Category: High sensitivity

For more on this personality trait, see the Highly Sensitive and Creative site.  

Intuition: powers and perils

Intuition: powers and perils

Gut reaction, hunch, instinct, nose, presentiment, second sight – the ability to gain understanding outside the usual senses and rational thought can be an invaluable guide to enhance our personal development and help realize ourselves more fully, but there are also potential limitations and distortions. Part of the motivation for writing about this topic was […]

What do you do with your intensity?

What do you do with your intensity?

Many talented actors, musicians and other performers have the venue and “permission” to use their high physical and emotional intensity. But many of us who are not performers can find it challenging at times to manage our intensities or excitabilities, especially when working with other people. It is easy to point to examples of high […]

Elaine Aron on holiday stress relief for sensitive people

Elaine Aron on holiday stress relief for sensitive people

Elaine Aron, PhD wrote in an issue of her newsletter about holiday season challenge – for highly sensitive people (HSPs), but her perspectives can be helpful for anyone: “Here come the holidays and the New Year. Give yourself a gift by remembering to do this time of year your way: If you are already doing […]

Maybe your idea of fun isn't mine

Maybe your idea of fun isn’t mine

As introverts, we may not have the same values or interests in “fun” activities as those who are more extroverted. That may be another reason highly sensitive people and introverts are less acknowledged, supported and even valued in our outgoing, sociable-oriented culture. (Introversion and High Sensitivity are not the same trait, but they often go […]

Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette on High Sensitivity

Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette on High Sensitivity

“Self-Care for the Creative Soul” was a retreat March 2nd-6th, 2014, at Miraval Resort in Tucson, Arizona, with Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette. Here is a brief excerpt from a conversation they had about the personality trait of high sensitivity and being a creative person: Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette on Creativity A page on […]

Being a Highly Sensitive Person: Challenges and Creativity

Being a Highly Sensitive Person: Challenges and Creativity

As a highly sensitive person, we can feel more, react to others and the environment more easily and deeply, and sometimes get overwhelmed by so much intensity and stimulation. But it can also fuel creativity. Dolly Parton has talked about part of the trait for her: “I hurt real easy and real deep, which is […]

Any more chocolate than my limit causes anxiety

Any more chocolate than my limit causes anxiety

From article Confession: Anxiety Cause Revealed, by Jen Crippen. Why is it that when we know our limit on something and if we go beyond that, we’ll feel like “junk”? For example, I experience many food sensitivities. I can indulge in a TINY bit of dark chocolate. Key word: TINY (two 1? X 1? squares).  […]

New Year's resolutions and HSPs: change and intuition

New Year’s resolutions and HSPs: change and intuition

Everyone can experience emotional challenges when it comes to making life changes, but those challenges may be especially intense for highly sensitive people (HSPs). In her post Change and the HSP, from her blog “Inside the Mind of a Highly Sensitive Person,” Helen Akers takes a look at some of the challenges HSPs encounter when […]

Cheryl Richardson on sensitivity and self-care

Cheryl Richardson on sensitivity and self-care

Cheryl Richardson relates an example of her own sensitivity: “Last night I went to see a movie with a group of friends.  “I’d heard wonderful things about the story from people whose opinion I respect, and I was so looking forward to enjoying the film. “However, within twenty minutes of watching, I made a decision […]

On Being Sensitive

On Being Sensitive

The trait of high sensitivity is experienced by 15 to 20 percent of us, including many well-known actors and performers. In one of my videos are quotes by and about Winona Ryder, Heath Ledger, Amy Brenneman, Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway, and Ellen DeGeneres. See Video: On Being Sensitive on the Highly Sensitive site. See more […]

Norah Jones on sensitivity and criticism

Norah Jones on sensitivity and criticism

In addition to helping fuel creativity and a richer experience of life, being highly sensitive can make us more vulnerable to self-criticism (and other issues). Elaine Aron, PhD writes about one source or form of this, and how it impacts self-esteem: “Are you often stuck in ranking? Then you are often undervaluing yourself. It’s natural.” […]

Be More Creative: Be An Introvert

Be More Creative: Be An Introvert

Author Susan Cain declares: “Without introverts, the world would be devoid of: the theory of gravity; the theory of relativity; W. B. Yeats’s “The Second Coming”; Chopin’s nocturnes; Proust’s In Search of Lost Time; Peter Pan…” She quotes science journalist Winifred Gallagher: “The glory of the disposition that stops to consider stimuli rather than rushing […]

