Depth of processing is a valuable characteristic for a sensitive person. When HSPs receive information, they take all that, although it may be daunting, places the sensitive person in touch with nature and life. It is a trait that encourages sensitive people’s ability to be visionaries and seers.

The ability to process information more thoroughly is at the root of high sensitivity. Highly sensitive people (HSP) simply absorb information, connect and equate what they find with their experience. If we decide to take the decision without understanding why, we call it intuition. The highly sensitive are strong in their intuition. Jadzia Jagiellowicz’s research found that the highly sensitive use more parts of the brain correlated with “deeper” information processing, especially on tasks involving the detection of subtleties. A study also found that HSPs have more activity in a part of the brain called the insula, a part that makes us aware of our inner states and feelings, body position, and outer events from moment to moment. This part is also called the seat of consciousness.. If we are all aware of what’s going on inside and outside, that’s exactly what one would expect.

There is also a downside: highly sensitive people may feel overwhelmed by so much information. Deep processing has a major impact on a HSP’s decision style. They often cannot move forward until they feel satisfied that they thought through all the possible calculations, consequences, and context of their decision: “What will this mean? What might that mean?” The sheer volume of questions can overwhelm them. Not only do sensitive people try to process everything they receive; they also try to view information in a more holistic point of view to develop a better understanding of the information they receive. HSPs find themselves often in the role of therapist for others in pain. They liked to be needed, and they become satisfied on how much they can help with attentive listening and empathy. It’s a means of being at the same time conscientious and productive. 

Depth of processing is an important and beneficial skill of highly sensitive people. This trait slows us down that is not always appreciated and acknowledged, but it is worth respecting.

Highly sensitive people are quickly overwhelmed by over-stimulation (including external stimulation) or have learned their lesson to escape more stressful circumstances than others do. They may notice every detail in a situation. A study by Friederike Gerstenberg compared sensitive and non-sensitive people on a task of deciding whether a T turned in different ways was hidden among many Ls turned on a computer screen in different ways. After doing the task, HSPs were faster and more precise, but also more stressed than others. If the situation involves many things to remember, becomes noisy, or is long (as in a two-hour commute), they may wear it out earlier from having to do and see so much.

Nevertheless, high sensitivity is not about being disturbed by elevated stimuli levels, although this happens naturally when too much surrounds us. Be careful not to mix being an HSP with another problematic condition: sensory discomfort can be a sign of disorder called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) due to sensory processing problems rather than having unusually good sensory processing sensitivity.

Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is the quality that makes a person highly sensitive (HSP). It is a genetic characteristic with which some people have from birth. The nervous system of the person is extremely sensitive to any stimulus — including external stimuli from the world and other individuals, as well as internal stimulation such as feelings and intense thinking about a situation. They pay more attention to subtle facial expressions.

An HSP, or someone with SPS, actually absorbs, or experiences more intensely, more information than the average person. SPS means you feel more deeply than other people, which can be both a blessing and difficult at times. As a result: you do things other people don’t do. Because your nervous system constantly absorbs so much information, you can get over-stimulated and exhausted, especially in high-stimulus settings. As a result, SPS is regarded as a normal, neutral feature. People with SPS are healthy HSPs. You have a slightly different experience of the world than people without that characteristic.

On the other hand, individuals with sensory processing disorder process information in a way that becomes mixed up. Being an HSP with SPS is healthy and advantageous and makes the person more unique.

HSPs have more active mirror neurons responsible for other empathy and more activity in emotionally sensitive areas than non-HSPs. HSPs feel more emotions and often absorb other people’s emotions. They exhibit intense empathy, often sensing those around them’s emotions and needs (which can cause them to slip into a “fix it” mode that can be off-putting). HSPs are considered to have a strong connection to art, music, theatre, nature, animals, stories, and books.

There is evidence that HSPs respond more to both positive and negative interactions, but a series of studies performed by Jadzia Jagiellowicz showed that HSPs responded more than non-HSPs to positive pictures. If they had a good childhood, this was even more real. Throughout her brain studies, this response to positive images was observed in “higher” areas of thinking and perception, in some of the same areas as those found in the deep-processing brain studies. The greater response to positive images strengthened even more by a successful childhood is in accordance with Michael Pluess and Jay Belsky’s new concept of “vantage responsiveness” that they have built in order to emphasize the unique potentiality to positive circumstances and treatments of sensitive people.

