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What Everyone Needs to Know
About Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)

By Sarah Dolliver

This world is blessed with a distinct type of individual: those who are highly sensitive. Often, misunderstood and maligned for being "overly sensitive," these folk are quiet, peace-loving beings who simply want an easier sensory experience from life.

Sound familiar? Perhaps you know an HSP or are one yourself. Read on for what you need to know about the highly sensitive people in your life. (How do I know? I am one!)

"Sensitive" does refer to our highly-tuned nervous system.

HSPs are gifted with a highly-tuned nervous system. I say gifted because they are able to process more sensory input than others. Sights, smells, sounds, touches and tastes all come through at heightened levels.

Many HSPs are also empaths, able to pick up on emotions without words being exchanged. This can be a blessing in disguise, as we know who to avoid because they are having a bad day. It can also be a burden when an appropriate emotional boundary is not established to screen out what they don't want to take in.

"Sensitive" does not refer to our emotions.

All too often, HSPs are thought to be emotionally sensitive. That's a mistake. The nature of the sensitivity is not around emotions.

Emotions can become part of the equation, though. When an HSP is overstimulated by their sensory experiences, it is quite easy to get to an emotional edge where breakdowns or outbursts occur.

However, it's not the emotions that are the cause, yet simply an effect of too much sensory input.

Being involved in today's world feels like an assault for most HSPs.

Loud, constant sounds. Fast moving objects. Visual displays that flash. Crowded places where others invade your personal energy space. Ugh! It can be a complete drag. Still, it is possible to create equilibrium where the offense is limited by choice. Read on for some tips.

Withdrawing is more than coping. It is a means of survival.

Focusing inward in a space void of sensory input is a recommended and worthwhile rejuvenation method. Sensory deprivation calms the irritated nervous system and soothes the soul. Withdrawing sometime during each day is part of a healthy routine for any HSP. Just don't withdraw completely.

Being HSP without a personalized care routine can be the pits.

Stress and overwhelm are paramount concerns for HSPs. Many suffer with associated ailments, such as high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, ADD symptoms and other often unexplainable physical occurrences. In working with clients and getting them to honor their HSP nature, many have experienced improvements in these other issues and "dis-eases."

Many more people are highly sensitive than realize it.

Yes, most HSPs don't recognize the nature of what they are experiencing. It's all too easy to think "What's wrong with me?" when everything is right with you. What it takes to thrive is a custom-fit routine to limit the overwhelming experiences and care for your sensitive nature responsibly.

HSPs have extraordinary gifts.

Besides being empaths, HSPs are gifted in many ways. They write, play music, engage in practicing the healing arts, paint, sculpt and so much more. Inherently creative with a knack for seeing what others can't, they add so much breadth and depth to your experiences that knowing one will literally change your life.

Being HSP is not a curse, burden or life sentence to being out-of-synch with the world.

It's not take it or leave it. HSPs can learn to take responsibility for their gift and shape their own circumstances for the better, including ways to create sensory bliss. It is not about becoming someone they are not, but simply learning new skills tempered with self-acceptance.

It's a powerful combination of inner-outer work that is a pathway to transforming their world. (I know because I've done it.)

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Sarah Dolliver is the Founder of InnerVantage, the online community for inner-directed individuals (those who focus inward to restore). Her vision is to remove the stigma from being introverted or highly sensitive (HSP) to allow these individuals to lead rewarding lives that bring distinct contributions to the world.

She educates, inspires and empowers them to use their gifts, talents and strengths as the basis from which they approach life.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Management (Bentley College, Waltham, MA) and is a graduate of Coach U and The Graduate School of Coaching from CoachVille.
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Article Source:

More articles by Sarah Dolliver.

Related Talent Development Resources pages :

Highly Sensitive.....High Ability.....HSP & gifted books

High Ability - gifted/talented articles.....Giftedness books

Intensity / sensitivity.....Intensity / sensitivity resources : articles sites books

Introversion / shyness......Introversion resources : articles  sites  books

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