Do people often call you “too sensitive”? Are you overwhelmed by crowded spaces, loud noises, strong smells or hectic environments? Do recharge your battery by being alone? If so, you may be a highly sensitive person who responds more intensely to experiences than the average person.
Being environmentally sensitive is a personality trait involving increased sensitivity of the central nervous system and deeper cognitive processing of physical, social and emotional stimuli. Basically, there’s a scientific reason you feel the way you do and approximately 15-20 percent of the population are highly sensitive people. “Because highly sensitive people absorb so much stimulation from their environment, they are more susceptible to feelings of anxiety because they have different genes than others, making it harder to deal with emotional arousal.” Deborah Ward, Psychology Today. If you can relate, here are some common signs from choosingtherapy.com that you may be a highly sensitive person:
- Sensitivity to lights and sounds
- Sensitivity to caffeine and medications
- Feelings of overwhelm in crowded places
- Feeling more drained than others after spending time with people
- Affected by the energy and moods of the people around them
- Startle easily
- Difficulty with transitions and change
- Avoid violence in television and movie
While a highly sensitive person may be their own worst critic, they encompass many strengths to be embraced: empathetic, resilient, courageous, considerate, intuitive, trusted, detail oriented, good friend, good insight, generous, innovative, feel positive emotions deeply and are known to make great leaders- to name a few! If you or your child are highly sensitive people dealing with feelings of anxiety, it’s okay and it looks like you’re using your good insight to have figured it out. Counseling can help you utilize your personal strengths, retrain your thinking and develop ways to cope with triggers- which are unrealistic to avoid. Instead of looking at being called “too sensitive” as negative, it’s time to embrace the personality trait and all the greatness that comes with it! Need help with that, call A Little Counseling!