Do you feel as if you’re more sensitive than others? Are you often exhausted after socializing and need to decompress? Has anyone ever told you that you are too sensitive? You may recognize that you are more sensitive than most, but did you know there is a name for this? It’s called being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), and these types of people are more sensitive to sensory inputs from their environment, and people. HSP Therapy can help you a lot.
You likely haven’t heard of this term before but may wonder if this applies to you. Being an HSP is not a disorder, but a beautiful personality trait. It is a unique relationship with the world. HSP Therapy can help you learn how to manage this trait and thrive like you never thought possible!
Here are 10 signs that you may be a Highly Sensitive Person. And full disclosure – I am an HSP and have learned through life transitions therapy how to harness being an HSP in my life and you can too!
1. Have You Been Called Overly Sensitive?
When you are an HSP, you feel everything strongly. You may have even heard that you are overly emotional. You likely react strongly to emotions of sadness or happiness. For instance, it’s not uncommon for an HSP to easily cry over a movie or tv show where emotions are running high.
2. Are You Highly Empathetic?
Do you ever find yourself turning the news off because of how much it upsets you? Empathy is the ability to understand and feel the emotions of others. Being empathetic is a classic sign of an HSP. You may even go as far as avoiding the media altogether.
3. Are You Easily Overwhelmed by Your Senses?
Some people may feel overwhelmed with all or just one or two of their senses. As an HSP, you may find that you are agitated easily by certain sounds, smells, tastes, textures, or sights. This is known as sensory overload and can be very overwhelming until you learn how to make being an HSP work for you!
4. Do Large Crowds Stress You Out?
While some people love being around large groups of people, you can’t help but feel overwhelmed. For those who are HSP, you may often feel anxious and stressed out in crowds. This is due to a combination of sensory overload or from absorbing the emotional energy from others.
5. Do You Feel Other’s Energy Intensely?
As an HSP, you are more likely to “pick up on” and absorb other people’s energy. Another classic sign of being an empath is the overwhelm you can feel when someone’s energy is strong. Especially around toxic or negative people, their emotions can often negatively impact you, as well.
6. Are You Considered Shy or Introverted?
Not every HSP can be considered shy, but many are. As a child, you may recall being referred to as withdrawn, for instance. Most HSP’s, because of their sensitivity and sensory overload, tend to keep to themselves. It’s not that they are anti-social or don’t want to be around friends, but it can take a lot out of them. Thus, most HSP’s are deliberate on how and where they spend their own energy.
7. Does Your To-Do List Stress You Out?
It may seem like no matter what you have to get done for the day, it can easily stress you out. For most HSP’s, this is because they are ultra-aware of making mistakes. The pressure they put on themselves to perform well often causes anxiety and stress to build.
8. Do You Notice Subtleties Without Trying?
Because of how attuned you are to what is going on with the world, yourself and other people, you are a pro at picking up on subtle shifts. Whether that’s with someone’s mood, a change in the environment, or something else, you notice it. While others may not pick up on these subtle changes, you have a knack for it. This is a beautiful trait to have!
9. Do You Experience Sensitivity to Pain?
Most people will associate sensitivity to pain with a chronic illness like fibromyalgia. However, it is not uncommon for an HSP to be extremely sensitive to pain and discomfort. This is often because of the heightened awareness of their sense, causing the nervous system to be in overdrive.
10. Do You Get Anxious Easily?
Finally, you may be an HSP if you find yourself getting anxious easily and identify with any, if not all, of the above. Because of the increased awareness and sensitivities of your surroundings, it’s likely that you also experience anxiety or panic attacks. This is because your nervous system is constantly working to keep up with what the rest of you is feeling.
If you identify with any or all of these above 10 points, you may be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and may greatly benefit from learning how to manage and embrace this beautiful part of yourself through therapy. Life transition therapy is particularly effective for HSPs because it teaches you how to embrace being an HSP.
It’s important to know that being an HSP is not a disorder or mental health diagnosis, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. It is just a wonderful gift that you were given, but it can feel like a curse sometimes until you understand it and learn how to work with this gift. It is estimated that 20% of the population are HSP.
Learning about your own HSP traits and how to manage them is a wonderful gift that will serve you for your entire life. Being an HSP myself, I do understand how overwhelming everything can get and how great life can be once I learned how to manage and thrive with this part of me, and you can too! Click to learn more about life transitions therapy.
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Hawaii and an Accredited CBT Therapist in the UK with over 15 years of experience. I specialize in life transition therapy and have received advanced specialist training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy. Please feel free to contact me at my Honolulu or London clinic to set up an Online Therapy Test Drive.