Julie Plenty

Article Summary:

Are you highly sensitive person?

Highly Sensitive People

Are you the kind of person who is easily overwhelmed by bright lights and strong smells, often needing to withdraw to a quiet place or darkened room to have privacy and relief from stimulation?

Do you also get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short period of time and changes in your life have a disproportionate effect?

If so, then you may be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) as defined by Elaine Aron in her book of the same name. According to Dr Aron the HSP has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in their environment and is more easily overwhelmed in a highly stimulating environment. It is thought that 15-20% of the population have this trait. This trait involves having very high levels of awareness, intuition, empathy and perceptiveness.

Laboratory tests have shown that HSPs absorb and process up to 10 times the information from a particular situation than a non – sensitive person. This means that they have to be on their guard against "overload" and "burn out" – especially in the work that they pursue and/or their leisure time (HSPs less likely to enjoy a noisy nightclub!)

The area of work is especially important. Because HSPs are often highly creative with a vivid imagination and interest in spiritual or philopsophical matters they are often writers, painters, musicians, coaches or alternative therapists. They often feel the need to be of service to others. However, HSPs much beware of giving too much of themselves within their chosen profession and find a way of working with their gifts and time to process information.

HSPs are the "Royal Advisors to the Warrior Kings". They are often the calm, steadying voice of influence and reason. Highly intuitive, they can sense the mood in an environment and accurately predict how things will turn out.

The challenges of daily life may impact the HSP more than others. Because many societies tend to be geared towards the less sensitive, then some HSPs suffer from low self esteem, as they feel that they don’t "fit in " in certain situations or that they go against the grain and that their strengths aren’t always appreciated by society.

If you’ve read this far, then you are or think you are an HSP. Below are top ten tips for making the most of your trait: I’ve certainly found these to be helpful and you may too.

1. Meditate regularly.
The benefits of meditation are well known. Increases clarity, calmness and being "grounded"

2. Take up Yoga/Pilates
These help to strengthen and ground you and may be preferable to more energetic exercises ie high impact aerobics

3. Clear clutter
Especially in working or resting areas – too much "stuff" around is a distraction.

4. Avoid overstimulation
Especially watching TV excessively – too much loud music (especially before you go to bed)

5. Learn how to assert your need for solitude and time alone to relax, reflect or process

6. Develop and strengthen your personal boundaries

7. Ensure that you sleep well – wind down before you go to bed

8. Plan ahead in managing change – take risks in small steps

9. Don’t take on too much activity at once – will overstimulate and unsettle you

10. Be aware of your diet – stop or reduce your intake of caffeine, sugar – they often overstimulate you.
Find out more about foods and supplements which calm and relax you and incorporate more of them in your diet.

Doing all of the above will help develop your creativity as well as providing a firmer personal foundation for you. Remember that being sensitive does not being weak and that you can learn how to harness and fully develop your unique talents.

Julie Plenty is a Personal and Business Coach who helps self employed creative professionals develop a strong personal foundation and therefore increase the success of their business. Her goal is to help you live a fulfilled, enriched life. For more self growth articles, resources and free ecards, visit: www.self-help-personal-development.com.

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