Sensitive and stressed? Jenna Forrest on calming holiday stress

Sensitive and stressed? Jenna Forrest on calming holiday stress

“Is there anything you dread about this holiday season? Do you have fears, anxiety or insecurity around seeing family members or others who don’t value you? Are you afraid of what might happen this year, or are reminded of past letdowns, abuse, or losses?” If you answer “Yes” to any of these questions you’ll benefit […]

"I was the shyest human ever..." - Ingrid Bergman

“I was the shyest human ever…” – Ingrid Bergman

“I was the shyest human ever invented, but I had a lion inside me that wouldn’t shut up.” – Ingrid Bergman  [imdb.com] ~ ~ Related : Artistic confidence – Being shy and an actor Actors and High Sensitivity Shyness, Introversion, Sensitivity – What’s the Difference? Shy or Introverted or Highly Sensitive in the Arts. ~~~ […]

Creativity and the Highly Sensitive Personality

Creativity and the Highly Sensitive Personality

By guest author Lisa A. Riley, LMFT Creatives often feel and perceive more intensely, dramatically, and with a wildly vivid color palate to draw from, which can only be described as looking at the world through a much larger lens. Without a substantial filtration system firmly in place to screen out most of the busy […]

Elaine Aron on emotional challenges

Elaine Aron on emotional challenges

In addition to helping fuel creativity and a richer experience of living, being highly sensitive can make us more vulnerable to emotional overwhelm, anxiety, self-criticism and other issues. Healthy self concept and self esteem can be especially challenging. As John Lennon once put it, “Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other […]

Highly Sensitive Men More Creative?

Highly Sensitive Men More Creative?

Some lists of famous people thought to be HSPs (highly sensitive person), include these men: Woody Allen, Andy Kaufman, Anthony Hopkins, Edgar Allen Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, W.B. Yeats, E.E. Cummings, D.H. Lawrence, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Deepak Chopra, Joseph Campbell, Beethovan, Mozart, John Lennon, Leonardo Da Vinci, Salvador Dali, Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright, […]

Every society needs highly sensitive people

Every society needs highly sensitive people

There can be many challenges for people who are highly sensitive, including reactions from others (“Why are you so touchy?”), feeling “wrong” and with lower self-esteem in a culture that is so extroverted and high-speed, and being more vulnerable to stress (see my post Sensitive to anxiety). But there are also many strengths and values, […]

Robert Pattinson, Salvador Dalí, introversion, shyness and sensitive people

Robert Pattinson, Salvador Dalí, introversion, shyness and sensitive people

Shyness may look like introversion or high sensitivity, and they may overlap with each other, but are distinct experiences. Psychologist Elaine Aron, PhD notes shyness “is learned, not innate” and the trait of high sensitivity “is often mislabeled as introversion.” She writes in an edition of her newsletter that “HSPs [highly sensitive people] are so similar to […]

Unsociable, bored at parties, inner-directed, creative personality type

Unsociable, bored at parties, inner-directed, creative personality type

Being unsociable, bored at parties or uneasy with people aren’t qualities that always or necessarily go with being creative, of course – but often they do. Many talented artists and others have a creative personality type that is highly sensitive, introverted or shy – or all at once. Not that people are simply “types” – […]

Sensory processing sensitivity: reading vinyl record grooves and smelling books

Sensory processing sensitivity: reading vinyl record grooves and smelling books

The term ’savant’ may be most often used for people such as Daniel Tammet, who is autistic and can recite more than 22,000 digits of pi from memory. The savant label seems to be mostly used for cognitive abilities like prodigious memory, such as Tammet’s. But what about other exceptional sensory processing abilities? In the […]

Video: Our High Sensitivity Personality

Video: Our High Sensitivity Personality

This trait of high sensitivity nurtures our creativity and social activism, but also brings challenges. Psychologist Elaine Aron and others describe it as a more finely tuned nervous system. She explains, “It means you are aware of subtleties in your surroundings, a great advantage in many situations. It also means you are more easily overwhelmed…” […]

