Are You Highly Sensitive?
by Jenna Avery, CLC, Life Coach for Sensitive Souls
Do you often feel overwhelmed by your environment or the people
around you? Has anyone ever called you shy - or worse: "too sensitive"? Do
you care deeply about EVERYTHING? You may be a Highly Sensitive Soul - a
person of deep empathy and high intensity, with powerful
intuition, awareness, and intelligence.
Being Highly Sensitive, you
have a uniquely perceptive sensory system. You are therefore more sensitive
to emotions, energy, environmental conditions such as lighting or sound,
other people, excitement, and stress. As a result of constant stimuli, you
may feel easily overwhelmed or unable to cope. Things can be particularly
confusing when others seem unperturbed by the same experiences.
For example, your friends might be able to shop all day, go out to dinner,
and then head to a loud party. For you, that would be
Research psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron, author of The
Highly Sensitive Person, has studied high sensitivity extensively. Her
research shows that being sensitive is a personality temperament or trait,
one usually inherited. According to Dr. Aron, up to 20% of the population is
How To Tell If You Are Highly Sensitive Being Highly
Sensitive comes with a number of gifts, as well as challenges. See if any of
these Highly Sensitive qualities resonate strongly with you.
are deeply affected by all aspects of your life. As a Sensitive Soul, you
have great emotional passion, intensity, and depth. You may have been told
that your emotions are "too much." You are sensitive, caring, and easily
affected by the energy and emotions of others. These qualities make it
easy to lose touch with your needs and desires.
2. You have heightened
perceptive skills. A Sensitive Soul is intuitive, highly aware, and keenly
observant of the subtleties of your environment, including energy,
light, noise, smell, texture, and temperature. You may also be empathic or
even psychic. Your perceptive skills operate in the physical, intellectual,
emotional, and spiritual realms. You tie together things you see into complex
and original concepts. This makes you a visionary.
3. You have a lower
tolerance for stimulation than others. Because you receive so much
information from your surroundings, your threshold for what's "too much"
is significantly lower than for those around you. This means: a) You may
be seen as shy or timid; and b) You may feel uncomfortably dissimilar to
others because you respond so differently to stimulation.
4. You are
highly conscientious and thorough in all your undertakings. A Sensitive Soul
makes a great employee. You concentrate intensely and process multi-source
information. However, you require privacy, uninterrupted time, and
little or no pressure in order to do your best work.
5. You have a
strong relationship with aesthetics and art. As a Highly Sensitive Soul, you
have a passion for beauty, art, and aesthetics. You may be highly artistic
and creative yourself. You easily create beauty and comfort. Seeing things
"out of alignment" can actually be physically or psychically
6. Your inner life is just as intriguing and inspiring
as your outer life. You likely have a rich, complex inner life and are
highly imaginative. You may find it challenging to connect to "real world"
priorities and realities.
7. You absolutely require private time alone in
order to feel replenished. Up to 70% of Highly Sensitive Souls
are introverted. But even extroverted sensitives need downtime to
rejuvenate, often in a darkened, quiet room.
8. You have a strong
spiritual connection and depth. If you are Highly Sensitive, you experience a
profound spiritual connection with the divine and/or spiritual realm. You
"see" a lot in what appears common. Because of this you may feel impatient
with the truly mundane.
Learning To Thrive: What You Need Learning
to thrive as a Highly Sensitive Soul presents challenges. If you're
sensitive, you have likely accumulated years of training in trying overcome
the trait because you don't "fit in" with society. And yet being Highly
Sensitive is a vital part of you.
A first step toward thriving as a
Sensitive Soul is to understand and accept your trait. Hear this now: There
is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are just different. As one of my
clients says, being Highly Sensitive is both a gift and a
Sensitive Souls require regular self-care, meaningful
work, and supportive relationships. Working with a sensitive coach or
therapist who helps you tune into your own magnificent inner guidance system
- your sensitivity - is a powerful means of support.
there are books, websites, web-based communities, and teleconference
gatherings on the subject. Connecting with like-minded souls is often deeply
healing for sensitive persons.
As you begin to manage your life in a
way that truly works for you, you will trust the power and gift of
your sensitivity, and be inspired to share your much-needed wisdom with
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