How To Function As A Highly Sensitive Person…

How To Function As A Highly Sensitive Person

Highly sensitive people make up 15 to 20% of the general population. In the healing arts community, being highly sensitive can be both a curse and a blessing. Being an HSP, it doesn’t mean this part of the population suffers more; but they feel the world deeply, literally in their gut. Those highly sensitive people who are unaware of their sensitivity may turn to alcohol or substances to stop feeling everything so intensely.

There is not an exact percentage of HSPs within the healing community, but it is safe to say that a good majority of them gravitated to this work because they cannot function without practicing it daily. HSPs have to work harder to calm the fluctuations of the mind and the sensory overload, especially in a world where our nervous systems are flooded with information overload. Additionally, it is a chore for HSPs to process all the negative information and just “let go” because that is not how they are wired. Once HSPs relax their nervous system through their chosen method, they are an asset to their healing community’s. Here is why:

SEE ALSO: The Relationship Between Breathing And The Brain

They are Incredibly Empathetic

They actually care about other people and think about how others are suffering as they do, without holistic modalities. They sense other’s despair and have a hard time understanding injustice. In other words, they have a hard time relaxing, knowing that other’s are suffering when they can do something to help. One of the four noble truths in Buddhism is life is suffering (or dukkha) and that the suffering is created by one’s own desire. These cravings are called Kleshas in Sanskrit or the six poisons known in Ashtanga yoga. HSPs are highly aware of their own suffering and the suffering in the world. They sincerely want to make a difference. They are emotional sentient beings and at their core, wish to connect to others.

They are Extremely Conscientious

Once a healing method works for them (ie. meditation, chanting, yoga nidra), they will study it and learn it until they can teach it to others themselves. As soon as they stop over processing external stimuli due to a new method, they will practice the method and share it with other. Once they become self-aware of their mental patterns, feelings and reactivity, and excitability, through introspection or Svadhyaya, a limb of Ashtanga yoga, they function as a normal human being.

They are Creative

HSPs need time to decompress since it takes them twice as much energy to reach homeostasis. Once their nervous systems are calm, they have the ability to transmute their new energy into creative outlets. Since they’re empathetic, they can channel other energy into their own as and actor or actress. They may be able to focus on painting, drawing or playing a musical instrument, through dhyana (another eight limb), or intentional concentration.

Since they feel the music, poetry and the fine arts so deeply, they will likely contribute to the artistic community as well. Some HSP’s blend their talents into the healing pool, thus creating a greater gift to themselves and others. Their IQs are the same range of the general normal population so they aren’t likely to be overly intellectual since they are on the feeling side of the spectrum; instead of the logical, rational spectrum. However, with practice they can recondition themselves to be equally left brained if needed.

As I stated before, once they learn meditation, they are highly aware and conscientious beings, willing to learn and grow instead of becoming overly fragile being in a cutthroat world. Naturally, being more right-brained is going to serve others, because of their gift to feel what the collective is feeling. They are going to reach out with their hearts, feel with their gut, create a safe space for others, and attempt to help heal others, thus turning this sensitivity into a gift.


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Brieanne Tanner

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Brieanne has been practicing yoga diligently for 13 years. She’s been a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance since 2010…

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