Highly Sensitive People, who make up about twenty percent of the population, are born with an innate trait called Sensory Processing Sensitivity. This trait allows us to notice everything and I mean everything in our environment all the time.

This constant stream of stimuli can become quite overstimulating since we also deeply process every bit of information and then analyze every subtle detail. Then we think about it, compare it to other similar information and store it for future use.

This process is quite intense and happens automatically.
It is exhausting and quite frankly often overwhelming. Especially if it is negative things like the news, violent movies or negative talk at work.

If a Highly Sensitive Person isn’t careful about the focus of their attention and what situations they choose to enter, this negative over stimulation can turn into feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness and frustration with oneself and the world.

Often the only solution to this onslaught of information seems isolation from a busy, loud and very fast world. This solution seems to work in the beginning as time alone is very soothing, healing and very essential to a Highly Sensitive Persons well- being.

Yet often it is taken to an extreme where one avoids going to family functions, cultural events or business gatherings and can lead to complete isolation.
Humans are not meant to be alone all the time, HSPs included.

In order to create a balance between time alone to regenerate and replenish our energy and time spent with others we need to be aware of what works best for us.
Sounds easier than it often is.

For years I hardly listened to music on the radio because I was already overstimulated by constant noise at work. I discovered that I enjoy traveling much more in the quiet off season. I walk in the mornings when there isn’t any traffic.

What activities do you enjoy but avoid out of fear of overstimulation? How can you do the things you love and feel part of your family, community and the world at large?

When we choose the right time to engage with the world it doesn’t overwhelm us. Then we notice all the subtle details of the world around us. Every tiny detail inspires us.

We are calm enough to notice the delicate beauty of everyone and everything around us and experience this all encompassing feeling of joy. In this state of grace HSPs are focused, strong and able to harness all their strength quite easily.
When we fully embrace our sensory processing sensitivity and are aware of its effects on our psyche, we intentionally choose actions of self care, self empowerment and then can consistently reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm.
When HSPs are as gentle and kind with ourselves as we are with others we feel happier and overjoyed more frequently.
Happiness and joy can be conscious choices.

Text and Photo by Karin Goldgruber

Karin Goldgruber writes about life as a Highly Sensitive Person HSP, how to reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm and how to find authentic answers to your life questions.
She is a Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner who specializes in working with Highly Sensitive People who experience problems in their relationship and work because of this innate trait.
As an HSP herself she has overcome many challenges and obstacles and encourages and empowers others to do the same.