It seems like we live in a world of acronyms. I guess it's the fastest way to express ourselves in a fast-paced world. You can probably come up with 10 acronyms before you finish reading this first paragraph!
There is one acronym that is fascinating me, and I'd like to introduce it to you, unless you've already heard it - HSP. It stands for the term Highly Sensitive Person.
We all may know a contact crier - someone that cries along with someone else just because that someone else is crying. Or we know someone that startles easily when you walk into the room. These kinds of people may or may not be highly sensitive, although, in the moment they seem like they are.
So who fits this description?
I recently realized that I am an HSP. I first felt the power of being an HSP as a 5 or 6 year old child. I write about this experience in my chapter "Our Disowned SUPERPOWERS" published in "Whispers of the Heart" last year.
“Make it stop!” I silently screamed as my heart pounded erratically against my 7-year- old chest. “Make it stop!” I yelled silently to my heart, and my fear.
I had jolted awake full of anxiety and all I was aware of was the darkness and my pounding heart; my two younger sisters were still sleeping soundly in our bedroom. Then I heard it – slam, slam, slam! went the kitchen cabinets downstairs. I knew it was my Dad, and I knew something was wrong. I could feel his anger, irritation, and frustration. None of the other 7 children in the household seemed to be hearing it. That scared me more!"
This is an example of a very young HSP child that is getting a lot of input from around her, and responding to it the only way she knows how - with fear.
As I wrote about my 7 year old life, I realized that, for as far back as I can remember, I have been told I am too sensitive, or so sensitive, or too worried about things. People often wonder why I am thinking about something, or reminiscing about an event that happened yesterday or a while ago. Why can't I just push past it? I saw the ability for me to feel things so intensely, and I couldn't push past it. I wondered "What is wrong with me?"
Lately I have been given a gift - the gift of realizing that I am an HSP, and there is Nothing wrong with me.
What does being an HSP mean?
Through the use of Functional MRI's done by Dr. Elaine Aron's team over the last 20+ years, research shows that when an HSP is given a perceptual task, 20% of the population has an area of the brain that lights up more deeply as it processes the stimuli. That means that 1 in 5 people can:
This brain sensitivity can show up in someone's life in many ways. For example, perhaps you:
I will be identiflying how to deal with the challenges of high sensitivity. But not only that! You and I were given this inherited trait, this superpower, for a reason. It may not feel like a gift right now, because you don't know how to best manage it - yet. But the research is also showing how the intense lives we live give us benefits - like a huge imagination to create the world we want. Like information to make wonderful decisions. i'll give you ideas on how to deal with the symptoms and challenges of this superpower, so you can stay grounded and feeling good in an overstimulating world. And then I'll define the benefits.
Until next time, Be Kind to Yourself.
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