E is Also for Empathy

In a study by Bianca Acevedo, sensitive individuals demonstrated increased activation in the insula, but also decreased activity in their mirror neuron system, especially when looking at the happy faces of loved ones. Their brains show more engagement in areas that indicate responsiveness even more than in areas that require empathy. Overall, though, brain activity showing empathy in HSPs was higher than non-HSPs when looking at facial photos showing strong emotions of any kind. This research is important because HSPs are often considered as people-pleasers or codependents. Given their normal brain activity around happiness and sadness, they will want to comfort those around them who are depressed. Sadly, this innate instinct is not always understood, so unscrupulous people can take advantage of it. HSPs also need to be aware that their energy and energy draining situations need to be managed. So there are limitations to what can be achieved by a sensitive person. It is a wise decision often to let others solve their own problems.

An HSP goes to a party. They notice that recently something has been washed in this room– they smell a strong hint of pungent detergent that’s really disturbing, combined with the fragrance of that person’s cologne! Their pupils feel really uncomfortable with the fluorescent lights. They might find that a person gives off a standoffish vibe: maybe that person had a fight with someone. They see another person not feeling comfortable standing up. They observe that they want to sit down–they seem to be quite tired. Disappointed with some of the people in the room, an HSP may go and stand next to someone else that looks pretty friendly but not too loud. However, a non-HSP might see all the people at the party and then they may have no problem mingling and starting a conversation with a person or two.

In endless ways, from the simple pleasures of eating and tasting different food to responding strategically on the basis of our consciousness to nonverbal signals (that others have no idea they are giving off) about their current mood or reliability, an HSP’s knowledge about subtleties is useful. An HSP’s nervous system is more sensitive coming in via our senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, hearing. HSPs pick up on subtle details that others miss (like little changes in our surroundings, or non-verbal cues from other people, etc.).  They are also more impacted by sensory input like strong smells, bright lights, loud noises (intense startle responses are common), itchy fabrics, hot or cold temperatures, and hunger. On the other hand, of course, when an HSP is stressed out, they may be the least mindful of anything, subtle or disgusting, except their need for a rest.

The term for high sensitivity is “sensory sensitivity processing,” when the central nervous system is more sensitive to physical, social, and emotional stimuli. Most studies about HSPs show that highly sensitive people can sense the most subtle details.HSPs process sensory information more thoughtfully rather than feeling any physical effects on their bodies. The brain areas that are more involved as experienced by sensitive people are those that make sensory information more complex. Not so much the areas that by their shape recognize alphabet letters or even read words, but the areas that capture the subtle meaning of words. 

However, many consider this sensitivity to be a gift towards enjoying the finer things in life from the sounds of birds to the first rays of morning sunlight. Rather than it being a negative, all aspects of a HSP can be considered gifts in this fast-paced world.

Highly sensitive people are intelligent, receptive and can quickly be overwhelmed. High sensitivity is a marvelous trait, but with a few difficulties. One issue is setting boundaries.

What Are Good Boundaries?

Boundaries are solid and productive. They do not create walls, which shut people out and are not so fluid at the expense of each other. Good borders create positive reciprocity. Every person and situation are unique, and the boundaries must work for every person. Nonetheless, they include a willingness to work constructively on solving problems and a determination to see what happens in both sides. Healthy boundaries often respect all people.

3 Ways Highly Sensitive People Can Set Boundaries

1. Be More Open

We observe what others need before they say anything because of the great ability to empathize and the capability to understand subtle social signals. We may expect that others are equally aware of our needs.  But not everyone has our own gift of intuition, so it is useful to remember that we might need to approach things more directly.  Instead of hinting or suggesting something or saying “no” next time, talk openly.

2. Communicate at Your Time

It is difficult to handle everything we see and hear fully at the same pace as the non-HSPs.  Even though your colleagues and your friends expect you to respond to emails and text messages throughout the day, you must set limits to prevent it from burning out. In order to give yourself time to decompress throughout the day, you must establish boundaries for your communication with others. 

3. Agree on Your Own Terms

Boundaries doesn’t always mean “no.” If you want to respond to a request but are too fatigued or exhausted at this moment, say “yes” on your own terms. You can offer it to someone a couple of available times and/or inform someone for some quiet time to think about it. Pause before you answer your question means that your brain has time to process the request and increases the probability that your response suits your needs.

