Members Popular Post Pennylane Posted February 23, 2020 Members Popular Post Posted February 23, 2020 Is anyone else here an empath or highly sensitive individual? I am and am curious how you deal with this gift ? Are You a Highly Sensitive Person? Should You Change? A sensitive person's brain is different: Research points to some advantages. But what does highly sensitive really mean? Is "Highly Sensitive Person" a scientific term? As it turns out, there is research on this innate trait of high sensitivity. The scientific term is “Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS). Highly sensitive people are born that way; it is not something they learned. As children, they might be described by teachers as shy or inhibited, especially in Western countries. As adults, they might be described as introverts. It is important to note that not all sensitive people are shy or introverts. In fact, 30 percent of HSPs are thought to be extroverts. HSP scales for adults and childrenhave been developed and used in research (1). A commonly used scale contains 27 diverse but strongly interrelated items. An HSP ... has a rich and complex inner life is deeply moved by the arts and music gets easily overwhelmed has difficulty performing a task when being observed easily startles is sensitive to pain, and hunger is attuned to inner bodily sensations readily notices sensory changes Researchers linked this trait to positive qualities but also to mental illnesses It is not surprising that this trait is found in artists, poets and is linked to giftedness, creativity and empathy, At the same time, an HSP is at a higher risk of depression and other mental illnesses. They are also at a higher risk of burnout because they get easily overwhelmed. This is why it is critical to know if you are an HSP, so you can seek out relationships and environments that make you shine (see the last section). The brain of an HSP is different There are biological reasons for all the components of this trait. An HSP’s brain is wired differently and the nervous system is highly sensitive with a lower threshold for action (2). This hyper-excitability contributes to increased emotional reactivity, a lower threshold for sensory information (e.g. bothered by noise, or too much light), and increased awareness of subtleties (e.g. quick to notice odors). There are also changes at the macro brain level. The areas associated with this trait greatly overlap with the brain areas that support empathy! Also, they have a hyperactive Ursula which explains their heightened awareness of their inner emotional states and bodily sensations. This hyperactivity explains their sensitivity to pain, hunger, and caffeine. There is also some recent evidence that this trait is related to the infamous 5-HTLPR gene (serotonin gene), implicated in many psychological conditions, such as depression (3). How to make the most of your high sensitivity Reduce the number of intense stimuli in your environment. Limit the number of tasks when multi-tasking. Avoid burnout by noticing early warning signs, such as feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Get your thoughts and deep emotions on paper so that they won’t cloud your brain. Try mindfulness meditation especially to deal with high sensitivity to pain. This will teach you to acknowledge pain as the sum of sensations suspended from the label of pain. Take advantage of your creativity: Draw, color or write. Take advantage of your predisposition for higher empathy to strengthen relationships—to become a better co-worker, and to assure your self worth. Be comfortable in your sensitive skin. Own it and never be ashamed of it. Be honest about your predisposition to be an HSP, especially in close relationships. But don't forget to highlight the positive aspects: more empathy, deep thinker, able to see things from a different perspective, appreciation of arts and music, and others' positive qualities.