This may be the most important question you have ever asked yourself! Why? Because in my opinion (and based on my own personal experience as an HSP) knowing that you are a Highly Sensitive Person can literally change everything.
Suddenly, once you know you're an HSP, your life makes so much more sense! It's as if you have this great epiphany that begins to explain the answer to so many questions you have had about yourself in the past and perhaps are truly struggling with in the present.
Here are some of those questions:
-Why do I feel so different?
-Why does watching the news seem to affect me so deeply, yet other people seem to handle the horror just fine?
-Why am I so exhausted after being around people all day?
-Why am I bothered by bright lights, noise, and smells that others don't even seem to notice?
-Why do I so strongly dislike being rushed, working under pressure, and having too many things going on at once?
And the list goes on...
Lest you begin to think that being an HSP somehow makes you defective, well STOP RIGHT THERE! By recognizing that you have this trait, also called Sensory Processing Sensitivity, you are empowered to nurture and celebrate this quality as the incredible asset and gift that it is. In fact, once you learn and embrace the keys to healthy self-care for optimal functioning, you will come to know your highly sensitive nature as the amazing blessing that it is. As a Holistic Wellness Life Coach, my area of expertise is to help highly sensitive people to do just that! I would be honored to accompany you on your journey to acknowledge, accept, accommodate, and accentuate your trait for your overall well-being of mind, body, and spirit. Holistic Wellness Life Coaching is a beautiful, healing process that leads to more peace, more love, and more joy. Who wouldn't want that?
Dr. Elaine Aron was the first person to identify and research the trait of high sensitivity. As she stresses, it is NOT a disorder, but rather a trait that encompasses a number of common characteristics. Research has found that 15-20% of the population has this genetic trait. In fact, over 100 species of animals have been found to have the trait as well.
After her initial research, Dr. Aron came up with the acronym D O E S to describe the main characteristics of HSPs. Here's a very brief description based on her work:
D = Depth of Processing
HSPs have an inborn preference to process their experiences much more deeply than non-HSPs. They often think about things longer and in greater detail than others.
O = Overstimulation
HSPs tend to be more affected by people, circumstances, and events that are loud, chaotic, or rushed. HSPs definitely need quiet and downtime to recharge.
E = Emotional Responsiveness and Empathy
HSPs feel and respond to anything that evokes emotion more deeply than others do. This includes both positive and negative emotions.
S = Senses Subtleties
HSPs simply notice so much more than non-HSPs. This can actually be a bit of a superpower when it comes to helping to create a welcoming, warm atmosphere for themselves and others, both physically and even emotionally.
There's so much more to say about what it's like to be a Highly Sensitive Person.
Please Click Here to visit Dr. Elaine Aron's website for more information and to take her research based assessment. She is truly the expert when it comes to identifying the trait of high sensitivity. Take some time to explore her site. She offers a veritable treasure trove of information and resources.
WHAT IS AN EMPATH?
For some experts in the field, an Empath is simply a person who scores at the high end of the sensitivity scale. For more specific information, I turn to Dr. Judith Orloff, the author of The Empath's Survival Guide which is an excellent resource that I highly recommend. She says that Empaths share all the traits of being a Highly Sensitive Person - an HSP - but it goes further than that because Empaths also sense the subtle energies of people and environments. Dr. Orloff states that "The trademark of an Empath is that they feel and absorb other people's emotions and/or physical symptoms because of their high sensitivities." She emphasizes that if you tend toward being an emotional sponge, you need to know how to ground, center, and stay in your own energy in order to thrive.
Please Click Here to vist Dr. Judith Orloff's website and to take her "Are You an Empath?" quiz.
I hope that this has been helpful for you. As it's been said, "knowledge is power." This is especially true if you have the resources you need to put that knowledge into practice. So once you have taken the assessment(s), if you identify yourself as an HSP and/or an Empath, if you are interested in the support you need to get out of the stress and struggle and start to enjoy a more balanced lifestyle, please don't hesitate to contact me at 440-670-1518 or by email to schedule a complimentary phone or online consultation to find out how Nurture U Life Coaching can benefit you.