as introversion and shyness.

Also see the page Intensity / sensitivity and the Highly Sensitive site.
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Overwhelm is a physiological, mental, and emotional state that drowns out any clear signals that might otherwise come through. No matter how hard you try, when you are in a state of overwhelm, you can't see or hear what you most need to see and hear: the very next step. Make your business an overwhelm free zone.

This brief audio clip is from Ane Axford's longer interview: “On HSPs as Entrepreneurs with Marie Forleo.”

Stimulation comes in on all sensory channels: sights, sounds, smells, vibrations, touch. HSP’s typically respond strongly and quickly reach their natural level of tolerance in loud, bright or chaotic environments. Managing this kind of overstimulation could be treated as a “technical problem” of reducing environmental intensity or leaving it when possible. Five kinds of over-stimulation can contribute to depression.

By Ane Axford, MS, LFMT. I have often heard an analogy in the psychology field that creative geniuses and those who experience mental disorder are in the same water. The difference is that one is swimming and the other is drowning. Let's talk about this water. These fluid, intangible, ever-changing emotions. Sensations. All that arises right now that we cannot ever plan on, EVER...Your sensitivity, this ocean of emotion, is your super power.

"The holidays are here again. This time of year is always filled with so much emotion, anxiety, anticipation, love, joy, worry...it’s sometimes hard to stay focused and boundaries tend to get very blurred more easily at this time a year. Do you ever drink too much at parties because it is the only way you know to relieve tension? Do you ever say yes to doing something for or with someone when you know you really don’t have the time, energy or resources? You may be struggling with boundary issues."

What are some of the considerations that lead sensitive and gifted adults to take psychiatric medications? What are some of the reasons people stop taking medications? What are the alternatives?

What makes creative and highly sensitive people accept, and even welcome, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or other mental illness? Are psychiatrists equipped to recognize and support creativity, high sensitivity and giftedness?

More and more adult clients arrive at psychologist's offices suffering from stress and an inability to concentrate that makes them worry that they may have ADD. Often they are just overstimulated and overwhelmed. Stress is what we experience when the world moves too fast, when there is too much to do and too little time to do it. We feel stressed when the emotional world around us is strained or endangered. Through emotional contagion we feel stressed when others around us are stressed.

By Rosalie Smith.  Every society needs highly sensitive people, just as we need the warriors, the leaders who are ready to take the risks. However, we're the ones that help to temper the not-so-sensitive types, the ones who can be bold, rash and impulsive and may have not thought things through to the consequences of their actions. Highly sensitive people are most often the people found in the roles of advisors, counselors and advocators for restraint. Unfortunately, in western society, we've also been labeled as somewhat "defective", according the way non-hsp's see us. We're considered "too sensitive, too cautious, too shy, too timid, too introverted, too fearful."

By Michael Robert Smith.  Even if it feels like an overwhelming burden, which it certainly is at times, our responsibility as an empath is to ourselves first, others second. So with that in mind, let's focus on how we can take responsibility for managing our energetic sensitivity. Beware, though. Identifying and recognizing yourself as an empath may give you a charge. It may cause lingering sensations of relief, bordering on giddyness. You will come to understand that as an empath you are not alone.

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