It may be hard to determine goals and prioritize as a highly sensitive person, but these disciplines of self-care is necessary to reduce fatigue, fear, and exhaustion.  Setting limits on communication to help you manage your levels of energy and communicate more deeply with the important people will make you become clearer about your desires to say “yes” to your own terms.

Meditation provides opportunities for tranquility and increased awareness in a chaotic environment that is often distracted by our senses. Research has indicated that meditation can be more than a temporary relief of tension. Meditation can lower blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia.

It provides people who meditate with an opportunity to improve their physical and emotional health. There’s no “right way” to meditate, which means that people should try the various types of meditation before they find one that best suits them

Types of Meditation

1. Loving-kindness meditation

Loving-kindness meditation, also known as Metta meditation, aims to build a kind and loving attitude, including your nemeses and traumatic triggers.

Practitioners open their minds and accept loving kindness while taking deep breaths. They then send the world, other individuals, or their nearest and dearest, messages of loving kindness.

2. Body scan or progressive relaxation

Progressive relaxation, also called body scan meditation, is meditation which guides people to scan their bodies for areas of stress. The goal is to note and let go of stress.

Practitioners begin at one end of their body, usually their feet, during a slow relaxing session, and progress through the whole.

3. Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that encourages practitioners to remain present. Instead of dwelling on the past or anticipating the future, mindfulness fosters awareness of the existing environment. A lack of judgement is key to this. For instance, instead of becoming frustrated with a long wait, a person only observes the delay without judgement.

4. Breath awareness meditation

Breath awareness is a type of mindful meditation that encourages mindful breathing.

Practitioners breathe slowly and deeply, counting their breaths or otherwise focusing on their breaths. The goal is to focus only on breathing and to ignore other thoughts that enter the mind.

5. Kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga is a physical embodiment of meditation that combines deep breathing and mantras with bodyweight movements. Usually people learn from an instructor or in a class. Somebody can learn the poses and mantras at home, however.

Kundalini yoga can boost physical strength and reduce pain, in the same way as other practices of yoga. This type of yoga decreases anxiety and depression, improving mental health.

6. Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation is a type of spiritual meditation in which practitioners sit and breathe slowly. The purpose is to transcend or go above the actual state of being. Practitioners rely on a mantra, or a repetitive phrase or sequence of words during a meditation session. A teacher defines the mantra based on a diverse set of factors, sometimes including the year of birth of the practitioner and the year of preparation of the instructor.

Most have read about the benefits of meditation. Fewer of us are aware of the great benefits of creative expression. However, making art is another means of exposure and healing to a meditative state of mind.

What is Art as Meditation?

Art is like meditation in Zen, with calligraphy, ink sketches, and bonsai, but other media such as paintings, sculptures, watercolors, and so on can meditative. Art calls you to step into the present moment, to remove yourself from your daily worries, and to concentrate intensely on your subject. Being mindful in art can help and enhance your experience. It can also help you to gain the broadest advantages of attention.

It Can Help Your Mind Relax

Mindfulness in art is just enough stimulation in the brain to stop it from spinning out of control. Art is a great meditative because it helps slow down and calm down an active mind. After a long day in the car, when it seems your mind is busy, try sitting down and relaxing for 30 minutes and enjoy sketching or coloring. After that time, you will find that your brain is much less fatigued and more relaxed.

It Can Help Heal Your Inner Child

Art is the best way to express oneself. You can use colors and materials that represent how you feel. Art as meditation is an invitation to keep in touch with your inner child. You can take inspiration from your childhood and bring it forward in your artwork, which can bring a lot of joy regardless of how you feel. It’s a great way to make you feel happier by adding color into your life.

It Gives You a Sense of Accomplishment

Ultimately, creating art helps you feel a sense of accomplishment. With a little help of colors, using art as meditation will totally change the state of your mind if work overwhelms you and you feel like everything is against you. No matter where you are, have an open mind to your art: Concentrate on creating your art rather than the result.  It will help you feel less stressed and willing to face the next day.

Incorporating mindfulness and art provides a way to deal with psychological issues, particularly among those with certain issues, such as a physical condition or end-of-life. If you or your loved one is facing problems, it may help you improve your quality of life and overall psychological well-being through a psychotherapist or other mental health professional or by starting on your own.