Anxiety relief: Energy Psychiatrist Judith Orloff on Emotional Freedom

Anxiety relief: Energy Psychiatrist Judith Orloff on Emotional Freedom

Psychiatrist Judith Orloff says one of the reasons creative people may be vulnerable to anxiety is “They are extremely sensitive.. they are very finely tuned and open to all kinds of energies from the outside, so it’s important they protect themselves and not be overwhelmed.” She notes, “People need immediate relief for anxiety; they don’t […]

Jenna Forrest on transcending sensitivity

Jenna Forrest on transcending sensitivity

Author and success consultant Jenna Forrest writes in her memoir Help Is On Its Way about growing up with the trait of high sensitivity. In our podcast interview, she talks about empowering and transcending sensitivity. From the interview: “Millions of highly sensitive people right at this moment are carrying a heavier burden than the rest […]

Bryce Dallas Howard on learning more fearlessness

Bryce Dallas Howard on learning more fearlessness

Bryce Dallas Howard portrays the “unapologetic” Fisher Willow in The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond. “I learned some interesting things about myself. Fisher is unapologetic about anything she does or says, and I am not; in fact I am apologizing all the time. “I liked that she was almost hedonistic in her approach to life, […]

27 Tips For Navigating College As a Highly Sensitive Person

27 Tips For Navigating College As a Highly Sensitive Person

In her article, 27 Tips For Navigating College As a Highly Sensitive Person, Andrea Runyan discusses how sensitive students can manage the stresses of housing, emotional life, parties, eating, studying, professors and friends. “College is a crucial time in life and doing well, both in classes and in general life, can have large ramifications for […]

Steve Wozniak on being shy

Steve Wozniak on being shy

Many accomplished people have been shy during periods of their life. Two examples: Craig McCaw – “Telecommunications billionaire and wireless pioneer, Craig McCaw recognized that shortcomings (shyness and dyslexia) could also be assets. “Maybe my whole attitude toward life comes from being forced, as a relatively shy person, to confront people and ask them to […]

Developing creativity and being better at noticing subtle details

Developing creativity and being better at noticing subtle details

This image is “Tom’s Diner” – a watercolor by Ralph Goings. Along with other forms of creative expression, photorealist painting demands meticulous attention to detail. A recent CNN article on “sensory processing sensitivity” reports that people with this trait “tended to have more brain activity in the high-order visual processing regions.” The article – Ultra-sensitive? […]

Feeling Crazy as a Highly Sensitive Person?

Feeling Crazy as a Highly Sensitive Person?

The BioElectric Shield company has products to counteract electromagnetic radiation. An article on their site says: A large number of people who come to us are suffering as highly sensitive people. … This sensitivity can dramatically impact your ability to cope with the ever increasing chaos and energy in the world today. I get on […]

Director Ang Lee, Introvert

Director Ang Lee, Introvert

“He is so sensitive and the way he directs you is so silent.” Actor Adil Hussain, of “Life of Pi” describing how Ang Lee works. The director recently won his second Academy Award for “Life of Pi”. In an article on leadership, author Susan Cain gives a number of examples of “effective Asian-American leaders” including Ang […]

Creative Artist Issues: Podcast Interview with Dr. Cheryl Arutt

Creative Artist Issues: Podcast Interview with Dr. Cheryl Arutt

Dr. Cheryl Arutt is a clinical psychologist, specializing in creative artist issues and other topics. She is also a forensic and media consultant. Topics in our audio interview include high sensitivity, regulating disruptive feelings, destructiveness vs creativity, pain and creativity, being unconventional vs rebellion against the self, the fight-or-flight response, and other issues which can […]

Time to cut down on shopping in the physical world?

Time to cut down on shopping in the physical world?

If you are among the twenty percent or so of us who are highly sensitive, you may find holiday shopping scenes less and less appealing, and more stressful. Thanks to Google alerts for “highly sensitive people” I found this stimulating post on the topic, from The Highly Sensitive Christian blog. Here is an excerpt: Six […]

Conformity and Creativity

Conformity and Creativity

“The worship of convention will never lead to astonishment.” Tama J. Kieves Author and personal development coach Tama Kieves faced a number of challenges after graduating with honors from Harvard Law School, but felt compelled to leave her career as “an overworked attorney” to follow her “soul’s haunting desire to become a writer.” In her […]