I’m an HSP – use it to your advantage by getting plenty of rest, down time and eating regularly.


Do You Cry Easily? You May Be a ‘Highly Sensitive Person’

Sometimes called Sensory Processing Sensitivity, high sensitivity isn’t a disorder or a condition but rather an innate, permanent trait. It was first identified in the 1990s by Elaine and Arthur Aron,research psychologists who developed a 27-item scale to assess it. (Take the quiz to find out if you are highly sensitive.) People who are highly sensitive have a deeper depth of cognitive processing, are easily overwhelmed, have bigger emotional responses and notice subtleties more, says Dr. Elaine Aron, who has a clinical practice in Mill Valley, Calif.

Today, several hundred research studies, from brain scans to genetic analyses, have been done on topics related to high sensitivity. They have found that high sensitivity may occur on a spectrum, just like many other personality traits. It isn’t the same as introversion, although HSPs find the need to withdraw from social interactions or stimuli when their brains get overwhelmed.

Brain-scan studies of HSPs show differences in their neural activity, compared with non-HSPs: HSPs are more empathic, pay closer attention to their environment and are more attentive to social clues from their close friends and partners.


Psychotherapist Julie de Azevedo Hanks in Salt Lake City offers tips

  • Recognize that you experience events differently than your partner, who may not feel as intensely as you do.
  • Prepare your partner ahead of time that you may need to call a ‘timeout’ during a disagreement if you feel overwhelmed.
  • Get ample rest, eat healthily, and take downtime to decompress.
  • Recognize that being highly sensitive is a double-edged sword. Feeling emotions of pain and joy more acutely can be a good thing.

The researchers believe this (studies) show that HSPs are more empathic and feel happier when they see their partner happy. “They think more deeply about things,” says Lucy Brown, clinical professor of neurology at Einstein College of Medicine in New York and a researcher on the study.

Experts say that high sensitivity can be found in at least 100 species, including fruit flies, sunfish, dogs, cats and monkeys. In modern times, HSPs make excellent counselors, teachers, artists, pastors and, reporters (or relationship columnists).

Read the full article here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/do-you-cry-easily-you-may-be-a-highly-sensitive-person-1431971154

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