Highly Sensitive Persons Colorado Therapy

Are you or do you know someone who is highly sensitive? High sensitivity can be characterized as an immediate response to external (social, environmental) or inner (intrapersonal) stimuli, physically, mentally and emotionally. An introvert, an extrovert or somewhere in between may be a highly sensitive person.

Fifteen to twenty percent of the population are highly sensitive and process stimuli profoundly from sight to sound to emotion. The HSP responsiveness to sensory processing means that reality is “changed” more than other experiences. The nervous systems are no less sensitive than introversion, depression, anxiety or even autism, and process information more deeply because of a biological difference.

Signs of a Highly Sensitive Person

So, what’s it like to be an HSP? While many people may occasionally experience some of these signs, a highly sensitive person is likely to “feel too much” and “feel too deep.”

  • They feel things profoundly and observe people well but may shield their feelings from others because they have learned to withdraw into ourselves. They struggle with sleep and anxiety, and they may feel angry or upset about social injustice in society.
  • In group situations, such as work meetings or parties, we can feel overwhelmed because of the number of stimuli, including loud noises and strong scents. This does not mean that relationships are not respected.
  •  If they watch or read negative media content, they may get upset. They hate programming with “shock” value (i.e. shows that are extremely frightening or violent). They feel unhappy after reading social media posts.
  • They may seek reassurance when they start new relationships, such as friendships or romantic partnerships, because they are hypersensitive to any perceived signs of rejection.
  •  On the other hand, they talk about negative emotions because of the amount of “drama” in their lives. They find it hard to accept feedback, even if it is offered in a fair and constructive manner. They feel like people will judge them, no matter what, despite a lack of strong evidence otherwise.

Although a highly sensitive person has many positive qualities, others can be overstimulated with more signs in the list.

For many sensitive people, emotional and sensory immunity techniques can be used to soothe and relieve overstimulation to control oversensitivity. Efficient communication skills are required to cultivate positive and constructive relationships for those who live or work with extremely sensitive individuals.

3 Ways to Challenge Your Thinking to Reduce Anxiety

Anyone who has felt anxiety will know how terrible it is when you begin to panic and become the only thing you can focus on. Once you get into an anxious mindset, a whole wave of anxiety, fear, and lots of physical symptoms goes through your body.

1.       Accept your anxiety

Anxiety, like all other feelings, is just a feeling. You can start accepting anxiety by reminding yourself that it is an emotional reaction. Acceptance is important because it is often compounded by the attempt to fight or suppress anxiety. This perpetuates the debilitating dread of anxiety. But to accept your fear is not to like it or to condemn yourself to a wretched life. It only means you’d accept reality as it is–and reality includes anxiety in that moment. It is less than desirable to experience anxiety, but it is not unbearable. It helps to eliminate embarrassment, shame, anxiety, and obligation for trying to fix or judge yourself.

2.       Question your thoughts.

If people are anxious, their brains begin to come up with all kinds of unrealistic thoughts, many of which are highly unlikely and doubtful. These thoughts only increase the already anxious state of a person.

For example, your employer would ask you to give a presentation at a work event. Thoughts like “Oh my God, this is not something I can do. It’s going to kill me, ” could run through your brain. Know this isn’t a tragedy. In fact, no one died giving a presentation. The worst thing that will happen is that some people will get a few chuckles and that they will have forgotten about your presentation by tomorrow.

Ask yourself these questions when challenging your thoughts:

  •  What’s the evidence that the thought is true? That it’s not true?
  • Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
  •  What’s the probability that what I’m scared of will actually happen? If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
  •  Is the thought helpful? How will worrying about it help me and how will it hurt me?
  • What would I say to a friend who had this worry?

3.   Use a calming visualization.

Practice the following meditation on a regular basis, which will make access easier if you are anxious.

Imagine yourself in a favorite park, beach on or outside on the riverside. Observe leaves passing by the river or clouds floating through the sky. Place your fears, thoughts and feelings in your clouds and leaves and watch them flow through.

This differs greatly from what people usually do. In general, we assign certain qualities such as good or bad, right or wrong, to emotions, thoughts and physical sensations. It also exacerbates anxiety. Always remember this is only information.

Wait, relax and note what’s going on now. Even if something serious happens, concentrating on the current situation will improve your management skills. Although you’re anxious, you can live your life, and you’re going to get things done. Get busy with life.